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Working with Ubuntu

Updated on August 27, 2018
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Patrick, a Computer Technician, is a dedicated writer who wishes to make the world better by informing individuals who seek more knowledge.

Open Source Operating System

Working With Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a free and open source operating system based on the Debian Linux Distribution. According to Ubuntu's website the word means, 'Ubuntu is an ancient African word meaning 'humanity to others'. It also means 'I am what I am because of who we all are'. The Ubuntu operating system brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the world of computers.'

When we say that it is free, it means you do not have to buy the Operating system. It is available for free download online unlike windows where you have to pay for the key. Open source means that the program source code is open for use and modification by other developers if need be. It is usually created through public collaboration and thus made free.

Ubuntu Operating System

Ubuntu is not for the faint-hearted. It requires someone who is keen on learning and exploring. It knows how to intimidate those who have been working with Windows XP since they were young. I am not writing this because I am an Ubuntu geek, no, but because I have been frustrated and challenged by the Ubuntu operating system. Well, it happened like this, I had to change my cyber computers' operating system from Microsoft's Windows XP to Ubuntu. This change was necessitated by Microsoft's threat of cracking down pirated software. Most of Africa computers run on pirated software mostly because of the inhibiting costs and lack of knowledge about original software.

So now most of the cyber cafes in Nairobi are running on Ubuntu. In my case, after testing various Ubuntu versions, I settled on the Hardy Heron or Ubuntu 8.04 (Lts) Long term support.

Installing Ubuntu 8.04

These are the steps you should follow to install any version of Ubuntu. You can download Ubuntu from the Ubuntu website.

Step 1

  1. Put your Ubuntu CD inside the drive and restart the computer. The computer will boot from the CD automatically and Ubuntu will start loading. Then comes a welcome window/screen where you select languages and what you want to do, where;

    a) You can try Ubuntu 8.04 Lts (or whichever version you want) from the CD without making changes to your system. (This is a live CD option) or

    b) You can install Ubuntu to your PC so that you can run Ubuntu at full speed without CD.

Ubuntu Setup Process

Choosing the Language
Choosing the Language | Source

Ubuntu Time Zone Setting

Step 2

2. Setting up the clock. Where are you? Select your location and time zone depending on where you are located.

Step 3

3. Select your keyboard layout. The suggested option is the USA, you can change if it doesn't fit your layout.

Step 4

4. Prepare disk space. If your system has got another operating system, it will be detected – now what you have to decide is;

(a) To install them side by side (multi-boot) so that you can choose which to use during boot time.

(b) Erase and use the entire disk.

(c) Specify partitions manually (advanced)

Ubuntu Installation Process

Ubuntu Installation Process
Ubuntu Installation Process | Source

Personal Settings

Step 5

5. Personal settings. Who are you?

  • Your name

  • Name for logging in

  • Password to keep your account safe

  • Name of the computer

  • How you log in

  • Automatically

  • Require my password to log in

  • Require my password to log in and to encrypt my home folder

Ready to Install Ubuntu

Step 6

6. Ready to install. Your new operating system will now be installed with the following settings. At this juncture, select install.

Step 7

7. Installing the system. You will get this message – 'thank you for choosing Ubuntu 8.04 Lts

Copying files...

Once set up is complete, you will be required to remove your CD and restart your system.

After your computer starts up, it will load the Ubuntu' desktop. Now you can start having a feel of Ubuntu and be careful not to get lost in the Ubuntu world.

Ubuntu Welcome Screen and Choosing Location

Ubuntu Welcome Screen
Ubuntu Welcome Screen | Source
Choosing Location as You Setup Ubuntu
Choosing Location as You Setup Ubuntu | Source

Updating Mozilla Firefox

Now you can start updating some of the applications that you have. This is one of the ways you can update your Mozilla Firefox:

Go to Applications, Click on Accessories, then Terminal. Type this on the terminal:-

  1. sudo apt-get update
  2. Sudo apt-get install firefox


Have you ever used Ubuntu?

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© 2012 Patrick Kamau


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