LINUX IS CONFUSING. THESE ARTICLES SHOULD HELP.

Whether it is just a matter of curiosity or a genuine need to know, how do you tell if two DVDs are exactly the same? Today’s SuperUser Q&A looks at some different ways to find out.

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Do you have an old desktop PC sitting in a closet somewhere? Put it to use by installing FreeNAS. FreeNAS is a free, open-source operating system that will convert old PCs into network-attached storage devices.

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OTR stands for “off the record.” It’s a way to have encrypted private instant message conversations online. It uses end-to-end encryption so your network provider, government, and even the instant-messaging service itself can’t see the content of your messages.

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Both Linux and the BSDs are free and open-source, Unix-like operating systems. They even use much of the same software — these operating systems have more things in common than they do differences. So why do they all exist?

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Chromebooks locally sync some data, so you’ll want to wipe that personal data when selling or passing on your Chromebook. You can also reinstall Chrome OS — particularly useful if you’ve messed around in developer mode.

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If you share your Ubuntu machine with other people, you probably have multiple users set up, thinking that the other users log into their own accounts and only have access to their own home directories. However, by default, any user can access any home directory.

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If you’ve installed a lot of applications in Ubuntu, you may have noticed that takes longer for your system to boot up. Some applications are automatically run when you boot up your Ubuntu system and this process uses up resources as Ubuntu boots.

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The Ubuntu desktop has changed a lot over time. If you’re a new user, you may only know the Unity desktop environment. However, if you’re a long-time user, you may prefer the original Gnome desktop environment that was previously part of Ubuntu.

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Linux isn’t the only alternative PC operating system out there. Some alternative operating systems are developed by large corporations, while others are small projects worked on by hobbyists.

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In Ubuntu 14.04, you cannot change the window control buttons to the right side of the title bar anymore. If you prefer the window control buttons on the right, or you just don’t like Unity, you can easily go back to the classic Gnome desktop.

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Tools like ping, traceroute, lookup, whois, finger, netstat, ipconfig, and port scanners are available on nearly every operating system you can get your hands on. They’re used for everything from troubleshooting a connection to looking up information.

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By default, Nautilus displays a breadcrumb bar showing the path to the selected folder or file. However, this may not be efficient if you need to enter a long path. You can easily change Nautilus to display the location entry rather than the breadcrumb bar.

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Virtual machines are isolated containers, so the guest operating system in the virtual machine doesn’t have access to your computer’s file system. You’ll have to set up shared folders in a program like VirtualBox or VMware to share files.

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If you’ve switched to Ubuntu from Windows, it may take some time to get used to the new and different interface. However, you can easily incorporate a familiar Windows feature, the Taskbar, into Ubuntu to make the transition easier.

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Ubuntu 14.04 LTS will “form the basis of the first commercially available Ubuntu tablets,” according to Canonical. We installed Ubuntu Touch 14.04 on our own hardware to see what those tablets will be like.

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Your operating system provides each user account with its own folders when you set up several different user accounts on the same computer. Shared folders allow you to share files between user accounts.

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Keyboard shortcuts are essential on any device with a hardware keyboard, whether you’re using a Windows PC, Linux system, Mac, or even a Chromebook. Chrome OS and other operating systems share quite a few shortcuts, but many are unique to Chrome OS.

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Android may be based on Linux, but it’s not based on the type of Linux system you may have used on your PC. You can’t run Android apps on typical Linux distributions and you can’t run the Linux programs you’re familiar with on Android.

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Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is the latest release of Ubuntu. Like other recent releases, there are no flashy big new features. Canonical has made some important changes, but they’re very easy to miss.

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The Unity launcher is the vertical bar with icons on the left side of your Ubuntu desktop. It allows you to easily launch programs and to access workspaces, removable devices, and the trash bin. Initially, the Unity launcher icons are fairly large.

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In Windows you can easily find out how much disk space is left using Windows Explorer. The total disk space and how much space is free is displayed for each device connected to your machine. However, how do you do this on an Ubuntu machine?

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Ubuntu 14.04 has recently been released and they now include a setting for enabling the local menus, allowing you to easily move the menu bar for each program to that program’s window rather than displaying the menu bar at the top of the screen.

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Want to easily access folders and files from different folders without maintaining duplicate copies?  Here’s how you can use Symbolic Links to link anything in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, and Ubuntu.

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The Global menu in Ubuntu was designed to provide more space for program windows. However, if you use a large monitor or multiple monitors, the Global menu can be an annoyance as the menus get further away from their respective program windows.

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VirtualBox is a program that allows you to run multiple operating systems (guests) on one computer (the host computer). You may need to transfer files between the host and the guest. It’s easy to set up in Windows guests, but tricky in Ubuntu guests.

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