Generally, in any operating system when you first install it fresh, you don’t get all the goodies. You have to install and download various applications and install them to make it suitable for your personal taste and requirement. Same is the case with Ubuntu as well. Unlike Windows, you have email client (Evolution) and an office suite (OpenOffice.org) by default loaded when you first install it. (Microsoft wants you to buy them separately and install it. But that’s a different debatable topic.) Read more on Knowliz…
I am sure Google Earth will be among the first few things you will want to install on your Ubuntu machine. The installer which you get online is not a regular installer which Ubuntu default installation will be happy with. You can’t just double-click to install it.
That’s why I thought of providing the steps to install Google Earth on your Ubuntu or any other linux machine for that matter. Steps are as follows:
Follow the on screen prompts to complete the installation.
You will see Google Earth icon on your desktop after the installation is complete.
At the same time it will also give you an option to launch it for the first time after the installation is complete.
Google Earth should have been installed in the default location “/usr/local/Google/Google-earth“.
That’s it. Enjoy the cool Google Earth features.
TIP: By the way, you might have already guessed the trick. To install any software on Ubuntu with a *.bin extension you can do the same to install it. Just browse to the directory, at the terminal type sh *.bin. Your software should be installed properly.
I am sure you have always used to think if it is possible to have different wallpapers on different workspaces in Ubuntu using GNOME. Isn’t it? Don’t worry I have a tip for you, and it is very simple too. Assumptions:
You have Ubuntu 8.04 running. (Though it should work with 7.10 as well. But I haven’t tried it.)
You have installed CCSM. Check under System ->Preferences if Advanced Desktop Effect Setting is there.
For better results you have Avant Window Navigator installed. (Else you won’t be able to use any shortcut on your desktop.)
If you have set up all that then it should be pretty easy for you. Just follow the following steps:
Go under System> Preferences > Advanced Desktop Settings
Click New under background images and add all the images you want as background.
Alt + F2 to launch the Run Terminal.
Enter gconf-editor and hit Run.
Go under apps > nautilus > preference
Deselect ‘Show Desktop’.
That’s it. You are all set. Check all the workspaces. You should have the images you selected as wallpapers on these. Cool…
You will notice that you can’t right-click on the desktop and all your existing desktop shortcuts are gone. But don’t worry they are not gone. You will have to go under Places > Desktop to see all the thing you kept on original desktop. Going forward if you save something on desktop they will also appear on that location only. This is one thing you will have to sacrifice if you want to have different wallpapers on each workspace.
But hold on…there is a good news for you if you enabled Avant Window Navigator, then all your shortcuts should be there. Enjoy different wallpapers on all your workspaces. Did you like it?
I would like to see your screenshot with all the workspaces as I have shown here. Or if any other customization you did to achieve better results, drop a comment here so that others also can learn from you.
You might have been hearing lots of terms for desktop managers in Ubuntu or any other distro. I was also confused initially but I collected some information which I wanted to share with you.
Compiz is a Desktop manager which is enabled by default in Ubuntu 8.04. It controls how all the windows appear on the screen, like the title bar, colors, icons, cursors and borders etc. Ubuntu already has one which is called Metacity which is very basic. The advantage of using Compiz is that it has lots of cool effects. Which can make you windows transparent, enable Desktop cube, many customized effects while minimizing, maximizing, opening, closing & moving windows as well as many eye candy effects.
Compiz-fusion was originally called Compiz and had some limited effects. Another window manager Beryl had some other effects and some common effects as Compiz. Eventually Compiz and Beryl combined resulting in Compiz-Fusion.
Emerald is another desktop manager which helps you modify the settings further and help you cutomize the entire theme itself. But you can enable either one of Compiz or Emerald. This is a short explanation of the terms.
There are some other plugins like cairo dock and AWN also which provides you the ability to get a Mac OS X like dock. There are definitely lot of things you can do to get better look than Vista.
Now how to enable those effects:
Ubuntu 8.04 by default has Compiz enabled.
To enable advanced features :
Go to System > Preferences > Appearance > Visual Effects and select the last option ‘Extra’.
Restart the computer.
Search for ‘Compiz’ in Synaptic Package Manager or Add/Remove software and install ‘Advanced Desktop Effect Settings’
Once installed, play around to get the required effects.
Most of the times it so happens that we want to do something quickly but don’t want to move our hands from keyboard to the mouse. There are some shortcut keyboard keys/combinations which lets you save couple of clicks. These shortcuts make our life easy. It is true for everything : Windows, Mac or Ubuntu Linux.
Today I am going to provide information about some such shortcuts in Ubuntu. Though there is always a shortcut for all applications menu items. But for a start couple of ‘ALT’ and ‘Fn’ key combinations are here, learn them by heart, they will be useful for your Ubuntu life:
ALT + F1: Displays application menu and expands it. Use arrow keys to navigate further.
ALT + F2: ‘Run application’ dialog box
ALT + F4: Closes the selected window.
ALT + F5: Reduces the size of current window if it is maximized. Use arrow keys to change the size.
ALT + F7: Move the selected window. Use arrow keys to move it around.
ALT + F8: Resize the selected window. Use arrow keys.
ALT + F9: Minimize the selected window.
ALT + F10: Maximize the selected window.
ALT + Tab: Cycle through the open windows. Brings the window in focus to front.
ALT + Space bar: Displays context sensitive menu.
These are couple of ‘ALT’ and ‘Fn’ function key combination which helps you navigate through the desktop quickly without using your mouse or touchpad.
Ubuntu ShipIt is accepting pre-orders for 8.04 Hardy Heron, the latest Ubuntu release. Hardy will be released on 24th April, 2008. ShipIt will send you a CD free of cost, but it may take around 8-10 weeks. If you are not in hurry to get the Ubuntu Hardy Heron official CD for your collection and otherwise have a fast internet connection, then please prefer downloading it. I am listing both the options below: Download :http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download Get it shipped :https://shipit.ubuntu.com/ Enjoy…!!! I already ordered mine…have you??? Remember, if you prefer to download and burn yourself, you can use a rewritable CD.
Today Ubuntu 8.04 ‘Hardy Heron’ Release Candidate has been released. RC is late by one day though. But that won’t affect the final release date of 24th April, 2008 for final release of Ubuntu 8.04 ‘Hardy Heron’.
Those who don’t know, Ubuntu is one of the finest Linux OS which gives every user the ability to perform all activities with ease without worrying about the commands which used to be case earlier. Ubuntu has got a very nice Coffee brown theme and a clean user interface. To know more what is there in Ubuntu 8.04, read this release note. Ubuntu doesn’t need heavy resources like other operating systems as Windows need. 25 such reasons to try Ubuntu are listed here, if they give you a boost to give it a try. And if you decide then this guide will help you try Ubuntu without messing with your existing operating system.
you can download the release candidate here…. If you want you can get all other Ubuntu flavors like Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Studio & Mythbuntu also from this location.
Now when you have 25 reason to use Ubuntu instead of Windows, then I am sure you will like to try it. How you do it is a question? And most probably you are afraid to mess around with your existing operating system.
I tell you what, it is very very simple and with Ubuntu 8.04 it is even simpler than ever. (Will be covered in a future post.)
Download the Live CD *.iso image (after 24th April, 2008 for latest Hardy Heron) on your hard drive for your machine. (i386 if Intel processor and AMD 64 if AMD processor)
Burn the image file to a CD or DVD with your choice of software Roxio, Nero or whatever. I will suggest using a RW (re-writable) disc so that if you don’t like it, you don’t waste a CD (chances are very low, but in case)
You can even get it shipped to you free of cost through Shipit if you don’t even want to download.
Insert the burnt Live CD in your CD drive.
Restart your machine.
Go to the system BIOS and change the booting option to CD/DVD drive. (You have to be quick to go to the BIOS, else you will end up booting your existing OS.) Generally you have to press F2, F8, Delete or some specific key to go to system BIOS. Refer your system manual.
Boot Ubuntu from the CD.
Ubuntu Live CD will load and give you a screen to select what you want to do further. (You might have to wait 2-5 minutes depending upon your system to see this screen.)
Select ‘Try and Install Ubuntu’. Don’t worry it won’t load Ubuntu on your machine and you won’t lose any data.
It will take another 2-3 minutes to give you a desktop.
Now you are in Live session of Ubuntu OS. You can test your machine to see all your hardware works on it. You can play games and do lots of other stuff.
If you like you can double-click on the ‘Install Ubuntu’ icon on the desktop. (Next post will elaborate on the install options.)
You don’t have to install now, if you wanna try it for some days.
To exit, just click ‘Quit’ and ‘Shut Down’ the system.
Remove CD from the CD drive when prompted. Hit enter.
Reboot to use your existing OS. No changes have been made to your system…right. Cool….
Come back to this blog to see what you need to do to Dual boot your system keeping your existing OS. (Dual Boot : You will have option while booting to select which OS you want to boot from. You can select if you want Windows, Ubuntu, Mac or any other thing.)
Hope this post helped you in trying Ubuntu for free without affecting your existing OS.
Lots of people argue why I should use Linux (any distro, I prefer Ubuntu) when I am currently using Windows or Mac. Given a chance to select your choice of operating system (OS), people may prefer to use Linux than anything else. The other thing which prevents users using Linux is the hardware support which is not that good currently for Linux. But that is because we have been living in a world where Windows is being forced to everyone when they buy PC. That’s why hardware manufacturers are also forced to support Windows first than any other thing. But this support has increased tremendously over last couple of years. At the same time Linux community has developed itself in making Linux (Ubuntu in particular) more user friendly.
Anyways that is an ongoing debate whether you should use Linux or Windows or Mac. And at some point it is a personal choice as well.
I thought of collating some reasons which might make you think twice while buying another Windows PC. And if you currently use Linux, then please add a comment to this post, why you use Linux and which distro you use so that others can get more information about it:
Ubuntu is Free and so any other Linux distro. (Saved ~ $250)
You don’t have to buy Office (Word, Power-point, Excel etc.) separately. It comes with OpenOffice preinstalled. (Saved ~ $200)
You don’t have to buy costly hardwares for the basic need. (RAM. Processor, HDD etc.)
Ubuntu is more stable.
You are free from Viruses so you don’t have to buy another upgrade of Norton or any other Antivirus software. (Saved ~ $75)
When you have installed Ubuntu, you don’t have to install anything else to get you started with your productivity.
You don’t have to wait for years for the bugs to get fixed. You can track them down in Ubuntu.
You can update everything on your system with just one update manager. No need to run separate Update manger for all the softwares you installed. (Saves your system resources.)
Don’t get tired restarting your computer all the time. You do it almost never with Ubuntu.
You are free from Pirated softwares. With Ubuntu you can share it with as many people as you want and it is LEGAL.
Don’t have to bother searching the web for new softwares. Ubuntu gets a whole lot of software free of cost to you.
Play hundreds of games for Free.
Your PC won’t get slower day by day. It happens in Windows only.
Use MSN, AIM, ICQ, Jabber, Gtalk, Yahoo and many more with a single program. No need to install separate software for the same thing.
Tired of managing multiple windows on your screen. You can use workspaces to manage your work.
You old computer will get a second life. Because Ubuntu does not need those high resources as Windows.
Jump into the next generation of desktop themes with Compiz fusion and all with lot less resources than Windows Vista.
With Ubuntu, you are always free. Free as in Freedom and in Free Beer. Ubuntu is free and will always remain free. (Saves ~ $200 every 2 years when Microsoft releases a new version of its operating system and you have to buy it.
All future upgrades of Ubuntu are provided free of cost. Upgrades are released every 6 months.
Upgrades are installed automatically. You don’t have to bother about losing your data and redoing lots of personalization. *Edit* The updates are installed with your permission and only if you want them…not in the background without you knowing it. – Thanks freeber – A Ubuntu User
You can tweak your desktop wallpaper or any other setting the way you want it. You can make it look like Windows or Mac (if you want.). You can even get the sidebar you were fascinated in Vista.
You don’t have to defrag your hard disk every now and then to boost the performance. Ubuntu does it for you automatically.
You don’t have to go to a shop to buy operating system. You can download it anytime you want it and burn it on a CD. You can even burn it on a re-writable CD to save some CDs.
Thousand of user are there to help you with when you are stuck. Become a part of Ubuntuforums.
You will get free and Long Term Support (LTS) for Ubuntu. Ubuntu 8.04 Desktop version also will get a LTS. (17 days to go for the release version.)
I think these many reason are enough to get you started with Ubuntu or any other Linux flavor. Keep visiting this blog for more information on Linux, Ubuntu in particular. If you want to try it now you can download Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron (Beta) now and later it will be updated to the released version.
I know I haven’t posted anything on this blog for a little over 2 months now. But now I have got altogether a new direction for this blog. What is that….??? Guess…!!!
In this era when there is increasing open source awareness and the support from all the talented people out there supporting so many open source forums and communities, I thought it will be a good idea to give this blog a new direction. Going forward, this blog is converting into Ubuntu only blog or any information related to Linux or any Open Source application or resource. I will keep posting on this blog the tutorials, suggestions or any resource list for any of these subjects will be part of this blog.
Reason for doing so, you can obviously guess is because recently I somehow got involved with Ubuntu. I installed Ubuntu on couple of computers for my friends and including mine. And I very proudly say that I loved it. That’s why I thought of helping this community by providing some resources or share my knowledge with them with this beautiful medium.
So stay tuned…You will enjoy it, specially if you enjoy Open Source applications.