Ubuntu doesn’t offer the Safe Mode and Automatic Repair tools you’ll find in Windows, but it does offer a recovery menu and a reinstall option that keeps your files and programs.
Ubuntu and most other Linux distributions now use the GRUB2 boot loader. You can change its settings to select a default operating system, set a background image, and choose how long GRUB counts down before automatically booting the default OS.
Ubuntu and practically every other Linux distribution use the GRUB2 boot loader. Unless you have multiple operating systems installed, this bootloader is normally hidden — but it provides options you may sometimes need.
Enclosing text in quotation marks is fairly standard practice on the command line, especially when dealing with files that have spaces in the names, but how do you know whether to use single or double quotes? Let’s take a look at the difference, and when you should use one vs the other.
According to an old rule of thumb, your page file or swap should be “double your RAM” or “1.5x your RAM.” But do you really need a 32 GB page file or swap if you have 16 GB of RAM?
Hyper-V is a virtual machine feature built into Windows. It was originally part of Windows Server 2008, but made the leap the to desktop with Windows 8. Hyper-V allows you to create virtual machines without any additional software.
Tab completion is an extremely helpful feature in nearly any command-line environment, whether you’re using the Bash shell on Linux, Command Prompt or PowerShell on Windows, or a terminal window on Mac OS X.
Windows, Linux, and other operating systems all have built-in support for IPv6, and it’s enabled by default. According to a myth going around, this IPv6 support is slowing down your connection and disabling it will speed things up.
You can hide files on any operating system, but hidden files can be accessed by anyone with access to your PC or its storage. Encryption actually protects your files, preventing people from accessing them without your encryption key.
In 2005, Linus Torvalds said, “I don’t use GNOME, because in striving to be simple, it has long since reached the point where it simply doesn’t do what I need it to do.” GNOME’s developers have continued removing options.
For most people, Caps Lock is only an obstacle to avoid while typing. Having Caps Lock do nothing at all would be an improvement. You don’t have to pry Caps Lock off your keyboard — you can disable it.
A hidden file or folder is just a normal file or folder with a “hidden” option set. Operating systems hide these files by default, so you can use this trick to hide some files if you share a computer with someone else.
Linux, Mac, and other Unix-like systems display “load average” numbers. These numbers tell you how busy your system’s CPU, disk, and other resources are. They’re not self-explanatory at first, but it’s easy to become familiar with them.
Computers don’t come with operating system installation CDs anymore. If your operating system won’t boot, you’ll need a bootable recovery drive to fix it. All operating systems allow you to create these.
The big cloud storage services — Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and others — all have the same problem. They can only synchronize folders inside your cloud storage folder. But there’s a way around this limitation: symbolic links.
Linux applications store their settings in hidden folders inside each user account’s home folder. This makes application settings much easier to back up and restore than they are on Windows, where settings are scattered across the registry and system folders.
Ubuntu provides four different software repositories, all of them official — Main, Restricted, Universe, and Multiverse. Main and Restricted are fully supported by Canonical, while Universe and Multiverse don’t receive the support you might expect.
Your Windows system’s uptime is displayed in the Task Manager. Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager or press Ctrl+Shift+Escape to open it.
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.
Downloading files from the PHP mirrors is annoying, because by default the redirector makes the name of the filename change to just “mirror.” So how do you fix this? Luckily wget has a simple argument that you can use to fix it — and it is useful for many scenarios.
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.
Adobe is no longer developing the Flash for Firefox on Linux. You’re still getting security updates, but that’s it — your Flash Player plug-in is already several major versions out-of-date.
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.
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.
Each Linux distribution comes with a single default desktop environment chosen from the many different desktop environments available for Linux. But you don’t have to stick with the default.