Vinux: Quick Start Guide
Here is a quick introduction to Vinux to help you get started!
Section One: Trying the Vinux Live CD/DVD
1. Downloading the Vinux ISO file:
Visit the Downloads page at the main Vinux Project website at http://vinux.org.uk/downloads to find a list of available versions and download mirrors. The latest versions are always at the top of the page, the oldest at the bottom. There are several different versions of each release: The standard Live CD version, a Live DVD version with extra applications, a USB version which will run from a USB Pendrive and a Virtual Version which can be run as a guest OS on Windows/Mac. When you have identified which version you want, take a note of the md5sum, a 32 character code listed underneath the version information which you will need to check the file has downloaded properly. Then choose the mirror closest to your location and click on the link to begin the download. If there is heavy traffic, or you only have a very slow internet connection this could take a long time, especially for the DVD version.
2. Checking the md5sum on an ISO file:
You should check the md5sum of the file you chose to download before attempting to burn it to CD/DVD. If the file has been corrupted in anyway during the download the md5sum will not match the one provided on the website and you will need to download it again. To check the md5sum in a Linux based system is very simple, either: Use the GtkHash application or open a terminal (ctrl+alt+t), navigate to the Downloads directory (cd Downloads/) and type: md5sum Vinux-3.1.iso - when you press enter this will return a 32 character code, which you should compare to the one provided on the website for that version. If they do not match you will have to download the iso again if you want to avoid frustration later on. If you downloaded the file on Windows then you will have to download and install a third party md5checksum application. There are several of these available but we cannot guarantee the quality or security status of these tools.
3. Burning an ISO file to a CD/DVD:
Burning an ISO file to a CD/DVD on Linux is very simple. Just right click on the iso image in the file browser and select Write to Disk. This will open up an appropriate burning tool and write the iso to the disk. I would recommend using the best quality CD/DVD’s and burning at the slowest speed to minimise the chance of burn errors. You can also do this in a terminal by navigating to the Downloads directory (cd Downloads/) and then type: wodim Vinux-3.1.iso - when you press enter the file will be burnt to the disk and the disk’s md5sum checked. If you are burning an iso from Windows you may have to use a third party burning application like ISO Recorder: http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm to burn an ISO file to a disk. You cannot just copy the file to a CD in the same way you would copy documents or music.
4. Booting from the live CD/DVD:
To boot from the live CD/DVD, place it into the CD/DVD drive and then restart your computer. Most computers will automatically boot from a CD drive if they detect a bootable disk. If not, you may have to change the bios settings so it boots from CD/DVD before the internal hard drive, or alternatively you may have to press a function key after turning the computer on to bring up a list bootable devices. Unfortunately neither the bios or the boot list are accessible to someone using a screen-reader, so you may need sighted help to change the bios settings and/or learn the keystrokes to bring up the boot list and select the CD/DVD drive. If you don’t have an internal CD/DVD drive then you can use an external USB optical drive, or alternatively download the USB version of Vinux and boot it from a USB pendrive. When the system finishes booting you will hear Espeak talking and when screen-reader has loaded it will say “Welcome to Orca!”.
5. Troubleshooting boot problems:
If after changing the bios settings and/or selecting the CD/DVD from the list of boot devices the CD/DVD will still not boot, there are a number of possible reasons for this. The most likely explanation is that the ISO image was corrupted during the download or the burning process. So the the first thing to check is the md5sum of the downloaded ISO file, and if that is OK, then the md5sum of the burnt CD/DVD. If you burnt the CD/DVD using a GUI application then this may have checked the md5sum of the CD/DVD for you. If not doing this manually is quite complicated so I would advise you to re-burn the CD/DVD on the best quality disk you have available at the slowest possible speed and try again. In the unlikely event that the computer boots successfully but then locks up completely, the chances are the Linux kernel will still be running in the background. So you can restart or shutdown the computer safely by pressing and holding down Alt+PrintScreen then pressing r,e,i,s,u and then b in that order to reboot the computer, if you want to close it down press ‘o’ instead of ‘b’ as the last character. If this doesn’t work then you will have no choice other than to hold the power button in or press the restart button on the computer. Sorry! If you still have a problem then you should contact members of the Vinux Support Forum/Mailing List for further advice! (http://groups.google.com/group/vinux-support)
6. Troubleshooting sound problems:
On most computers once the CD/DVD has booted you will hear Orca welcome you. But occasionally, depending on the sound card you have it is possible that the system volume is muted and/or turned down by default. In this case the first thing to do is to use the Orca volume keybindings: Press Insert+PageUp to raise the volume, if this doesn’t’ work press Insert+End to unmute the sound and then Insert+PageUp to raise the volume (Insert+PageDown reduces the volume). If this doesn’t work try the multimedia keys you normally use to adjust/mute the volume (if you have any). If you don’t have multimedia keys, then you can assign the master volume control to standard keys in the following way. Press Alt+F2, type ‘volume_keys’ (without speech marks) and press Enter, then press Alt+Y then Enter again. You should now be able to unmute and raise the system volume by pressing Windows+Alt+Right a few times. Windows+Alt+Left reduces the volume, while Windows+Alt+Down toggles between mute/unmute. In most cases one of these steps will resolve the problem. In rare cases you may have to switch to a different audio device, or find that your sound card is not supported. If you find yourself in this situation you should contact members of the Vinux Support Forum/Mailing List for further advice! (http://groups.google.com/group/vinux-support) If for any reason Orca locks up and stops talking, simply press Ctrl+Alt+O to restart it.
7. Troubleshooting video problems:
Vinux currently still requires a monitor to be attached in order to boot (although you can turn it off once the system is running with Ctrl+Alt+M). On most systems it will boot in the native resolution of the attached monitor, but occasionally it can have problems if the monitor has an unusual default resolution and/or the video card can’t support it. In such cases you may get a distorted screen, a text-based interface or nothing at all! Don’t panic, this can usually be resolved by rebooting the computer, and as soon as the CD starts spinning press the Down key once - this will select the Safe Graphics Mode and will boot the system using a standard resolution like 1024x768 or 800x600. Once the CD is running you should be able to select the required resolution from the Display Manager called ‘Monitors’ in the Preferences menu. Once installed you will be able to install any proprietary graphics drivers needed by your video card by using the Additional Drivers application in the Administration menu. If you continue to have problems you should contact members of the Vinux Support Forum/Mailing List for further advice! (http://groups.google.com/group/vinux-support)
8. Connecting to a wireless network:
There are two different ways to connect to a wireless network. The normal way is to navigate to the panel by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Tab, press Tab twice and you should land on the wireless icon. Press enter to open the list of available networks, select the one you want and press enter. You will then be asked for the encryption key if one is required. The other way is to Launch Ceni which is a text based Network Manager. You can use this to manually enter all of the required details and connect to a wireless network. If you are using Speakup in a console session this is really the only option. If for any reason your wifi card is not detected you should connect to the internet using an ethernet cable and then run the Hardware Drivers application on the Administration menu. This will attempt to detect and download the required drivers for your wifi card,after it is finished you should reboot the computer. In the unlikely event that this does not detect and configure your wifi card you contact members of the Vinux Support Forum/Mailing List for further advice! (http://groups.google.com/group/vinux-support)
Section Two: Accessibility Applications
1. Adjusting the Orca Screen-Reader Preferences:
You can adjust some of Orca’s setting with keybindings e.g. insert+Up/Down to change the speed, Insert+PageUp/PageDown to change the volume and Insert+Shift+</> to change the pitch. However you can adjust many more settings using the Orca preferences manager. When Orca first starts there will be a small window with two buttons, Preferences and Quit. If for some reason you can not find this window you can still get to preferences by pressing Orca+Space. If you are just booting in to Vinux for the first time the Orca key will be the insert key. You can change this in the general tab of the Orca Preferences. If you are on a laptop you can still use your insert key along with space to get the Preferences dialogue open. When the preferences have opened you can navigate the different tabs: General, Speech, Keybindings, etc by pressing Left and Right arrows while the tab view has focus. To move between the tab view and the items with in each section use the Tab key. Check or uncheck boxes with the space key. Move up and down through combo boxes with the arrow keys. You can navigate radio buttons with up and down arrows too. Press space to make sure the option you want is checked. As an example, here are the steps required to turn off keyboard echo: Press orca+space or find the preferences button in the Orca window and press space to activate it. Press right arrow until you hear “key echo page”. Press tab until you hear “enable key echo”.If it says the box is checked press space to uncheck it. Tab to OK, if you are finished making all changes to Orca and press Enter. If you would like to change more preferences press enter on the Apply button instead. This saves the change but does not exit Preferences. You can also change Orca’s settings for specific applications. While the application has focus press Control+Orca+Space. After that, every time the application is loaded, you will have the custom settings you saved for it. Some applications have extra settings: Firefox, for example, has an additional page tab. The preferences is also a great way to learn Orca’s key bindings and to assign your own. There is some great extra functionality that is not bound to keys by default, reading the last few system notifications is a good example of this.
2. Using the Compiz Screen-Magnifier:
If your video card supports 3D graphics you can enable the Compiz Magnifier by pressing Ctrl+Alt+3, although you might have to install a proprietary driver in order for this to work (you can do this by running the Additional Drivers Manager on the Administration menu). Once activated you can zoom in by pressing the Windows key and clicking the left mouse button, the right mouse button allows you to zoom out. There are also three preset zoom levels which can be selected by pressing Windows+1, 2 or 3 - these correspond to normal, 2x and 4x magnification respectively. You can invert the whole screen by pressing Windows+s, or just the active window by pressing Windows+n. You can toggle on/off a small lens style magnifier by pressing Windows+m, and then zoom in and out by pressing Windows+Shift+Left/Right mouse clicks. To disable the Compiz Magnifier press Ctrl+Alt+2.
3. Changing the font size and colours:
You can change the font size and colours in one of two ways. Vinux has keybindings which allow you to change the font size and colour scheme dynamically as you work. There are two different themes, one dark and one light, and five different font sizes giving you a choice of ten different settings at the press of a few keys. These are selected by pressing Windows+Alt and then a number: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0. 1-5 provide a light theme in sizes 8,12,16,20 and 24. While 6-0 provide a dark theme in the same font sizes. The default setting is Windows+Alt+7. If you want to change to a different font, larger sizes or different coloured themes you can do this by opening the Appearances Manager on the Preferences Menu. This allows you to choose a predefined colour scheme, or customise one yourself, change the desktop background and alter the font size and styles to your own requirements. When you shut down the computer your appearance settings are saved and will be the same next time you boot the computer.
4. Finding out Keybindings:
There are several different ways to find out keybindings in Vinux. Pressing Ctrl+Alt+K will open a read only text file listing all of the keybindings used in Vinux. This provides keybindings for the Gnome Desktop , the Compiz Magnifier, the Orca Screen-Reader, the Speakup Screen-Reader, the Bash Terminal as well as a list of Bash command aliases which can be activated if you wish. You can also examine (and modify) the keybindings for some of these programs in their own keybindings manager. For example when using Orca, pressing Insert+Space will bring up the Orca Preferences Manager, and by pressing the right cursor key five times you can read the list of current keybindings Orca recognises and modify them if you want to. If you press Insert+Ctrl+Space you will be able to view keybindings for the application you are using (if any exist). You can also list keybindings in Orca by holding the Orca key and pressing H twice. Similarly you can examine and modify the Gnome keybindings by opening the Keyboard Shortcuts manager on the Preferences menu, while the Compiz keybindings can be accessed through the CompizConfig Settings Manager on the preferences menu.
5. Opening menus and navigating the desktop:
Open the main menu with Alt+F1. Move up and down with the arrow keys. You will find sub-menus like Accessories, Sound and Video, Places, etc. When you find the sub-menu you want press the Right arrow to enter it. When you have found the application or file you want to launch press Enter. When inside an application press F10 to open its menus. Use Right and Left arrow to move back and fourth through its main menus and press Enter when you have found the menu you want. Inside the menu navigate with the Up and Down arrow keys. Press Right arrow to enter any sub-menu you encounter. To set focus to the desktop press Windows+D. When on the desktop you can move around with the arrow keys and activate files by pressing Enter. You can also type the first few letters of the file or application you want and press enter when it gains focus. If you want to right click first press escape when the item gains focus. This closes the edit box that opens when you start typing. To right click you can usually press the button located between the right alt and right control keys (the applications key). If this fails press Shift+F10 instead. This will right click the currently selected file. If you need to right click the desktop itself with no file selected press Control+F10. By default Vinux comes with four workspaces or desktops all in a single row. To move between them press Control+Alt+Right or Left arrow. Each workspace can have its own list of applications opened. To switch focus between applications use Alt+Tab or Shift+Alt+Tab. To move focus to the panel press Control+Alt+Tab. Pressing it again moves back to the desktop. Use Tab to navigate items on the panel. If an item just says “icon” you can usually press Control+F1 to hear the tooltip associated with it which usually contains its name or description. Most items can be right clicked or left clicked in the same manner as the desktop. Control+F10 also works here and that will allow you to add more items to the panel. You can also launch applications in two other ways: You can press Alt+F2, type the name of the application you want to launch then press enter, or you can open a terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T, typing the command you want to run and pressing enter.
6. Using the Speakup screen-reader in console mode:
To switch to console mode and use Speakup you have to press Ctrl+Alt+F1 from the running Gnome session or the GDM login screen. You can then use Speakup to input commands to the console and read back any output generated. If you are running the Live CD you can start using Speakup straight away, if you do this on an installed system you need to login with your username and password. To switch back to the graphical desktop press Alt+F7 (or Alt+F2-F6 to open more console sessions). Speakup is much faster and more stable than Orca with Speech-Dispatcher but it requires an in-depth knowledge of the Linux command line to be used effectively.
Section Three: Some GUI Applications
1. Using the Nautilus File Manager:
To open the Nautilus File Manager press Ctrl+Alt+N -This will take you to your home directory and you can explore what is there by using the cursor keys. You can open a folder/file by pressing Enter when it is selected, and you can go back up one level by pressing backspace. By default Nautilus is in Icon mode, which means the folders are displayed as large icons in columns and rows across the window. You can switch to list view by pressing Ctrl+2, which will provide a single column of files/documents with information about the number of items/size, the file-type and the date/time modified. While in list view you can view the contents of folders without switching to them by pressing the Right key (Left to close).Ctrl+3 switches to compact view which only lists the name of the directory/file in a single column. Ctrl+1 will switch back to icon mode. You can have different views for different folders, Nautilus will remember your settings for each folder. If you want to apply one view style globally your should open the Preferences Manager by pressing Alt+E then N. You can then Tab once to the view combo-box and select you preferred view, then press Alt+C to save your changes. If you press the applications key while a folder/file is selected this will bring up a menu of options. Nautilus is a very powerful File Manager and has many complex functions such as multi-pane viewing (F3), Bookmarking (Ctrl+D) and a side pane which can display different types of information. Finally you may notice that when you open files outside of your home directory with Nautilus you cannot modify or delete them. This is because you need admin rights to do this. If you want to be able to edit files with admin right press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+N to open a Root version of Nautilus - However be very careful what you do as you can easily destroy your system if you modify/delete any important files. Although Nautilus is very powerful it can be slow when opening folders with a large number of files. If you would like a faster file manager you should try PCManFM (Accessories > File Manager) - although it does not offer as many features as Nautilus, and you need to switch to detailed list view either by pressing Alt+V and selecting it or setting it as the default in the Preferences Manager (Alt+E then P).
2. Using the Firefox Web-Browser:
To open Firefox press Ctrl+Alt+W. You will be taken to the Ubuntu Start Page in the Google search box. So you can just type in a search term and press Enter, or press Alt+D and enter a URL. You can move through the results of a search by Tabbing through the links, you can read lines by pressing Up/Down, move through by word by pressing Ctrl+Right/Left, Right and Left on their own move through letter by letter. Press Enter to open a link in the same window, or press the applications key to open it in a new window or tab. Once on a page you can read the whole page by pressing Numpad +, or move through headings by pressing H, paragraphs with P, lists with L, Edit boxes with E, unvisited links with U, visited links with V and tables with T. Of course you can move in the opposite direction by pressing Shift along with the letters specified, and you can go back one page by pressing Alt+Left. For a full list of the Firefox/Orca keybindings, press Control+Insert+Space while running Firefox with Orca and then press the Right key until you get to the Keybindings tab and then Tab twice to start reading the list of keybindings. You can also read the Firefox Orca keybindings by holding down the Orca key and pressing H twice.
3. Using the Gedit Text Editor:
To open Gedit press Ctrl+Alt+G. If you are coming from Windows and are used to Notepad you are in for a treat. Gedit is highly configurable. If you press Alt+F you will be taken to the File menu. Most of the options here will be familiar to you but the keyboard shortcuts may seem a bit different. Also, there is the addition of close (Control+W). When you open Gedit you can have several files opened at once. Instead of opening each file in a different copy of Gedit they all open in the same one. You can switch between the open files using Alt+1, 2, 3, etc. If you would like to close the currently focused file press Control+W or select Close from the File menu. Be sure to explore all of the menus to learn all about this powerful text editor. It even has a spell check option under the Tools menu. Explore the Preferences option located in the Edit menu as well. Gedit has the power to auto-indent, show line numbers and a lot more. And, if that’s not enough, it is extendable with plugins. They can be enabled and disabled in Preferences under the Plugins tab. One more difference in gedit is the Find dialogue. It is not located in the Edit menu but rather in its own menu called Search. To access it press Alt+S. There are several different options here including the ability to go to a specific line number. If you are just searching for some specific text you can do it even more quickly by pressing Control+F, type the text and press Enter. To search for the next occurrence press Control+G. The user manual for gedit is available by pressing Alt+H. Select Contents, this is where you can get a list of the short-cut keys. Tip: Using the Spell Checker in Gedit. Before using the spell-checker, check the language setting on the tools menu Alt+T. This setting determines which dictionary gedit will use when you spell-check and the name of your user dictionary. You can find your user dictionary in the hidden folder ~/.con fig/enchant. Important: the country component of the dictionary file name is in upper-case. For example, a user dictionary for UK English is en_GB.dic - the user dictionary file is a text file and can be edited with Gedit itself.
4. Using the Rhythmbox Media Player:
To open Rhythmbox press Alt+F1 to open the menu, press Down until you get to Sound and Video, press Right arrow to enter the Sound and Video menu, press Down until you get to Rhythmbox and press Enter. If this is your first time using Rhythmbox the first thing you will want to do is press Alt+E to get into the Edit menu and press Down arrow until you find Preferences and press Enter. There are several tab views. Take time to tab through each option in each of the tab views so that Rhythmbox will display information and work exactly like you want. The Music tab, for example lets you specify the directory where your music is stored and asks if you would like to watch the chosen directory for new files. After you have set everything up to your liking and pressed Enter on the Close button you can press Tab to get into the section where you choose the type of media you want. It starts on music and if you arrow Down you will get more choices like podcasts, last.fm, etc. The items in this list can change based on the plugins you have enabled. You can enable and disable plugins by selecting the Plugins option under the Edit menu. When in the music view you can specify the songs you want to listen to by artist, album, and/or track. Just use Tab to move to the appropriate list and Up and Down arrows to navigate through it. You can also just start typing what you want in the selected list and if there is a match you will be taken to it. After you have made your selection Tab to the control buttons and press Space on Play. Note, to close Rhythmbox press Alt+M and arrow Down to quit. If you press Alt+f4 the interface goes away but it is still running and there is an icon in the panel.
5. Using the Thunderbird e-Mail Client:
If you are coming from a windows environment and have used Thunderbird previously, you should not have any difficulties adjusting to the interface here on vinux. If you have not, however, I will attempt to walk you through setting up an email account and sending your first message. Press Alt+F1 and arrow down to Internet, Right arrow once, and go Down to Mozilla Thunderbird mail/news. You will be put into the new account window, assuming this is your first time. If not, you can go to tools and accounts to get there. The first screen will ask you for your name, email address, password, and if you would like to remember your password. All very self-explanatory! When ready, click Continue. If you are unaware how to do this, you must use the Tab key to get between the fields then press Space or Enter on the Continue button. Thunderbird will then attempt to find your email settings automatically. If it succeeds, you may go ahead and click OK to complete the process and skip past the next step. If you need to do it manually, click on the “Manual Setup” button - it will take you through the screen that asks for your username and email server information (if it’s a POP3, IMAP, or Webmail account etc). Also it will allow you to adjust the ports, and encryption that you will need. I cannot provide this information for you. You should seek help from your mail provider if you are not sure of this. The questions it asks are simple and straightforward. If you have set up an email account on Windows, you shouldn’t have any trouble. Once you get it configured, you should see your Inbox come up. Press Enter on a message to read it, use your Up and Down arrows to move through it, and use the Delete key to delete a message. Now let’s send one shall we? Press Control+N in the main Thunderbird window to get started. This brings up a simple message dialogue. You will be placed into the ‘To’ field. Type in an email address you wish to send an email to. Tab and enter a CC if you wish. If not, Tab and enter the subject. Tabbing once more you will be put in the message area. Type your message, then press Control+Enter when you are ready to send it off. It will come up with a message asking if you are ready to send the message. Tab to OK and press Space or enter. If you don’t want to see that dialogue again, Tab over and press the space bar on the checkbox that states something like “Don’t show me this message again,” and send off your message. You will then be put back into the Inbox.
6. Using the Pidgin Internet Messenger:
Pidgin, even after using windows myself, is one of my favourite messaging clients. It’s simple to use, straightforward, and has almost all of the plugins you could want. To open Pidgin, press Alt+F1, go down to Internet, press Right arrow, and go down to Pidgin Internet Messenger. After opening inside the application for the first time, you will be asked to set up an account. It’s easy. I promise! Tab to the Add button. This should put you in the Username field. Type in your Username here - It can be Windows live ID for MSN, screen name for AOL, etc. After typing this in, you can Tab to the Protocol combo-box, press space, and select the appropriate option. Tabbing once more will place you into the password box. Then Tab once more and decide whether or not you wish to have Pidgin remember your password. If you decide against this, Pidgin will simply pop up a dialogue asking you for your password on each subsequent use of the program. That’s all there is to setting up an account so click the close button. After a moment your buddy list for the new account should come up. After it does, and you wish to chat someone, arrow Down to their name and press Enter. This will place you in a simple edit field. Type your message and press Enter to send it off. When you receive a message, you can press the F6 key to switch to the message area. Arrow Up and Down through the list of sent and received messages. Tabbing once will take you back to your edit field. Note: Closing the message will not close Pidgin itself, but closing the buddy list will. Meaning if you wish to close Pidgin you can press Alt+F4. Also if you are in a message and get another message from a different contact, Control+Tab will switch messages. It works just like switching between tabs in a browser. Pidgin has several plugins, and settings, that you may wish to change. Most of these are installed by default (including the Skype plugin - but not Skype), but if you have any problems direct your questions to the Vinux Support forum at http://www.groups.google.com/groups/vinux-support.
Section Four: Installing Vinux
1. Installing Vinux to a hard drive:
Boot the computer from the Live CD as instructed above. To start the installation either press Alt+F2, type: ubiquity - then press enter, or you can open the main menu by pressing Alt+F1, select System > Administration > Install Release. When the installer opens the first page allows you to choose the language by using the up and down keys, however you should accept the default language (English) at this stage (you will be able to change the language after installation). So just press Enter to accept the default language. The next page checks to see if there is enough room on the disk, you are on mains power and that you are connected to the internet. The first two are required and highly recommended respectively, it doesn’t matter whether you are connected to the internet or not, however if you are not connected to the internet you will not be able to install updates during the installation or download the Fluendo MP3 codec - these are chosen by selecting the relevant option with Tab and pressing Space to tick the box (but these can easily be installed after installation). Once you are happy press Enter and you will be taken to the page where you tell the installer which drive and or partition you want to use. In this example we are going to select Erase and use Entire disk - if you want to dual boot read the next quickstart guide. So press the down key once to select that option and then press enter. This will take you to the last screen where you can decide to abort the installation. By default the Quit button is selected, so press Shift and Tab and very carefully choose the hard drive you want to use from the combo box (on most computers with a single drive it will be called ‘sda’, a second drive will be called ‘sdb’ etc) then to start the install press Tab three times and press Enter. Once this process has started there is no turning back - even if you abort the installation (which you can) the disk will have already be re-formatted, and won’t be in a bootable state if the process is interrupted. While the installation is taking place you have the opportunity to select a time-zone, keyboard layout and choose your username and password. To choose the time zone, simply type in the name of the nearest major city, press enter and then press Alt+F, by default it would be set to London UK (which can be changed after installation if necessary). On the next page you can choose your keyboard layout and variation, but you should accept the default UK layout for now by pressing enter (this can be changed after installation). Finally you must type in your real name, your username, the name of the computer and your password (twice), then press enter to finish off the installation. When the installation has finished (you will hear a message) you should choose Restart Now, then press enter. When the CD drive opens remove the disk, close the drawer and press enter to restart the computer.
2. Installing Vinux to a USB pendrive:
If you are running Vinux and have downloaded one of the two USB img.xz files from http://vinux.org.uk/ you can install it on a pendrive by doing the following. A note of warning first, make absolutely sure you use the correct device name with this command, failure to do so can completely wipe your hard drive beyond recovery. On a computer with a single hard drive then name of the pendrive will usually be /dev/sdb, which will will use in this example. Do not assume that this will be correct for you though - the easiest way to check this is to type the following command into a terminal: df -h - the pendrive will be towards the end of the list and you can check which one it is by looking at its size. The first thing you must do is to uncompress the .img file from the .xz file. To do this navigate to the Downloads/ directory and type e.g. tar -xvf Vinux-3.0-2G.img.xz - to extract the .img file then run: dd if=Vinux-3.0-2G.img of=/dev/sdb (change filename and device label accordingly) to copy it across. It takes a while for the files to write. While it is doing it there may be no output. You will know it has finished because your prompt will come back and you will have messages similar to the following: 659+1 records in. 659+1 records out, 691073712 bytes (691 MB) copied, 209.933 s, 3.3 MB/s.
3. Dual-booting Vinux and Windows:
Boot the computer from the Live CD as instructed above. To start the installation either press Alt+F2, type: ubiquity - then press enter, or you can open the main menu by pressing Alt+F1, select System > Administration > Install Release. When the installer opens the first page allows you to choose the language by using the up and down keys, however you should accept the default language (English) at this stage (you will be able to change the language after installation). So just press Enter to accept the default language. The next page checks to see if there is enough room on the disk, you are on mains power and that you are connected to the internet. The first two are required and highly recommended respectively, it doesn’t matter whether you are connected to the internet or not, however if you are not connected to the internet you will not be able to install updates during the installation or download the Fluendo MP3 codec - these are chosen by selecting the relevant option with Tab and pressing Space to tick the box (but these can easily be installed after installation). Once you are happy press Enter and you will be taken to the page where you tell the installer which drive and or partition you want to use. In this case we are going to use Install Alongside other Operating Systems option - which is the default so just press Enter. This will take you to the last screen where you can decide to abort the installation. By default the Quit button is selected, so press Shift and Tab and very carefully choose the hard drive you want to use from the combo box (on most computers with a single drive it will be called ‘sda’, a second drive will be called ‘sdb’ etc) then to start the install press Tab three times and press Enter. Once this process has started there is no turning back - even if you abort the installation (which you can) the disk will have already be re-formatted, and won’t be in a bootable state if the process is interrupted. The partitioning and resizing of the disks can take a long time depending on the size of the disk and the amount of data it contains. While the installation is taking place you have the opportunity to select a time-zone, keyboard layout and choose your username and password. To choose the time zone, simply type in the name of the nearest major city, press enter and then press Alt+F, by default it would be set to London UK (which can be changed after installation if necessary). On the next page you can choose your keyboard layout and variation, but you should accept the default UK layout for now by pressing enter (this can be changed after installation). Finally you must type in your real name, your username, the name of the computer and your password (twice), then press enter to finish off the installation. When the installation has finished (you will hear a message) you should choose Restart Now, then press enter. When the CD drive opens remove the disk, close the drawer and press enter to restart the computer. The computer will boot into Vinux by default. In order to be able to boot into Windows, press Ctrl+Alt+T to open a terminal and then type: sudo update-grub - then press Enter, type your password and press Enter again. You can then close the terminal (Alt+F4) and reboot the computer tapping the shift key as it boots, which should bring up the boot list. Windows will now be at the bottom of the boot list, so you can select Windows by pressing the Down key five or six times at the boot screen and then press Enter. If you don’t do this, Vinux will boot by default.
4. Changing the timezone, language and keyboard layout after installation:
After installation you may want to change the timezone, language and keyboard layout. The easiest way to change the time zone is to open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) then type: sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata - this will open a simple text-based interface. Use the Up and Down keys to select the continent you are on and press Enter. Then press the first letter of city you want and then use the Up and Down keys to select it and press Enter. To change the language open the main menu and select System > Administration > Language Support. You will hear an error message saying that Language Support is not installed completely - you can ignore this for now and press Alt+R. Now tab to the Install/Remove Languages button and press Enter. Now press Tab to get to the language list, press the first two letters of the language you want and then use the Up and Down arrows to find it. When you have the right language selected press enter then Tab twice to get to the components options. Here you can select to install translations, spell-checking and writing aids, input methods and extra fonts (if available) by selecting the item and pressing the Space bar to check the box. Then tab twice to the Apply Changes button and press Enter. The language you selected will now be downloaded and installed. However to change the language you will need to log out of the system (by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Backspace) and change the language at the login screen. To do this press Enter on your user name and then Ctrl+Alt+Tab to get to the panel, then press Tab twice to get to the language combo-box. Then press the Down key to bring up the list of available languages. Use the Up and Down keys to select the language you want and press Enter. You can then enter your password and press enter to log back in. The easiest way to choose a new keyboard layout is also at the login screen. Follow the instructions above to get to the panel, press Tab three times (or just once if you have just selected the language) and use the Down key to bring up a list of keyboard layouts. You can press the first letter of the layout you want and use the Up and Down keys to find the one you want. Then press Enter, put in your password and press Enter again to log back in.
Section Five: The Command Line Interface
1. Using the Gnome Terminal:
To open the Gnome-Terminal press Ctrl+Alt+T. The terminal, when open and focused, is a place where you can enter commands and do pretty much anything with your computer you want. A lot of the time the terminal is more powerful and a whole lot faster than GUI (Graphical User Interface) applications. To make the terminal fill the whole screen press f11 or select full screen from the View menu. Create more tabs with Control+Shift+T and close them with Control+Shift+W. Switch between tabs with Alt+1, 2, 3, etc. Here are the steps for getting updates using gnome-terminal. Type the following line: sudo apt-get update - then press enter. You will then need to enter your password and press Enter. You may notice that when you type a password nothing shows on the screen. This is OK and is a security feature designed to keep people from looking over your shoulder and getting your password. After you have entered your password and pressed Enter the computer will check for updates. Wait until the computer is finished and the prompt reappears. Then type: sudo apt-get upgrade and press enter. You will most likely not need to enter your password this time because this command follows the last command so quickly. The time out for sudo (administration rights) is 15 minutes, so if you do more sudo stuff with in that time limit you do not have to enter your password again. Generally I would not advise you to update packages just because there are updates available, unless you are aware of a specific security vulnerability or require specific features which new versions of a package provides. This will keep your system as stable as possible and unless you are running a server with open ports and/or you are downloading and installing software from untrusted sources you should be very safe. Most of the time in a terminal you can use Tab to complete a command. so, for example, if you type part of a command and press Tab, it will complete the command for you, unless there is more then one possibility - in which case pressing Tab again will list the available options. Other useful commands include ‘ls’ - this will list the files in the directory you are in, ‘cd’ will change to a new directory e.g. cd Downloads/ - will take you to the Downloads directory. If you type ‘cd’ on its own it will take you to your home directory. ‘cp’ can be used to copy file e.g. cp file.txt copy.txt - will create a copy of the file.txt and call it copy.txt! ‘rm’ will remove a file e.g. rm file.txt - will delete it. Finally ‘mv’ will move and/or rename a file e.g. mv file.txt renamed.txt - will rename the file.txt, while mv file.txt Downloads/file.txt - will move the file from your home folder to the Downloads folder.
2. Installing new software:
There are four different ways to install new applications on your Vinux system. You can use the EasyInstall scripts, the terminal, the Ubuntu Software Centre or the Synaptic Package Manager. If you know the name of the application you want to install, the terminal is the easiest option. Open a terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T then firstly type ‘sudo apt-get update’ to update the available packages list. In order to install a new application then just type e.g. ‘sudo apt-get install nameofpackage’. To remove an application you just type e.g. ‘sudo apt-get remove nameofpackage’. If you want to install a pre-defined suite of packages you should use the EasyInstall scripts. Some of these are available on the desktop e.g. EasyInstall-Codecs (you need this to play mp3’s and encrypted DVD’s)and Easy-Install-Office, but there are 12 EasyInstall scripts available all together, which are available on the System Tools sub-menu. Once you launch an Easy-Install script you will be asked to confirm that you want to install this suite of applications, and it will tell you when they have been installed. This could take a long time depending on the speed of your internet connection. If you don’t know the name of the application or just want to see what else is available you can use one of the other two GUI based applications. The Synaptic Package Manager lists all available applications (25,000+) and has a lot more options etc., but it can be a bit overwhelming for people new to Linux. So it would be best to start with the Ubuntu Software Centre. Once launched you can type in a search term and press Tab to get to the results, using the Up and Down keys to navigate. When you have found an application you would like to try press Enter to get to the information page and then Tab to get to the Install button and press Enter. You will then be asked to enter your password. You can also just browse the different software categories using the Tab button and Enter to open them, then use the Up and Down keys to browse. 3. Using Nano, a Command Line Text Editor:
At some time or another you will wind up wanting to make a change to a file in the terminal. Pretty much everything can be handled in Gnome, but some times the speed advantage offered by the terminal just makes it more desirable. So, here are a few tips for using Nano, the easiest to use of all CLI text editors. To open Nano simply type ‘nano’ in a terminal and press enter. To open a file with Nano type nano followed by the filename e.g. nano file.txt - to save your changes press Control+O and press Enter to accept the given file name or you can type in a new. Press Control+X to close Nano. The bottom line or two of the nano screen contain the most common commands. Using Orca’s flat review mode (Press 5 on the numpad and use 2,4,6,8 to navigate) you can read these commands. Note that the ‘^’ character before a letter means to use Control and the letter (an ‘M’ means use Alt). To copy and paste text (not cut and paste), press Control+6 at the beginning of the text, move to the end of the text you want and press Alt+6 to copy it. If you do want to cut it out press Control+K. To paste the text from the buffer press Control+U. Remember all cut or copied text from the last time you pressed Control+U will be pasted. To read Nano’s help file press Control+G. If you try to open a file which doesn’t exist it will create a blank file with that name.
4. Creating and Using Bash Aliases:
When in the terminal, either gnome-terminal or a console, all interaction with your computer requires typing. Sometimes the amount of typing required can be quite a lot. To help with this you can create and use aliases. Aliases are stored in your home directory in a file called .bash_aliases and are in the format: alias shortcommand=”long command goes here”. When you have added a new alias you can then type the short command and get the same output as if you had typed the longer command. Aliases can also make commands behave differently from the way they would normally. (If you would like to execute something in its normal way without its alias type a before the command). One alias I use causes the date to be displayed in a more friendly format. Here are the steps for adding this alias: Open a terminal with Ctrl+Alt+T, type nano ~/.bash_aliases - Nano will open with a text file that may or may not be blank. Move to the end of the file by pressing the down arrow. If there is text on the final line press right arrow until you get to the end and press enter.On a blank line at the end of the file type: alias date=”date +’%I:%M%p%n%A, %B %d, %Y’” - To save and exit the file press Control+O followed by Control+X. Normally, without this alias, when you type ‘date’ you will get something like this: Tue Nov 30 18:32:55 EST 2010 - With the alias in place, when you type date, you will now get: 06:33PM Tuesday, November 30, 2010. Remember, if you would like the original format just type . One final thing, after you have added a new alias, before you can use it, you need to reload things so that bash will know about your new creation. To reload everything either exit the terminal and restart it or type: source ~/.bashrc - and the new alias will now work as expected. There is a pre-defined set of bash aliases provided with Vinux, but they are not enabled by default. If you would like to try them simply run the following code in a terminal: mv .bash_aliases_vinux .bash_aliases - then type: ‘a’ and press enter for a list of available aliases.