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Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

Ubuntu has a trash can/recycle bin feature similar to windows. The difference with Ubuntu is that you can empty the trash from the command line.

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Tilda is a console that drops down off the top of the screen, the same way the console in a first person shooter game does, with just the press of a key.

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Solaris is usually used as a server operating system. Because of this, you want to make sure that you shut the system down as gracefully as possible to ensure there isn’t any data loss.

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The Ubuntu file browser does not show hidden files or folders by default, only the files that your user has access to.

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If you are running an Ubuntu guest in VMware, you may have found that you cannot switch into the Console mode using Ctrl+Alt+F1. If you try, you will encounter a blank screen and won’t see a login prompt at all.

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If you have installed the Kubuntu desktop on top of Ubuntu or the other way around, you may want to switch from gdm to kdm, or from kdm to gdm. This is an easy thing to do.

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vlc -I skins2

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vlc -I skins2

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sudo apt-get install icewm

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KDE is an alternate window manager/desktop that can be installed on Ubuntu, and comes standard with the Kubuntu linux version. KDE is a lot more robust than Ubuntu’s Gnome environment, and is well worth a try if you haven’t used it.

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Ubuntu linux includes one of the most useful utilities available on any operating system: the Deskbar

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NOTE: This article doesn’t work anymore. Please refer to this updated article instead for using the Windows key as the “Start Menu”.

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Since we spend so much time at the command line in Ubuntu, it sometimes makes it simpler to launch a new terminal window with a shortcut key.

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The Gnome terminal window has the built in ability to show a transparent background. It’s not true transparency, as it simply shows through the background picture, but it’s close enough.

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Firestarter is an easy to use firewall for Ubuntu that includes a GUI administration tool. Installation of this firewall is as easy as using it. In this HowTo we will cover how to install the firewall.

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Ruby on Rails is a popular new framework for developing web applications. Since Ruby on Rails includes a built-in web server for development purposes, there is no need to install a separate web server.

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If you are running a virtual machine on your computer, you may want to access that virtual machine from another computer. Let’s use an example: Say you have an Ubuntu virtual machine with Apache running on port 80, and you want to show other people on your network to access the website you are hosting.

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VMware Workstation includes a network utility that allows you to manage the virtual networks. Typically virtual machines will use NAT (Network Address Translation) to automatically assign a virtual IP address that hides behind your host address, but the default range of 192.168.200.0/24 may not work for everybody.

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One of the best extensions for Firefox is Tab Mix Plus because of the enhancements to the tab browsing that can’t be found elsewhere. There is also another extension called tab browser extensions that provides similar functionality.

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There’s a bug in Windows XP where sometimes the system tray tooltips and popup notifications will show up behind the taskbar, or behind other windows. This is really annoying when you want to use a tooltip.

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Outlook 2003 has an automatic completion for any email address that you try to type into the To or CC fields. This feature does not pull from the contacts or address book, because you may have tried to email somebody that wasn’t in your contact list, and it will still add that to the auto complete list.

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Ubuntu has an easy way to keep your system synchronized with the internet time servers. This is especially useful on older computers that may have problems with the system clock losing time.

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Ubuntu has a number of terminal emulators that you can use, including xterm and the gnome terminal. If you install the kubuntu desktop package you can also use konsole under ubuntu.

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Ubuntu Linux has a default browser functionality that will automatically launch the correct browser when clicking on a link in a gnome gui application. It’s easy enough to set the default browser using the GUI tools, but sometimes it’s easier to set it using the command line client.. for instance, if you are trying to remotely administer a machine.

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gFTP is a great ftp client for Ubuntu Linux that provides both a GUI based experience as well as a command line client. There’s an easy way to switch between using the default ftp client and using gftp-text. First you’ll want to make sure that you’ve installed gFTP.

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