Home > linux > Ubuntu Q&A for Absolute Beginners

Ubuntu Q&A for Absolute Beginners

Instead of writing a long boring article, I thought why not list the solutions in a simple Q&A format? The following is a list of random but basic solutions for Ubuntu beginners.

Q) Should I install Ubuntu or Redhat or Suse or something else, please advise?!
A) Ubuntu is probably best if you’re an absolute newbie. It almost comes with all the drivers and has no problems detecting your wireless card or anything else attached to your laptop/PC.  For me it worked like a charm, all devices detected. Another reason I like it is because it is lightweight.

It is free and entire OS for desktop is in one CD as oppose to 5 CDs for SuSE and 4-5 for Fedora! They even mail you a CD for free.  There are several flavors  of Ubuntu: Kubuntu (KDE Version), Xubuntu and Edubuntu.  Go to  http://www.ubuntu.com now and download!   Also, a good source for different flavors of LINIX is http://www.linuxiso.org/

Q) Installing Ubuntu freezes half way. What’s going on??
A) This maybe because of compatability issue with your hardware. However, try doing the basic first.  Re-download the ISO and burn a new CD, sometimes the contents somehow get corrupt.  Last thing you can do is try installing it on another PC and see if it has same problem.

Q) How can I turn my Ubuntu Desktop into a server??
A) The beauty of Linux is that it can be whatever you want it to be. Only difference is server edition comes preconfigured with some servera apps.  There is nothing to stop you from installing whatever server application though. Good luck.

Q) How do I tell which package a file belongs to?? Like a library file for example?
A) First make sure you have apt-file installed. If you don’t do ‘apt-get install apt-file‘.  To discover to which package a file belongs type: apt-file search filename.  If you want to install a package but don’t know exact name, you can use ‘apt-file‘ to find the package name, just type: apt-file list packagename. apt-file keeps a database of which files all packages contain and it needs to be up-to-date. Type: apt-file-update

Q) How do I tell my version and kernel of Linux??
A) Several ways to do this:
uname -a
cat /etc/issue
cat /proc/version

Q) How can I install the GUi on Ubuntu Server?
A) Simply type the following command: sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop to install Gnome:  ‘sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop‘ adds KDE to Ubuntu

Q) Is there an AntiVirus software for Ubuntu or Linux in general?
A) Sure. Everyone recommends ClamAV. Visit http://www.clamav.net and fetch the download.

Q) My X windows crap out with some errors. How can i get more info??
A) Check /var/log/Xorg.0.log for any hints on why X failed to start.

Q) I lost my root password for Ubuntu? How do I get it back in?
A) Do the following:

1) Reboot
2) In GRUB, press ‘a’ to add parameters to the kernel. Add a space and 1
3) Now you’re logged in single-user mode with root logged in. Simply reset root password.

Or you can also:

1) Boot with live CD
2) Mount / partition to /tmp
3) edit /etc/shadow and clear password field so root looks something like this: root:0:0:99399:1::::
4) You can reboot normally and just type ‘root’. You’ll be in the system with using a password.

Q) How do I get my XP to see my Linux partition?
A) Windows XP lacks support for reading/writing to Linux file system. You can get Ext2 file system for Windows from http://www.fs-driver.org/

Q) How do I install FireFox?
A) Great article that’ll guide you: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=330386
Linux is probably the best operating system out there. You’ll start loving it and wonder what you were doing using Windows all these years!

I’ve also compiled a list of resources that can be used to improve performance on your Ubuntu operating system.

Ubuntu Performance Guides

  1. Hacking Ubuntu to Improve PerformanceThis article includes various hacks to boost Ubuntu’s performance, such as viewing running processes, identifying resources, finding process startups, tuning kernel parameters, and speeding up boot time.
  2. Improve Ubuntu PerformanceThis is an index of threads posted on ubuntuforums.org on how to get the best performance out of your Ubuntu machine.
  3. Optimizing Desktop Performance – Skip to the section titled Ubuntu Services for Performance Tuning to find some performance tips. Excellent article series covering performance techniques on major flavors of Linux.
  4. Only Ubuntu Linux – Performance tip for Ubuntu Edgy and Feisty users by simply editing your /etc/hosts file.
  5. Desktop performance tweaks – Here are a couple of performance tweaks that are nice for desktops/laptops. These tweaks are relatively easy to perform and reasonable safe. Everything you do is on your own risk.
  6. Ubuntu: 32-bit v. 64-bit Performance – Not specific to system tweaking but a nice article comparing performance on a 32-bit vs. a 64-bit server.
  7. Best Ubuntu Guide Ever – This guide has everything you need.
  8. Local DNS Cache for Faster Browsing – Nice article explaining how to use DNS caching to speed up internet browsing on your Ubuntu install.
  9. Super Fast Internet for Ubuntu – Basically you disable ipV6 which apparently conflicts with ipV4. Good post.
  10. Ubuntu/Linux Roundup – Good collection of links/articles for Ubuntu users.
  11. 10 most popular Ubuntu sites on the net – You should definitely visit these top 10 sites which have a wealth of information on using and troubleshooting in Ubuntu.
Categories: linux Tags:
  1. peter
    October 7th, 2010 at 05:51 | #1

    How to include moonlight plugin for firefox in ubuntu 1004 build

  1. December 1st, 2009 at 07:45 | #1
  2. December 7th, 2009 at 17:00 | #2