Join Scott Simpson for an in-depth discussion in this video What you should know before starting this course, part of Learning Ubuntu Desktop Linux.
I've tried to put this course together with as few prerequisites as possible. One of the biggest assumptions I have to make though, is that you're familiar with either Mac OS X or Windows, since I'll be using those operating systems as a reference for some basic concepts. I'll also try to avoid technical jargon, except where I really need to use it. If something goes over your head, don't worry. Ubuntu was designed to be usable and user-friendly. But sometimes technical terms and ideas come up because there's no alternative. When this happens in the course, I'll walk you through it, but you need to be prepared to see a little geek speak and understand how to deal with it.
Even though I'll show you how to install Linux natively on a computer, throughout the course I'll be using an installation of Linux inside a virtual machine. Simply because it's a lot easier to record, and because you'll be able to replicate the set-up exactly on your Windows or Mac OS X computer. If you're following along with a native install on a computer, things should look the same. But there might be minor differences that you'll have to work around. In a few minutes, I'll be installing Linux on a little computer called Intel NUC or Next Unit of Computing. You might have one of these, but chances are, you have different hardware if you're installing Linux natively.
Because of that, I can only offer you general suggestions when it comes to getting your hardware working. Support for specific hardware is beyond the scope of support for this course. And one of the most important aspects of exploring Linux, is the ability to deal with ambiguity and to be able to find the answers you need, in examples that may not exactly match your environment. My little computer has a specific set of hardware, some of it ordered from Amazon based largely on price, and the rest from my spare parts box. It's both very lucky and a testament to how mature Linux is. It almost, all of it worked perfectly.
Your system will have different hardware, so I won't be able to show you what to do with your set-up. You'll need to be willing take the general ideas and apply them to your particular case. But that said, Linux has amazing support for new and old hardware. If you've got an old PC in the closet that was too slow under Windows, dust it off, make sure there's nothing valuable stored on it and set it up for grandma, the kids, your neighbor or yourself with a brand new Linux installation. The next few movies are dedicated to the philosophy and history of Linux and I hope you'll watch them.
But, if you're eager to get started installing, jump to chapter one. If you've already got Ubuntu installed on a system, jump to chapter two.
- Installing Ubuntu in a virtual machine
- Installing Ubuntu as your main operating system
- Navigating the Unity Dash
- Exploring the hardware and system settings
- Working with files and folders
- Browsing the web
- Creating documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
- Working with photos in Shotwell
- Backing up your data
- Sharing files