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Old 11-17-2009, 09:10 AM   #1
elishac
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basic newbie questions


hello,

i'm just starting to use linux and thus i have many small questions. I don't want to flood the forum so i'll just ask them all here, even though they might not be related.

1. as some of you know, i've just installed the latest version of ubuntu, and i've been getting a window message at startup. I've learnt not to install anything without asking, so here i am : the window says that some language files seem to be missing and proposes me to install them. Can I?

2. is it easy to switch from one language to another, or does ubuntu need to be reinstalled? (same question for windows, btw, if you know the answer).

3. I'd like to install a more fashion graphical interface, such as the one in windows 7. I've seen some very nice things that can be done with linux over the net, but i don't remember their names. what are their names, which one is best and how do i install them.
there was a feature that seemed nice in windows 7 : when you shake one window, or when you make it go out of the screen, it does some stuff. are there graphical interfaces in linux with the same features?

4. how do i install/uninstall a program in linux? i've seen that there are some software lists, are all these already installed in my computer? that probably takes a lot of space, doesn't it?
how much space does ubuntu take?

5. google desktop has been installed on my computer. is it really useful? if not, how to uninstall it?

6. i can't access to some contents over the net (youtube videos for example). how and where to install what's missing.

7. can you tell me the different extensions i can find in linux? is there really no extension for text files and exe files? how is that possible.

8. where can i find some lines of the linux code? i don't want to download/read it all, just want to see what it looks like.

9. what are the main folders in linux? for example, when i insert a usb key, does it get a sort of identification (letter), like in windows?

10. how to search for a file? (all musics in the computer for example).

i'll stop here for now, i don't want you to run away.
You don't have to answer to them all at once.
Thanks.
 
Old 11-17-2009, 10:07 AM   #2
pixellany
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Quote:
You don't have to answer to them all at once.
I'm glad to hear that.....

Quote:
1. as some of you know, i've just installed the latest version of ubuntu, and i've been getting a window message at startup. I've learnt not to install anything without asking, so here i am : the window says that some language files seem to be missing and proposes me to install them. Can I?
Anything you do using the package manager should be safe. Just doing a system update might be all you need.

Quote:
3. I'd like to install a more fashion graphical interface, such as the one in windows 7. I've seen some very nice things that can be done with linux over the net, but i don't remember their names. what are their names, which one is best and how do i install them.
there was a feature that seemed nice in windows 7 : when you shake one window, or when you make it go out of the screen, it does some stuff. are there graphical interfaces in linux with the same features?
There are a huge variety of themes and such running around. If you want it to be like Windows 7, then use Windows 7

Quote:
4. how do i install/uninstall a program in linux? i've seen that there are some software lists, are all these already installed in my computer? that probably takes a lot of space, doesn't it?
how much space does ubuntu take?
Always start with the package manager--it keeps track of what is installed and what is available--this is I assume the "list" you are referring to. (Does not take much space)

Quote:
5. google desktop has been installed on my computer. is it really useful? if not, how to uninstall it?
You'll have to try it and decide for yourself. How to uninstall depends on how it was installed. Again, start with the package manager.

Quote:
6. i can't access to some contents over the net (youtube videos for example). how and where to install what's missing.
Would you believe--the package manager..

Quote:
7. can you tell me the different extensions i can find in linux? is there really no extension for text files and exe files? how is that possible.
Extensions mean nothing in Linux---except to help the user. The file type is embedded.

Quote:
8. where can i find some lines of the linux code? i don't want to download/read it all, just want to see what it looks like.
Do you mean the kernel, or specific utilities? For the kernel, I think it's kernel.org, but you can also get the source using----drumroll---the package manager!!

Quote:
9. what are the main folders in linux? for example, when i insert a usb key, does it get a sort of identification (letter), like in windows?
Do a search for the Linux Filesystem Hierarchy Standard (FHS). I think it may be at http://tldp.org

Quote:
10. how to search for a file? (all musics in the computer for example).
Most distros have a GUI search function, but I would take the time to learn "find" in a terminal.


For some of these things, you may want to start new thread on the specific question. But first, be sure to search here and on Google.

Good luck and welcome!!
 
Old 11-17-2009, 10:14 AM   #3
jefm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elishac View Post
hello,

6. i can't access to some contents over the net (youtube videos for example). how and where to install what's missing.

7. can you tell me the different extensions i can find in linux? is there really no extension for text files and exe files? how is that possible.

9. what are the main folders in linux? for example, when i insert a usb key, does it get a sort of identification (letter), like in windows?

10. how to search for a file? (all musics in the computer for example).
6. Flash Player and/or Java need to be installed to access what the Internet has become :} They are both closed source, heavy and cumbersome. Google search: install flash player (your distro).

7. I'm new to it also but Linux seems to handle executibles when assigning permissions. If you want an executable in windows, you name it .exe or .cmd or .com. In linux, you give it a chmod +x, granting it executable permissions.

9. Linux doesn't do drive letters. Google search: device files. In Linux, your USB key will show up as a device file, which you then mount to a directory (something like /mnt/usbkey). You then access the key via that directory. Sounds confusing but it makes a lot more sense then drive letters.

10. Try
Code:
 sudo updatedb
locate .mp3
updatedb builds a database of all files on the system, and locate queries that database. This is not the best way to search, I'm just not good enough at it to recommend anything.
 
Old 11-17-2009, 10:16 AM   #4
elishac
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thanks a lot for answering.
this has already given me a lot to think about.
can one of you give more detailed answers, even if it's only one question at a time?
 
Old 11-17-2009, 11:26 AM   #5
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elishac View Post
3. I'd like to install a more fashion graphical interface, such as the one in windows 7. I've seen some very nice things that can be done with linux over the net, but i don't remember their names. what are their names, which one is best and how do i install them.
How to install them, I don't know. That's distro-specific and I am not an Ubuntu user. But you are surely referring to compiz/compiz-fusion. You can start googling some videos, or looking for compiz into youtube, and see if you find some setup you like. When you do, you might want to open a new thread in the Ubuntu subforum asking for specific instructions on how to get a similar setup to the one you like in Ubuntu, and provide a link to the video so people will know what are you talking about.

Quote:
there was a feature that seemed nice in windows 7 : when you shake one window, or when you make it go out of the screen, it does some stuff. are there graphical interfaces in linux with the same features?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icm7GGCPOt8

If that's what you mean, then compiz can do it. Surely kde4 can as well, so you might want to install kde4 instead of the default gnome that Ubuntu ships. Or, you can download kubuntu instead and install that. You can also see kde4 video around and decide yourself.

Note that compiz can as well be used under gnome or kde4, not just as a standalone window manager.

Quote:
4. how do i install/uninstall a program in linux? i've seen that there are some software lists, are all these already installed in my computer? that probably takes a lot of space, doesn't it? how much space does ubuntu take?
In linux we use the package manager. In Ubuntu I think that's either apt-get in command line or synaptic in GUI. Usually, package managers will allow you to see installed packages and also non-installed but available ones. The package manager should have a way to tell you whether a package is installed or not, and will also let you install packages, search them, uninstall, upgrade, etc. etc. I am no Ubuntu user so I know nothing about the particularities of the Ubuntu package manager. But this should be well documented on their web site, wikis, etc. You should really take a tour around there and read some basic documents about how to administer your Ubuntu system.

Quote:
i can't access to some contents over the net (youtube videos for example). how and where to install what's missing.
This is restricted software, and can't be shipped withing the install disks because of license issues. The flash plugin is from adobe, and it's propietary (non-free, as in freedom) software). There's nothing linux can do about that.

But if you look around a bit you will find lots of documents in the net telling you how to install each given piece.

On a quick google I found this for flash, as said, I know nothing about Ubuntu so I have no idea if it actually works, but if it doesn't, just look around a bit to find more.

http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/flash

Quote:
can you tell me the different extensions i can find in linux? is there really no extension for text files and exe files?
Extensions are just part of the name. There's nothing in your box circuits that will make files with a given extension special. It's up to the OS and the tools to decide what a given extension means.

Linux programs are usually not that picky about the file extension. They detect the file type based on the contents, though as said, if depends on the concrete program. The extensions, when present, are the same than you usually would see on windows. A jpg file will be a pixel based jpeg compressed image file. A doc file will be some kind of document, usually viewable in openoffice. avi files will be videos encoded in whatever format, and so on.

Plain text files are sometimes without any extension, though there's absolutely nothing stopping you from using .txt if you want...

About .exe files, well, exe is just an executable file format (or better, a variety of formats) that were used in some OSes, like dos, windows, os/2, openvms and probably several more. Linux do not use exe files in that same sense. In linux, an executable file is a file which has the +x permission set. The extension is, again, completely irrelevant. There's of course nothing stopping you from naming your executable files .exe if you want, but you could also name a program something like "myprog.jpg" and it will still run anyway.

Quote:
where can i find some lines of the linux code? i don't want to download/read it all, just want to see what it looks like.
Linux, strictly speaking, is just the kernel. The source code for linux is at kernel.org, it's really *huge*, and it's mostly written in C. If you want to take a look, just fetch the source tarball for the latest version, uncompress it, and start opening files with any regular text editor of your choice.

Quote:
what are the main folders in linux?
There's a somewhat official standard, not that all the distros abide it completely, and anyway a lot of the stuff in that standard is open to different interpretations, it's somewhat fuzzy. You can read more about it here:

http://www.pathname.com/fhs/

Quote:
for example, when i insert a usb key, does it get a sort of identification (letter), like in windows?
Nope. In linux, everything is a file. The usb key is a file as well. Files representing devices are in /dev/, you rarely have to interact with these nowadays. Whatever desktop you are using will usually mount the drive directly for you under /mnt/ or /media/. In other words, to enter a drive you don't do

Code:
d:
Instead, you just do

Code:
cd /mnt/pendrive
# or
cd /mnt/windows
# or 
cd /mnt/cdrom
# or 
cd /media/foo
Any drive, even network shares, iso images, or whatever other media that is able to be accessed in a file-system like fashion can be "mounted" (that's the word) at any given position in your file system hierarchy. Usually, subdirectories under /media and /mnt are used, but you can mount a drive at /usr if you want, which is a very powerful system. You can, for example, share the /usr directory amongst many computers in the same local network, which saves space and eases the updates a lot, as well as backups.

Just a random example, not that you should be doing any of that in a home network.

Quote:
10. how to search for a file? (all musics in the computer for example).
Your desktop probably has some graphical tool to do this. I am not too versed in the GUI ways, so I'll let to you to discover how to do that.

In command line you would use the command "find". I'll also tell you about the "man" command, which stands for "manual". To see the manual page for "find" you would do this:

Code:
man find
You should also google for some examples on how to use "find". A basic command to find all the mp3 files in your home directory would be this:

Code:
find $HOME -iname \*.mp3
 
Old 11-17-2009, 11:51 AM   #6
lugoteehalt
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10/ Is fundamental. All sorts of stuff, for example:
Code:
$ locate --regex "\.mp3$"
will find all files ending in .mp3. (See man grep and look at 'regular expressions')

Then 'find', which is a bit unfriendly but worth working out: 'info find'. For example,
Code:
$ cd
this puts you in your home directory, then:
$ find ./* -name "*bash*" -print
this finds all files with the string 'bash' in their name, in your home directory and its subdirectories, I think. Find will do much more than this.
Code:
$ locate filth|grep smegma|grep wholesome|less
will put all filenames into the viewer 'less' with filth, smegma, and wholesome, etc in their names. This is very useful.
 
Old 11-17-2009, 12:05 PM   #7
i92guboj
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The problem with locate is that it doesn't give "live" info. Locate doesn't truly look at your fs, so the info you get might not reflect the current status of things. Instead, locate looks at a database that's updated daily. Whatever happens between one update and the next goes by completely unnoticed by locate.

So, locate is good when looking for system files that rarely vary, but it's not the best when looking for contents that change often, because to get accurate results you would need to run "updatedb" as root before running "locate" or "slocate".
 
Old 11-17-2009, 12:34 PM   #8
lugoteehalt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i92guboj View Post
The problem with locate is that it doesn't give "live" info. Locate doesn't truly look at your fs, so the info you get might not reflect the current status of things. Instead, locate looks at a database that's updated daily. Whatever happens between one update and the next goes by completely unnoticed by locate.

So, locate is good when looking for system files that rarely vary, but it's not the best when looking for contents that change often, because to get accurate results you would need to run "updatedb" as root before running "locate" or "slocate".
True, but it is friendlier than find, and it does not take long to run updatedb, as root, these days.
 
Old 11-17-2009, 12:46 PM   #9
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elishac View Post
thanks a lot for answering.
this has already given me a lot to think about.
can one of you give more detailed answers, even if it's only one question at a time?
This relates to my suggestion of separate threads for the in-depth questions and answers.

In general, "more detailed answers" require more detailed questions....
 
Old 11-17-2009, 02:56 PM   #10
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefm View Post
.

10. Try
Code:
 sudo updatedb
locate .mp3
updatedb builds a database of all files on the system, and locate queries that database. This is not the best way to search..
'locate' is usually my first approach to finding any file; it may not be up to date, but with files that are not new over the last 24 hours, it is fast.

There is a danger, though, that locate turns up more stuff than you want (here comes a simple bit of Unix-ology), but the system has lots of little utilities that can work together. Imagine that you want to find out where the configuration file for, say, squid is to be found

Code:
locate squid
could give many hits
Code:
locate squid | grep .conf
(this is one area in which file extensions are extensively used; configuration files are almost always plain text files -so you can read and change them with an editor- with the extension .conf) will give fewer hits, maybe just squid.conf and one or more backup copies, if an editor has created those.

Quote:
3. I'd like to install a more fashion graphical interface, such as the one in windows 7. I've seen some very nice things that can be done with linux over the net, but i don't remember their names. what are their names, which one is best and how do i install them.
Try KDE4. Normally, I wouldn't recommend this to a newbie as it still a work-in-progress, but from where you are it sounds like the kind of thing that you are thinking about. (But don't do this if the version of KDE4 on offer is lower than 4.3.0 and strongly prefer 4.3.2 or higher.) On Ubuntu I've only done this at initial install, but, in theory, you ought to be able to just select something like kde-basics or kde-essentials (name changes a bit from distro to distro) in the package manager and it should just happen; you need quite a lot of bits but the package manager (again!) should just sort it out for you.

This will a bit of a download, but next time you log in, you should get a choice of kde or gnome, although you will have to look in the 'chooser' screen to see it.

Note: one important thing is that you do not have to get rid of Gnome to install KDE. While Ubuntu is the name of the 'Gnome Ubuntu' and Kubuntu the name of the 'KDE Ubuntu', that is a bit deceptive (a confusing bit of Ubuntu naming); there is an underlying operating system and you can install any and any number of Graphical User Interfaces on top. (With most distros, the naming is 'whatever distro plus Gnome/KDE/etc' rather than Ubuntu/kubuntu/Xubuntu, etc, and the Ubuntu naming gives the erroneous impression that Kubuntu might be a completely separate thing.)

(There is also kde 3.x and that is good and solid, but does not have the eye-candy that it sounds as if you want.)

There are articles around the interwebs about making either kde or gnome look like windows, but I am afraid that this idea bores me so much I won't even fire up google to look. Sorry.

Enlightenment (E17) is also a bit eye-candy, but its not a recommendation I'd make to a beginner, particularly as from what I remember, Enlightenment isn't available in the basic Ubuntu package manager (maybe if you add some repository, but you'll have to ask someone with more Ubuntu-fu than me.)


Quote:
can one of you give more detailed answers, even if it's only one question at a time?
Sorry, me neither. The answers that you received looked pretty adequate to me, so the first reason that I can't give you a more detailed answer to any question that you have asked, is that I don't know what didn't hit the spot for you. If you can explain that, I will try.

PS: As you may have noticed from Pixellany's reply, the package manager is an important part of what you are likely to want to do. Even if you don't do anything about the language files (and you probably don't need to do anything about it, if it is a language you will never use), you should try to use it, as, without some knowledge of package management, you won't be able to do much.

The last time I looked at Ubuntu (some time ago) Synaptic was the default package manager, but you may have other options installed as well. Try synaptic soon and see how you get on.
 
Old 11-17-2009, 05:28 PM   #11
lugoteehalt
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Quote:
3. I'd like to install a more fashion graphical interface
following on from the above post. If you just install KDE, Gnome may do it too - don't know, then control centre -> desktop -> window behaviour -> translucency. Enable same and eye-candy squared, 3D desktop. You'll need to fiddle with /etc/X11/xorg.conf, ask here.
 
Old 11-17-2009, 05:54 PM   #12
chrism01
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You may find these links useful
http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm
http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filename
http://www.extropia.com/tutorials/unix/file_system.html

I'd mention 2 main things with filenames
1. Unix/Linux IS case-sensitive
2. avoid spaces in a filename, even though it's technically legal.

As mentioned above, the best place to learn the 'Ubuntu way' is probably to check out their webs site & wikis. Each distro has its own foibles.
 
  


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