This article was updated for Ubuntu 12.04. The new article can be found here.
These instructions are for Ubuntu 11.10 using the Unity interface.
Linux (of which Ubuntu is a flavour) and it’s inspiration Unix, have a strong emphasis and tradition of doing everything via typed commands.
Often, when searching the Internet for a solution to a problem, you often find terse (possibly cryptic) answers along the lines of:
Test if you can reach Google with
ping -c 4 google.com
To recursively change your file permissions just:
chmod 755 -R /opt/lampp/htdocs
In order to run those commands, you have to open a shell or command line or terminal (they are all synonymous, but shell is the preferred term in Linux and Unix circles).
There are many different shells, the original Unix shell is called the Bourne Shell (or
sh), then came the C Shell (
csh) and Korn Shell (
ksh). Linux tends to use the Bourne Again Shell (
bash). For the most part, they all do the same thing, so you don’t need to worry about which one you are using.
If you want to know which shell you are using, just enter
echo $SHELL and press Enter.
TIP: If you find a command line solution / trick / tip for a non-Ubuntu Linux distribution, there is a good chance (though not 100% guaranteed) that it might work with Ubuntu.
If you get a
Permission denied or
Are you root? response when you type in the command, try prefixing the command with
sudo. Ubuntu requires administrator level privileges for certain commands.
sudo temporarily gives administrator privileges (after you supply your password).
Opening a Terminal using a Keyboard Shortcut
This is the default keyboard shortcut for Ubuntu 11.10 (and probably previous Ubuntu releases) running the GNOME / Unity desktop, unless you (or someone else) has changed it, it should work.
This also the default keyboard shortcut if you have changed your desktop environment to GNOME Shell, LXDE, or the Lubuntu Desktop and will work unless you (or someone else) has changed it.
This will NOT work for the XFCE or Xubuntu Desktop unless you (or someone else) has added the keyboard shortcut.
You can access the terminal by using the keyboard shortcut:
ctrl + alt + T (while pressing down the
alt key at the same time, press the
T key as if you were going to type the letter T, there is no need to hold it down).
Opening a Terminal from Unity
1) Click on the Dash icon (or use the keyboard shortcut by pressing the Windows key):
2) Type terminal into the entry field:
3) Click on the terminal icon:
Opening a Terminal if You are not Using Unity
Because there are many different types of desktops available for Linux, it is not possible to list all possible ways to start the terminal. However … the general technique is the same:
1) Open the Main Menu or Applications Menu (or whatever the main menu for your environment is called).
2) If you are lucky, there will be a menu entry for a terminal (it might be called Terminal or LXTerminal or something else with
terminal in the name.
3) If you are unlucky, then you will have to look for it in a submenu. It is most likely to be found in either the submenu Accessories or System
NOTE: You may have more than one terminal application installed or the terminal application may appear in more than one menu location.