Lowell Heddings

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.

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When you are using a linux system, it’s useful to find out what groups you belong to, so you can understand whether you have access to files and directories. This is one of the simplest commands possible. I’m using Ubuntu linux, but this command should work on most varieties of linux.

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Ubuntu Server is like any Linux variety, and has full multi-user capabilities, and a common task on any server is adding users.

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Screen is like a window manager for your console. It will allow you to keep multiple terminal sessions running and easily switch between them. It also protects you from disconnection, because the screen session doesn’t end when you get disconnected.

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Connecting to a server across the internet is much more secure using SSH. There is a way that you can mount a folder on a remote server using the SSHFS service.

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If you install Ubuntu from a cd-rom, when you try to use apt-get to install new software it will prompt you for the cdrom every time. Kinda frustrating!

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Ubuntu Server has the native ability to run multiple console sessions from the server console prompt. If you are working on the actual console and are waiting for a long running command to finish, there’s no reason why you have to sit and wait… you can just open another console and keep working.

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When you are on the Ubuntu server console, you will invariably run commands that scroll past too far to see them on the screen. Since you aren’t in X, there’s no scrollbar for you to use to look back.

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If the Ubuntu Server installer has set your server to use DHCP, you will want to change it to a static IP address so that people can actually use it.

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If you’ve installed your Ubuntu installation with DHCP, it’s really easy to reconfigure your system to use a static IP address with the GUI based Network Settings dialog.

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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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The VLC Media Player is an open source, cross-platform media client that supports the vast majority of media formats. One of the great features is that it supports skins that work across different platforms. This article will cover installing on both linux and windows.

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The VLC Media Player is an open source, cross-platform media client that supports the vast majority of media formats. One of the great features is that it supports skins that work across different platforms. This article will cover installing on both linux and windows.

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The Ubuntu default desktop uses the Gnome window manager, but there are a number of different window managers that can be installed, including AfterStep, Enlightenment, KDE, Xfce, Blackbox and Fluxbox.

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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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