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where is My Computer?


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newbie here


I'm truly amazed at the lack of a simple help file in linux for first time users.

The simplest of things seems like mysteries when you start as a newbie in linux

I'm using mandriva linux LE2005, I have a few questions please:


- where is 'My Computer' or anything similar, where I can browse to my files and fiolders?

- what is that wierd font that I'm vewing pages with, in firefox for linux? its a tiny and squeezed and elongated font. How can I change that to be like the fonts I'm used to when i run windows firefox?

- how do I add a shortcut to the taskbar, to open a text file located in a windows partition?

- what is the equivalent to 'My Documents' in mandriva linux?


many thanks in advance.

Edited by sallam
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I know, it's a whole new world and it takes a little time to get going efficiently. Here's a few tips and others will chime in. I'm going to try to answer some of your questions directly, but I mostly want to give you some resource tips that may be helpful to you as you continue to explore linux.


If you're using the KDE Desktop Manager: there's a very good KDE tutiorial: Menu -> More Applications -> Documentation -> KDE Help Center -> Tutorials -> QuickStart Guide. Also, get familiar with Konqueror -> click on the icon that looks like a home on the application launcher panel. The F9 key in Konqueror toggles the Navigation Panel (left side of window). Various icons at the left edge provide many functions. This could be considered like My Computer in Windows, but it has many more features.


There's very complete Mandrakelinux Start Guide documentation in html and pdf format. If it doesn't show on the Documentation menu, download the mandrake-doc-Starter package.


You've already found this board, which is a terrifc resources. Get familiar with it, espeically searching cause others will have asked and had answered most of the questions you have.


The home directory for your userid is probably the closest to My Documents. Create subdirs as needed and use Konqueror as a file manager.


In firefox, Edit -> Preferences to select the fonts you want, as well as other configurable options. Lots of helpful firefox messages here in these forums.


Lots of configuration options in Menu -> System -> Configuration -> Configure your Desktop.


Windows to Linux Beginner's Guide: http://www.reallylinux.com/docs/windowstolinux.shtml


Check out the Mandriva community wiki: http://mandriva.vmlinuz.ca/bin/view/Main/WebHome


Mandrake Tips: http://www.mandrake.tips.4.free.fr/


Easy Urpmi: http://www.mandrivausers.org/easyurpmi/index.php


Linux Documentation Project: http://www.tldp.org/

Edited by jboy
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Important thing to understand: Linux is not Windows. Things are different (and in my opinion better). :)


You questions (I'm assuming your usiing the Mandriva defaults):


- The file manager is called Konqueror. If you look next to the yellow star in Kicker (the start button in Windows) you see a icon of a small house. That's home.


- Fonts: The website you visit that looks different are probably using MS fonts. You can install these on Mandriva and the website will look the same as in Windows. (search the board for more information how to install these fonts).


- Rightclick, add to panel. Your wndows partition is under /mnt. Open konqueror and browse to /mnt/<your windows>


- /home/<your user name>/Documents.


Good luck with Linux.

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Boy you really come down hard don´t you. So sorry that Mandriva is not a windows clone for you. But most of us here look upon Mandriva (Linux) as a marvellous entity in its own right and are willing to learn how Linux does things. You to will love Linux if you accept that idea as well.

Your Mandriva has loads of help files and it does not take a lot to find them. There are buttons everywhere titled Help.


There is an icon on your desktop called Home and when you click on it it opens a file manager called Konqueror and from there you can find and view anything in your OS.


In Firefox you have only to click on Edit then Preferences then General then Fonts and Colours then Minimum font sizes and change it to 12 or 13. Change the fonts and sizes as you want.


Your Home account is your repository for the the likes of My Documents which you create yourself.


I strongly suggest you do a little playing around with your Mandriva. If you had you probably would not have needed to ask the earlier questions. Do not be afraid to look around and investigate things. It is not windows and therefore is far more robust and stable. It is considerably harder to break I can assure you.


Wecome to MUB.



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In addition to the previous replies, please note that Linux is organized differently. In Windows, Mr Gates has decided for you where you put your files, and what those files are going to be (My Documents, My Videos, etc). Linux does not restrict your options. If you are used to this kind of organization of your files, you are welcome to use it - fire up konqueror (an equivalent to Windows Explorer) by clicking the Home icon on your desktop, then create those folders one by one. You can also put links to those folders to the desktop.


Also, you might want to check out Linspire Linux. It's user interface has look and feel much closer to that of Windows while running Linux under the bonnet.

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Also for other configuration check through the menu -> System -> Configuration

The system backbone so to say can be configured through Mandrake Control Centre or mcc, it's called in the menu as Configure-Your-Computer,

for other configuration see Configure-Your-Desktop (kcontrol)

Edited by solarian
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thanks so much for your very helpful replies.. though i was too despirate, and before you posted all this, i just deleted linux, i mean i deleted the 2 partitions and reformatted into fat32. the funny thing is that the linux OS boot selection still shows up everytime i restart my computer! any idea how come its still there?


anyhow, after your encouragement, i think I'll re-install it again.

but just so you know, whenever i click at 'help' i get a mesage that help is not installed. so why help files are not installed by default? why do i have to study how to install them, they should have presumed that dumb people like me need things to be pre-installed for them during default system install, not by them manually, which itself needs studying!!. I'm amazed and frustrated that linux excepcts me to be a computer engineer to handle anything there!!! why dont they take into consideration casual home users? if they ever do so, linux would overpower windows in no time


for example, why can't i just click an icon to install something i just downloaded? i think that the more powerful any system is, the more simple its tasks should get. the better an OS is, the more transparant it must be. In linux, you spend some part of your life to study the operating system, while in windows you spend that time to study the software that you need to work with, not the OS itself. When you buy a car, you expect it to serve you, and to save you time, not the otherwise.


from what I gathered, linux does not expect you to download software and install it yourself, but rather: install software from the library that comes with the install CDs. Great, talking about freedom. Even mr gates allows you to insytall whatever you want. even when you want to upgrade, linux will decide for you what and when to upgrade!!! is that what it really is? is linux some kind of a big prison, or what?


Sorry for that lengthy bla bla, I'm sure you all don't agree. anyhow I'm willing to re-install it, if someone taught me: how to install software in mandriva linux. I want to click, not to type please. If there is a way to install something simple, like flash player (linux) for firefox, by clicking, please teach me how. If there is no easy way, I will probably not install linux again.

Edited by sallam
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for example, why can't i just click an icon to install something i just downloaded?

But you can! Those are called .rpm files. You double click on them and can install at will.

Or use the more powerful urpmi tool which makes installing software a lot more easier, faster and straightforward than in windows. (see easy-urpmi http://www.mandrivausers.org/easyurpmi/index.php and your MCC->software)


p.s. You had to learn Windows too once, it's intuitive to you because you already know it.

Linux is not Windows, but when you get used to it, it's a lot easier to administrate than windows ever was or is. Just from my experience.

But then.. I've always been good with computers. Manuals.. bleh

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any idea how come its still there?


It's because the Linux loader still resides to the MBR. Simply boot from your XP CD, drop to recovery console mode and use either the "fixboot" or "fixmbr" commands to restore the Windows loader.

That said, a good Linux distro leaves nothing to be desired compared to windows (unless you're a diehard gamer), it's FREE and absolutely virus/spam/trojan free...

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During the install you can tell what software you want installed. I'm pretty sure documentation is on by default.


You can doubeclick on an icon to install software. Just be sure to download the software packaged for Mandriva (version you have>.


Installing software is easier in Linux then in Windows. (read the faqs on this board about urpmi). If you have configured urpmi (with le2005 that means only adding the plf repositories). you can install over 10000 packages by just clicking your mouse.

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Thanks so much. Ok, I'll re-install it again, thanks to your kind encouragement. btw, i need to change the default boot to windows instead of linux. I failed to do so. I went o MCC and clicked 'change the way your computer boots' but there is no option for changing the default boot OS.

In a previous install, it used to be there. Do I have to login as admin or something for that option to show up? if so, how do I switch login from user to admin?

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If you want to reinstall, just do it the same as you did last time, and set LILO to First Sector MBR.

If you want to get back the windows bootloader (and consequently not be able to boot Linux) do it with the Windows boot cd as scarecrow told

Edited by solarian
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i need to change the default boot to windows instead of linux. I failed to do so. I went o MCC and clicked 'change the way your computer boots' but there is no option for changing the default boot OS.


Just click on Configure-Your-Computer (or type 'mcc' as root in terminal),

go to Boot->Set up system boot-> Next, click on Windows -> modify

and it is there

Edited by solarian
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