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A Guide to Linux 101

A guided tour to using Linux for the Windows User

Steve Smith, host of your Technology Questions Answered, gives the guided tour of Ubuntu, and explains it inner workings.

Episode #1-30 released on April 24, 2011

Welcome to another episode of your Technology Questions Answered. Today, we will give you Linux 101 guided tour of Ubuntu Linux, and I'm going to show you how to do in Linux some of the most basic tasks we do with Windows computers. I'll show you how to setup the email client, surf the internet, chat with others, do some office work and do some image manipulation. I'll even show you all, as a bonus, how to install more software for your brand new Linux operating system.

Let's start with a basic task that everyone can do, surfing the internet. The most popular browser on the Linux platform is Firefox, so if your already used to using it in Windows, there is no difference. So nothing more to explain here.

The next task, sending and receiving email. This is not particularly any harder a task than in Windows, simply need to choose your preferred email client within Linux. For this demonstration, we will be using the linux email client called Evolution. Then interface is really easy, clean and clean look. To add your e-mail accounts to the program head over to Edit, Preferences, Mail Accounts, and Click on Add. The rest is fairly identical in all email programs.

Chatting, instant messaging and social networking is all included into the Ubuntu by default. The programs being used to administrate all this are Gwibber and Empathy. Empathy is an instant messenger. Gwibber is a social broadcaster. Both these programs are accessible by selecting Applications, Internet, then select either Gwibber or Empathy.

To setup an account in Empathy, load the program, go to edit, accounts, then click add.

To setup an account in Gwibber, load the program, go to edit, accounts, then click add.

The next tasks are fairly simple to show, if you know how to use an office suite, or programs similar to Adobe Photoshop, I only have to show you which programs you may need. Let's start with some work. All of us do some word processing, maybe a little spreadsheet work, and presentations. The office suite installed by default in this version of Ubuntu, and in most recent editions of Ubuntu, is Open Office. To access them, go to Applications, Office, then select the appropriate application for the task. Upon loading the programs, you'll see why we don't really have to retrain you for Linux. Yet, another reason why switching from Windows to Linux is not really as hard as you believed.

Some of us are also into creating and modifying graphics. Some of us are also photographers. There is an awesome program in Linux, now available for Windows, called Gimp. To access it, head over again to Applications, select Graphics, then Gimp Image Editor. Its virtually identical to Adobe Photoshop, and has most of the same tools. The layout is not totally the same, but you'll get used to it fairly quickly.

Now, those were some of the most basic everyday tasks we may do, but there are tons of amazing, free, software to play around with, including tons of games. The next thing we will show you is how to acquire new software already available to download and install. To install software we already have access to, all you need to do is go to Applications, Ubuntu Software Center, the search through the whole archive for anything that may interest you. Later on, we will show you how to add more software choices, scan for viruses your Windows Partition, use your scanner, printer, etc...

Next week, I will show you how to install some Windows applications in Linux, using the program Wine. Not all Windows software will work, but I'll show you how to verify which ones are compatible to date.

Have a great week, Happy Easter, and drive carefully. This has been your Technology Questions Answered.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions