I've been messing around with Ubuntu for a day or so and I've got a lot of preferences set up now. I really haven't done anything that requires any knowledge of the OS and how it works, but I'll get there eventually. For now I've got a few questions dealing mostly with customization and wanting a few simple explanations. I'll just sort of list them out here in no particular order. Feel free to answer any number of them. Suggestions or advice on questions are welcomed even if they may not directly answer a question. Thanks!
1. I was wondering if there were certain terms for the various areas on the desktop. I'm using the classic layout in Ubuntu (I read many say they liked Gnome better than Unity, and classic is closer to Gnome). Are there terms to describe the following areas in Ubuntu?:
A. The first area has Applications, Places, and System menus. This seems most comparable to the Windows start menu.
B. The panel at the bottom of the desktop shows which applications or files are running. It looks like the task bar.
C. There's an area of one panel that allows you to shutdown, restart, etc. It also has networking options, sound options, time settings, and other things. This makes me think of the system tray. I think this area may also have a notification area, but I haven't noticed any notifications.
2. Are there any options within Banshee to remove all but the most basic functions? Media Player in Windows had an option to go into some compact or skin mode where it took up very little space. I noticed some sort of Banshee player within the sound controls in the (system tray). Something similar to this would be ideal. I'd like to be able to just select a bunch of songs in a folder and play them all in this condensed version of the audio player.
3. This has to do with the auto hide feature of the panels when they are located on the left and right side of the desktop. It seems as though the panels will only reappear when my cursor hits the very top of the screen on the corresponding side. So if a panel was set to auto hide on the left side of the desktop, it would only reappear when the cursor was in the top-left-most part of the screen. Is there a way to make it appear when my cursor touches any part of the left edge?
4. I noticed that I was able to access some files and folders on my Windows partition while in Ubuntu.
A. Can modifying files on the Windows partition have some unwanted consequences?
B. If I made another Linux-based partition, would my current Ubuntu partition be able to access files in the new partition in the same way? Would this require root privileges for every action?
5. I've read that modifying the Windows partition from Ubuntu with something like Gparted could have negative effects on Windows' ability to boot properly. Are there similar dangers when modifying the Ubuntu partitions from Windows?
My HDD is currently partitioned like: Win7 400GB, Ubuntu 100GB.
I'm thinking about setting it up like: Win7 350GB, Ubuntu 100GB, unallocated 50GB.
If modifying the Ubuntu partitions from Windows can have negative effects, how should I go about setting this up?
6. Is there a way to set the size the icons on the desktop without having to resize each one individually.
7. How difficult is it to set up a customized theme? I haven't found a theme for the controls that I've liked yet. I've seen a couple that were pretty decent, but usually one thing would ruin the theme for me. This made me wonder about making my own.
8. I believe the media player in use right now is Totem. Like with Banshee, is there a way to have most of the controls of this application hidden or made less noticeable? I tend to favor a minimalist approach when customizing things, so being able to reduce the number of things showing or being able to hide them when I want is always a plus. Maybe someone could suggest an alternate media player that works well to accomplish this. If another player could be paused when the video is clicked, that'd be a small plus.
9. When setting the folder permissions (read, write, execute), do these overwrite the individual file permissions within the folder? I believe I read that this applies to other folders within the folder. Or do the folder and file permissions not interact with one-another?
10. My understanding of folder permissions is that none will work without the execute permission being enabled. Why is this? I read of the following configurations(r:read, w:write, x:execute): r-x for read only, rwx for read and write, --- to deny access. The tutorial I read this from advised against other configurations. What would happen if you allowed read and write permissions but disabled execute permissions for folders? What happens if only execute permissions are granted?
11. I have the display set to dim when idle. What does it mean to be "idle"? The amount of time it takes for the screen to dim seems vary randomly.
12. This chunk of questions relates to Linux and its uses with various companies.
A. Why do companies that use Linux machines heavily use these Linux machines? Is it just an open source, money-saving matter?
B. For a person whose responsibilities are to maintain and run things on these machines, what might his or her responsibilities include?
C. What sort of skills should this person have? What other technologies are often used in conjunction with Linux machines to accomplish some of the companies' goals?
D. I'd imagine that with servers or whatever other things are running on these machines, the companies wouldn't want excess software or system files to be taking up resources. This leads me to think that these machines would have to be handled without GUIs and such. Would one be able to simulate the limitations of these machines in Ubuntu? Is it as simple as limiting one's self to the terminal to do everything? Are there things Linux can do on its own that Ubuntu cannot do?