Using Ubuntu Linux/Print version

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Using Ubuntu Linux

The current, editable version of this book is available in Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection, at

Permission is granted to copy, distribute, and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.


A screenshot of Ubuntu 16.04 desktop edition.

Welcome to the guide!

Basic Information[edit | edit source]

Ubuntu (IPA pronunciation /ù'búntú/ (oo-BOON-too[1])) is a predominantly desktop-oriented Linux distribution, based on Debian GNU/Linux but with a stronger focus on usability, regular releases, and ease of installation at the expense of platform diversity. Ubuntu is sponsored by Canonical Ltd, owned by South African billionaire entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth.

The name of the distribution comes from the southern African concept of ubuntu which may be rendered roughly as "humanity toward others", "we are people because of other people", or "I am who I am because of who we all are," though other meanings have been suggested.[2]

Kubuntu and Xubuntu are official sub-projects of the Ubuntu project, aiming to bring the KDE and Xfce desktop environments, respectively, to the Ubuntu core. Edubuntu is an official sub-project designed for school environments, and should be equally suitable for children to use at home.[3] Gobuntu was an official sub-project, which was aimed at adhering strictly to the Free Software Foundation's Four Freedoms.[4] However, Gobuntu is no longer being developed, since the regular Ubuntu release now gives users the option of installing only free software. The newest official subproject is JeOS. Ubuntu JeOS (pronounced "Juice") is an efficient variant of the popular desktop and server operating system, configured specifically for virtual appliances.

Ubuntu releases new versions every six months, and always supports them for at least 18 months with daily security fixes and patches to critical bugs. Some releases are designated as Long Term Support (LTS) versions, which have three years support for the desktop and five years for the server editions. It is intended that new LTS versions will be released at two year intervals.

The most recent (and sixth) LTS version, Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus), was released on April 21 2016.

Ubuntu aims to use only free software to provide an up-to-date yet stable operating system for the average user. The initial download and installation is of course free of charge. In addition to free updates, and support from the ubuntu community, and this guide, there are a number of other books about Ubuntu Linux, and paid technical support is available from Canonical Ltd.[5]

Features[edit | edit source]

A screenshot of Ubuntu 6.06 LTS, showing the Dawn of Ubuntu wallpaper, one of the selections available.

Ubuntu focuses on usability,[6] including the widespread use of the sudo tool for administrative tasks.[7] The Ubiquity installer[8] allows installing Ubuntu to the hard disk from within the Live CD environment without the need for restarting the computer prior to installation. Ubuntu furthermore emphasises accessibility and internationalization, to reach as many people as possible. As of version 5.04, UTF-8 is the default character encoding. The default appearance of the user interface until Ubuntu 10.04 was called human and was characterised by shades of brown and orange. On 4 March 2010, it was announced that Ubuntu 10.04 would feature a new theme, including new logos. Beginning with release 11.04, Ubuntu will use the new Ubiquity desktop environment, rather than GNOME, by default.

Besides standard system tools and other small applications, Ubuntu comes installed with the following software: the productivity suite, the Internet browser Firefox, the instant messenger Pidgin (formerly known as Gaim), and the raster graphics editor GIMP. Several lightweight card and puzzle games are pre-installed, including Sudoku and Chess. Ubuntu has all ports closed by default adding to security, although some people choose to run a firewall in order to keep tabs of incoming and outgoing connections.

Ubuntu offers a fully featured set of applications that work straight from the standard install, but nonetheless fits on a single CD. The live CD allows users to see whether their hardware is compatible before installation to the hard disk. The live CD is then used to install Ubuntu.[9] CDs are mailed free to anyone who requests them, and CD images are available for download. The Ubuntu live CD requires 256 megabytes of RAM, and once installed on the hard disk, Ubuntu needs four gigabytes of hard-disk space.[10] An alternate install disc using the standard debian-installer in text mode is available for download , and is aimed at people with lower system specifications, computer dealers selling systems already installed with Ubuntu, and for complex partitioning including the use of LVM.[11]

With the release of Ubuntu 7.04 in April 2007, the Ubuntu installation process changed slightly. It now supports migration from Windows.[12] The new migration tool imports Windows users' bookmarks, desktop background (wallpaper), and settings for immediate use in the Ubuntu installation.

For Ubuntu there are tools available to create a specific installation CD/DVD. With Wubi, it is possible to install Ubuntu on a Windows partition. It also makes use of the migration tool which imports Windows users' configurations.

Multilingual[edit | edit source]

Since Ubuntu uses GNOME, the language of the GUI can set up in different languages.

Response[edit | edit source]

Ubuntu's popularity has climbed steadily since its 2004 debut. It is currently the second most viewed Linux distribution on, and was the most accessed on the site in 2005[13] and 2006.[14] This popularity is borne out by a rise in Google searches for "Ubuntu" since 2004 as compared to shrinking or plateauing numbers for terms related to other major desktop Linux distributions such as "Fedora", "Debian" or "SUSE" over the same period[15]. In a 2007 survey of 38500 users Ubuntu was the most popular distribution, with 30.3 percent of respondents using it.[1]

Ubuntu was awarded the Reader Award for best Linux distribution at the 2005 LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in London.[16] It has been favourably reviewed in online and print publications.[17][18] Ubuntu won InfoWorld's 2007 Bossie Award for Best Open Source Client OS.[2]

Mark Shuttleworth has stated that there were at least 8 million Ubuntu users at the end of 2006.[19]

References[edit | edit source]

  2. "Ubuntu's African Roots". Retrieved 2007-06-06.
  3. "Edubuntu - Frequently asked questions". Retrieved 2006-07-15.
  4. "Gobuntu - What is Gobuntu". Retrieved 2007-10-26.
  5. "Announcing Beta release of Ubuntu 6.06 LTS". Retrieved 2006-04-26.
  6. "About Ubuntu". Retrieved 2006-04-25.
  7. "RootSudo - Ubuntu Wiki". Retrieved 2006-04-25.
  8. "Screenshots of Ubiquity's KDE frontend". Retrieved 2006-05-03.
  9. "Installing Ubuntu from the Live CD". Retrieved 2006-07-08.
  10. "Ubuntu 6.06 Release Notes: Hardware Requirements". Retrieved 2006-07-08.
  11. "Ubuntu 6.06 LTS: Download". Retrieved 2006-07-30.
  12. "Ubuntu 7.04 Adds a Migration Tool". Retrieved 2006-06-27.
  15. Google Trends, comparing Fedora|RHEL|Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu, SUSE|OpenSUSE, Mandrake|Mandriva
  16. "LinuxWorld Expo UK 2005" (PDF). Retrieved 2006-05-09.
  17. "Ubuntu - A New Approach to Desktop Linux". Retrieved 2006-05-09.
  18. "Linux in Government: Linux Desktop Reviews, Part 6 - Ubuntu". Retrieved 2006-05-09.

Internal Links[edit | edit source]


Introduction for n00bs
Introduction for Windows users
Introduction for Mac users
Introduction for Ubuntu users
Introduction for users of other Linux distributions
Introduction for users of Unix and/or Unix-like operating systems
Introduction for users of other operating systems

Introduction for new users

Welcome[edit | edit source]

If you are new to computers, what you will learn in this manual will be a heavenly "dream come true" introduction to cutting edge computing technology. But first, you must learn what a computer is.

If your peers have told you that "part of everyday computer maintenance involves running an antivirus", or that "computers crash all the time and are so difficult to maintain", disregard that. As someone who knows new users, these problems don't apply with regards to what you'll learn in this manual.

Ubuntu is a GNU/Linux based operating system and is also a derivative of the Debian GNU/Linux operating system. Essentially what this means is:

  • The Linux kernel is constantly developed by thousands of developers, paid or voluntary
  • Ubuntu is constantly developed by thousands of developers, paid or voluntary
  • Ubuntu will always be free (unless Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, does not receive sufficient funding)
  • Ubuntu receives numerous updates on a daily basis
  • The Ubuntu community offers free support
  • You are welcome to contribute to Ubuntu in any way you feel you can help

Introduction for Windows users

Why Linux?[edit | edit source]

Although Windows is the most popular OS (Operating System) for casual computer users, this does not necessarily make it the "best" OS. Ubuntu, which is a Linux distribution, has many features that make it a good alternative to Windows:

  • It's free. True, one could download pirated versions of Windows. But that would be illegal.
  • It's an open source operating system. This means anyone is entitled to download and view the source code to any/all parts of the operating system. Or change it, to suit whatever purpose they want to use it for. If they choose to distribute their modified version, other people can then go on to change that too, allow the software to evolve to serve different needs.
  • It's community driven. This means that anyone can contribute to the effort, be it with programming, art, sounds, documentation, or answering users' questions on the Internet. It's not controlled by a Fortune 500 company with questionable legal practices.
  • It's more reliable. Linux crashes far less often than Windows, unless you purposely overload the system.
  • It's free software. Almost all of the software associated with the OS is available for free and can be easily installed with just a couple of clicks.
  • It's safe. There are very few viruses written for Linux due to its relatively low user base (compared to Windows). There are only 49 viruses in Linux and most are patched in kernel updates (from Spatry's Cup of Linux).
    • If someone were to write viruses for Linux they would have to be very sophisticated due to the fact that the virus could not be executed unless it were given root permissions.
    • The virus would have to be run as the root user if it was intended to cause any serious damage due to the restrictions that normal users have by default.
    • There are some viruses out there that can cause loss of users data. Just be extra careful when anyone tells you to run a command, and only take advice from trusted people/sources.
  • Did I mention it's free to download, free to use, and free to upgrade, and will be forever?

But It's too geeky for me![edit | edit source]

Not at all! Ubuntu is getting more and more user friendly. Most users never have to touch a configuration file or command line if they feel uncomfortable with it. Also, Ubuntu has all of the graphical niceties that a modern operating system has, like dazzling visual effects, piles of graphical themes, and heaps of fun games (if you've gotten tired of Solitaire and Minesweeper).

The 3D desktop effects in Ubuntu have caught the eyes of even the most avid Windows user who only dream about such effects. The most striking example of how easy Ubuntu is lies in the fact that installation consists of just 7 easy steps which can be followed by even a beginner or non technical user.

Furthermore, even installing other softwares is very much unlike windows where all sorts of questions are asked while installation. And there is a surprise for windows users, even 10 or 20 pieces of software of your choice can be selected in a batch for installation.

The GNOME/Unity user interface is much more easy to use provided you are ready to unlearn some tedious things required in Windows.

Besides, as long as you are prepared to read manuals, any 'geeky' bits should be quite feasible - the command line looks difficult, old-fashioned and worrying, especially when you're not in a window manager with a black background, but once you've used it a little, you should find that it's really not that difficult. If you have experience with Mac or UNIX terminals it should be no sweat (no surprise, Linux uses the same thing). The same goes for other things - you may have to get used to something new and read a bit of documentation once in a while, but it shouldn't be too troublesome.

But I'd have to partition my hard drive, and that's scary![edit | edit source]

Again, not necessarily. This Wikibook is currently being typed under a Ubuntu virtual machine (VM). All I have to do to return to Windows is press Ctrl+Alt! This, however, might take some experience with computers.

Alternatively, there's an installation system called Wubi that makes having Windows and Ubuntu even easier. It installs Ubuntu into a folder on your Windows drive, completely avoiding partitioning.

Recent versions of Ubuntu have a user-friendly installer to guide you through installation - you can even just tell it to resize your windows partition and install in the free space. Be sure, however, to make sure that you don't damage partitions and back up your data.

For if you don't wish to install just yet, you can have a play with the Live CD. This will probably be slower than the installed version for you, but it's a good way to try the system out. If you don't want to spend your money for a Live CD, you can take the official Ubuntu tour at

Alternatively, some other Linux distributions give an option to run from RAM, making the system run faster once it has booted. the downside of this is that boot time takes longer.

Introduction for Mac users

Welcome![edit | edit source]

macOS's core, Darwin, is Unix-like. A lot of the commands you might use on the terminal, like cp, mv, ls, etc. will work in Ubuntu because they both use Bash as their shell.

Intel Macs from all generations should be supported. PowerPC is less certain, since official releases are unsupported and drivers may not be available for all the hardware.

If you're using a hackintosh, make sure any EFI emulator or kernel hack you have set in place for macOS doesn't apply system-wide so that it doesn't collide with GRUB or its settings. If you plan on switching completely, you won't need to worry about any of it because Ubuntu will replace everything upon installation.

Introduction for Ubuntu users

Ubuntu Users[edit | edit source]

Welcome all Ubuntu users. You're probably already familiar with what Ubuntu is and how it differs from other operating systems, so we won't go into that. Instead allow me to welcome you to the Ubuntu Wikibook. Please feel free to (in the spirit of Ubuntu) help out in the making of this Wikibook wherever you feel you can.

We hope that new Ubuntu users and veterans alike will be able to learn something from this guide.

Introduction for users of other Linux distributions

Linux users[edit | edit source]

Welcome, friends!

As you no doubt are already aware, Ubuntu is a (Debian-type) GNU/Linux operating system, much like the one(s) you have already used. However, Ubuntu has a strong focus on usability and user-friendliness, which could, depending on your previous distribution, be a very different experience than what you are used to.

We hope that this guide can help you in your transition to Ubuntu, or just to learn about another Linux distribution.

Introduction for users of Unix and/or Unix-like operating systems

Ubuntu is a lot like Unix based systems since Ubuntu is a UNIX-like system, just as Linux is.

Many user guides have been written due to the similarity to other OS's[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Ubuntuguide". Retrieved 2014-04-12.

Introduction for users of other operating systems

Welcome to Ubuntu. You have made a good choice by trying it.


A compositing window manager.
A bitmap system for displays. Developed by the X.Org Foundation.
Desktop environment
A graphical user interface paired with a set of software.
Sound server software.
Sound architecture.
Advanced Package Tool (APT)
A package management system that originated in Debian (and was also used by Ubuntu since its early days).

See also[edit | edit source]

Ubuntu Variations

The Linux ecosystem is diverse and allows for a multitude of desktop environments to be built for it. Many are packaged in their own flavours of Ubuntu.

Official Editions[edit | edit source]

Ubuntu for desktops
This is the main Ubuntu version, also known as Ubuntu Desktop. All other versions of Ubuntu are based on it. It uses the Unity desktop environment. Recommended requirements are 1 GiB of RAM and 5 GB (minimum) of Hard Drive space.[1]
Ubuntu Server
This edition strips the desktop features for server capabilities, and allows you to have a fully working LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) Web Server up and running in less than an hour. It requires at least 192 MiB of RAM and 5 GB Hard Drive space.[1]

Supported Derivatives[edit | edit source]

Flavours are listed according to this downloads page.

The KDE spin, featuring KDE versions of software. Emphasizes productivity over general purpose use.
A Xubuntu spin designed to make building your own DVR (Digital Video Recorder) using the MythTV software suite as easy as possible.
A scaled down variant of Ubuntu that is lighter, less resource hungry and more energy-efficient by using lightweight applications and LXDE, the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment, as its default desktop environment. It's geared towards low-spec hardware that doesn't have enough resources for all the bells and whistles of the "full-featured" mainstream distributions.
Ubuntu Budgie
A spin of Ubuntu using Budgie as its desktop environment (developed for Solus, another Linux distribution).
Ubuntu GNOME
Uses the GNOME desktop environment instead of Unity.
Ubuntu Kylin
Geared towards Chinese users.
Ubuntu MATE
Goes closer to Ubuntu's origins by using the MATE desktop environment.
A lightweight version of Ubuntu that uses the XFCE environment. The standard applications are a 50/50 mix of GNOME and XFCE-centric programs. This version is geared towards older hardware.
Ubuntu Studio
An unofficial, community-built Ubuntu derivative geared towards Musicians, Digital Artists/Designers, and Movie Makers.

Other Derivatives[edit | edit source]

This version includes applications geared toward education. A KDE version and a GNOME version exists. It is recommended to install the Standard Edition as the website has not been updated to distribute 16.04 LTS images.

References[edit | edit source]

How to choose the right one

With so many different derivatives it can be quite difficult to decide which one to download. If you're really anxious to get started, just use standard Ubuntu.

What if I choose the wrong distribution?[edit | edit source]

The difference between Ubuntu, Edubuntu, etc. is just the software that's installed. Generally, switching to any other variant is fairly trivial and is more like adding more onto the system rather than replacing parts. Once you get one, you can easily mix and match components that are associated with one edition with another.

In short: don't worry about it; you can change your mind. That's one of the things that's great about free software: the freedom.

Ubuntu (Standard)[edit | edit source]

Ubuntu standard is the most common (and most supported) version of Ubuntu which suits almost every desktop user. It works on most PCs built in the last 3 - 5 years and maybe some older ones. Standard Ubuntu uses the Unity desktop environment by Canonical. (in contrast to KDE or XFCE).

Who should use it? People that just want a simple but powerful desktop operating system, with fairly recent hardware. Both people with and without previous Linux experience should find it easy to use.

Ubuntu GNOME[edit | edit source]

A rolling release Linux distro, this modifies Ubuntu to use the GNOME 3 desktop environment, after Ubuntu switched to Unity. Ubuntu 10.x and below users should have easy goings with it.

Who should use it? People familiar with GNOME based linux distributions such as Fedora.

Kubuntu[edit | edit source]

Kubuntu is the KDE based derivative of Ubuntu. Like standard edition it should be fairly easy for new users to pick up. (For windows users it may be easier than Standard Edition as its UI is more like Windows.) It should work with PCs built in the last 3 - 5 years but older PC's will struggle to run several applications at once.

Who should use it? Like above people that just want a Desktop for their newish computer. Kubuntu is better suited to previous Linux users and Windows users and also to migrants from Mac.

See KubuntuGuide !

Xubuntu[edit | edit source]

Xubuntu is an XFCE based derivative. It is designed to run on older and slower hardware and features much more lightweight software than K/Ubuntu. Xubuntu has a very similar interface to Ubuntu Standard Edition and people with no previous Linux experience should find it easy enough to navigate. It should work with PC's built in the last 10 or even 12 years.

Who should use it? People with slower/older computers with aging hardware or people that prefer a lightweight Operating System.

Ubuntu Server Edition[edit | edit source]

Ubuntu Server Edition is the most advanced version of Ubuntu. By default it comes with a LAMP server but it can also be used for bare command-line only machines or as a starting point to build a customised system. It has low system requirements so it should work on computers built in the last 10 years.

Who should use it? Network admins, system administrators, and people with a fair bit of previous experience of Linux and that are not afraid of the command line.

Ubuntu Studio[edit | edit source]

Ubuntu Studio is a media based Ubuntu derivative. It has fairly high system requirements so you will need a recent machine to run it to the best of its ability.

Who should use it? The arty types. People who want to run a music studio, film cutting room or art studio from their new computer.

Getting Started

There are a few ways to get Ubuntu on your system, some take more commitment than others.

Online Tour[edit | edit source]

You can take the online Ubuntu tour if you want to try Ubuntu without a Live CD.

Live Disk[edit | edit source]

When you have your Ubuntu CD it is possible to boot your computer directly from it. Your computer system will remain completely unaffected, allowing you to sample Ubuntu without actually installing it. Booting from a live disk is only really used to try Ubuntu out, as when you switch off, all settings are lost. Using Ubuntu Linux/Live Boot

Virtual Machine[edit | edit source]

To run a fully fledged operating system you don't even need to boot up from it; using a virtual machine it is possible to start Ubuntu (or most other operating systems for that matter) inside Windows; this method has its advantages over Live Disk in that it is more permanent, it's like actually having the operating system. So if you liked the live disk and wanted to try it out further, this would be the option. Using Ubuntu Linux/Virtualization

Dual Boot[edit | edit source]

Now we're getting more serious. So you want to install Ubuntu, but you don't want to lose Windows, it's easy enough setting up a dual boot system, where windows is sitting on one part of your hard drive and Ubuntu on the other. You can only boot one at a time, but you can still keep Windows there if you don't want to take the full leap. The big disadvantage of dual booting is that it (most of the time) requires you to format your hard drive, wiping your existing Windows installation. Using Ubuntu Linux/Installing

Complete Microsoft Takedown[edit | edit source]

That's it, you're fed up with Windows and want it out of your life, then so be it! This process involves installing Linux Ubuntu completely on your hard drive. Using Ubuntu Linux/Installing

Live Boot

It is possible to run Ubuntu on your computer without installing anything because the Ubuntu disk, actually a DVD, is called a Live CD. When your computer boots up while you have the CD in, you are given the choice of either booting from the computer's hard drive or running Ubuntu by Live CD.

To do this:

  1. While your computer is on, insert an Ubuntu CD. You can get these CDs many ways, including downloading Ubuntu and burning it onto a disk, buying a CD from the Canonical Store, maybe getting one from a friend, or finding one at a local computer store.
  2. Restart your computer if it had already booted from the hard disk (your other operating system started) and select the disk drive in your boot manager.
  3. At one point while the computer is booting, you should see an Ubuntu boot screen. To run Ubuntu, select "Try Ubuntu". If a symbol of a keyboard and an accessibility symbol appears, press the up or down arrow key.
  4. Ubuntu will start as normal and you can use it like a normal user, but files will not be saved when you close the session. To install Ubuntu, you can double-click "Install" on the desktop and follow the steps.

Burning a Live CD[edit | edit source]

This section will take you through the steps of burning your own Live CD.

  1. Firstly, you will need the ISO file used to run the system downloaded from This can be downloaded from here.
  2. Next, you will need to insert a blank CD into a working disk drive.
  3. You will also need a program able to write ISO's to a Disk, if your unsure if you have one or not, use Infra Recorder.
  4. Now navigate to your ISO in your selected program and click a form of ok button. Your disk should be easy enough to figure out from here.
  5. Once written to the disk, you are able to boot from this CD.

See Also[edit | edit source]


If you want to install Ubuntu into your hard disk, you may use the following methods:

Install using a live CD (recommended)[edit | edit source]

The live CD installer works by cloning the working Ubuntu system into the hard disk.

  1. Insert the live CD into the computer's CD drive, then restart the computer from CD.
  2. Select Install.
  3. After the installer appears on the screen, follow the instructions.

Install using an alternate CD[edit | edit source]

The alternate CD uses the Debian text-based installer, and install the packages one-by-one. It offers features like RAID/LVM, and install a system without GUI. The final system is near-identical to the system installed from the live CD.

  1. Insert the alternate CD into the computer's CD drive, then restart the computer from CD.
  2. Select Install Ubuntu.
  3. After the text-based installer appears on the screen, follow the instructions.

Install using Wubi[edit | edit source]

This type of installation works by creating a disk image in an existing Windows partition, loop-mount it and install to it. It doesn't involve any partitioning.

  1. Go to the web, download the Wubi installer and run it.
  2. Follow the instructions. (Wubi will download the Ubuntu CD image for you automatically.)
  3. After rebooting the system, select Ubuntu in the boot menu and let it finish the installation.


Virtualization is a system where an operating system can be installed into another host operating system. The technology involves using some space on the hard disk where the virtual system would be installed and operated. There are many free and proprietary software for virtualization. VMware and VirtualBox are 2 such examples.

When an operating system is installed in a virtual box it behaves exactly the same and the end user would not even know that a system is actually running in another operating system. This way one need not partition the hard disk for another operating system.

This becomes particularly useful for testing an operating system before deciding to actually use it as a complete replacement, or using virtual machines for software development. When we think of this option as an intermediate phase in the migration process, one can think of installing Ubuntu inside Windows and using it for some days with all its features and capabilities. When users get familiar with the partitioning and other complex tasks they can confidently install Ubuntu directly.

Running Ubuntu in a VirtualBox[edit | edit source]

  1. Download the Ubuntu ISO from Canonical's website.
  2. Download the Oracle VM VirtualBox.
  3. Create a new virtual machine. You should give it the name "Ubuntu" and, if needed, select Ubuntu in the OS dropdown list.
  4. Select how much RAM you will allocate to your virtual machine. Too much RAM and your host operating system will not run while the guest is running, which causes it to fail sometimes.
  5. Select "Create a virtual hard drive now".
  6. Select a dynamically allocated or a fixed size disk. A dynamically allocated virtual hard drive will keep growing and growing until your computer hits its hard drive limit. A fixed size virtual hard drive will keep growing until it hits the fixed size.
  7. Select the limit for the hard drive. Let it create the virtual hard drive.


  1. Click on "Settings" > "Storage".
  2. Click the CD/DVD icon with a + on it to select the ISO.
  3. Choose the Ubuntu ISO.
  4. Click on "System" and set the boot priority to CD/DVD first, so the virtual machine will boot into Ubuntu.


  1. Open the Ubuntu virtual machine.
  2. Select the language.
  3. Double-click Install Ubuntu.
  4. Install Ubuntu while answering the questions, and voila!

Running Ubuntu in a VMWare[edit | edit source]


To do:
Give a guide to running Ubuntu under VMWare

Installing VirtualBox on Ubuntu[edit | edit source]

Further reading[edit | edit source]

First Boot

So you have managed to successfully install and boot Ubuntu. Congratulations!

Light Display Manager (LightDM)[edit | edit source]

If you installed Ubuntu 11.04 or later, you might come across the LightDM, a type of login screen, before the Ubuntu desktop screen appears. To login to your user account, click your user name and type your password. Now, press the enter/return key or click the arrow on the right side of the box where you typed your password. If Auto Login is enabled, the desktop screen appears instead of the login screen.

Gnome Display Manager (GDM)[edit | edit source]

If you installed Ubuntu GNOME or a version of Ubuntu older than 11.04, the first thing you will see when you boot your new operating system is the Gnome Display Manager (GDM), your login screen. In the box you should enter your username which is the name you chose during the installation process. After you have entered your name press the enter key. You will then have to enter your password which you also chose during the installation process. The password will appear as black circles so that nobody can see your password. After you have typed this press enter and voila, welcome to Ubuntu!

Previous: Virtualization

Next: Settings & How to use them

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.

System[edit | edit source]

Ubuntu 11.04 or newer users[edit | edit source]

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 or press the super key on your keyboard 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[edit | edit source]

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.

  • Quit

This opens a window which allows you to shutdown, reboot, hibernate etc.

Preferences[edit | edit source]

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

Administration[edit | edit source]

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.

  • Authorizations
  • Hardware Drivers
  • Hardware Testing
  • Language Support
  • Login Window
  • Network
  • Network Tools
  • Partition Editor
  • Printing
  • Services
  • Software Sources
  • Synaptic Package Manager
  • System Log
  • System Monitor
  • Time and Date
  • Update Manager
  • Users and Groups


To do:
Add information on all of the above menu items

General Use

Ubuntu can be used for everyday tasks such as web browsing, email reading and more! Using Ubuntu might be different but it doesn't mean it's not fun!

GUI[edit | edit source]

To use Ubuntu you have to be familiar with Unity: the GUI (Graphical User Interface) of Ubuntu. Unity looks a lot like Mac OS X and acts similar in many ways. The most notable difference is the Dash which is a new way of getting around your computer. Unity is pretty easy to figure out at a first glance and there isn't much of a learning curve required to master it.

Alternatives[edit | edit source]

Other GUIs are available as well. These include KDE and LXDE which offer a more windows like interface, and many other options aswell. To download these you may choose a fork of Ubuntu with these preinstalled. You may also install them with the package manager interface or terminal interface using $sudo apt get install interface.


There are lots of software packages inside the Ubuntu repositories; they are divided into categories as follows:

  • Main: supported, free
  • Restricted: supported, non-free
  • Universe: unsupported, free
  • Multiverse: unsupported, non-free

You may also add 3rd-party repositories.

To install/remove software packages:

  1. Click System -> Administration -> Ubuntu Software Centre (enter your password as needed)
  2. Mark the things you want to install/remove/upgrade/...
  3. Click apply

If you are using Ubuntu 11.04 or newer, your Ubuntu Software Centre is found in the applications directory.

To install 3rd-party software packages:

  1. Double-click on the downloaded .deb files
  2. Click install

Master List of Concise Wisdom

Your (user account) "Home Folder" & file system[edit | edit source]

1. Create one folder to keep all your stuff in: music, documents, porn, etc.; (call it "My Stuff", or whatever you want to call it) make sub-folders as needed within that.
This separates your working files from the other items (mostly "Hidden") in your (user account) "Home Folder", like settings & configuration files for various programs. That makes things easier if you want to copy (or back up, or move, or etc...) your stuff without affecting the other files & sub-folders in your home folder, it's also tidier if you're an advanced user & want to work with those other files (there are reasons you might want to copy, back up, move, or etc... your entire home folder, but that's another matter, to be discussed elsewhere). It's roughly analogous to the "My Documents" folder in Windows, although it's d.i.y. & without some of the built-in features.
A "stuff" folder can be created anywhere (if you have the necessary levels of access/permissions), but the most logical place would be inside your home folder; either in the main folder itself, or on the desktop. Your home folder is normally "private" & unavailable to anyone unless they are logged in to your account, or have root/sudo privileges. You can change the "Permissions" settings on folders (or files & sub-folders within) to allow other people to have various kinds & degrees of access as desired.
You could also create a "stuff" folder on the main file system in the root folder (or elsewhere), if you want to allow broader access (not recommended).
Once you've created a "my stuff" folder, you can put shortcuts to it wherever you find them handy; on the desktop (if you created the folder on your desktop, an icon for it will appear there automatically), on the "Panel(s)", in the "Places" drop-down menu, or just about any place that you can think of...

Desktop Effects[edit | edit source]

Desktop Effects make Ubuntu fun and easier to use. There are a lot of effects in Ubuntu. Desktop effects are optional, and it is not necessary to have them turned on. To enable these, CompizConfig Settings Manager has to be installed in Ubuntu.

Install[edit | edit source]

  1. Open the terminal by pressing ctrl+alt+t on your keyboard.
  2. Type the following into the terminal:
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-plugins-extra

Enabling and Configuring Effects[edit | edit source]

When you have finished installing ccsm, open the dash and type "ccsm". If you use Ubuntu 10.10 or older open it from the applications menu.[citation needed] Click on CompizConfig Settings Manager to open it. Scroll down until you reach the effects subheading. To enable an effect, tick the box (☑) near its icon.

Resetting Compiz[edit | edit source]

To quickly and easily revert your desktop effects, press ctrl+alt+F1. Type your username and password. Now, type the following:

dconf reset -f /org/compiz/

Press ctrl+alt+F7.[1] Now all the non-default settings in CompizConfig will be reset to default.

Firefox[edit | edit source]

Bookmarks[edit | edit source]

1. If you use the "Bookmarks Toolbar", consolidate all of your bookmarks into the "Bookmarks Toolbar Folder", & sub folders as appropriate (A, B, C,; 1, 2, 3,; categories; the Dewey Decimal System... ). It makes things much tidier, easier to access, & easier to keep organized. The menus are slightly less twitchy too, you won't get bumped into "Tools" or "History" by accident. The only drawback is finding a good place to keep your secret stash of samizdata links...

References[edit | edit source]

Master List of Ubuntu & Ubuntu-Based Distributions

  • Ubuntu
  • Xubuntu
  • Lubuntu
  • Edubuntu
  • LinuxMint
  • Kubuntu
  • Fluxbuntu
  • LinKat
  • Baltix
  • ElementaryOS

Master List of Ubuntu Releases

Ubuntu 16.04

Ubuntu releases new versions every six months, and always supports them for at least 18 months with daily security fixes and patches to critical bugs. Some releases are designated as Long Term Support (LTS) versions, which have three years support for the desktop and five years for the server editions. It is intended that new LTS versions will be released every two years.

The most recent standard version, Ubuntu 15.10 (Wily Werewolf), was released on October 22, 2015.

The most recent LTS version, Ubuntu 16.04 (Wily Werewolf), was released on April 21, 2016

The next version of Ubuntu, Ubuntu 16.10, will be called Yakkety Yak.

Each finished release has both a code name and a version number. The version number is based on the year and month of release. For example, the very first "stable" release of Ubuntu (as opposed to development versions), Ubuntu 4.10, was released on October 20, 2004.[1]

Releases are timed to be approximately one month after GNOME releases, which are in turn about one month after releases of Consequently, every Ubuntu release comes with a newer version of both GNOME and X.

The initial download and installation of Ubuntu is of course free of charge. In addition to the free updates, and support from the ubuntu community, and this guide, there are a number of other books about Ubuntu Linux, and paid technical support is available from Canonical Ltd.[2]

Version Code name Testing name Release date Supported until Features and Changes
4.10 Warty Warthog Sounder 2004-10-20[3] 2006-04-30[4] ShipIt
5.04 Hoary Hedgehog Array 2005-04-08[5] 2006-10-31[6] Update Manager; Upgrade Notifier; readahead; grepmap; laptop suspend, hibernate and standby; dynamic frequency scaling; Ubuntu hardware database; Kickstart; installation from USB devices; UTF-8 by default; APT authentication
5.10 Breezy Badger Colony 2005-10-13[7][8] 2007-04-13[9] Usplash (graphical boot sequence); "Add/Remove..." application tool; language selector; logical volume management support; Hewlett-Packard printer support; OEM installer support; Launchpad integration
6.06 LTS Dapper Drake Flight 2006-06-01[10][11] 2009-06 (desktops) Long Term Support (LTS) release. LiveCD and Install CD merged onto one disc; Ubiquity graphical installer on LiveCD; Usplash on shutdowns; Network Manager for easy switching of multiple wired and wireless connections; 'Humanlooks' theme implemented using Tango guidelines, based on Clearlooks and featuring orange colours instead of brown; LAMP installation option; installation to USB devices; GDebi graphical installer for package files
2011-06 (servers)
6.10 Edgy Eft Knot 2006-10-26[12][13] 2008-04 Ubuntu 'Human' theme heavily modified; Upstart; automated crash reports (Apport); Tomboy notetaking application; F-spot photo manager
7.04 Feisty Fawn Herd 2007-04-19[14] 2008-10 Migration assistant; Kernel-based Virtual Machine support; easy codec and restricted drivers installation; Compiz desktop effects; Wi-Fi Protected Access support; PowerPC support dropped; Sudoku and chess games added; 'baobab' disk usage analyzer added; GNOME Control Center; Zeroconf for many devices
7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Tribe 2007-10-18[15][16] 2009-04 Compiz Fusion by default;[17] AppArmor security framework;[18] fast desktop search;[19] fast user switching;[19] improvements in plug-in handling for Mozilla Firefox (Ubufox);[20] graphical configuration tool for;[20] a revamped printing system with PDF printing by default[20]
8.04 LTS Hardy Heron[21] Alpha 2008-04-24[22] 2011-04 (desktops) Long Term Support (LTS) release;[23][24] Planned features include: revamped theme and artwork, better Tango compliance[25]; robustness; compiz usability improvements; tracker integration[26]
2013-04 (servers)
8.10 Intrepid Ibex[27] 2008-10-30[28] 2010-04 Improvements to mobile computing and desktop scalability, increased flexibility for internet connectivity, an Ubuntu Live USB creator and a guest account.
9.04 Jaunty Jackalope[29] 2009-04-23[30] 2010-10 Faster boot time, integration of web services and applications into the desktop interface, a new usplash screen, a new login screen and also support for both Wacom (hotplugging) and netbooks.
9.10 Karmic Koala[31] 2009-10-29[32] 2011-04 A new set of boot up and shutdown splash screens, a new login screen that transitions seamlessly into the desktop, and greatly improved performance on Intel graphics chipsets.
10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx[33] 2010-04-29[34] 2013-05-09 (desktop)[35] LTS version; improved support for Nvidia proprietary graphics drivers; Plymouth introduced for boot animations; GIMP replaced by F-Spot; integrated interfaces for posting to social networks; new theme with new logos: Light.[36]
2015-04-30 (server)[37]
10.10 Maverick Meerkat[38] 2010-10-10[39] 2012-04-10[40] Unity interface for Netbook Edition; Shotwell set as default photo manager; ability to purchase applications in the Software Center; Ubuntu Font used as the default font.[41]
11.04 Natty Narwhal[42] 2011-04-28[43] 2012-10-28[44] Unity set as default user interface; Banshee set at default music player; includes Firefox 4; LibreOffice replaces; OpenStack cloud computing platform included; Ubuntu Netbook Edition merged into desktop edition.[45]
11.10 Oneiric Ocelot[46] 2011-10-13[47] 2013-05-09[48] Includes a 2D version of Unity; placement of the Ubuntu button on the Launcher; auto-hiding of the window controls and global menu of maximized windows; introduction of more transparency into Dash and Panel when Dash opens; window controls for Dash; PiTiVi, Computer Janitor and Synaptic package manager removed from ISO; Mozilla Thunderbird replaces Evolution.[49]
12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin[50] 2012-04-26[51] 2017-04-26[52] LTS release; faster startup time for Ubuntu Software Center; refinements to Unity; Banshee media player replaced with Rhythmbox; dropped Tomboy and supporting Mono framework; window dodge feature removed from Unity launcher; new head-up display (HUD) feature allows hotkey searching for application menu items from the keyboard; IPv6 privacy extensions turned on by default.[53]
12.10 Quantal Quetzal[54] 2012-10-18[55] 2014-05-16[56] Improved boot up sequence and log-in screen, dropping Unity 2D in favor of lower hardware requirements for Unity 3D; wrap around dialogs and toolbars for HUD; "vanilla" version of Gnome-Shell included as an option; GNOME 3.6; Python 3; 3.5 Linux kernel; Python 3; PAE switched on by default; new combined user, session and system menu; Ubuntu Web Apps; Nautilus 3.4 set as file manager; Unity includes searches of[57]
13.04 Raring Ringtail[58] 2013-04-25[59] 2014-01-27[60] Wubi dropped due to incompatibility.[61]
13.10 Saucy Salamander[62] 2013-10-17[63] 2014-07-17[64] Bug fixes only.[65]
14.04 LTS Trusty Tahr[66] 2014-04-17[67] 2019-04[68] LTS release; ability to turn off global menu system; locally integrated menus; retention of Xorg; Unity 8 developers' preview; new mobile applications; redesigned USB Start-Up Disk Creator tool; new forked version of the GNOME Control Center, called the Unity Control Center; default SSD TRIM support.[69]
14.10 Utopic Unicorn[70] 2014-10-23[71] 2015-07-23[72] Minor updates to kernel and Unity; full kernel address space layout randomization applied to kernel and its modules; closure of a number of information leaks in /proc; 'quality improvements'.[73]
15.04 Vivid Vervet[74] 2015-04-23[75] 2016-02-04[76] Systemd replaces Upstart; locally integrated menus.[77]
15.10 Wily Werewolf[78] 2015-10-22[79] 2016-07[80] Disappearing window edge scrollbars no longer available.[81]
16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus[82] 2016-04-21[83] 2021-04[84] Option for Unity 8; support for Ceph and ZFS filesystems , LXD hypervisor (using seccomp) for OpenStack, and Snappy packages; uses systemd instead of Upstart as its init system; Ubuntu Software Centre replaced by GNOME Software; Empathy and Brasero removed from ISO; online dash search results disabled by default in Unity 7; support not available for AMD Catalyst (fglrx) driver for AMD/ATI graphics cards.[85]
16.10 Yakkety Yak[86] 2016-10-20[87] 2017-07[88] Features and changes not discussed yet.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Shuttleworth, Mark (2004-10-20). "Ubuntu 4.10 announcement". ubuntu-announce mailing list. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  2. "Announcing Beta release of Ubuntu 6.06 LTS". Retrieved 2006-04-26.
  3. "Ubuntu 4.10 announcement". Retrieved 2007-04-13.
  4. Zimmerman, Matt (2006-03-28). "Ubuntu 4.10 reaches end of life on 30 April 2006". ubuntu-announce mailing list. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  5. "5.04 Release Notes". 2005-04-08. Retrieved 2007-04-14.
  6. Armstrong, Christina (2006-10-23). "Ubuntu 5.04 reaches end-of-life on 31 October 2006". ubuntu-security-announce mailing list. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  7. "Ubuntu 5.10 announcement". Retrieved 2006-10-11.
  8. "Ubuntu 5.10 release notes". Retrieved 2006-12-21.
  9. Heen, Tollef Fog (2007-03-14). "Ubuntu 5.10 reaches end-of-life on April 13th 2007". ubuntu-security-announce mailing list. Retrieved 2007-09-25. 
  10. "Ubuntu 6.06 LTS announcement". Retrieved 2006-12-21.
  11. "Ubuntu 6.06 LTS release notes". Retrieved 2006-12-21.
  12. "Ubuntu 6.10 announcement". Retrieved 2006-10-26.
  13. "Ubuntu 6.10 release notes". Retrieved 2006-12-21.
  14. "Ubuntu 7.04 announcement". Retrieved 2007-02-06.
  15. "GutsyReleaseSchedule - Ubuntu Wiki". Retrieved 2007-04-12.
  16. "Introducing the Gutsy Gibbon". 2007-04-12. Retrieved 2007-05-06. {{cite web}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)
  19. a b
  20. a b c
  21. "HardyReleaseSchedule". Retrieved 2007-09-25.
  22. "Introducing the Hardy Heron". Retrieved 2007-08-29."Milestone ubuntu-8.04 for Ubuntu due 2008-04-24". Retrieved 2007-10-23.
  23. Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter: Issue 36
  24. Ubuntu's new Linux sports debugging tool
  25. "Hardy Heron Artwork". Ubuntu Wiki. Retrieved 2007-10-19.
  26. "Ubuntu developer summit Boston".
  27. "IntrepidReleaseSchedule". Retrieved 2009-12-06.
  28. "Milestone ubuntu-8.10 for Ubuntu due 2008-10-30". Retrieved 2009-12-06.
  29. "JauntyReleaseSchedule". Retrieved 2009-12-06.
  30. "Milestone ubuntu-9.04 for Ubuntu due 2009-04-23". Retrieved 2009-12-06.
  31. "KarmicReleaseSchedule". Retrieved 2009-12-06.
  32. "Milestone ubuntu-9.10 for Ubuntu due 2009-10-29". Retrieved 2009-12-06.
  33. List of Ubuntu releases
  34. List of Ubuntu releases
  35. List of Ubuntu releases
  36. List of Ubuntu releases
  37. List of Ubuntu Releases
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Master List of Links

Master List of Links Relating to Ubuntu Linux[edit | edit source]

Canonical Canonical Inc.

Ubuntu & Canonical Supported Derivatives Ubuntu Project Main Page Kubuntu Xubuntu Edubuntu Gobuntu (currently re-directs to Ubuntu main page, but is expected to become active soon) Ubuntu Studio Impi Linux

The Ubuntu Community Blog of Mark Shuttleworth: Ubuntu Founder, Creator, & S.A.B.D.F.L. Official Ubuntu Wiki Official Ubuntu Project Blog Aggregator Official Ubuntu Forum Ubuntuguide: for over 10 years the premier guide for Ubuntu Kubuntuguide: for over 7 years the premier guide for Kubuntu

Ubuntu on WikiMedia Wikipedia (English language): Ubuntu Wikimedia Commons: Category:Ubuntu Linux Wikimedia Commons: Ubuntu Linux


Thanks to everyone who helped!

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Also, thanks to anyone taking the time to read this page. 😀

Humans[edit | edit source]

Bots[edit | edit source]