Recently I upgraded my mum from Windows XP to Ubuntu. I’m not the only one who has done the same thing. As many of you already know, even Dell now includes an option to have Ubuntu as the pre-installed operating system, rather than Windows.
This page will serve as a central location for all of the beginner-to-intermediate Ubuntu “how-to” tutorials that I create (so my mum can bookmark one page and have quick access to all of the things she asks me to explain). Some of the links will open in a new page (or tab). I’m not doing that to increase my page-views-per-visitor, rather I want this page to load quickly if all you’re trying to figure out is how to rename a file. The lengthier tutorials will go on their own page, the ‘short’ ones will be included right here.
Last Updated: Mon, Aug. 13th, 2007
- How to change your Home Page in Firefox
- How to delete one (or more) sites from your Firefox address bar (the drop-down list of previously viewed sites)
- How to add and edit the sites in the Firefox Bookmarks Toolbar
Managing Files, Folders and Programs
- How to rename a file or folder in Ubuntu
- How to create a desktop shortcut in Ubuntu
- How to resize pictures/images in Ubuntu
- How to install programs in Ubuntu using the Synaptic Package Manager
- How to install, setup and use Google Desktop Search in Ubuntu
- How to share files and folders across your network in Ubuntu
- How to install Windows programs and applications in Ubuntu – using Wine
Ubuntu “Look and Feel” (User Interface)
- How to change your desktop background/wallpaper
- How to change the Ubuntu screensaver
- How to change the Ubuntu theme
- How to move or copy photos from your digital camera to your PC in Ubuntu
- How to use Banshee to manage your iPod in Ubuntu
- How to use gtkpod to manage your iPod in Ubuntu
- How to use Amarok to manage your iPod in Ubuntu
- How to manage your iPod using Rhythmbox in Ubuntu
Select Edit and then Preferences from the Firefox menu.
Change the Home Page: field to the address of the page you’d like to have open when Firefox starts (or when you click the Home button).
Alternately, you can opt to have a blank page or the pages you were viewing the last time you used Firefox open when Firefox starts. To do so, select your choice from the When Firefox starts: menu.
Use the drop-down button in your address bar, scroll to the site you wish to delete, and hit the Delete key on your keyboard (not the Backspace key).
- The Firefox Bookmarks Toolbar (that menu in Firefox that contains ‘buttons’ that are links to sites – see screenshot below) can be completely customized to your liking.
- To rename a Toolbar bookmark, right-click that button and select Properties.
- Change the Name: value to whatever you want displayed on the button and click OK.
- To delete a bookmark, right-click that button and select Delete.
- To add a bookmark to your Bookmarks Toolbar, visit the page you want to add and select Bookmarks -> Bookmark This Page….
- Select Bookmarks Toolbar from the Create in: drop-down list.
- Edit the name (if you’d like) and click Add.
- Now that bookmark is available via the Bookmarks Toolbar.
Managing Files and Folders
- There are a number of ways to rename files and folders in Ubuntu. The two fastest are: right-click the file/folder you want to rename, and select Rename… from the menu.
- If you prefer to use the keyboard more than the mouse, select the file you want to rename and hit the F2 key. The background will change (the cursor will be blinking) indicating that you can rename the file now.
- Hit enter when you’re done, and the file will take its new name.
- Navigate to the program you want to create a desktop shortcut for, select it by clicking on it once and while holding down the mouse button, drag it over to your desktop and let go.
- Your new desktop shortcut is now ready for use.
Ubuntu “Look and Feel” (User Interface)
- Right-click in an empty space on your desktop and select Change Desktop Background from the pop-up menu.
- The Desktop Background Preferences window will appear. From here you can opt for No Wallpaper, one of the defaults (Simple and Smooth Chocolate), set your own, or use a solid color. To set your own wallpaper, click the Add Wallpaper button.
- Navigate to the folder that contains the picture you wish to use as your desktop background (wallpaper). Select it and then click Open.
- That image will now appear as one of the wallpaper choices (and should already be selected). Click Finish and your new wallpaper will be set.
- To set (or change) a screen saver in Ubuntu, select System -> Preferences -> Screensaver.
- The Screensaver Preferences window will appear.
- Select a screensaver from the list in the left column. It will preview itself in the main Screensaver Preferences window.
- After you’ve found one you like, just click the Close button. If you want to see what the screensaver will look like in “full screen” mode, click the Preview button directly underneath the column of screensavers. If you want to require a password (yours) to be entered to turn off the screensaver once it has become active, place a check in the box labeled Lock screen when screensaver is active.
- To change the Ubuntu Theme, select System -> Preferences -> Theme.
- The Theme Preferences window will appear.
- Select one that looks interesting to you, and Ubuntu will actually apply that theme right away.
- When you’ve found one you like, just click the Close button. If you decide you actually prefer the default Theme, just click the Revert button, or select Human (which is the name of the default).