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How-To configure your Ubuntu Linux Installation

If you’re a keyboard person, a lot of things can be accomplished simply using the command line. For example, there are a few easy-to-use methods for creating text files, should you need to do so.

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It’s always a good idea to know some basics about the operating system you’re running on your computer. For example, you may need to know whether you’re running a 64-bit or 32-bit system so you know which file to download for a program you want to install.

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You may like using the Unity Launcher in Ubuntu 14.04, but you may not like it taking up room on your desktop. However, there is a way to have the Unity Launcher automatically hide when you’re not using it.

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If you use Windows, you are probably familiar with the Add/Remove Programs tool in the Windows control panel. It lists the programs currently installed on your system and provides an easy method for uninstalling them with only a few clicks.

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When you run a command using sudo in Linux, the Terminal prompts you to type in your password with no visual feedback as you type. We’ll show a quick tweak that will show asterisks (*) when you type in your password in the Terminal.

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Nautilus contains some pre-defined bookmarks that provide quick and easy access to some common folders, such as Music and Pictures, as well as devices such as USB flash drives and network locations. You can add custom bookmarks to quickly access folders you use often.

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When you use the sudo command to run commands as root or administrator you are prompted to enter your password. You may have noticed that if you run another command using sudo shortly after the first command, you are not prompted for your password again.

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Recently, we showed you how to open a directory in Terminal from within Nautilus. However, what if you’re working on the command line in Terminal and need to access the same directory in Nautilus? There’s an easy solution for that.

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On occasion you will need to edit the hosts file on your machine. Sometimes because of an attack or prank, and others so that you can simply and freely control access to websites and network traffic.

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Install many third-party .deb packages on Ubuntu – even mainstream, high-quality software like Google Chrome and Skype – and you will see an error saying the package is of bad quality. We will explain what this scary-looking error actually means.

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We’ve covered using Google Drive on Linux with third-party software, but why bother jumping through those hoops? You can use a cloud storage service that officially supports Linux instead – several of Google Drive’s competitors do.

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When Google announced Google Drive, they promised Linux support. That was about 7 months ago. While Google said Google Drive for Linux was “still a priority” back in July, it seems it’s no longer a priority.

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We previously covered watching Netflix on Linux and concluded that using a virtual machine was your best bet. There’s now an even better solution – a “Netflix Desktop” app that allows you to watch Netflix on Linux.

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Want to try out Ubuntu, but not sure where to start? There are lots of ways to try out Ubuntu – you can even install it on Windows and uninstall it from your Control Panel if you don’t like it.

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There are a wide variety of Linux distributions, but there are also a wide variety of distributions based on other Linux distributions. The official Ubuntu release with the Unity desktop is only one of many possible ways to use Ubuntu.

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Ubuntu 12.10 has been released and you can download it now. From better integration with web apps and online services to improvements in Unity, there are quite a few changes – although none of them are huge or groundbreaking.

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Upgrade to Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) and you’ll run into a surprise – Ubuntu now shows you advertisements for Amazon products when you search in your dash. There’s also an Amazon shortcut pinned to Unity’s launcher.

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Many new laptops come with NVIDIA’s Optimus technology – the laptop includes both a discrete NVIDIA GPU for gaming power and an onboard Intel GPU for power savings. The notebook switches between the two when necessary.

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There are plenty of NZB Indexers out there such as NZB Matrix and NZBs(dot)ORG , but they only index SOME of Usenet. Here’s how to build your own indexer so you can index what you want.

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Do you store sensitive files on Dropbox or another cloud storage service? Encrypt them with EncFS for Linux, an encrypting file system that transparently encrypts and decrypts each individual file with your encryption key. There’s also an experimental Windows build.

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Want to secure your SSH server with easy-to-use two-factor authentication? Google provides the necessary software to integrate Google Authenticator’s time-based one-time password (TOTP) system with your SSH server. You’ll have to enter the code from your phone when you connect.

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Want to put your Linux PC into sleep or hibernate mode and have it automatically wake at a specific time? You can easily do this with the rtcwake command, included by default with most Linux systems.

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The Ubuntu App Showdown resulted in the development of 133 new applications for Ubuntu. Soon, you’ll be able to install these apps from the Ubuntu Software Center and vote on your favorites – the voting decides which apps win.

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Install Ubuntu’s new web app feature – included by default in the upcoming Ubuntu 12.10 – to see unread email in your messaging menu, control music playing on websites from the sound menu, and more.

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Many Linux users reboot into Windows to watch Netflix, but you can watch Netflix on Linux without rebooting. Unfortunately, the solution here is inefficient – while Linux geeks have explored a variety of other clever solutions, none of them work.

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