The Ubuntu Interface

Well, I didn’t talk about the Ubuntu interface much in my first post.

The top-panel:

Well, its simple, clean and neat interface. You’ll find a panel on top of the screen (Yes, its called a panel). You have multiple menus on panel and you have the liberty to add more custom menus. By default, it has ‘Applications’, ‘Places’ and ‘System’ menu. The right side of the panel has the date and time along with other icons that are hidden. Its more like the taskbar of windows.

Applications: It houses all the executable applications that you have installed on your system so far. It has sub-menus for all the categories like Accessories, Internet, System tools, Sound and Video etc. I like the fact that all your applications go right into its respective category rather than cluttering in one place.

Places: It contains all the places you can go to. No pun intended there. By ‘places’ I mean the locations on network and on your disk. It has shortcut to all your sik partitions, your home folder, other common folders and network places. You also have the option to search for files in this menu.

System: As its name suggests, System has everything to do with how your Ubuntu works. You can modify the system settings and other application settings in this folder. This menu has two important sub-menus – ‘Preferences’ and ‘Administration’. In ‘Preferences’ you can modify different application settings as well as some hardware settings and system settings. In ‘Administration’ you can administer your system ie. create users and groups, test your system and install new software (the most important option). You also have option to shut-down, log-out and lock the system. You also have a help option here which contains basic to advance how-to’s for ubuntu and command reference.

When I first explored these menus, the applications were just a few. I knew for a fact that Ubuntu came with lots of applications pre-installed. I started to search for the option to display all the apps.

To-unhide the apps in the menus:

Right click any of the menu and select ‘Edit menus’. The interface is pretty simple and user-friendly. To unhide the apps, click the application under any sub-menu and checkmark it. You can add new menu and new items. As simple as that.

You can also add common applications directly on the panel, just like a quick launch (on windows). Just drag the app and put it there. Simple, eh?

The desktop/workspace:

You get enough a normal looking desktop with icons to mounted drives on them added dynamically when they are mounted. You can add all the icons you want here. Changing the desktop background couldn’t have been simple. Right-click on the desktop and select the option to change background. Select the file and its done.

Note that the background will revert to default if the background picture is in one of the other partition since drives are unmounted by default in ubuntu on start-up. I will write another tutorial to auto-mount the drives which solves this problem (find that tutorial here). Another temporary solution is to copy your wallpaper to your home drive and selecting it as the background.

The bottom panel contains all the running application, a button to show the desktop (by minimizing all the applications), button to trash folder and workspace buttons (one for each workspace for easy switching).

As you must’ve figured out, the interface is pretty neat and clean.

Though you might feel the workspace a much smaller than it looks on windows and the font to be really really ugly. Well, you can always change that.

Well, forgive me for my noob review of the interface and not posting screenshots but its only my 4th day with Ubuntu.

Finally this is my screenshot. Kindof messy, but this is it I’ve been able to achieve so far with the looks. Hey, not bad for the 4th day, is it?

Comments are more than welcome!!


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