Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Sunday, October 8, 2017 at 21:27

This is a tutorial series for newbies to operate Ubuntu 17.10. This is targeted to help newbies from MS Windows environment to run Ubuntu. This series is divided into 3 parts: first operating the desktop, second navigating the file manager, and third setting the system so it suits your needs. After the final part, this will be re-published as an ebook of UbuntuBuzz. So start your Ubuntu and enjoy this!

Subscribe to UbuntuBuzz Telegram Channel to get article updates directly.

This is a tutorial for 17.10. If you're looking to reviews, read our series (Ubuntu Part 1 until Part 7, Kubuntu, and Artful MATE).

Ubuntu Desktop

Ubuntu 17.10 is known as "Artful Aardvark" (similar to Android 5 "Lollipop") released at Thursday 19 October 2017. Hence the name, 17 and 10, 2017 the year and 10/October the month. At this release, Ubuntu has a completely new user interface, a new desktop experience for you. You will learn this new desktop here.

The desktop of Ubuntu 17.10

What's The Name?

The new user interface is called GNOME and its version is 3.26. Yes, for you coming from MS Windows land, you may feel this strange, but note this: in the world outside of Windows, the OS and the desktop are two separate things, each has its own name. So your system is Ubuntu and your desktop is GNOME, just like that.

How It Works?

The desktop of Ubuntu works closer to Android interface, than MS Windows interface.
  • The main rule here is you cannot drag/drop app icons onto desktop wallpaper. Yes, it's far away too from your experience with Android interface. 
  • But, you can drag/drop app icons onto left panel, freely add or remove them as you wish. 
  • Press Super key (same as Windows key) once and type something to find applications.

Basic Window Play

Ubuntu 17.10 features control buttons back at top-right again. Now you won't confuse with the positioning of trio buttons minimize-maximize-close anymore.

Task 1: Run An Application

Click on Firefox icon on vertical panel to run Firefox.

If your program is not there, press Super key > type "libreoffice" to find LibreOffice > click the icon.

Task 2: Open the Menu

Press '3x3 dots' icon ("Show Applications") to reveal all applications installed.

That shows icons of apps available on Ubuntu like this.

Task 3: Search in Menu

Press Super key > type the keyword you wish such as "settings".

Task 4: Pin the Icon

Click 3x3 dots icon ("Show Application") > find an application icon > right-clik > Add to Favorites.

Task 5: Switch Running Applications

The easiest way is by clicking on icons at vertical-panel.

The smarter way is by pressing Alt+Tab to save your time.

The GNOME way (very similar to Android) is by pressing Super > all running apps showing > click the app you want.

Task 6: Connect to Internet

Click on system tray (top-left corner of screen) > Network > Select Network > a dialog showing list of WLAN connections > select a WLAN hotspot > press Connect > enter the password while asked.

Task 7: Viewing Battery

If you're using laptop, the battery indicator is at tray as well.

Task 8: Adjusting Brightness

Reducing and adding screen brightness is easy using the brightness slider.

Task 9: Adjusting Volume

Controlling sound volume is easy too using the volume slider.

Task 10: Multitasking

You can say it multimonitor-ing or multidesktop-ing in virtual, where you only have 1 physical monitor but you can work like having more than 1 monitor. The secret is because GNOME has multiple virtual desktops so you can put different apps in different desktops, plus you can switch between desktops easily, similar to working with many monitors at once. How to do that multitasking?

a) moving a window

Right-click at a window's title bar > move to workspace down > that window moved to next virtual desktop.

b) switch workspace

Press Ctrl+Alt+Up to switch to previous virtual desktop and Ctrl+Alt+Down to switch to next virtual desktop. Switching virtual desktop (workspace) is the same as switching between monitors if you're working with many monitors.

c) seeing all windows

Press Super key and push the cursor to right edge of screen. You see there a vertical panel showing virtual desktops with their respective apps inside.

to be continued...