Is Ubuntu 11.10 so different from earlier releases?

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Is Ubuntu 11.10 so different from earlier releases?

Postby michaelm » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:00 pm

I've recently installed Ubuntu 11.10 having tried it out for a few days by live cd.

I'd describe my computing knowledge/aptitude as being between the level of "complete idiot" and "dummy". (I've been spoon fed on windows - what do you expect?)

Browsing the net, I came across what seemed to be a handy little book - The Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference - which says (on p35) that there are three main menus at the top of the page - Applications, Places, System.

Now I can't see anything that resembles these, so maybe have things have changed. However, browsing the web for tutorials/help, all I can seem to find are tutorials that relate to such instructions.

What would be handy would be some up to date tutorials or a book that relates to what I've got - if I'm told to go to "system" when I don't have a "system" menu at the to of the page, then I'm stumped.

Anyone else noticed this change?

Can anyone offer some advice, or recommend a website/book/some tutorials please?

Thanks.

Michael
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Postby Rhakios » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:14 pm

That is because you are now looking at the Unity desktop, which was introduced with 11.04, the description you mention applies to the old Gnome desktop, available up to 10.10.
You could always try something like this, but there are plenty more guides on the 'net.
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Postby PMD » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:14 pm

Hi, welcome to Ubuntu 11.10.

Yes, it is in many ways different to what came before. It uses the Unity desktop. The book you have refers to the Gnome 2 desktop and was included on Ubuntu up to Ubuntu 10.10.

I'm not aware of a book which covers the new Unity desktop. Books tend to correspond to the Ubuntu Long Term Support versions which come out every two years - 10.04 was the last LTS, 12.04 will be the next.

There are a number of tutorials on Youtube which might help you get started.

The most commonly used programs can be launched by clicking on the icons on the dash at the left of the desktop. Other programs can be launched by pressing the Super (Windows) key and exploring the screen that opens when you do so. You can also open this screen by clicking on the icon at the top of the dash.

System settings can be explored by clicking the button at the top right of the screen.

Good luck. It's not hard once you've discovered how it all works.
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Postby Oh well! » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:57 pm

You've started using Linux at a time of significant change for many desktop users. Unlike Windows, there are a number of different 'desktop environments', and one of the most popular, 'Gnome', has recently had a radical overhaul: the move from Gnome 2x to 3x. Ubuntu used to come with Gnome 2x, but instead of upgrading to Gnome 3, the Ubuntu developers have created an alternative desktop environment called 'Unity' (i.e, what you have). A lot of online tutorials will, effectively, be out of date. This should be useful, however: https://help.ubuntu.com/11.10/ubuntu-help/index.html.

It's perhaps worth mentioning that many users are very sceptical about whether either Gnome 3 or Unity are much good. If you find Ubuntu's desktop a bit of a pain, you might find Kubuntu an improvement: the KDE desktop it uses is more similar than either Gnome 3 or Unity to a Windows desktop. Whichever you use, the underlying system is likely to be more secure than a Windows system (even with antivirus installed).
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Postby michaelm » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:50 pm

So it is different, I'm glad to hear that -as long it's not all down to my incompetence!

I have been using the 11.10 documentation - some has been helpful, some has left me frustrated.

I quite like the Unity "task bar" - though I do wish it would stop showing itself when I try to go back a page when using Firefox with page maximized.

I'm getting to know my way around doing the basics, and just moved all my pics over from windows. I then read that for various reasons it would be a good idea to have a user account as well as my administrator account. Having set up a user account, I wanted to change the desktop background, but "user" can not access the photos which are in "administrators" picture file.

Is there a quick way around this? (other than relying on the external hard drive).

Thanks for the replies.

Michael
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Postby PCNetSpec » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:11 am

Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T), and open the Nautilus file manager as root:
Code: Select all
gksudo nautilus


Use the root nautilus session to move your picture to:-

/usr/share/backgrounds

Now right-click on the desktop and select Change Desktop Background .. click the little "+" symbol .. in the left-hand column select File System .. in the main window browse to /usr/share/backgrounds and select your picture .. click Open

==============

BTW, if you want a desktop "similar" to the Gnome 2.x one, install the gnome-shell package:
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell


Log off .. and when you're at the login screen click the little "cog" icon (next to the username) and select Gnome Classic .. now login as normal.

You can then switch between desktops at the login screen.
WARNING: You are logged into reality as 'root'... logging in as 'insane' is the only safe option.
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:40 pm

michaelm wrote:I quite like the Unity "task bar" - though I do wish it would stop showing itself when I try to go back a page when using Firefox with page maximized.

Michael


A quick fix for this :
open firefox
click "view" menu > toolbars > customise
Click on the "space" item and drag it to the left of the back arrow, do this 3 times, and the back arrow will be far enough to the right to stop the launcher emerging accidentally..
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Postby michaelm » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:43 pm

wyliecoyoteuk wrote:
A quick fix for this :
open firefox
click "view" menu > toolbars > customise
Click on the "space" item and drag it to the left of the back arrow, do this 3 times, and the back arrow will be far enough to the right to stop the launcher emerging accidentally..


So it does.

Where/how did you learn that?

When I bought my first pc, I went and bought "The Complete Idiot's Guide" which went through all the "click here" and "drag there" type stuff. Could do with a copy for Unity/11.10.

Thanks.

Michael
Last edited by michaelm on Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby michaelm » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:52 pm

PCNetSpec wrote:Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T), and open the Nautilus file manager as root:
Code: Select all
gksudo nautilus


Use the root nautilus session to move your picture to:-

/usr/share/backgrounds

Now right-click on the desktop and select Change Desktop Background .. click the little "+" symbol .. in the left-hand column select File System .. in the main window browse to /usr/share/backgrounds and select your picture .. click Open

==============


I have managed to change the background by importing the picture from the external hard drive. What I was hoping to do was to make the file "My Pictures" available to the user accounts (i.e. me and the wife) so that I'm not logged in as administrator.

On a different note, I guess that one of the advantages of linux (to competent users) is that the ability to use a terminal negates any unfamiliarity with the different desktops - in which case, I'd be as well learning to use the terminal properly as opposed to the "click and drag" type commands. In which case, I don't really need an 11.10 specific book - just a good linux book - is that right?
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:53 pm

michaelm wrote:
So it does.

Where/how did you learn that?


It really annoyed me, and my wife, so I looked for a customisation option.
I just tend to poke around in things, but then I do it for a living :)
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