Author Archives: Jesse

Five keyboard shortcuts you should know in Ubuntu

keyboard_shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts can save you time and make repetitive, common tasks a lot simpler.

Keyboard shortcuts can make your life a lot easier. In many cases, they eliminate extraneous mouse clicks, saving you time with simple tasks you find yourself doing over and over.

Although Ubuntu and its Unity interface were designed to run on a wide range of devices, the desktop version appears to have been designed with the keyboard in mind (see features like the Dash and the HUD).

To get the most out of Ubuntu, there are several basic keyboard shortcuts you should be familiar with. Not only will they save you time, but they’ll also make you feel like a wizard as you launch programs and navigate between applications without even touching the mouse. Read the rest of this entry

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How to change the default OS in an Ubuntu dual-boot setup

The GNU Grand Unified Bootloader, a.k.a. GRUB. The GRUB boot menu is a familiar sight to anyone who dual boots.

The boot menu for the GNU Grand Unified Bootloader, a.k.a. GRUB. The menu is a familiar sight to anyone who dual-boots.

Although Linux is great, there are still reasons to keep Windows hanging around on your hard drive. Maybe you can’t live without iTunes for your iPhone/iPod, or perhaps you’re a gamer and still want to play titles that aren’t available on Linux yet. Whatever the reason, dual-booting is a reality that many of us live with.

Ubuntu installs a bootloader called GRUB that allows you to choose which OS you’d like to boot when you start your PC. You’ve probably noticed that Ubuntu is the default OS that boots after you install it in a dual-boot setup. By default, GRUB is configured to automatically boot Ubuntu after 10 seconds, giving you the opportunity to boot into Windows if you so desire.

However, if you want to boot Windows by default, you can easily change GRUB’s default behavior. You can also change GRUB’s timeout length if you simply don’t want to sit around for an additional 10 seconds each time your computer boots. It involves a little under-the-hood tinkering, but by following the steps in this guide, you should be able to change the appropriate settings in just a few minutes. Read the rest of this entry

Ubuntu’s LTS releases explained

You may notice certain Ubuntu releases are accompanied by the letters LTS. This post will take a look at what exactly an LTS release is and reasons you may or may not want to opt for one over other releases.

ubuntu_ltsLTS: Long term support

A new version of Ubuntu is released every six months, which is crazy fast. You can upgrade to each new release if you’d like, but it’s not necessary. Each release is officially supported with updates for a year and a half.

In order to provide more stability, Canonical (the company behind Ubuntu) singles out every fourth release and promises to provide security updates for it for a longer period of time than normal releases. Recently, these have been 10.04 and 12.04, and the next LTS will be 14.04. In the past, LTS releases were supported for three years on the desktop (server versions were supported for five). Read the rest of this entry

Steam for Linux beta available for Ubuntu

Game support—or a lack thereof—has been one of the big barriers that has prevented me from ditching Windows completely and moving to Linux full-time, in spite of all the other great reasons to do so. When it comes to gaming, it’s a Windows world. But as 2012 draws to a close, that may all be changing. Valve Software has recently ported their hugely popular Steam client to Linux, and the beta was released to the public last week. The revolution has begun.

A sight that should bring tears to the eyes of any Linux gamer: Steam running natively on Ubuntu 12.04.

A sight that should bring tears to the eyes of any Linux gamer: Steam running natively on Ubuntu 12.04.

Read the rest of this entry

Meet the ‘Buntus – Ubuntu, its official variants, and how to choose between them

Ubuntu is arguably the most visible Linux distribution out there for home users. For many, it’s the first—and maybe only—distro they use. Dell has sold (and currently sells) computers pre-installed with Ubuntu, Google uses it for its employees, and Valve Software is developing a Linux version of its hugely popular Steam gaming platform for it. Ubuntu’s prominence within the tech world at large and its user friendliness make it an excellent starting point for beginners.

Ubuntu is developed by Canonical, a company that makes money by providing technical support to businesses that adopt its freely distributed OS. In addition to the regular version of Ubuntu, which sports the Unity desktop interface, Canonical officially recognizes a handful of variants that each put their own unique spin on the OS. In this post, we’ll take a look at the Ubuntu family of distros, what makes them different and why you should choose one over the other. Read the rest of this entry