Freely Scripted Soul

May 30, 2007

Basics of Ubuntu

Filed under: Ubuntu — Roshan @ 2:13 am

Official Ubuntu Site


Download Ubuntu


Ubuntu is becoming very popular mainly since it is very simple and easy to use. The only obstacle a NEW technology faces is the problem people face in getting acquainted to it.


If you aren’t yet comfortable with Ubuntu, here are some of the basic things that you need to know.

If you are comfortable, good; still, here are some of the basic things that you need to know.


To get started, explore the (System -> Preferences) menu and try changing very basic things like desktop background and screensaver; explore (Places) menu; and explore (Applications -> Accessories) menu which has some really cool features like screenshot and disk usage analyzer.



Start-up Sessions:


You would feel the necessity to have a few programs to start-up every time you log-in. Preferable start-up programs are Beryl-Manager, Gaim, Amarok, etc.


Go to (System -> Preferences -> Sessions)



In the tab “Startup Programs”, click on “New” to the right.




Type “Beryl-Manager” as the name for that start-up program and “beryl-manager” as the command for that. Then click “OK”. Similarly other programs can be added at start-up with commands like “gaim”, “amarok”, etc.





Root Privileges:


By default, Ubuntu doesn’t allow the user to log-in as “root” (administrator). However, some tasks like installation require root privileges.


Click HERE for help on using root privileges.



Configuring Internet:


If while installing Ubuntu, your modem is working i.e. if you are connected to the net, your network connections will automatically be configured. You can also configure it later.


Launch “Network” from (System -> Adminstration -> Network) or left-click on the network icon next to the sound icon in the sessions menu.




Click on “Wired connection” and then on “Properties”.




Choose “Static IP address” , type your network information and click “OK”.

Shift to the “DNS” tab and click “Add” in DNS Servers and add your DNS server addresss.



Go back to “Connections” tab. Remove the tick next to “Wired Connection” and tick it again.



Installing Packages:


Ubuntu, by default, will come with just a few basic packages. However, a wide range and variety of packages can be installed easily, at any time later to make your system JANG.

Ubuntu packages simply ROCK!!


Here is what I would suggest, to utilize the best of the Ubuntu packages..

  • Synaptic Package ManagerOne of the coolest features of Ubuntu
  • Automatix – Graphical interface for automating the installation of the most commonly requested applications in Debian based Linux operating systems
  • Easyubuntu – A package manager with a selection of some useful programs and applications

For those of you who neither have internet connection in your PC nor have CD/DVD package repositories, click HERE



Lex and Yacc:


First of all, the “vi” editor in Ubuntu is not as user-friendly as the “vi” editor in Fedora. So, use the default text editor of Ubuntu, through the command “gedit”. You can also install “emacs” which is an advanced text editor. (You can also use “gedit” text editor in Fedora which is easier to use and which is what I would recommend)


If you haven’t installed the “build-essential”, “flex” and “bison” packages yet, install it from Synaptic Package Manager or give these commands at the terminal:

sudo apt-get install build-essential

sudo apt-get install flex

sudo apt-get install bison


Once they are installed, you can use the commands ‘lex’/’flex’ and ‘yacc’/’bison’.


A word about commands in the terminal: commands and arguments are CASE-SENSITIVE i.e. a folder named “roshan” is absolutely different from a folder name “Roshan”. This is the reason why, by default folder names are in lower-case and most users prefer it that way.


Though you can use the commands “cc”, “lex” and “yacc”, preferably, use the commands “gcc”, “flex” and “bison” since they are superior versions.






Running “.exe” files:

.exe” files won’t work in GNU/Linux systems by default. To run them, install “wine” from synaptic manager or give this command at the terminal:

sudo apt-get install wine


Wine can be used to execute most “.exe” files, though not all.

Now, lets install a software through wine.


Google Picasa version for linux doesn’t have web album uploading option as of now. They are still developing it. However, if you feel that web uploading is necessary(like me), then use “wine” to install the windows version of picasa.


So, download the Windows version of picasa HERE


Now, suppose you have downloaded the file in your HOME folder(if not, change directory to that folder in which the .exe file is there before giving this command), give this command at the terminal:

wine picasaweb-current-setup.exe

Or you can double-click the downloaded file or right-click and “open with wine”.

You can also go to (Applications -> Accessories -> Wine File), browse for the .exe file and open it.


Install Picasa in the folder “/opt/Picasa2”


Now, to run picasa, double-click “Picasa2.exe” in “/opt/Picasa2” or right-click it and “open with wine”, or give this command at the terminal:

wine /opt/Picasa2/Picasa2.exe



Customizing Main Menu:


Now, that you have installed Picasa2, you would like to have a shortcut to it.


Go to (System -> Preferences -> Main Menu)



Go to “Applications -> Graphics” on the left-side menu.

Click on “New Item” on the right-side.




Choose Type as “Application. Enter Name as “Picasa”, command as “wine /opt/Picasa2/Picasa2.exe” and add a comment if you want saying “The Photo Organizer from Google”. Click on the icon and select it from “/opt/Picasa2/runtime/favicon.ico”. Once done, click “Close”.



You can do a lot more customization in the Main Menu, by selecting and deselecting applications from the menus, by adding and deleting applications(right-click on applicatin and then “Delete”), by creating separators, adding more menus, etc.


Similarly, you can also customize the “System” menu.


Customizing Panels:


Right-click on the top panel.



Here, you get a whole range of options to customize it.

However, theres a much simpler way of adding shortcuts on the panel.

Say suppose you want to add “Search” shortcut on the top panel. Click-and-drag (Places -> Search for Files) and drop it onto the panel. You can place it onto the panel where ever you want and organize such shortcuts.





Mounting Drives:


All drives will be mounted automatically. Click HERE for more information on it.






The usual search feature with a few good options.







You can use have a button or text-based location bar. The text-based location bar is useful to know the path of the drive, while buttons are most user friendly and can be used to jump drives easily, like say from “Madikeri” drive back to “DRV1VOL5” drive.



Checking Dataone Usage using Firefox:


Dataone Broadband users’ statistics could only be viewed in Internet Explorer, as support was provided only for that. However, in Ubuntu, you do not need Internet Explorer.


To check Dataone Broadband Usage statistics using Firefox, download any one of these 2 files.






For more information about this, click HERE


Once downloaded, open the download archive file and “Extract” it. Now, open the extracted folder. Open the “README” file in it and it will guide you.



  1. […] If you very lazy to type “su”, you can enable “root terminal” by customising the main menu, where all the commands you type will be performed with root privileges. By default, “root terminal” will be hidden in the (Applications -> System Tools). To activate it, you need to customise the Main Menu. To know more about customising Main Menu, click HERE […]

    Pingback by Using Root Privileges in Ubuntu « Enjoy the world of Magic — June 2, 2007 @ 3:17 am | Reply

  2. dude…u are completely saturated with ubuntu..thus blog is dam helpful!! dam dam cool!! thanks a lot for yo efforts..hope every1 likes and dam sure they’ll appreciate it!! keep it up bose!!

    Comment by ajay — June 3, 2007 @ 4:33 am | Reply

  3. thanks macha 🙂

    Comment by Roshan — June 3, 2007 @ 11:16 am | Reply

  4. […] is necessary(like me), then use “wine” to install the windows version of picasa – click HERE for help on that. […]

    Pingback by Automatix and Easyubuntu « Enjoy the world of Magic — June 3, 2007 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

  5. the os looks cool, but so many things to be changed? i am in no man’s land.

    should i shift or shouldn’t i. i have never used linux before.

    Comment by Supreeth — June 12, 2007 @ 11:54 am | Reply

  6. ylu shud have put the deTailed step by step installtin procedure. me being no linux user wa clueless!

    Comment by Supreeth — June 15, 2007 @ 4:53 pm | Reply

  7. man i am running ubuntu. my xp got hacked by the italian job. and now the net config, the dns should be . the dns u gave in the screen shot is not working. this dns works.

    and the resolution , i am not able to change it.

    Comment by Supreeth — June 21, 2007 @ 4:04 am | Reply

  8. Thanks for you help regarding installing lex and yacc.

    Comment by Rupesh — November 25, 2007 @ 6:18 am | Reply

  9. rupesh
    sorry.. i havent put anything on my blog bout lex n yacc!!! ????????

    Comment by Roshan — November 27, 2007 @ 1:45 am | Reply

  10. nice info. keep it up.

    Comment by Swapnil — January 6, 2010 @ 7:23 am | Reply

  11. I really want to move from Windows to Ubuntu. However, I am finding it very difficult. For example, I can’t even find a program to navigate my file system (like windows explorer or file manager). Also, I want to upgrade to Firefox 3.6 but apparently to do that I have to issue all sorts of commands and I need to find the /usr directory but I cannot find it (I know basic Unix commands like cd and ls, so I can get around a little). Is there a basic basic tutorial to navigating Ubuntu?

    Comment by JamesD — February 7, 2010 @ 1:46 am | Reply

  12. Great weblog here! Also your site lots up fast! What web
    host are you using? Can I am getting your affiliate link to your host?
    I want my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

    Comment by click here — July 27, 2012 @ 2:50 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: