How to set and change your screensaver and how to download the default screensavers in KDE.
Aimed at beginning linux users, this tutorial goes over changing wallpaper, color themes, icons and more.
I tutorial aimed at beginning linux users. A walk through of a basic Kubuntu Linux installation.
Please feel free to comment or email me with any questions.
So of course the question is going to be asked, why switch to Linux? Depending on who you talk to, you’ll get everything from speeches about how evil and problem ridden Windows is to how secure and virus free Linux is. Yes, I have my reasons for not liking Microsoft, both technical and moral. I do believe that Linux is much more secure than even the most current versions of Windows but I won’t bore anyone with the details of any of that.
Sure, Microsoft is not the squeaky clean, bleeding edge innovator that it claims to be and I certainly have no love for them but let’s face it, without Microsoft’s products the world of computers would not be what it is today. Take that statement however you like it. Regarding the security of Linux and it’s resistance to viruses (virii?), any operating system is only as secure as the person using it. While there are dramatically less viruses in the wild targeted at Linux, the reason for that has much less to do with inherent security than the fanboys would like us all to think. The truth is that Linux has such a small percentage of the home user market that it isn’t worth the virus writer’s time to make viruses targeting it. The same is true for Macintosh. Windows is easily in the upper 90 percentile where home users are concerned so naturally, this makes Windows a much more profitable target. If Linux and Mac were to occupy a bigger share of the home user market, we would most certainly see more viruses targeting them. One advantage that we Linux and Mac users do have, is that the fundamentally different design of our operating systems makes it impossible for Windows viruses to function on them meaning, you could download one but it would not be able to run or do anything at all on your system. Also, let’s face it, Linux is not without it’s own bugs and quirks. Personally, I find those bugs and quirks to be much less bothersome than the ones I deal with in Windows and often much easier to find solutions for. Most people don’t notice the problems in Windows any more because they’ve just gotten used to dealing them, which is very sad.
I use Linux because I simply like it more than I like Windows. I like the customisability of it. I like that, unlike proprietary operating systems, I am free to do whatever I want with my copy of Linux. Modify it how I want, add to it, customise it, rename it, give it to my buddy… whatever I want to do. The same does not hold true for Windows or Mac. The licenses to use those operating systems are very restrictive if you ever stop to read them. Another reason I like Linux is the price tag, or rather, the lack of one. Linux is free. I legally downloaded and installed it on our computers and paid nothing for it. Anyone can. For someone like myself that has six computers in their home, the cost savings there is immense.
Because Linux is an operating system designed by it’s users, for it’s users, there are many different flavors of Linux out there to suit a very wide variety of tastes. Redhat, Suse, Debian, ArchLinux and Ubuntu are just some of the more popular distributions available and each has various offshoots. Some find this variety of choices intimidating but I like having the choice. My personal favourite, and the distribution that will be the focus of this blog, is Kubuntu. Kubuntu is a derivative of Ubuntu Linux that uses a program called KDE as the desktop, where as regular Ubuntu uses Gnome as it’s interface. If you’re getting lost with all of this, don’t worry about it. It’s really irrelevant at this point. As you use Kubuntu, it will start to make sense.
One of the great innovations in the open source community is the livecd. A livecd allows you to try Linux without actually installing it on your computer. Simply pop the cd or dvd in your your drive, boot your computer from that cd/dvd and it will load a slimmed down, fully usable version of Linux into memory for you to try out. When you’re done, simply reboot and pop the disk out and you’re back to your old operating system. They run a little slower since they are operating off of the cdrom instead of a hard disk but they are a wonderful evaluation tool.
With that, this officially marks the start of this blog. I will begin with a post on basic computer terminology, a small list of techie terms that I routinely hear people misusing, just to clear things up. Then I’ll begin making and posting some youtube videos, which I have yet to make a youtube channel for, detailing the very basics of Linux, starting with using a livecd and installing Kubuntu, and then go from there. I’ll go into detail about customising your desktop, file management, finding and installing applications, etc. Again, this is intended for the Linux beginner, not for the more advanced users out there.
I look forward to getting started.
When I mention that I don’t use Windows at home, most people immediately assume that I am a Mac user. When I tell them “No, I use Linux”, I usually get one of two responses, either they’ve never heard of it, or they’re shocked to meet someone that actually uses it. What’s more, my children and my girlfriend use it as well.
There are many misconceptions about Linux and Linux users. The most common are that it is incompatible with everything, difficult to use, is only used by programmers or uber geeks and has no “real world” application and that users of Linux are lonely, socially inept, mouth breathing nerds living in their mother’s basements. There was a time when a lot of this was true. Twelve years ago, when I first installed Linux on my Gateway PC, it took several days, a couple of books and a whole lot of coffee and when it was all done, it’s actual functionality was years behind that of Windows. Linux was still in it’s infancy back then though. Things have changed dramatically since then. Today, while Linux is certainly not mainstream, it is now a perfectly viable alternative to Windows.
We’re a normal family of four. I’m a system administrator for a small IT company that handles everything computer related for many small businesses where we live. My girlfriend works for the county, handling vehicle and property taxes. Our kids are in middle school and high school. They like all the things that young boys like, Wii, cartoons, legos and what ever the latest trading card game is. Being in the IT industry as long as I have, I routinely accumulate random computers and computer parts. It allows me to furnish everyone in the house with their own computer and to have another that serves as our DVD player and entertainment center, all running Kubuntu Linux. We have yet to need some functionality from our computers that Linux was not able to adequately provide.
My intent with this blog is to demonstrate it’s usability as a normal, every day operating system. I hope I can persuade those on the fence, thinking about adopting Linux, to finally make the leap and those that know little about it to want to learn more. I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned over the last decade.