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NOTE: GNOME Double Click Default

By default, icons on the desktop and in file manager applications are run by double-clicking them as per windows. The bar that is usually at the bottom of the screen is across the top - if you want it at the bottom, right click an empty section of the bar, choose "Properties" then set "Orientation" to bottom.

Just after login...

When you have logged in, you'll see a desktop that looks something like this


Web browser (Firefox)

Along the row of icons on the top bar is an icon for Firefox web browser Firefox.png - I suggest you use this browser unless you have a preference for an alternate browser - there are many different browsers installed on Linux in MI

In the top-left corder there are many icons and words - the very top left hand corner shows "Geeko" and the word Applications

"Geeko" (and alternate web browsers)


The Geeko is like the "Start" button in MS Windows - click it and have a look at the applications in the different menus

Take a look at the Internet, and the Web Browser submenu to see all the different web browser applications installed.

Text Editors

Click on "Geeko" then Utilities, then Editor to see all the text editors installed on Linux - if you intend to use the GNOME desktop, I recommend you use the "gEdit" text editor - this is called just "Text Editor" in GNOME. gEdit is very similar to PSPad for those students who have taken the CP1082 module - it is a simple text editor with syntax highlighting, with a few tools for tidying up your HTML etc.


The main window looks like this:


Let's look at some of the things gedit shows you.

  • at the bottom of the screen, you can see "LN" and "COL" - this is the line number and column that the cursor is currently on - this will be invaluable in finding problems with your code.
  • one of the first things I do is turn on line numbering so that I can more clearly see when the problems are in my code and set some other preferences, to do this click the Edit menu, then Preferences, then you'll see a screen like this:


  • Select highlight line and display line numbers, and any other options you like

Below is a screenshot with line numbers and highlight current line turned on:


The command line (Gnome Terminal)

The last of the basics is to discuss the command line, as you'll need this from time to time to quickly change, move, etc. things around in your directories. There are many different ways to get a command line in Linux - as we're in GNOME we'll look at the default called "Gnome Terminal", but there are many others if you don't want to use Konsole, you can click on "Geeko", System, Terminal to look at the others - they all do the same thing at the end of the day.

In the applications menu, choose "System", "Terminal", "Gnome Terminal"

When the program starts it should look something like this:


Here we can type commands to control items in your directory structure, most importantly for the web development exercises, permissions.

Your "Home" directory

You can access your home directory (something like My Documents on Windows) by clicking the "Places" on the top bar, then "Home folder"


Essentials for CP1079

  • If you don't have a directory called "public_html" here, right-click in the blank space, and click "Create New Folder" - make sure you name the director exactly "public_html"
  • Right-click the "public_html" and select "properties", click the "Permissions" tab - you should see a menu that looks like this.


  • Make sure the Owner is set to "Read, Write & Execute" and that Group and Others are set to just "Read" so that your webpages can be seen on the World Wide Web