New to Ubuntu. How do I start using it?

I just installed 18,04. How to work with Ubuntu? How to start and work with the Terminal?

– From Reader’s email.

1 Like

I would suggest you go through some of the below articles from our website, to begin with. However, you could always navigate to our website and search for specific things to do with Ubuntu 18.04.

Things to do After Installing Ubuntu 18.04
Customize GNOME Desktop With These Tips in Ubuntu 18.04 and 17.10
Getting started with Ubuntu

Also, there is a video on our Youtube channel, it will surely help you out. Happy Linuxing :slight_smile:


Once you’ve taken a look at what Abishek recommended, you may also want to visit: & snag a free copy of “LINUX COMMAND LINE CHEAT SHEET.” This gives a synopsis of many common command line commands in Linux that can be issued from the terminal.

1 Like

Learning Clonezilla (or any other partition backup solution).
This way you can freely experiment with various software and restore afterwards your system.

After mastering backup you can start testing software.
Eg. which music and video player suits your needs, which office suite etc.

1 Like

Here’s how I use the terminal.

I put a shortcut to the terminal on the Favorites bar. SuperKey (the Windows key on most keyboards), type ‘terminal’ and an icon will pop up. Right click that icon and select ‘Add to Favorites’. Now, whenever you want to launch a terminal it’s immediately available.

There are tons of things that you can do from the terminal. In fact, pretty much anything. But the commands are a bit arcane and (for me) hard to remember. So I learned how to create my own commands, ones that are easy for me to remember, that launch the Linux command.

One of the maintenance tasks I do is to remove unused and obsolete install files to keep everything neat, clean and up to date. There are two commands that I use and I got tired of typing them over and over.

First you want to put your custom command somewhere that Ubuntu knows to look for commands. This is called the ‘Path’. There’s a directory located at /usr/local/bin that is one of these places and is empty. To go there you type ‘cd /usr/local/bin’ next to the command prompt (the $). ‘cd’ means ‘change directory’. If the computer says you can’t go there type ‘sudo cd /usr/local/bin’ (without the quotes). You will be asked for your password, the one you set up when you installed the operating system. There’s more about ‘sudo’ written below.

To write my custom commands I use the text editor called ‘nano’. You launch nano by opening a terminal and type ‘nano’ (without the quotes) next to the command prompt (generally a $ sign). Nano opens up and you can type in it.

So, in Nano, type this:


echo " "
sudo apt autoclean
echo " "
sudo apt autoremove
echo " "

Here’s what all this means:

 #!/bin/bash      Tells Ubuntu to use the the program 'bash' to interpret the commands that follow.  Bash is located in the directory /bin.  

 echo " "     Tells the computer to put a blank line on the terminal screen.  This is just to make it look nice and is unnecessary, a personal preference of mine and can be left out.

 sudo apt autoclean     'sudo' is the command that invokes your power as SuperUser (or, in Windows, the Administrator).  SuperUsers can do ANYTHING, including erasing the operating system itself,.  You can do lots of damage if you do the wrong things.  (Ask me how I know this.)  'apt' is Advanced Package Tool and is one of the things you use to install and remove packages of software.  'autoclean' is what you want 'apt' to do, which is to remove software install packages that are no longer needed now that they're installed.

 sudo apt autoremove    Same explanation.  'autoremove' removes packages of support software that are no longer needed.  Some software has 'dependencies' which are additional software tools that it needs in order to operate.  If you've removed all the software that required specific dependencies they can be dumped but must be separately removed with the autoremove command.

Once all that stuff above is typed into nano you hit CTRL-x together and nano will ask you if you want to save this stuff (yes, you do) and tell you the name it will save it as, which you can edit to be what you like. I call this file ‘cleanup’.

One of the security measures built into Linux is that files are not executable unless you give them specific permission to run. At this point the file ‘cleanup’ will not run. To change this you type the command ‘sudo chmod +x cleanup’ at the terminal command prompt. I use the mnemonic ‘change mode’ to help me remember the command ‘chmod’. You have to be in the directory which holds 'cleanup’which in this example is /usr/local/bin. You’ve now made the file ‘cleanup’ executable. You can open a terminal and run it from any directory you happen to be in. Just type ‘cleanup’ and hit ‘Enter’ and it runs.

I hope this is clear and complete.

1 Like

This sight has lots of good general linux instruction. You may want to look over some of it. Welcome to Linux.

You don’t have to use the terminal at all if you don’t need to. It is a good idea to learn how to use it because it gives a deeper understanding of the operating system. However, start off by just using your computer like you always have. Open a web browser. Surf the web. Check out LibreOffice. If you are a gamer, install Steam. Linux is an operating system like Windows but faster and more stable. Once you are comfortable with the computing experience dig into Abishek’s tutorials or the wealth of other tutorials on the web. Tecmint has a bunch as well as HowToForge. Welcome to Linux!


My reply would be the same as abhishek which I followed as quite simply put other places were more difficult to follow and very confusing. It has all the information you have there and none that you don’t.

My biggest start up issues with Linux are two windows issues. desktop sharing i.e. remote-desktop, and SAMBA network file sharing. I was installing all kinds of junk to allow these two simple windows functionality till my move to Ubuntu 10.4. when I stumbled on a web article about how they are built in to Ubuntu. how come there isn’t a basic tutorial, on how to preform these basic network functions on a mixed computer network. I would love to see these included in a “first things to do after installing (which ever release)” document.

IMHO I would get familiar with VitualBox. I started with Jaunty Jackalope 9.04 and was amazed at all I could do. I opened synaptic package manager and installed everything that interested me. Yes I screwed it up good. Not having a clue as to what did what or why. I installed the OS twice before I learned my lesson. I installed VirtualBox and have been using it ever since. It’s a lot easier to mess that up and wipe it and start over. I am currently running Bionic Beaver 18.04 but first I ran it in VirtualBox for two weeks and got familiar with it and tried some of the different suggestions out there. Including those found on Abhishek’s site It’s FOSS. I love terminal and do almost everything from installing software to cleaning up my machine but its a big price to pay if you mess up your main machine, All I’m saying is mistakes happen.