Introduction to Ubuntu

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This workshop is based on the "New to Ubuntu" material in the Ubuntu Help Center. The instructor should present the material from the Ubuntu Help Center while the students start with a blank Gnome screen and practice the skills presented by the instructor. Note that not all of the material from the Ubuntu Help Center for each category is presented.

The workshop should take two hours to complete, including 1/2 hour of questions and answers at the end.


  1. Mouse Skills - Present this material from the "Ubuntu Help Center" while the students try it.
    • Mouse Button Conventions
      • Left mouse button - The button on the left side of a mouse device. This is the main mouse button, used for selecting, activating, pressing buttons etc... When you are told to "click" it is implied that you should click with the left button, unless specifically stated.
      • Middle mouse button - The middle button of a mouse device. On many mice with a scroll wheel, the scroll wheel can be pushed down for a middle mouse button click.
      • Right mouse button - The button on the right side of a mouse device. Often, this button displays a context menu for the object under the pointer.
    • Mouse Actions
      • Click - Press and release the left mouse button, without moving the mouse.
      • Left-click - Same as click. The term 'left-click' is used where there might be confusion with right-click.
      • Middle-click - Press and release the middle mouse button, without moving the mouse.
      • Right-click - Press and release the right mouse button, without moving the mouse.
      • Double-click - Press and release the left mouse button twice in rapid succession without moving the mouse.
      • Drag - Press and do not release the left mouse button, and then move the mouse with the button still held down, and finally release the button.
      • Click-and-hold - Press and do not release the left mouse button.
    • Mouse Pointers
      • Normal pointer
      • Busy pointer
      • Resize pointer
      • Hand pointer
      • I-beam pointer
  2. Desktop Overview - Present this material from the "Ubuntu Help Center" while the students try it.
    • An overview of your desktop and how to use it
      • Introduction
        • Desktop - The desktop itself is behind all of the other components on the desktop.
        • Panels - The panels are the two bars that run along the top and bottom of the screen.
        • Windows - Most applications run inside of one or more windows.
          • Application windows - Application windows allow all the minimize, maximize and close operations through the buttons on the titlebar.
          • Dialog windows - A dialog window may alert you to a problem, ask for confirmation of an action, or request input from you.
        • Workspaces - You can subdivide your desktop into separate workspaces.
      • Applications - Have the students run the Ubuntu Help Center as their first application. Point out the menubar, toolbar, and statusbar of this application.
        • Title Bar - Top of the window.
          • Move the window
          • Resize the window
          • Minimize the window - Where does the window go?
          • Maximize the window
          • Unmaximize the window
          • Close the window
        • Menubar - Under the title bar if present.
        • Toolbar - Under the menubar if present.
        • Statusbar - Bottom of the window if present.
      • New to Ubuntu -> Basic Computer Skills - Show the students where to find the material that has been presented in the Help Center'.
  3. Applications Menu - Have the students open the Applications menu and run the File Browser May need to edit the menus (System -> Preferences -> Main Menu) to put File Browser into the Applications -> Accessories menu..
    • File Browser
      • File Manager Functionality
        • Create folders and documents
        • Display your files and folders
        • Search and manage your files
        • Run scripts and launch applications
        • Customize the appearance of files and folders
        • Open special locations on your computer
        • Write data to a CD or DVD
        • Install and remove fonts
    • Text Editor - Enter some text, save it to a file, open the file, etc.
  4. Office Menu - Have the students open the Office menu. Do a quick, or not so quick explanation of the Word Processor and Spreadsheet. Shorten or expand this to leave 1/2 hour for Q and A.
    • Word processor
    • Spreadsheet
  5. Questions and Answers
  6. Wrap-up