Linux All-In-One For Dummies
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To get Ubuntu Linux up and running, get help provided in the Boot Prompt Function Keys section and take advantage of the straightforward, helpful commands.

The boot prompt function keys in Ubuntu Linux

You can choose from several options to control the startup process when booting from the Ubuntu CD-ROM. When you see the Ubuntu startup menu (the first menu option is Start or install Ubuntu) you have the option to select an alternative.

The following lists provide a summary of those codes.

    Using the F1 Help Menu

Press the F1 function key and the Welcome to Ubuntu help menu opens. You can then press the following function keys to get specific information.

  • F1 The main F1 menu

  • F2: Minimum hardware requirements

  • F3: Several methods you can use to start Ubuntu.

    For instance, you can turn off power-saving mode if you’re having problems getting Ubuntu to boot and suspect that option is causing the problem.

  • F4: Additional boot methods.

  • F5: Special boot parameters overview (why you might use boot parameters and where to find them)

  • F6: Hardware specific special boot parameters (examples of boot parameters for specific devices)

  • F7: More hardware specific special boot parameters (more examples of boot parameters you might use for specific devices)

  • F8: Debugging oriented special boot parameters.

  • F9: Describes how you can get help from Ubuntu.

  • Esc: Exits the Help menu

    F2 Language Menu

Pressing the F2 function key opens an extensive language support menu. Use the Up and Down cursor keys to navigate the menu and select a language.

    F3 Key Map Menu

Pressing the F3 function key opens an extensive keyboard support menu. Use the Up and Down cursor keys to navigate the menu and select the mapping that matches you keyboard.

    F4 VGA Menu

If you’re not satisfied with your computer screen’s resolution, press the F4 function key. A menu displays a selection of screen resolutions. Use the Up and Down cursor keys to select a resolution from the menu.

    F5 Accessibility Menu

This menu provides options to help access your computer for those who need extra help. Use the Up and Down cursor keys to select a assistant option. For instance, select the High Contrast option if you need a brighter screen.

    F6 Others Menu

This menu opens a one-line text editor showing the Ubuntu kernel boot options. You can modify any options that are

  • Fed to the Linux kernel

  • Used by the kernel to start your Ubuntu computer

    Getting a Virtual Terminal

Linux provides six virtual consoles (text-based command-line interfaces). Simultaneously, pressing the Control (Ctrl) and Alternate (Alt) keys with any of the functions keys from F1 through F6. For example, press Ctrl-Alt-F1.

Return to the graphics screen by pressing Ctrl-Alt-F7.

Useful commands in Ubuntu Linux

This list provides some simple command line examples. To open a terminal emulator window, click the Gnome Applications menu and select Accessories → Terminal, then, use these commands:

  • clear Clears the current screen of all text.

  • ls Lists the current directory.

    It’s like the MS-DOS dir command.

  • ls dir Lists the specified directory.

  • cat file Concatenates (adds) the contents of the file to your screen.

    It’s like the MS-DOS type command.

  • more file Displays the file one page at a time.

  • tail file Displays the file one page at a time from the end of the file.

  • pwd Shows name of the current directory.

  • cd dir Changes to the specified directory.

    It’s like the MS-DOS chdir command.

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