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Ubuntu GNOME Basic HOWTO
Bring up the GNOME Shell
It is intuitive, but this is the most important task for the novice users. Click on Activities in the top left corner of the screen or press the Super key (previously known as Windows key) to bring up the GNOME Shell. This is the place where you can see your open windows, change workspaces and, of course, search for and run your favourite applications.
Change your desktop background (wallpaper)
Right-click on the desktop and select Change Background.... You can also bring up the GNOME Shell and search for Background to open the Background system settings' window.
Choose a wallpaper included in Ubuntu GNOME, select your own wallpaper from the Pictures folder or pick a solid color for your background or lock screen.
Change the theme and fonts to customize the look of Ubuntu GNOME
A lot of the appeal of Ubuntu in general is its flexibility. One of the most obvious ways to customize a operating system is through its look. You can do this by changing the theme and fonts.
To change the theme, it is best to use GNOME Tweak Tool – an application which is included by default in the Ubuntu GNOME installation. If not, you can install it from the Software Center or throughout the command-line (by running sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool in Terminal).
Once you have GNOME Tweak Tool installed, bring up the GNOME Shell and search for Tweak Tool. Then run the application and select the Theme tab. All the theme settings can be changed here (desktop theme, cursor theme, icon theme, etc.). Many more themes than the ones on the list are available for download. GNOME-Look.org is a great place to look for more themes.
All font settings are available in the Fonts tab – here you can not only change system fonts, but hinting and antialiasing, too.
Change your system settings
Bring up the GNOME Shell and search for System Settings.
- Here you can change your personal, hardware or system settings. Click on an item to open its settings.
User Account Management
If you are planning on having multiple users to use the operating system, it's a good idea to have several accounts. This can be accomplished by using the GUI or Terminal with equal effectiveness.
Create or remove a user account via the GUI
To add a user accout:
Open System Settings from the shell, and click User Accounts.
Then, click Unlock in the upper right-hand corner, and enter your root password.
User accounts can be added using the + button in the lower left-hand corner.
To remove a user account:
Select the user account you want to remove and click on the - (minus) button in the lower left-hand corner.
Create or remove a user account via Terminal
To add a user account, run the following commands with appropriate information:
sudo adduser -d /home/newuser/ -m newuser
sudo passwd newuser
- Enter the password you want the user to have.
- Enter the same password again.
This would create a new account with the name newuser, and a home directory at /home/newuser.
You can also create a user account by running the following command:
sudo useradd -c "newuser" -m -s "/bin/bash" newuser
To remove a user account, run the following command:
sudo userdel newuser
This will remove the user account newuser from your operating system, but will not delete its home directory. If you want to keep the files of newuser, that’s good, but if you want to delete both the user account and the home directory, run the following command:
sudo userdel -r newuser
Adding software in Ubuntu is really simple, easy and fast, which is one of the advantages the operating system has over other distributions. To add software in Ubuntu GNOME:
Bring up the GNOME Shell and search for Ubuntu Software Center.
- Select from hundreds of free or paid applications.
Click Install to install an application on your hard disk drive.
If you want to install a more obscure package, you will need to do some simple work in Terminal. A good place to start learning about this is on the AptGet Howto page.
Install software from a .deb file
Installing software from a .deb file is not normally necessary, but it can make life easier at times. For example, a newer version of your favourite application is available on the developer's official site in a .deb package, but not in the repositories of Ubuntu. Installing from a .deb file can be accomplished several ways in Ubuntu GNOME.
Double click on the .deb file. Ubuntu Software Center will handle the installation for you.
To install a single .deb package, run the following command:
sudo dpkg -i package-name-here.deb
sudo dpkg --install package-name-here.deb
To install several .deb packages from the same directory run the following command:
sudo dpkg -i -R /path/to/dir/name/with/lots/of/dot-deb-files/
sudo dpkg -i --recursive /path/to/dir/name/with/lots/of/dot-deb-files/
Installing Java (JRE and JDK) is one of the first things that many developers will want to do. While OpenJDK works 99% of the time, some may want true Oracle Java.
Install Oracle Java
The easiest way to install the latest version of Oracle Java on your machine is by using the Web Upd8 personal package archive (PPA).
Open Terminal and run the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java7-installer
Install OpenJRE and OpenJDK
OpenJRE or OpenJDK can be installed via Ubuntu Software Center or Terminal.
Open Terminal and run the following command to install OpenJRE:
sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jre
Open Terminal and run the following command to install OpenJDK:
sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jdk
Ubuntu GNOME Advanced HOWTO
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