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Latest revision as of 17:27, 20 November 2018

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Getting Started

  • The default user for your machine is called OEM, and the password is oem. When you boot up your computer it will automatically log in as the OEM user. This user is meant to be temporary, and should not be used long term.
  • To personalize the computer, you need to run the "Prepare for shipping to end user" icon located in the upper left of the Desktop. After you double-click this, it will ask you for a password. Just enter the same password as for the login: oem.
  • After you enter the password it will tell you that the script is done. You will need to reboot your computer for the changes to take effect. After rebooting a new user dialogue will start, where you will enter:

1) The city you live in, for the computer's timezone.
2) The language and keyboard layout you prefer. If you have a standard keyboard, pick US English for normal keyboard operation, as Canadian English layout includes French characters and a slightly different layout.
3) Your name. This name will appear in the top right of the desktop.
4) A user name (lower case with no spaces) and a password.


  • The Ubuntu help section is actually helpful! On the top left side of your desktop, click System > Help and Support. There's a good introduction, and you can search to find answers to your questions. You can also try a Google search, as there are many forums out there where people get and give help.
  • Open Help Night: Free Geek runs a free drop-in help night every Wednesday from 7pm-9:30pm (come in the back door at 1820 Pandora St.). You can ask questions about how to use specific programs, or get help with any other issues you might have. From time to time there are other workshops/courses; check our website for details.
  • Also check out our FUR (Frequently Used Resources) page for commonly-encountered issues.

Extra Content

Ubuntu does not come shipped with the ability to read certain proprietary file types. To learn how to configure your computer to read these, go to http://wiki.freegeekvancouver.org/article/Installing_Extras.


  • Your old Microsoft software will not work in GNU/Linux. If necessary, you can try programs like WINE, that run software found in the Windows Operating System. http://www.winehq.org/
  • There is also very often open source software with equivalent functionality, and some of it will already be installed on your machine (e.g. LibreOffice and Firefox).
  • When saving documents in LibreOffice, you will choose the format(.doc, .odt, etc). There is also a built-in pdf exporter, that allows you to preserve the formatting of a document regardless of the system it is viewed on (good for resumes for example).


CDs supplied by Telus and Shaw will not work. You don't actually need them to setup your Internet connection. Shaw is a bit easier that Telus, and you really shouldn't have to change any settings on your GNU/Linux computer.