Documentation Project


The goal of the AustinTeam documentation project is to provide information about Ubuntu customized to the Austin area. It will offer an introduction to Ubuntu, lists of common questions and problems, and links to helpful information. We're not trying to reinvent the wheel, we just wanted to provide a good starting place for Austinites.

Introduction to Ubuntu

Welcome to Ubuntu! Ubuntu is an operating system based on Linux. It is free to use and share.


Users can install Ubuntu using the LiveCD. You can download an image of the LiveCD for free. You can also request one through the ShipIt program. AustinTeam also has a plentiful stock of official and burned CDs that are free to take. Just ask!

See also:

Release Version

Ubuntu releases a new version every six months. The current version is called Lucid Lynx (10.04 LTS). Lucid, being Long Term Supported, will be supported till April 2013. The next version will be released on 10/10/2010 and is called Maverick Meerkat (10.10). The Maverick release, and other non-LTS versions will be supported for at least 18 months. This support means that you will be able to get the latest security upgrades for these versions. You can easily upgrade your current version as soon as the next one is available through update-manager.

There are also several flavors of each version of Ubuntu. The default Ubuntu has a general set of programs tailored for the casual computer user. It is also based on the GNOME desktop environment (an easy graphical user interface). Edubuntu is another flavor that contains programs tailored for school use. Kubuntu is another flavor that uses the KDE desktop environment rather than GNOME (with which some users are more familiar). Xubuntu is another flavor that uses the Xfce desktop environment rather than GNOME (this uses less resources, so it can be run on slower computers). This documentation will focus mainly on the default Ubuntu.

See also:

Graphical Interface

Ubuntu strives to be as user friendly as possible, so your desktop and menu system is fairly intuitive. You can customize the look and feel of your desktop by going to System>Preferences>Appearance from your panel menu. You can also move the panels around and add and remove icons/shortcuts from them. If your graphics resources are large enough, you can also add some visual effects to the desktop. These are based on a project called CompizFusion, which allows for some very exciting eye candy.

See also:

Package Manager

Ubuntu comes with many useful programs, with many more you can install yourself. The programs you currently have installed are indexed by a "package manager" on your computer. Anytime you install or uninstall a program, the package manager updates its index. This creates an easy way to monitor, install, uninstall, and update programs (since it's all in one place!). You can see this list through two graphical means.

  • Add/Remove Programs - a simple program installer, located in the Applications menu.
  • Synaptic Package Manager - a complete list of installed programs, located in the System>Administration folder.

See also:


Ubuntu is mainly community supported. The online presence of Ubuntu is huge! A good place to start is simply Googling keywords in your question plus Ubuntu. Chances are high that someone has had the same question as you. Also, there are many online support websites devoted to answering questions about Ubuntu. AustinTeam is also a great place to go for help. We have a mailing list and regular meetings where you can talk to us.

Some helpful online resources:

Common Problems and Questions

How do students get access to the University of Texas restricted network?

There are two networks at the University of Texas at Austin: and The restricted wireless network is for students, faculty, and staff with a UT electronic identification (UTEID). You can get Ubuntu working with the restricted wireless very easily. The following steps assume you have a working wireless card.

Steps to connect:

  • Download the certificate file. You can even connect to the wireless network and get it without logging on.
  • Left click on your network manager icon and select the wireless network.
  • Fill in the WPA Enterprise information required and leave the other boxes blank (see screenshot).

    • EAP Method: TTLS
    • Key Type: TKIP
    • Identity: YourUTEID
    • Password: ******** (Your UTEID Password)
    • CA Certificate File: cacerts.pem (the file you downloaded)
  • Click Connect. You're done!

For Kubuntu, however, the steps are little more involved. The network management plasma that ships with Jaunty will not connect to this network. Instead, you must use wicd and create a custom template:


  • sudo apt-get install wicd
  • sudo vi /etc/wicd/encryption/templates/ttls-tkip
  • Insert this text:

    name = TTLS - TKIP
    version = 1
    require identity *Identity password *Password ca_cert *Path_to_CA_Cert

    • ssid="$_ESSID"


  • Quit and save (:wq)
  • sudo vi /etc/wicd/encryption/templates/active
  • Add "ttls-tkip", quit and save (:wq)
  • Restart wicd, put in your login information and the path to the certificate file, and you should be able to connect.

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AustinTeam/Docs (last edited 2010-05-19 00:04:23 by sille777)