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First Impressions of Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop Edition : Page 5

A veteran Linux Desktop user breaks down his first experience with Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop Edition, exploring its new features, and explains why he came away impressed.

Gnome Eye Candy
The place to get new graphics and themes for your Gnome Desktop is definitely gnome-look.org. For wallpaper, make sure you use one that is matched to your screen resolution. Generally, you want to use the highest resolution that your monitor supports along with the highest Hz refresh rate (for example, 1600x1200 @ 75 Hz). To adjust your screen resolution settings, click the top left corner menu and choose System -> Preferences -> Screen Resolution.

Save your choice of background wallpaper onto your machine and then right mouse click on the main desktop space and choose Change Desktop Background [+add].

Installing Software Graphically: Synaptic Package Manager
There are two general methods of installing and removing packages with Ubuntu Linux: Graphical and Command line. Although I've outlined command line installations to this point, I like to use both methods. I chose the command line method to show the power of apt-get. (Try apt-get help for further options.) However, sometimes it is nice to browse in a graphical way while searching the descriptions of software available. For graphical software management of apt-get, use the Synaptic Package Manager: System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager (see Figure 5).

Click to enlarge

Figure 5. Launching the Synaptic Package Manager:
For graphical software management of apt-get, use the Synaptic Package Manager.

Synaptic is great for exploring the world of available software and then adding desired software or alternatively removing redundant or unused software. To add software, you need only right click the desired application and then left click "Mark for Installation." Find something you want to remove? Right click that application and then left click "Mark for Removal" or "Mark for Complete Removal." When you hit the "Apply" button, your changes take effect.

Author's Note: you cannot use apt-get while the Synaptic Package Manager is open.

Once you get the hang of it, installing software with Synaptic becomes a three-step "Search", "Mark", and "Apply" process. See Sidebar 2 for a listing of essential (at least for me) software you can find by using Synaptic search.

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