Sunday, April 29, 2007

Windows to Ubuntu Transition Guide



Alright, so you have successfully installed Ubuntu Linux, but now what do you do with it? You are in the right place. I am going to get you started with a guide on how to use your new Ubuntu system. This transition guide is targeted at existing Windows users and will show you how to do program installations, a little system configuration, but primarily highlight some Windows "replacement" programs for common applications you can't live without. This guide's intent is to introduce you to equivalent programs to what you are accustomed to and, hopefully, to cover a good amount of what you might want in a new install. I am basing the content on what I have personally experienced, email feedback from my installation article, questions from the PC Mech Forums, and common topics from the Ubuntu Forums. Hopefully this will answer a lot of questions you may have before you ever have them.

There is no prior Linux experience needed to follow anything I will go over, however I am going to make the assumption you have at least played around in Ubuntu for a bit. I am not going to be covering the basics on how to use the interface, as it is quite similar to Windows. Here is a quick breakdown of the topics I will be covering:

  • Configuring and using Synaptic Package Manager to install applications
  • Installing common packages with Automatix
  • Essential desktop, office, and Internet applications
  • Playing movies and music
  • Games
  • Digital cameras, printing, and burning
  • Installing a PHP and MySQL enabled Apache web server
  • Development tools
  • Installing and configuring a firewall
  • Setting up remote desktop connection
  • Setting up a streaming music server

Since this article's intent is to be a beginner's guide to Ubuntu Linux, I am going to be using the graphical interface for pretty much everything. As experienced Linux users may know, and you will soon find out, everything we are going to be doing can be done much quicker through the command line. Of course, this is not very user friendly, and a very un-Windows way to do things, so again, we will be sticking to the Ubuntu GUI (Graphical User Interface).

As you are reading, please bear in mind that Linux is not Windows. At a high level they appear to operate basically the same, but they are fundamentally different. Just keep an open mind and I promise learning Ubuntu Linux will be well worth your time.