Captain Kirk's Corner
The Computer Corner Show


Linux Distributions

Linux is the kernel! The kernel just runs the hardware: disk, monitor, network, etc. The Linux kernel is distributed with programs that

Linux is all about choice!

DistroWatch.com: the place to keep up with all the distributions

Wikipedia: "Linux Distribution Comparison"

This article has a table with the purpose of the distribution listed in one column:

Linux for older hardware

With Microsoft's announcement that it will no long support Windows XP, many users are looking to upgrade or change operating systems. Those with older hardware are particularly hard hit, and upgrading to Windows 7 or 8 is not an option. What to do? There is a distro for that!

Live Linux on a CD/DVD/Thumb drive

Moving from Windows to Linux

For those who want a familiar Windows desktop enviornment and all their favorite Windows programs, there is the Zorin OS, an Ubuntu variant


"Living with Linux"

So you've installed Ubuntu Linux and you're looking at a snazzy new desktop. What now? Remember Linux is like an onion: there are layers and as you learn, you peel back those layers.

Don't try to learn everything at once

How to find stuff: side bar, top icon

If you know the name of the program you want, you can type in the first few letters and Ubuntu will find it for you. First, click on the "A" at the bottom of the window. Then click on the "Filter results" link on the top left. There you will see categories of software such as games, graphics, office software and so on. It will also show programs in the selected categories that are available, but not installed.

How to change things: appearance, keyboard, etc.

Equivalent to Windows Control Panel: System Settings, gear and wrench icon If you want to change your desktop wallpaper, click on "Appearance". If you want to change your keyboard, click on "Language Support". I recommend you click through everything as a survey of what's there and what you can do.

Remember your "root" password that you set during installation

Root is the equivalent of Windows' "Administrative User". Becoming root, also known as becoming the "super user" is powerful – and dangerous! Ubuntu will tell you when it needs you to authenticate with the super user's password.

The "Software Updater"

When there are updates for your system and software, there will appear on your sidebar a "Software Updater" icon. Click on that and it will tell you what needs updating. Normally, you'll just click on the "Install Now". From the System Settings, you can set Ubuntu to update automatically, just like Windows. I prefer to do it manually and watch what happens.

How to install software

The Software Center is the graphical interface to Ubuntu's installer programs. Its sidebar icon is the orange "bag" with the letter A with a progress bar on it. It will let you search for the possibilities, give you information about the programs and let you read reviews as well as actually install the package. You need to be connected to the Internet in order to do this.

RTFM: "Read the Fine Manual"

Linux is rich with documentation.