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Thread: Coming from windows... many, many basic questions

  1. #1
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    Coming from windows... many, many basic questions

    Hi everyone,

    I am new to Ubuntu and Linux in general. I am coming from windows and trying to get Ubuntu working in a VM. It's running fine but I am not really as productive as I'd like and many things are foreign. So go easy on me . I don't know the lingo or the ins and outs. Feel free to only answer what you know or only a few.

    So, a gigantic bunch of questions to get started:
    1. In the "home folder" (I guess explorer equivalent?), How can I see the path to the current folder?
    2. Where are the home folder/desktop/documents/downloads located?
    3. Is there a way to quickly type in a folder path?
    4. Can I make a quick link or way to get to the usr folder? Like a shortcut of some kind?
    5. What does bin stand for? what sort of files are stored there?
    6. What does etc stand for? what sort of files are stored there?
    7. What does var stand for? (not variable, it seems?)
    8. What does sudo mean?
    9. How do I find terminal commands to install programs? So far I have been doing a search every time for the proper "apt-get" command.
    10. How can I install a program automatically with all of its dependencies? How can I install a program automatically withits recommended packages?
    11. How do I find out what will be installed by a program? The contents of a package.
    12. If I run apt-get install twice, what happens? Is the previous install just overwritten, or do I get a warning, or what?
    13. How can I see file extensions? Many files do not seem to have any extensions.
    14. A BIG usability one: Is there a way to make the scrollbar permanent? Its WAY too hard to make appear with the mouse and click on in some situations. And I do want to use a mouse. I am *really* having trouble here, I can't even navigate open windows well because the scrollbar is so hard to use.
    15. Can I increase mouse scroll speed?
    16. How can I open each folder in its own window?
    17. Is a symlink (symbolic link, I think), just like a windows shortcut? If not, how does it differ?
    18. Where can I find a list of the most handy-dany, often used terminal commends?
    19. Where can I find a list of all terminal commands?
    20. Does apt-get have a gui somewhere?
    21. When I read terminal commands, they always begin with a $. what does this mean (if anything) and do I have to type the $ as well? (it seems the terminal already has one)
    22. When I ran sudo apt-get php5 it seemed to install not only php, but also Apache and some other things. In addition, I got php 5.3.10, not php5.0.0 or php 5.5.8 (the current version). I pretty much did not know what I was going to get. Any help here on knowing what you will get when you run apt-get? I expected only php, but got a random version and some extra things like Apache, too.
    23. Is there a better terminal app to use? Maybe with better copy/pasting, use a different font, syntax highlighting, etc.
    24. Years ago i remember reading about something like a "shell history" in Linux where you could see all commands run on the system. I want to know the commands run so I can duplicate vms easily. Can someone tell me how to access this shell history, if it exists? (I am not interested in things like vagrant right now, which I have heard a lot about; I want to know the basics first and do things on my own.)
    25. How do I know if the terminal is actually doing anything? I don't know if it is downloading sometimes. Sometimes I download something and it just seems to hang, but a few minutes later it is done. No hourglass or spinning thing to indicate loading/downloading.
    26. Is there a way to build a list of commands for the terminal? To give it a bunch of commands, to execute in sequential order?
    27. How can I get administrative privileges in the gui? I was so frustrated here I looked it up and eventually tried gksudo nautilus, but this is cumbersome as I only get 1 folder with privileges. Is there a way to make it global?
    28. I know it is radically unsafe and not the Linux way, but I am just in a locked down dev environment and just want to experiment. Is there a way to just always have "sudo" or admin privileges on my account by default with no hassle?
    29. How can you use file search on the dash board to search the contents of files, not just file names?
    30. How can I cut down on the typing it takes to do repetitive tasks in the terminal? While installing lamp I must have restarted Apache over 100 times to test things(actually a conservative estimate) by typing "sudo service apache2 restart"
    31. Can a shortcut be made that automatically runs a terminal command? Like restarting Apache? Or a simple script like a windows batch file that I can double click?
    32. Which of the alternate flavors of Ubuntu is most like windows (ku,lu,gnome, etc). I'd rather work with something familiar. This environment is not that intuitive for me.
    33. Is there a way to move the close/maximize/minimize icons at the top of windows to the right side of a window instead of the left?
    34. How can I restore a program I have minimized? I can see a little tab on some icons indicating that there are multiple versions open, but I don't know how to actually go back to them.
    35. I don't understand how Linux programs install. They seem to install everywhere - in usr/lib, /etc/ maybe more places. How does the typical program install and where should I look for its files? Is there a Program Files equivalent?




    Thanks for any help here. I know these are a ton of basic questions, but I am just getting started. My first real dip into Linux.
    Last edited by daner2; January 28th, 2014 at 08:07 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Coming from windows... many, many basic questions

    Whew! That's a lot of questions! I don't mean to sound rude, but most of those questions can be answered by doing web searches, or by reading Ubuntu's documentation.

    The answer to #20 is "yes." I use Synaptic, but that's just one option.

  3. #3
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    Re: Coming from windows... many, many basic questions

    Quote Originally Posted by malspa
    I don't mean to sound rude, but most of those questions can be answered by doing web searches, or by reading Ubuntu's documentation.
    Please do some research. Many of the answers to your questions can be easily found online. What does sudo mean?

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=what+does+sudo+mean

    That search took about five seconds.

    Please post back for answers to questions that you're finding elusive.

    Plenty of hits here, too:

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=What+does+var+stand+for

    PS: You are MUCH better off posting separate thread for each support issue rather than all in an exhaustive list like this. Might be an idea when you have answered many of these questions to post the remaining one separately.
    Last edited by Bucky Ball; January 28th, 2014 at 08:17 AM.

  4. #4
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Coming from windows... many, many basic questions

    I'm only a little bit further along coming from Win XP.
    Home folder is on desktop, you can change the icons real easy (easier than Windows) just click on computer at top right of screen, system settings, My Unity and set what you want on desktop
    Path isn't difficult to find if you need it.
    I'm sure there is an easier more elegant way to do it but I go through Dash Home then browse C drive
    I swapped the close/minimise/expand buttons to operate more like Windoze right side but changed back to Ubuntu standard left side
    Last edited by crazypj10; January 28th, 2014 at 08:32 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Coming from windows... many, many basic questions

    Yeah a lot of questions. Here are a few answers (too lazy to answer all of them, like others say most are easily found on goole)

    3. Either do ctr+l ("L", not i or 1) when you open the file manager, or install gnome-tweak tool, open it, go to "Files" and turn on "always use location entry instead of the pathbar" (here I assume you are using Ubuntu or Ubuntu-gnome)

    4. yes, but it involves a bit of work (at least as far as I know)
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...0#post12906950

    Installing, searching, removing packages would be a lot easier by a powerful gui. I use synaptic for that.
    sudo apt-get install synaptic
    Last edited by monkeybrain20122; January 28th, 2014 at 09:07 AM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Coming from windows... many, many basic questions

    24) history

    that's all you need.

    Aside, I probably could answer most of these others, but why spoil the fun you can have finding and exploring it on your own.
    Splat Double Splat Triple Splat
    Earn Your Keep
    Don't mind me, I'm only passing through.
    Once in a blue moon, I'm actually helpful
    .

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Smile Re: Coming from windows... many, many basic questions

    A lot of questions . I have taken 1:

    35. I don't understand how Linux programs install. They seem to install everywhere - in usr/lib, /etc/ maybe more places. How does the typical program install and where should I look for its files? Is there a Program Files equivalent?
    There is a neat image n this page that explains the basics:

    Linux Directory Structure (File System Structure) Explained with Examples
    http://www.thegeekstuff.com/2010/09/...tem-structure/

    although there are subtle differences between the various Linux distros. I guess the near-equivalent of 'Program Files' would be /usr but this would be comparing apples and oranges...

    And a big Welcome to Linux!
    You think that's air you're breathing now?

  8. #8
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    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Coming from windows... many, many basic questions

    8. Super User DO. sudo. Pretty easy to remember once you know!

    9.Go to the launchpad and find the package you want and it's name. Then you can apt-get it, or add-apt-repository if it is a ppa (with the ppa's name, which again you find on the launchpad).

    10. Easy with Synaptic.

    11. Should tell you if you use Synaptic, but if you are apt-getting(?) Then you will have to look it up and ask around.

    20. Synaptic.

    26. Sounds like BASH scripting to me. http://linuxcommand.org/index.php This will help you get comfortable with the Shell of Linux and tell you most of the commands.

    32. Alot of people say Kubuntu is a lot like Windows out of the box. But you can make Xubuntu with ease like Windows. (I think there is a tutorial on it to make it look and pretty much act dead on like Windows, even adding a theme.) XFCE makes doing that stuff easy.
    Proverbs 14:15

    The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

  9. #9
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    Re: Coming from windows... many, many basic questions

    I'll take another

    Quote Originally Posted by daner2 View Post
    [*]Is there a way to build a list of commands for the terminal? To give it a bunch of commands, to execute in sequential order?
    That's called a script. In it's simplest form you can do what you asked. One per line or seperated with a ";"and each will be executed in order when the previous one has completed. Of course you can do really fancy things with scripts but in the case of your question

    Code:
    thing --one; thing --two; cat --in-the-hat; next command --blah --blag --thing
    be careful, in this example even if the previous bit fails the next one will still be executed so if you do something like

    Code:
    move to some folder that doesn't exist; delete everything
    it will delete everything in the folder you started in.

    http://mywiki.wooledge.org/BashGuide

    Only 30 odd to go
    Last edited by nothingspecial; January 28th, 2014 at 09:32 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Coming from windows... many, many basic questions

    A mighty list of questions indeed, to which, perhaps, the generic answer is " A Windows power user doesn't become a Linux power user overnight". Having said that I will offer some pointers from what I've found so far as a fellow Linux noob.

    Referencing your #s

    18/19) http://www.linuxguide.it/linux_command_list-lA_en.html
    A by no means exhaustive glossary of commands I found during browsing and bookmarked as 'That looks useful'.

    21) $ is similar to, but not exactly the same as, the C> prompt in Windows command line.

    23) Different Terminal apps are available in the Software Center.

    25) Don't understand this one. Any terminal activity on my part usually generates heaps of output. At the very least I get 'Command not found'.

    28) Effectively you seem to want to run as root permanently. This is strongly recommended against as it nullifies a key part of the Ubuntu security protocols, I doubt if many forum members would encourage this approach.

    35) http://dev-random.net/linux-director...ure-explained/
    Another from my 'That looks useful' collection.

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