So I hit on a cool little applet that will feature quite a bit in my posts these next few weeks: byzanz.

It allows the user to record their desktop and save it to an animated giff file. I decided to use this applet to give you guys a quick weekly tour of the Ubuntu desktop, so here goes:

(The thumbnails below will link to full size images.)

So There I was…

The first image represents what you will see when you boot Ubuntu for the first time. The first thing new users will notice is that the Gnome Desktop (the environment that is used in Ubuntu) is very clean and sports a taskbar on both the

What you will see when you boot Ubuntu.

top and the bottom of the screen. In Gnome they are called PANELS. Now what Windows users will know as the START button is the Ubuntu Icon on the top left. There are three menu’s next to this icon – Applications, Places and System.

In the first screencast I am opening each of these menu’s by clicking on them. When you first launch Ubuntu you might want to browse through these to find your way around.

Where Are My Documents?

You will notice that the Gnome Desktop is devoid of Icons. In fact, if you do not explicitly add icons to your desktop they will only appear when you insert a USB drive, CD or DVD or mount a network drive. This can be bewildering when you browse around the desktop for the first time. Don’t fret – all the “places” you could possibly want you will find under the “Places” menu. The next screencast will show you where to find your documents. In Ubuntu it is called the “Home Folder” and serves very much the same purpose as My Documents wouHome Folder - The Gnome Alternative to My Documentsld perform in Windows.

There is a distinct difference here. Whereas My Documents holds only your documents (and Pictures, Music and Video), Home Folder holds not only these – it is home to EVERYTHING that is relevant to you. All your custom settings and preferences are saved here in hidden files. Even your e-mail is stored here. In fact, you can basically move seamlessly between installs by simply backing up your Home Folder and it’s contents and copying it to another Ubuntu installation.

What next?

Next time I will show you where to set your mouse preferences, as well as what the Clock actually does in Gnome.

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