by Sam Street
I recently made the transition from Microsoft Windows XP to the Ubuntu operating system, a GNU/Linux distibution.
A lot of people hear about Linux and it's advantages over Windows, and expect to try it out someday but have become too ensconced in the Windows envoironment to want to worry about getting used to Linux. Often upon investigation users become scared off by the technical jargon and the typically steep learning curves of pevious Linux distributions.
This is where Ubuntu is different. Using only open source software Ubuntu runs GNOME (as opposed to KDE), the Linux kernal, X Server as it's GUI and runs Debian packages. The word ubuntu (pronounced 'oo-boon-too') is an African word meaning "humanity to others" provides an excellent desktop in my opinion, created in such a way that it is easy for a Windows User to find his way around. Ubuntu has been adopted by over 4 million users in only 2 years, an unprecedented achievement.
However, if you had just installed Ubuntu and had no prior experience with Linux (like me a couple of weeks ago), you are bound to run into a few problems and get a little overwhelmed and lost. This is why I've compiled a list of problems I encountered personally. I've quoted the solutions provided in The Official Ubuntu Book , a wonderful resource for the new Ubuntu user.
My Program Has Frozen. Clicking the 'X' Has No Effect.
If your application seems to hang and the window won't go away, keep clicking the X icon in the top right of the window. After a few seconds a dialog box should appear to indicate the program has become inactive. The dialog also asks you if you want to close it.
If this does not work you can use the xkill command to stop it. Press Alt + F2 to bring up the Run Application dialog, type xkill and press Enter. Your mouse cursor changes to a small skull and cross-bones. Click the offending application window, and it will finally be banished to that place where naughty applications wallow.
The Upgrade Notification Bubble Keeps Appearing, and I Want It to Stop
When your system detects new upgrades are available, a small bubble appears in the notification area. To switch this off, right-click the upgrades icon, and deselect the Show Notifications option.
Java Is Not Installed on My System
To run a Java application on your system or access a Java Web site in Firefox, you need to install the Java libraries first. To do this fire up Synaptic and install the j2re1.4 and j2re1.4-mozilla-plug-in packages.
If you want to run a version of Java not included with Ubuntu, refer to Ubuntu Wiki > Restrcited Formats .
How Do I Find and Install New Desktop Themes and Backgrounds?
We all love tweaking our dekstops so they look individual to our own tastes and preferences. Luckily the desktop is very flexible in how it can be visually configured. To make this as simple as possible, the GNOME Art web site was created to host a huge array of wallpapers and themes. You can use the following sites to spruce up your dekstop.
My CD-ROM/DVD Is Not Working
If you are having problems accessing your CD-ROM/DVD drive, it is mot likely because it is not mounted. Click Places > Computer and look at the CD-ROM/DVD drive icon in the window. If the drive is not mounted, the icon looks like a drive; otherwise it looks like a disk. If the drive isn't mounted, right-click it, and click Mount Volume.
I hope these problems I encountered help some other users who make the switch from Windows to Ubuntu.