Short essentials for a linux newbie

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Revision as of 19:08, 27 September 2020 by 94.132.109.6 (talk) (→‎Ubuntu Repositories and PPAs)
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[Note: text extracted from PPC's How-To post in the antiX forums: https://www.antixforum.com/forums/topic/short-essential-how-to-list-for-the-complete-linux-newbie/]

Note: Some of this information is for users of the default antiX desktop- IceWM, but all Menu references are common to all antiX desktops IceWM. JWM and Fluxbox

Setting up wi-fi[edit | edit source]

– On the IceWM system tray (near the clock there should be at least 3 square icons, that show information about your computer…

Left click the third icon, counting from the right to the left. Connman Network Settings pops up.

You can also start “Connman” using Menu > Control Centre > Network > Wifi… (Connman)

– Left click Wireless, on the left.

– By default (maybe to save power) Wi-fi is set to “Disabled”- click the slide button on the top right to enable it.

– Hopefully, a list of all detected wi-fi networks pops up. Double left click the one you want to connect to and, if needed, enter it’s password (for some reason Connman calls it “Passphrase”). Click the “ok” button.

– To connect to a network, simply left click it and then click the “Connect” button

*TIP 1: Do need internet access in your laptop and have no wi-fi? If you have a mobile data connection on your android phone, and it’s USB cable, you can try to use that to access the Net from your laptop: your on your 3G/4G/5G phone internet connection. Connect your phone to your antiX computer, find and activate, on your phone the data sharing/ USB sharing data option and turn that on. Click Connman and check if, in the “Wired” Connections you get any indication that a USB connection is on-line. It works just like a ethernet internet connection.

*TIP 2: You can do a similar procedure to use your Wi-fi on a computer that does not have a wi-fi card. Access your wi-fi network from your android phone, connect it to your antiX computer using its USB cable, turn on the data sharing option on your phone and check, in connman, if a “Wired” network connection is active and, if so enjoy your wi-fi internet!

Accessing your files[edit | edit source]

The default File Manager (it’s called “Rox”) looks too different from what you are used to? antiX has no shortage of file managers, you can try something that looks more like a mainstream File Manager (similar to Windows File Explorer, for example) – it’s called SpaceFM:

Menu > Applications > System > SpaceFM

Do you like SpaceFM enough to always want to use it to access your files? Make it the default File Manager:

Menu > Control Centre > Default Applications (it’s the “yellow star” icon) > Click the input field to the right of “File Manager” and select “spacefm.desktop” from the list, Click “Open” on that selection window, then “Ok” on the main window. From now on, when you click the File Manager icon on the toolbar or the menu, or plug in and external drive, it will always launch SpaceFM.

Do you miss having Bookmarks, like “Documents”, “Downloads”, etc?

Open SpaceFM > Go to you “Downloads” folder > SpaceFM “Bookmarks” Menu > Confirm that “Show bookmarks” is checked > Click “add bookmark”.

A bookmark to your Downloads folder instantly appears on the left side bar.

You can create bookmarks to any folder you want to, repeating this process. To create a bookmark to your “Home” folder, where your files are stored, navigate to “/home/”, click the folder with your username and then “add bookmark”, etc.

Do you want to see previews of your files ( picture and video files)?

Open SpaceFM > SpaceFM “View” Menu > Preferences > Check “Show thumbnails” > Click “Ok”

Do you want to search for a specific file (by file name or file content)?

Menu > Applications> Accessories > SearchMonkey

Can I access files from my usb thumb-drive, external drive?

Any external drive should automatically come up on your screen, on your default file manager. If it does not, and you are using SpaceFM file manager, open it and check if your drive is listed on the “Devices” list, on the upper left corner of the screen. If it is, left click it to access it.

Can I access files stored on the cloud?

Sure:

– use the file storage web interface or;

- install any available interface (“Dropbox” and “Mega” can be installed from Package Manager). There are, at the present time, no official interfaces to “Google Drive” or Microsoft Cloud services for Linux, but you can install “Open Drive” from Package Manager- that allows acces to those services).

- A forum user created a script that allows antiX users to access cloud service drives ( like Google Drive, Ms OneDrive, etc) using rclone. Get the latest version of the script here: https://github.com/PPC-scripts/access_cloud

Save the antiX version of the script to your computer. On your File Manager right click the file and make it “executable” (using SpaceFM: select the file and press CTRL + P. In the permission window, check the “Executable” field, then click the “ok” button.

You can now execute the script. First, configure your cloud account (Google Drive can be automatically configured) then just click the name of the account and it’s contents open in your default File Manager.

Updating the system[edit | edit source]

- Just click the automatic update checker icon on the tray, next to the clock OR

- Menu > Applications > antiX > antiX Updater > enter your password if asked to > wait to see if there are any updates, if there are a black terminal window with white letters pops up, listing all available updates – just press the “enter” key (yes, in the keyboard) and the update starts. A warning will pop up when the process is finished- Click its button and you are done. OR

-Menu > terminal

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

Install Applications[edit | edit source]

Most applications can be installed either from the Package Installer, Synaptic or directly from terminal.

Read the specific article about Installing applications in antiX Linux.

Ubuntu Repositories and PPAs[edit | edit source]

Sure, it’s a free world. Install Ubuntu or any of it’s countless derivative OS’s... If you really need to use software that is only available on a ppa, use the forums to contacto the antiX/mx devs to confirm if the packages on that ppa are fully compatable with antix!

Install .deb files meant for others OS’s on antiX at your own risk, because you can harm your system.

Application icons[edit | edit source]

In the Icewm toolbar[edit | edit source]

Menu > Applications > antiX > Icewm Toolbar Icon Manager > Click the “Add icon” button > select the .desktop file of the application you want to have on your toolbar > Click the “Ok” button and the icon instantly appears on your toolbar.

[If you don’t want to add another icon, you can close the Toolbar Icon Manager.]

In the (Rox-...) desktop[edit | edit source]

If you are using the Default antiX desktop (or any other managed by Rox): Menu > Run > type (without the quotes) “rox /usr/share/applications” > “Ok” button > Drag and drop, from the windows that pops open, the icons you want to have on your desktop. Double right click the icons to rename them (you can safely delete the “.desktop” extension)

Desktop Session[edit | edit source]

Changing the wallpaper[edit | edit source]

Menu > Control Centre > “Desktop” Tab > choose Desktop Image

Turning off the system monitor on the desktop (conky)[edit | edit source]

Menu > Desktop > Conky on/off

Startup applications[edit | edit source]

Menu > Run > type (without the quotes) “add-start” > “Add” tab > type the app you want to start at boot > press the “add” button

TIP: if you don’t know the command to start the app you want to add to your start up, it’s a relatively easy process:

Menu > Applications > System > app select

Search for the application you want. Do you see line (beneath the line which shows your app Name) that starts with “Exec:”? The rest of that line is the command you need to run your app! (Sadly you can’t copy and paste it, you have to manually enter it in the “add-start” application…)

Interesting Extras[edit | edit source]

System notifications[edit | edit source]

antiX does not provide that out of the box, but it’s easy to solve:

Run Package manager and install “Dunst”, that provides that (by default notifications come up on the right upper corner of the screen)

It's basic, but provides, for example, notifications when you get an e-mail in Thunderbird

Task switcher (skippy-xd)[edit | edit source]

You can have it, but it takes a little bit of work:

Menu > Terminal

sudo apt install skippy-xd

[ enter your password if asked to]

Menu > Control Centre > Edit… ICeWM > “Toolbar” tab >

and, right after the line that says “### Commonly used applications” [or anywhere else you want to put the icon] paste this line:

prog "Task switcher" /usr/share/icons/papirus-antix/48x48/actions/dialog-rows-and-columns.png skippy-xd

Save the text file you just edited (press CTRL + S )

Menu > "Logout" right arrow > Restart Icewm

You now have an icon that, when clicked, lets you preview in real time, all non minimized windows (minimized ones are represented by the app’s icon) – Just like you have in Windows 10, MacOS, Android, etc…

[Note: it's a tiny program, that takes almost no resources, makes antiX just look like any other "modern" Operating System, and it’s really useful, if you have many open windows]