December 26, 2009

What is Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is a Linux distro, an open source product. Along with other competitors like Fedora, Red Hat ,Ubuntu has a special space among Linux users. Ubuntu is more suitable for newbies and developers. Like other Linuxes ,Ubuntu also possess its own feature. Let us have a look at the salient features of Ubuntu

Useful Commands :

  • apt-get - Call Advanced Packaging Tool.
  • clear - Clears terminal screen
  • cat [filename] - Opens the file in terminal
  • cat > [filename] - Createsa file with name mentioned
  • chmod - Change the mode of a file to read, write, execute, extract etc.
  • gedit - Opens gnome editor
  • gksudo [program name] - Open graphic interface of an application with administrator
  • install - Install a package or a component
  • pon - Trigger a dsl-connection
  • poff - Turn of a dsl-connection
  • plog -PPPOE Log file.
  • sudo -To become an administration for that particular transaction / terminal session alone.
  • privileges.
  • synaptic - Open package installer
  • vi - Opens VI editor

Installing a software:

Ubuntu does not support direct executable files. You will either be provided with a compiled object that can be installed as such or the complete source code itself. In case of source code, it must be compiled first to proceed with the installation. There is no fixed way to compile the code. It depends upon the language in which the software has been written.

Fully compiled software will have standard extensions which Ubuntu understands by their extension.Some standard file type are

  • .run - These files types must be executed with shell command as
  • sh .run
  • .deb - Deb is the abbreviated form of Debian packages. These packages can be installed right away by double clicking.It opens itself in package installer.
  • .bin - These are standard binary files. They might be locked sometimes. They must be provided privileges before executing. The privileges can be changed by the command chmod with the switch +x.To install the software, use the command ./[FILENAME].bin (note the dot in the beginning)

There are many other ways of installing a software.

Synaptic Manager:

This is a built-in Ubuntu installer. Ubuntu , keeps track of many useful and popular packages. They are indexed in the synaptic manager. You can install the software using the synaptic manager, if the software is listed in it.

To start synaptic manager, use the command sudo synaptic

Application Package Tool :

APT is one of the typical features of Ubuntu. There are plenty of software and utilities that can directly be installed in your system without having a downloaded soft copy. Just naming the package would suffice. Some famous package that can be installed with APT are

sudo apt-get install
sudo apt-get install xmms
sudo apt-get install vlc
sudo apt-get install mvn
sudo apt-get install ant
sudo apt-get install svn

Almost all applications can be opened using a command line. Command line version of software are faster than graphic interface as they occupy less memory.This could be a handy guide for beginners. But this is just a piece of Ubuntu. There are many things are there to be learnt to play with Ubuntu.

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