A little confused

Johnny Rosenberg gurus.knugum at gmail.com
Sun Aug 29 17:25:05 UTC 2010

2010/8/29 M W <milore55 at gmail.com>:
> Hello,
> After a week of trial and error and searching for answers I found this and
> hope it helps. Since I am used to a Windows OS the Ubuntu set up is foreign
> to me. I downloaded Ubuntu (newest version) to try it. So far, I like what I
> see but what I do not understand is how to install certain things. My
> Symantec Antivirus and a DVD player for two.

You can not run Windows software on other operating system than
Windows, at least not directly. Try first to find equivalent software
for Linux. The easiest way to do that is to click Program → Ubuntu
software center (I think – I have Swedish version of Ubuntu so I hope
I translated correctly).

You can also try Synaptic, which someone suggested, but I think the
software center is better for newbies.
You can search for software there, get some brief information about it
and install/uninstall applications with one mouse click. As a bonus,
your update manager will manage everything that you install from the
software center (or Synaptic), which means that you don't need to look
for updates manually for anything.

If you don't find what you are looking for in the software center,
there are other ways, but the software center is the easiest way,
easier than anything you've ever seen in Windows, I'd guess.

But, even if there are more than 30000 packages in the software
center, you might still not find what you are looking for. Then you
will open your web browser and search for it ”the usual way”.
Sometimes when you find something you'll find that it's included in a
software repository that you don't have. You can then include it
(those web sites usually have instructions how to do that) and after
that you can find what you are looking for in the software center.

You can also search for software to install without bothering about
repositories. You should then look for DEB files, that is files which
name ends ”.deb”. They are easy to install on Ubuntu. Download them
and open them, and an installation dialogue opens. Click the Install
button and wait until the installation is complete.

If you can't find a DEB file but there seem to be am RPM file
available, it can be converted to a DEB file using something called
”alien”, which can be installed from the software center. I don't
think there is a GUI (Graphical User Interface) for that, so let's
leave that for now.

Sometimes you'll find files like ”filename.tar.bz2” or
”filename.tar.gz”. You need to unzip those and in many cases compile
them. That's not for beginner so don't bother about that yet.

Anyway, since you are a beginner, let's stick to the software center
and DEB files now for a while until you feel like taking the next

You have probably heard of ”the terminal” and that it is something
complicated and scary. These days you don't really need it, at least
not with Gnu/Linux-distributions like Ubuntu, BUT it's very powerful,
so learning how to use it, at least the most important commands, will
probably pay you back many times. But let's wait until you really feel
like it. It's much easier to learn thing if you want to learn…

You DVD player should work out of the box and antivirus is not needed.
If you still want an antivirus you can probably find one in the
software center, like ClamTk. But don't bother about that, you really
don't need it.


Johnny Rosenberg

>I tried the downloader with the
> antivirus and I just get an error message. I tried the dvd player but on the
> website all I get is code to install.
> I'm not a computer geek, but I'm not a novice computer user either. I really
> need some help in some basics. I have read several help pdfs but I still
> need some further assistance. I would like to get rid of the Windows OS
> completely but b/4 I do, I need to understand Ubuntu.
> Would really appreciate some assistance.
> Thanks, Michelle
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