Ubuntu 101

(The following is a brief technical description of my first steps in switching from Windows to Linux.)

Most of my professional development experience has been over Windows. I am really comfortable with Windows and I feel I am able to work and multitask efficiently and effortlessly. However, branching into server-side web development (and professional work in general) I feel I should ramp up my Linux expertise. The best to do that, I figure, is jump right in, so after going dual-boot a while back, I will now try to conduct my daily business in an Ubuntu environment.

Since I wanted to ease the pain, the first task was to make the look-and-feel as Windowish as possible. After stumbling around for a little bit, I managed to get down the immediate list of customizations I needed to ‘feel at home’, essentially emulating a couple of my favorite Windows most ubiquitous tools.

  • (Figure out what the “Ubuntu Software Center” is and how you can use it instead of mucking around with manual installations.)
  • Add a bottom taskbar so I can view and switch between running applications (link)
  • Configure “win-D” to minimize-all and “win-R” to open a new terminal screen. These are not mandatory, but it just makes me that much more comfortable when they work. (Done via ConfigCompiz Settings Manager, download it)
  • The above required configuring the ‘super’/’win’ key not to open the Dash Home (Unity Plugin); instead, I locked this to win-q, which was my hot-key for my beloved Slickrun (link, Win only).

So now I at least have a minimal sense of control over my applications and terminals, which makes jumping into Linux that much less frightening. The next step will be finding a replacement for my beloved Notepad++, probably a minimally spiced-up gedit. (link)