Using Ubuntu Linux/Settings & How to Use Them
Welcome to your new system, in this section we will talk about the settings you can change in your new operating system which you can access from the menu's at the top of your screen.
Ubuntu 11.04 users
When you first logged in to your brand new system, you would have noticed that your applications are found on the left hand side of the screen at the launcher. It sort of resembles Windows 7, so if you just moved from Windows 7, congratulations! You don't have to learn a lot of new stuff.
When you have first logged in to your Ubuntu, you may be wondering where all your applications have went. Don't worry, they are just being stuffed into the applications directory. Simply click on the Ubuntu icon on your screen's top left corner and do a quick search for your favourite programs.
On the top right hand corner, you would find a clock ticking, your username, a quit button and a few others. They are just there to allow you to do the different maintenance tasks that you would usually do (like turning off your computer after a session using the quit button).
Ubuntu 10.10 or older users
If you have downloaded an old release of Ubuntu (Ubuntu 10.10 or older), you would need to follow the following guide below.
The system menu and its submenus 'Preferences' and 'Administration' are where you will do most of your configuration.
First lets talk about the entries in this menu before we talk about the submenus.
- Help and Support
This option loads a program called 'yelp' which is similar to windows' Help center. You can type in a keyword into the search box of this program to see useful information, or follow its useful links for common help questions.
- About GNOME
This is just a dialog box which shows information about GNOME. GNOME is your Desktop Environment, it contains a suite of applications which include the panel bars you see and the games in the 'Applications' menu as well as many other applications
- About Ubuntu
This loads the 'yelp' program at a page specific to information about Ubuntu.
This opens a window which allows you to shutdown, reboot, hibernate etc.
This is the menu where you can change the majority of your settings. The features described in here are quite often user specific, this means that if another user logs in, features you've set here won't be in theirs. So consider these options superficial; you're much less likely to ruin your computer messing around with these, so I recommend having a play around with them to find out more about them. If you are using Ubuntu 11.04 or newer, most of the configuration settings are found in the Ubuntu Control Centre, do find the Control Centre in the applications directory.
- About Me - This is where the editing of personal details take place, it is also where you can change your password.
- Appearance - Visual effects are controlled from here, including themes, desktop background images, fonts, and how many visual effects are used.
- Assistive Technologies - Main concerning disabilities.
- Bluetooth - If your computer has bluetooth capabilities, then this is where you control them.
- Default Printer - When you have a system with multiple printers installed, it is possible to choose which one is used automatically from this window.
- Display - This option allows you to configure you monitors colour depth, resolution, and also allows you to set up multiple monitors.
- Keyboard - Configure your keyboard, such as layout accessibilities, mouse keys and even enforced typing breaks.
- Keyboard Shortcuts - Allows you to view and modify different key combinations that perform automated functions on the computer.
- Main Menu - Configure your main menu: show, hide, delete and move any program icons you wish.
- Mouse - Set the mouse's speed controls, double click timing, left handed mouse and other features
- Network Controls - Network configuration takes place here, deeper insight into this will come later
- Network Proxy - Used if your Internet is provided through a proxy, otherwise you should ignore
- Power Management - Useful if you use a laptop, this is where you can control things like what happens when you press the power button or how the computer reacts when it runs low on battery.
- Preferred Applications - When you have a file with a certain extension (e.g. a *.jpg), you can choose what program that file is opened with.
- Remote Desktop - Allows a remote computer to view your desktop.
- Screen Saver - Change what your computer displays when you've been idle for a while
- Sound - Configure your sound settings, such as hardware devices and specific sounds made by the OS
- Startup Applications - Choose which programs you want to run when Ubuntu boots up
This is where you will be able to find tools to adjust certain settings such as graphics card settings, partitions, printing, network settings etc. Modifications you make here are system wide, and sometimes potentially dangerous, I don't want to scare you away from here, but if you do want to change anything under the system menu, make sure you know what you're doing. If you are using Ubuntu 11.04 or newer, most of the configuration settings are found in the Ubuntu Control Centre, do find the Control Centre in the applications directory.
- Hardware Drivers
- Hardware Testing
- Language Support
- Login Window
- Network Tools
- Partition Editor
- Software Sources
- Synaptic Package Manager
- System Log
- System Monitor
- Time and Date
- Update Manager
- Users and Groups