These articles are first and foremost meant for beginners in Ubuntu world and open source in general. That doesn't mean that others, who are already very well involved in both the worlds, are forbidden to read. All of you are very welcome with your suggestions/ideas what could be better.
In this series of Ubuntu articles the focus will be on desktop version of Ubuntu.
In this first article you will be able to find out:
- What is an operating system
- What is Ubuntu
- What you can do with Ubuntu
To explain Ubuntu, it would be good to explain what an operating system is. Linus Torvalds said that “you should never ever see an operating system.” He is correct because an operating system is a so called “bridge” between you and hardware as shown on figure 1.
The simplest explanation of a figure 1. would be, that every time you click on some application's button operating system enables you to execute that operation. For example, you want to listen to the music. What will you do? You will open music player and push some track to run. What will operating system do? He will “hit” sound card and say: Wake up! User wants to listen to the music. (Don't get this literally). Of course, this could be explained in more specific language but why complicate things.
What is important to remember here, that you do not use an operating system. You use applications and they are the ones which you can see and through which you communicate with an operating system.
Hopefully you got the picture how the whole operating system gig goes. Now it is time to explain what is Ubuntu.
Ubuntu is an operating system like any other, just it is free and open source. That means you can download it freely and install on as many computers as you like. You have freedom to use it as you wish. By open source it is meant that you can actually see its code.
Next what you will be able to see, as explained before, are applications that Ubuntu runs. How do they look like? You might ask. The best step, first step, would be to visit Ubuntu's homepage. Don't get scared with a lot of informations you might see there. As time goes by, you will get used to them. Current link that is now important for you is Ubuntu tour.
So, to get more familiar with Ubuntu's graphical user interface and its applications please click on the Ubuntu online tour link. To get the better experience please click on F11 key on your keyboard. Don't be afraid to look around. To exit the full screen just move your mouse up and you will see the notification.
On your left you probably saw some applications like: Mozzilla Firefox, Thunderbird, Libre Office suite like shown on figure 2. Bar on which these application's icons are placed is called Launcher.
Figure 2. Lanucher
On your right upper corner you probably saw something like shown on figure 3. This bar is called Indicators where you can: see your Internet connection, chat with someone, adjust sound, shut down the computer etc...
Figure 3. Indicators
I hope Ubuntu's online tour was intuitive and easy to understand. By only looking at this tour you, hopefully, got the feeling what you can do under Ubuntu in general.
This article was meant to introduce you with Ubuntu from the operating system side and user side, (graphical user interface etc.), in general manner. You can consider this article as a warm up.
In the next article you will be introduced with the Dash. By this you can already conclude that from next article I will cover part, of a graphical user interface, at the time in a more detailed way so you could get more comfortable with Ubuntu. After graphical user interface article series, installation articles series are next.