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Thread: Basic Question about Ubuntu

  1. #1
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    Basic Question about Ubuntu

    I am new to Ubuntu and I have installed Ubuntu 11.10 version on my PC.
    Is there anything similar to control panel in Ubuntu.If not,how to know what all applications are working in the background and how to detect and stop them if some of the applications are not required.
    Thanks and regards in Advance.

  2. #2
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    Re: Basic Question about Ubuntu

    You're thinking of the system manager. While there is a system manager in Ubuntu, it's not nearly as powerful as in Windows. If your computer freezes, it's frozen.

    System Monitor manages tasks in Ubuntu. You can search for it in the dash.

    You can also set a shortcut for it to open (command: "gnome-system-monitor"). XKill turns your mouse into a task killing tool, click and gone. It's command (can also set shortcut) is just "xkill".
    Last edited by Prime624; October 5th, 2013 at 05:07 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Basic Question about Ubuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime624 View Post
    You're thinking of the system manager. While there is a system manager in Ubuntu, it's not nearly as powerful as in Windows.
    System manager? There's a System Monitor that does everything Microsoft's Task Manager does. Or at the command line you can simply run
    Code:
    top
    and then
    Code:
    kill xxxx
    Simple, elegant & powerful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Prime624 View Post
    If your computer freezes, it's frozen.
    Sometimes Ubuntu, a shell wrapping Linux, will freeze. The Linux kernel remains active, and can be safely restarted by holding down Alt+SysRq and slowly typing the initialism formed by this mnemonic: Raising skinny elephants is utterly boring.
    Quote Originally Posted by Prime624 View Post
    You can also set a shortcut
    Shortcut is a Windows term; we call them Launchers.

    [edit]adithya2 you are running an old version of Ubuntu. Code past EOL is unsupported. Consider upgrading to 12.04 LTS, which is probably the best for you at this stage.
    Last edited by whitesmith; October 5th, 2013 at 05:28 PM. Reason: additional thought
    In working with *nix...There be dragons. Newcomers: I recommend reading Linux is Not Windows (http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm) and The Linux Command Line (http://www.linuxcommand.org/tlcl.php) before beginning your quest for a better OS.

  4. #4
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    Re: Basic Question about Ubuntu

    You should be running 12.04LTS, not 11.10. That release has already reached its "end-of-life" and is no longer supported. Since you just installed Ubuntu, I recommend reinstalling with 12.04 which will be supported until 2017. If you installed 11.10 to avoid the Unity desktop, consider one of the alternative "flavors" of Ubuntu like Kubuntu with the KDE desktop environment, Lubuntu with LXDE, or Xubuntu with XFCE.
    If you ask for help, please have the courtesy to check for responses and thank the people who helped you.

    Blog · Linode System Administration Guides · Android Apps for Ubuntu Users

  5. #5
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    Re: Basic Question about Ubuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by whitesmith View Post
    Sometimes Ubuntu, a shell wrapping Linux, will freeze. The Linux kernel remains active, and can be safely restarted by holding down Alt+SysRq and slowly typing the initialism formed by this mnemonic: Raising skinny elephants is utterly boring.

    Shortcut is a Windows term; we call them Launchers.
    Thank you for the sys restart method. I will definitely try that. When I said that the Ubuntu system manager isn't as powerful, I meant as powerful as Ctrl+Alt+Del is, not just the manager.

    Please stop trying to be superior with your terminology. Straight from Ubuntu:

    Last edited by Prime624; October 5th, 2013 at 05:46 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Basic Question about Ubuntu

    No "superiority" was intended. One problem we have in the Linux world is the necessity of accommodating people who know more about Windows than Linux. Take the Super key. We could call it the Windows key, but that's a hat tip to Redmond. Shortcut falls into the same category. Unfortunately, the community is not always consistent, as your screenshot demonstrates. Have a pleasant weekend.
    In working with *nix...There be dragons. Newcomers: I recommend reading Linux is Not Windows (http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm) and The Linux Command Line (http://www.linuxcommand.org/tlcl.php) before beginning your quest for a better OS.

  7. #7
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    Re: Basic Question about Ubuntu

    Great post and replies!
    Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Re: Basic Question about Ubuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime624 View Post
    Please stop trying to be superior with your terminology.
    With all due respect, I don't think whitesmith was trying to be superior. I've often run into this dilemma myself: if Linux refers to certain things using a different term, then using the Windows term tends to confuse new users rather than help. A different example is the Linux use of "module" for what roughly in the DOS/Windows world is "driver". Commands like lsmod and modprobe derive from "module". Therefore, new users often get confused if we use "driver" although the terms are roughly interchangeable.

    EDIT:

    whitesmith already replied on his own behalf.

    /EDIT
    Newb: How far must I jump to clear the ledge halfway down?
    Guru: It's bad to jump off cliffs. Let's look at better options.
    Newb: Stop harping about "best practices" and just let me jump.


  9. #9
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    Re: Basic Question about Ubuntu

    Linux does not have the same issues as Microsoft Windows does. You will find in Ubuntu 11.10 there is a utility called Startup applications that lists the applications that start when the OS is booted. Be warned. It is very easy to remove important components by removing things from Startup Applications. This is why in Ubuntu 13.04 Startup applications only lists applications that we choose to install and need to be loaded automatically at boot time. I have installed two utilities for monitoring various temperatures and fan speeds. These are the only two items that I have in Startup Applications in Ubuntu 13.10.

    It is not easy in Ubuntu to stop system services from working and it should not be easy to do that either. Open a terminal and run this command

    Code:
    top
    That will show you all the processes that are running and how much system resources are being used by each. You close the terminal to closed down top. A lot of effort has been done in Ubuntu over the past year to make Ubuntu more efficient. I have seen a 15% to 20% reduction in memory usage from 12.04 to 13.04. And I have read about ongoing work to identify which processes can be automatically shutdown if not needed and then restarted when needed. This is part of the development work for Ubuntu phones/tablets but it will also benefit us on the desktop.

    Regards.
    Last edited by grahammechanical; October 5th, 2013 at 06:42 PM.
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  10. #10
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    Re: Basic Question about Ubuntu

    To expand on whitesmith's suggestions, as a rule, Linux is far more stable than Windows because the GUI is just another app running on top of the base Linux OS, unlike Windows where the GUI is so heavily integrated into the kernel that a misbehaved app will bring down the entire Windows session.

    Because the GUI and the entire desktop environment (DE) in Linux is basically just another app, there are many ways to show, suspend and even kill misbehaved apps, but the most powerful methods require the command line. Therefore, open a terminal and, to see running processes, do:
    Code:
    ps -ef
    To search for a specific process:
    Code:
    ps -ef | grep -i <process name>
    ...and replace <process name> with the actual name of the process. Note the process ID (PID) beside the process name of interest.

    To terminate a frozen or misbehaving app, find the corresponding (PID) from the command just given and:
    Code:
    kill -s 15 <PID>
    ...where <PID> is replaced with the actual numerical PID you noted earlier. A stronger version is
    Code:
    kill -s 9 <PID>
    ...but try "15" first and use "9' only if necessary. To learn some of the basic commands that are actually at the heart of Linux, this is a good resource.

    If the whole DE is frozen, you can often reset things by hitting <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<Delete>. This does not reboot the system like it does in Windows. Instead, it forces a logout, which is clean, and puts you into the login screen. Starting with 10.04, I believe, the more powerful <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<Backspace> was disabled by default, but you can re-enable it by going into System Settings>Keyboard Layout>Options>"Key sequence to kill the X server" and activating the checkbox. This will allow you to kill your whole X session in future if your DE totally freezes up (you can't even bring up a terminal). You will lose any unsaved work, but the Linux system underneath will still be rock solid.

    Alternatively, you can hit <Crtl>+<Alt>+<F1> to get to a pure bash shell command line console and kill/restart your DE from there with
    Code:
    sudo service lightdm restart
    Last but not least, if your computer is really gummed up, you can ssh into your frozen box from another computer altogether and initiate a complete shutdown or reboot. This technique is probably too involved for you at the moment, but it's nice to know that it's another option when you do have the time to explore it.
    Newb: How far must I jump to clear the ledge halfway down?
    Guru: It's bad to jump off cliffs. Let's look at better options.
    Newb: Stop harping about "best practices" and just let me jump.


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