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Title of script: Overview of Ubuntu Desktop

Author: Anusha Kadambala

Keywords: Ubuntu,Overview, Desktop, GNU/Linux


Visual Cue
Starting slide Welcome to this spoken tutorial on Ubuntu Desktop.

Using this tutorial, we will get familiar with the Ubuntu Desktop on the gnome environment.

For this purpose, I am using Ubuntu 10.10.

Goto desktop What you are seeing now, is the Ubuntu Desktop.
Move the mouse to the main menu You can see the main menu on the top left hand side corner.
Click on main menu To open this, you can press Alt+F1 or go to applications and click on it.

The application menu contains all the installed applications in a categorized manner.

In this applications menu, lets get familiar with some important applications.
Goto Applications->Accessories->Calculator. So lets go to Applications->Accessories->Calculator.
Mouse-over calculator Calculator helps perform arithmetic, scientific or financial calculations.
Open on calculator. Lets open this, click on calculator.

Let us try some simple calculation.

Type 5*(into)8 and press = Type 5*(into)8 and press = sign
Instead of pressing = sign, you can also type the enter key
Click on close button Now exit this calculator by pressing the close button.
Click on desktop. Now let's look at another application.
Click on Application-> Accessories For that go back to Applications then go to Accessories.
Goto Gedit Text Editor and click on it. In accessories, let's open Text Editor. Click on it.
Be on Gedit Text Editor So what you see right now on screen is the gedit Text Editor.

Let me type some text here and save it.

Type “Hello World” Type "Hello World".

To save it, I can press Clt+s or goto File and then click on save.

Click on File->save So let me go to File and then save.
“Save as” dialog comes up Now a small dialog box comes up.

It asks for filename and location in which the file has to be saved.

Type “hello.txt” as file name. Select Desktop as location. Then click on. So let me type the name as "hello.txt" and for location I select it as Desktop and click on save button.

Let's close this gedit now and check whether our file is saved on desktop or not.

Click on 'X' button gedit text editor. So close this.
Move to desktop area and select the hello.txt file. Now on the desktop you can see the file hello.txt.

So our text file has got saved successfully.

Double click on hello.txt file Let me open this file by double-clicking on it.
hello.txt file opens Wow!! our text file is opened with our written text.

The Internet has a lot of information on gedit text editor.

There will be spoken tutorials on this topic at also.

Close the gedit text editor Let's close this text editor and let's see some application from accessories i.e Terminal.
Click on Applications->Accessories-> terminal. So let's move back to Applications->Accessories and then terminal.
Place your cursor on terminal Terminal is called command line because you can command the computer from here.

In fact it is more powerful than the GUI.

Type ls and press enter Now lets type a simple command to get a feel of terminal.

So let's type 'ls' and press enter.

Move the cursor over the result of the commands to display the result You can see it lists all the files and folders in the current directory.

So here it is displaying files and folders from home folder.

We will see later in this tutorial what the home folder is.

We will not spend any more time with the terminal now. Terminal commands are explained well in the linux spoken tutorials in
Click on 'X' button Close the terminal
Come to desktop i.e focus on desktop by clicking on desktop area Now let's move on next application i.e Firefox Web Browser.

Let's open it.

Click on applications-> Internet-> Firefox For that go to applications-> Internet-> Firefox web Browser.
Click on firefox Click on this.
As firefox opens Firefox is used to access world wide web.

Now you can see that firefox is open.

When firefox opens Lets go to gmail site here.

For that go to address bar or press F6.

Press F6 I am pressing F6 now.
Press back-space till you clear the address bar Yup! i am in address bar and now i press backspace to clear the address bar.

I type "" and press enter.

As I type, Firefox may suggest a few possibilities.

You may choose one of these or type in the complete address and press enter .

Firefox could connect to the website directly or it could ask for a login and password.

Now let us type the username and password and press enter.

Mouse-over the page to show gmail opened Now you can see gmail web page opened on the screen.
Click on Close button So let's close this and move on to the next one.
Click on applications->Office. Now let's go to office menu i.e applications->Office.
Mouse-over word processor, spreadsheet and presentation one after another Then further in this office menu we have openoffice word processor, spreadsheet and presentation.

There is a lot of information on these topics in Internet.

Our website will also have spoken tutorials on these topics in the future.

Come back to desktop Then let's explore Sound & Video menu.
Goto Applications-> Sound & Video For that goto Applications-> Sound & Video.
Mouse-over Movie player In this we have one important application i.e Movie Player.
Click on Movie player It is used to play videos and songs.

By default, it plays the open format video files only.

Movie playerv opens So let me play one sample file from my pen-drive.
Insert pen-drive in the USB Now i am inserting my pen-drive in an usb slot.Pen-drive has opened.
Close if pen-drive opens. If it doesn't open, you can access it from the desktop.
Click bottom left icon

Click the bottom left icon again.

Let us click the icon at the bottom left hand corner. If we click on it, it shows only the Desktop. If we click this again, it shows the Desktop, along with the files already open.
Press Clt+Alt+D We can go to the Desktop also by pressing Windows key and D simultaneously. Please note that the required key combination to goto Desktop used to be Clt+Alt+D in the previous versions ok Ubuntu. The user must be prepared to handle such variations from version to version. Let us now press Windows key and D.
Locate pen-drive on desktop area Here you can see that your pen-drive is present on the desktop.
Double-click on pen-drive let's open it by double-clicking on it.
Select movie file Now i select the movie file to play it i.e Ubuntu Humanity.ogv .
Double click on movie file Here is my file, now i double-click it to open it.
Movie file opens It opens in movie-player by default.
Click on close button Let's close this.
Press Clt+Alt+D Now let's see some more important things on this desktop.
Click on places For that let's go to Places menu this time.
Mouse-over home folder In this, we have the home folder.
Let's open it.
Click on home folder. Click on home folder.
As home folder opens Every user has a unique home folder in Ubuntu. We can say that the home folder is "our house" where we can store our files and folders. Unless we permit, others cannot see them. More information on file permissions is available on the linux spoken tutorials available at
Click on Desktop, Documents, Videos, Downloads one by one In our home folder, we can see other folders, such as Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Videos etc.
Click on desktop folder In linux, everything is a file.

Lets open the Desktop folder by double clicking.

Select hello.txt file Hey we can see that the same "hello.txt" file what we saved from text editor is here. So this folder and the Desktop are the same. Let me close this folder now.
Goto desktop area Aren't you bored to see the same theme of desktop? Let's change it.
Click on System->Preferences->Appearence. For that go to System->Preferences->Appearence. Click on it.
Click on themes tab Here under themes tab, we have many pre-installed themes .
Select clear looks Let us select "Clearlooks".

As soon as you click on that you can see that changes have applied to your machine.

You can see it clearly by clicking the Desktop icon present at the bottom left hand corner. Let us go back to the folders by clicking this icon again.

select random themes to show the effects and click on close Play with these themes which ever you like and click on close to exit.
Last slide This bring to the end of this tutorial.

In this tutorial we learnt about the Ubuntu Desktop, the main menu and the other icons visible on the Ubuntu screen.

Spoken Tutorial Project is a part of the Talk to a Teacher project, supported by the National Mission on Education through ICT.

More information on the same is available at the following link:

This is Anusha Kadambala signing off. Thank you and goodbye.

Contributors and Content Editors

Chandrika, Gaurav, Nancyvarkey, Pravin1389