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Posted 3 Aug 2012
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Learning Linux for Windows Users - Part 2

, 22 Aug 2012
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A series of articles to guide you through the basics of installing and using Linux if you have only ever used Windows.

This is a follow up to

Going back to Gnome...

When I last left you off you were staring at a Windows like desktop in Ubuntu version 12.04. Ubuntu switched to using Unity as the deafult desktop a while ago, I believe around version 11. Gnome? Unity? KDE? Huh?

Ok I'll start at the beginning and bring you up to speed real quick. When Linux first started there was only a command line. People complained and there were some GUI front ends made. Most notable of these GUI's were  KDE and Gnome. Each had there advantages. You can think of these as alternate versions of Windows that instead of being developed by one company like Microsoft making Windows XP, Vista and 2000 etc.... these were developed by different people/organizations/companies. Some applications were developed with gui front ends specific to Gnome or to KDE. This made things a bit annoying to be honest.  So yes, you could have the need to have one installation of Ubuntu with Unity, Gnome and KDE. Sounds confusing? not really, its pretty easy to switch between them once they are installed.Hold on now you say... I just installed Ubuntu now I am gonna do it all over? No no. we are just going to install Gnome. Don't worry its realy easy. Its just one single command. Yep. That's it. Why Gnome? I just like it better.

Backing up your Virtual machine

First thing is first. If you have been following along and you are still using the virtual installation you should make a backup of your Ubuntu installation in case it all gets messed up. To do this follow these steps. 

Open Oracle VM Virtual machine

Shutdown your Ubuntu VM if it is running(You don't need to shutdown to take a snapshot, but if it is convenient to shutdown I would recommend shutting down when you make snapshots.)

Highlight your Ubuntu VM 

The press Ctrl + Shift + S on your keyboard and this will bring up the snapshot menu

Give the snap shot a name and description and click OK

All done. Now if you bugger something up you can revert back by right clicking on the snapshot and click revert.   

This is all very similar to Windows System restore accept that it is complete. As in you will lose every change you have made.  

How do I switch to Gnome in Ubuntu? 

Power on your virtual machine and log in. You should now be at the desktop. You can switch to gnome a number of ways but we are going to do this in a way that will allow you to keep unity on your desktop.

To open a terminal press Ctrl+Alt+T

When you have your terminal session open type the following: 

sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback

You will then be prompted to enter your password in...(remember the SUDO thing from the last article)

Once you authenticate you will then be given a summary of the changes to be made to your computer along with how much space it will take up. Press Y and hit enter .

Now this will take a few minutes once all the text stops scrolling and you are back to your prompt you can restart your computer.

Now because we are in a learning process there is this thing called "init" this refers to the run level of your machine. The init levels are as follows:

init 0 - System Halt
init 1 - Single User Mode
init 2 - Multi User Mode (This is what you are in right now.... init 2)
init 6 - Reboot

So from the command line you could type in... but don't: 

sudo init 0

Now unfortunately it appears that when you issue an init 0 with a VM in oracle VM Virtual Machine that the virtual machine doesn't reboot it shuts off.

Instead issue the following 

sudo reboot   

You will need to type in your password and it should reboot. Once you get back to the login screen the funny circle icon as pointed to below. That funny little icon btw is the symbol for Unity.

Now you want to click on Gnome Classic. Notice the circle thing changed to a foot? Yeah... we like the foot.  Type in your password and login and you are now in Gnome. You can also install KDE if you but I personally don't like KDE so I am not going to tell you how to do it. Smile | <img src= " src="" />

Your Gnome desktop should look like this.  


The next article covers details of the filesystem, how to launch some basic applications, and some tips and tricks of navigating gnome.



This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


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Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
ramkiller200112-Sep-13 10:03
memberramkiller200112-Sep-13 10:03 
GeneralI also like Gnome better than Unity. Pin
SoMad31-May-13 19:23
protectorSoMad31-May-13 19:23 
QuestionCan't Authenticate Pin
ledtech36-Sep-12 19:46
memberledtech36-Sep-12 19:46 
AnswerRe: Can't Authenticate Pin
ledtech37-Sep-12 6:25
memberledtech37-Sep-12 6:25 
GeneralRe: Can't Authenticate Pin
Vince Yonemitsu7-Sep-12 9:58
memberVince Yonemitsu7-Sep-12 9:58 
GeneralRe: Can't Authenticate Pin
ledtech37-Sep-12 11:13
memberledtech37-Sep-12 11:13 
GeneralRe: Can't Authenticate Pin
SoMad31-May-13 19:28
protectorSoMad31-May-13 19:28 
GeneralWhere is Number 3 at ? Pin
ledtech316-Aug-12 12:06
memberledtech316-Aug-12 12:06 
GeneralRe: Where is Number 3 at ? Pin
Vince Yonemitsu16-Aug-12 12:10
memberVince Yonemitsu16-Aug-12 12:10 
GeneralRe: Where is Number 3 at ? Pin
ledtech316-Aug-12 12:41
memberledtech316-Aug-12 12:41 
GeneralRe: Where is Number 3 at ? Pin
Vince Yonemitsu22-Aug-12 5:04
memberVince Yonemitsu22-Aug-12 5:04 
GeneralRe: Where is Number 3 at ? Pin
ledtech322-Aug-12 17:08
memberledtech322-Aug-12 17:08 

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