Daily Archives: March 27, 2015

The User Experience of using Ubuntu

In previous articles we installed Ubuntu, learned how to use Gnome shell on Ubuntu and customize it as per needs. In this article I would be dealing on some more points which makes it easier to understand the aspects of Ubuntu for those who are still deeply wrapped up in the world of Windows. Then we will learn how you can use keyboard shortcuts to improve the User Experience of using Ubuntu. In the end we will see how you can use built in ways to help yourself if you ever needed to learn more about Ubuntu and Terminal commands.

Philosophy of Linux over Windows

There are a few structural changes one notices when they migrate to Linux based OS like Ubuntu as compared to Windows. Following is a list that explains some of them:

1. Disk System

In Windows each partition of the HDD is referred as Disk1, Disk2 etc. While in Ubuntu it is termed as sda1, sda2. Here sda stands for one physical hard disk. And sda1 stands for Storage Device “A” partition 1 on a single physical HDD.

2. File System Type:

Filesystem is a way for the OS to keep the data on the HDD and a way to access it. Windows user would be familiar with NTFS and FAT32 but on Ubuntu, EXT3 or EXT4 is used primarily while EXT2 and XFS are also common.

3. Drive Naming Convention:

In  Windows people are too familiar with drives named on alphabet like C, D, E and F. It’s the C: drive which is the root drive and where OS is installed. Ubuntu is radically different  where the naming convention is considered.

In Ubuntu, root is a single forward slash. That is, “/“. So suppose I create a directory (another term for “folders”) called home in the root folder. The path for that would be /home.

Due to this convention, the way removable drives are handled is also different in Linux. A CD you insert with label projectone in the CD drive will be “mounted” and can be accessed from say, /media/username/projectone.

Lastly, in Linux, file and folder names are case sensitive. So, /home/user is different from /home/User and /home/USER.

A typical Directory Structure in Linux
A typical Directory Structure in Linux. Image Courtesy: edx.org

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