Learn Ubuntu

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ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ನೋಡಿ हिंदी


Operating system is also called system software as it works with the hardware. Every computer must have an operating system to run other computer programs. Even your mobile phone will have an operating system. Operating systems start automatically when you turn on the computer, this process is termed as booting. All the other computer programs like programs to paint, type, listen to music, learn mathematics etc., are called application software or 'Apps' which work with the system software.

Ubuntu is a ‘Free and Open Source Software’ (called FOSS in short) operating system. You may be familiar with Microsoft Windows operating system or used an application called Adobe Reader. Windows or Adobe Photoshop are ‘proprietary’ , meaning they cannot be copied or shared or modified by us; FOSS applications are licensed under the ‘General Public License’ which allows all of us to share the software freely, we can also modify the software as per our needs. Hence it is important to use FOSS in our schools. Teachers must learn and teach FOSS and avoid use of proprietary software, since it is not possible for all to access and use proprietary software, and not possible for anyone (other than the vendor) to study or improve the software.

Since all the software like Office suite, web browser, educational software can be bundled with Ubuntu GNU/Linux operating system, all these applications can be installed on the computer at one time. On proprietary software Windows, each software has to be separately installed, which can make it cumbersome and time consuming. Operating systems use a program called the Graphical User Interface (GUI) to access other computer with a mouse. The popular operating systems are Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux and Mac OS. In this section, you will learn about the functions of an operating system, using an example of Ubuntu GNU/Linux operating system. With this learning, you can also operate a computer with Windows of Mac operating systems. Remember that we are focusing on learning the processes of any software application, so that we can, with that learning, use similar other applications.

Basic information

ICT Competency Ubuntu GNU/Linux is an operating system for the computer. The operating system is the foundation, which supports the interface between the user and other software applications. Hence learning Ubuntu constitutes basic digital literacy.
Educational application and relevance There are a large number of freely shareable educational tools on Ubuntu pertaining to mathematics, science, social sciences, languages etc which can be used in all schools. There are a large number of additional freely shareable tools on GNU/Linux, such as IBUS which support word processing in more than 50 languages, including all languages used in Telangana such as Telugu, Urdu, Kannada, Tamil, Marathi, Hindi etc. The ORCA screen reader can be used by the visually handicapped for reading content on the computer screen. Scribus can be used for for desktop publishing.

Once in six months, Canonical releases a new version of the Ubuntu. The first Ubuntu release was in April 2004. The recently released version of Ubuntu is 18.04 (as April 2018), but Ubuntu 18.04 is the latest LTS (Long Term Support) version, which you will use.

Configuration To install and use Ubuntu on your computer, it should have following configuration:

Processor: 2 GHz dual core processor or better
Memory: 1GB of RAM (2GB recommended)
Disk: 30GB of disk space depending on options
Graphics: If you plan to use the netbook interface, you will require a graphics card that supports 3D acceleration on Ubuntu.
Either a DVD drive or a USB port for the installer media.

If your computer does not match the above hardware specifications, or is old, install Lubuntu OS. Lubuntu is an Ubuntu based distribution meant for low hardware configuration computers. Lubuntu is a fast and lightweight operating system. It has low hardware requirements. Download Lubuntu ISO 32 bit from here and 64 bit here.

Other similar applications Mint, Debian, OpenSUSE, and Fedora are popular Linux distributions.
The application on mobiles and tablets

Ubuntu is available on select Mobile phones and tablets

Development and community help

There are many community forums are helping Ubuntu users.

Overview of Features

Ubuntu performs all the basic functions expected of an operating system.

  1. It allows the user to login and logout and keeps the user data secure within that login
  2. Users can browse the folders and files using a file browser
  3. Users can use different applications on their computer for creating and accessing files. This includes accessing, creating, editing text, image, audio, video, animation files.
  4. Users can connect to other devices - printers and scanners, mobile phones, pen drives, external hard disks and other storage devices, external DVD writers etc.
  5. Users can connect to the internet.

Ubuntu is shipped with many applications relevant to education including GCompris, KDE Edutainment Suite, Ubuntu Menu editor, LibreOffice, Gnome Nanny etc. Ubuntu is available to freely download. Edubuntu's default GUI is Unity while GNOME is also available.

Working with the application

Starting and shutting down your computer

The above images show you the basic Ubuntu interface.

  1. Logging in: When you switch on your computer, you will see a login screen. Login with the user id (name) and password created by the system administrator. Ubuntu allows you to have a user interface in your own language, by specifying your language as the user language, during your user id creation. Once you have logged in, the home screen will appear.
  2. Home screen: The second image shows you the Ubuntu home screen. The applications menu at the top left has a list of all the programs (apps) on your computer. The Places menu, next to it, lets you access the 'places' on your computer including the hard disk, CD/DVD or pen drives. Digital cameras and MP3 players are also listed here when plugged-in. The Applications menu has sub menus for Education, Office, Internet, Games etc. Each sub-menu has many applications. You can try to learn them yourselves by clicking and selecting options.
  3. Shutting down the computer: What will you do after you have finished your work? You have to turn off the computer. You must turn it off by clicking on the last button on the right hand top corner and select shut down. Never turn off the power button without shutting the computer properly.

Changing Ubuntu interface (Mate Tweak)

  • After login into your Ubuntu and if it is not showing Applications and places menu option, Just open "Settings->System setting". Another dialog box will open in that click on "MATE Tweak" option
  • After login into your Ubuntu and if it is not showing Applications and places menu option, Just open "Settings->System setting". Another dialog box will open in that click on "MATE Tweak" option
  • After login into your Ubuntu and if it is not showing Applications and places menu option, Just open "Settings->System setting". Another dialog box will open in that click on "MATE Tweak" option

Once you have chosen the option from drop down it will ask you to click on "OK" or "Cancel", Click on "OK" to apply the format

Home page overview

  1. In home page we can see the below mentioned options,
  • Application menu:- You can see the list of software's from this option.
  • Places:- You can see the folder locations from this option.
  • System settings:- You can see the setting options from this.
  • Shortcuts:- You can see the shortcuts created for shortcuts to the top panel.
  • Top panel:- It's a panel which includes Application menu, Places, System settings, Shortcuts, Top panel, Ibus language preferences option, Time & Settings.
  • Ibus language preferences option:- It's used to change the typing language.
  • Time & Settings:- Time will reflect the present date and time. Setting will open the settings options.
  • Short cut for Desktop:- Used to go to the desktop directly.
  • Minimized tabs:- It will show the list of minimized tabs in your system.
  • Down panel:- It includes Minimized tabs, Short cut for Desktop, Workspace and Trash
  • Trash:- Trash will work just like recycle bean(The deleted files will be moved to trash).
  • Workspace:- It is just like a room where if we change workspace the entire tabs will be kept in previous room and a new room will open with blank home page.

Creating and managing folders and files

  • Creating and managing files and folders - When you write an essay or paint something on a paper, you would like to keep it for future, right? You would probably put it in a hard bound folder. Maybe, if you have more than one essay or painting, you would have one folder to hold your essays and one folder to hold your paintings.
    1. To create new folder right click on your mouse and click on "New Folder". Rename the folder and save your files in it. You can also create many sub folders within that.
    2. Always give meaningful names for folders, so that you can easily search for them later.
    3. You can move folders, and files across folders.
    4. You can create a file by opening a application, and creating a new file to prepare your content. You can create text documents with LibreOffice Writer, Images with Tux Paint etc.
  • To delete a file or folder right click on the particular file or folder and click on the "Move to Trash" option.
  • From HOME folder you can search any files and folders which you have saved in your computer, click on search option on the toolbar and type the keywords of the file or folder, it will show the all files contains our searching keywords in your computer. If you have an idea about the location of the file you are searching, you can launch the search from within that folder itself, instead of the Home folder, this will show you a lesser number of files
  • To access the hidden files of your system open the Home folder and click on "View->Show Hidden Files" or open using the shortcut "Ctrl+H" and if you want to hide a file or folder then click on rename and add".(dot)" before the file or folder.
  • To access the recent files click on the "Places" option from the top panel and we can see the recently viewed documents fro "Recent Documents" option.
  • To create a shortcut of software to the "Top panel" or to the "Desktop" follow the below steps,
    • Open the software by clicking on the "Application menu"
    • Right click on the particular software
    • If shortcut need to be created on "Top panel" click on "Add this launcher to panel", If needs to be created on "Desktop" click on "Add this launcher to Desktop".

Opening files by "open with" option

  1. A file can usually be opened with any given application in Ubuntu which supports that particular file. For example, an image file can be opened with image viewer, gimp, etc. So if you want to open with a application of your choice, right click on file select "Open with" to see the available options.
  2. File can be opened with multiple application in Ubuntu which support that particular file. For example, an image file can be opened with image viewer and also can be with Gimp, Mypaint, Kolorpaint, Shotwell viewer etc. So if you want to open the file with a application of your choice, right click on file select "Open with" to see the available multiple options.

Import files and folders from external device

  1. You can import files from other devices. You can insert devices such as CDs, DVDs or memory cards into your computer.
    1. Connect the devices such as pen drives, memory card holders, external DVD drives using a cable, to your computer.
    2. Click on "Places" from your desktop top panel. You can see your device name.
    3. Click on your device name to view the files from that device.
  2. To import files from devices, right click on that file and click on "Copy", then paste it into your computer folder.You can copy audio and video files, that you have recorded on your mobile phone, to your computer. You can edit these files. In the same way, you can copy these and other files from your computer to your mobile phone.

You should periodically take back up of important files on your computer and store it on a pen drive or an external hard disk. So that if the hard disk of your computer has a problem or crashes, you would not lose your data entirely.

Connecting to the WiFi or Wired Network

  • To connect to the WiFi or Wired Network click on the "WiFi" symbol from the top panel and make sure "Enable Network" and "Enable WiFi" are check marked.
  • If you are connecting through Wired network connect the LAN cable to the computer and you will get a option as "Wired connection 1" below the "Ethernet Network" option. once you click on "Wired connection 1" your system will be connected to the wired network.
  • If you are connecting through WiFi click on your WiFi name shown in the list you may asked to enter your WiFi password if the WiFi is protected, Once you enter the password click on "Connect" your system will be connected to the "WiFi" Network selected by you.

Note Note:Ensure that your computer must have a WiFi drive if you wish to connect through WiFi.

Changing user interface language in Ubuntu

English will be default interface in Ubuntu but you can also use Ubuntu in you local languages like Telugu, Kannada or Tamil.

  1. To get started, go to Applications -> System tools -> System settings -> Language support.
  2. It may ask you to update or add components to your current default language when you first open the dialog. If you do not have internet connect then click "Remind Me Later" and If you have good internet connection, select install to update your language lists.
  3. Now we are ready to change our Ubuntu interface language. Find your new language in the list, and then click and drag it to the top of the list and click Apply System-Wide.
  4. Once you have set you language as first and click on "system-wide", you will need to log out of your account and log in to see your new interface language.
  5. Ubuntu may ask if you want to update your user folders names to your new language, Select Rename folder option.

Adding software applications to your computer system

You can add many more FOSS applications to your computer. Select the "System->Administration->App Grid" - You can download applications from the Internet. Teachers can explore new FOSS educational tools and utilities.

Go to Applications > System Tools -> App Grid. You will need to type the required application name in the search bar. It will show all applications with the words you have entered and you will get an option for "Install". Click on "install" if you want to install the application. If your search does not get the application(s) you want, try with fewer letters / words to search.

It may ask your Ubuntu log in password for authentication, just type your Ubuntu password press enter.

If you have doubts or difficulties in using the Ubuntu operating system or any of the applications, you can search for solutions on the Internet using a search engine or refer to 'Frequently asked questions'.

Adding your languages to type in Ubuntu

In Ubuntu by default you can type English in any application and by default it will use only Unicode fonts unless you manually changing it to non-Unicode.

Also you can type any your local languages in Ubuntu by adding those languages in Ibus. For typing in any local language, Ubuntu will use application called Ibus. You can follow the below step to set up Ibus and to add languages in the typing list.

  1. Go to Applications -> System tools -> System Settings -> Language Support ->Look at the Keyboard input method system Select IBus and close the window.
  2. Log-out your computer and log-in to applying this changes.

Now you have to add your languages in "Text Entry" to type it. You can type multiple language in any application by adding it in this list.

  1. Right click on "En" from the top panel and select "Preferences".
  2. Once the Preferences window opens, click on "Input method->Add" option, as shown in image.
  3. The language list window will open, search your languages by typing it in search box and click on the language. It will show the all the typing methods for the language. Choose a keyboard layout you are comfortable with and click "Add".
  4. Yes, you are finished all the set up, after this your language list looks like below.

Now its time to type your added language in most of the applications. Click on the language panel "En" (right top corner of the screen) and select language in which you want to type. When you select language, icon will change to that language. The very important is you can add multiple languages in this list.

Advanced features

Ubuntu contains a wide range of software that includes LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird and several games and Educational tools. Many additional software packages are accessible from the built in Ubuntu Software Center known as "App Grid". More complex commands can be given to the computer using the 'Terminal' interface, this is really for those who have technical expertise.

Note Note:To Know the installation process of Ubuntu please go through the below link

Click here to Know the Installation process.


  1. Ubuntu releases
  2. Ubuntu LTS
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Install Ubuntu (kalpavriksha)