Desktop environment

The graphical user interface of *NIX operating systems are managed by an “X server”.

GNOME 3 is the most popular desktop environment on Linux.

The computers in our lab were replaced with Ubuntu 17.10, some running Ubuntu’s GNOME, and others on Budgie (which is more lightweight).

The official release date of Ubuntu 17.10 is October 19, 2017. The beta is unstable. Ubuntu 17.10 features a modified version of GNOME 3. GNOME is not a lightweight desktop environment, and might suffer from performance issues on the hardware we use.

Screenshot of Ubuntu 17.10 beta2 activities overview

GNOME extensions

GNOME extensions can be downloaded and managed from, or through GNOME Tweaks (gnome-tweak-tool).

Filesystem Hierarchy Standard

  • / is the root of the filesystem, which holds all your system files.
  • /home is where your user’s directory is located. You have write access to your home folder only. Your home folder is denoted as ~ (tilde) by most shells, and it contains your documents, pictures, configurations, and other ordinary files.
  • /bin is a symlink to /usr/bin, which contains executable binaries.
  • /boot contains static files for the bootloader.
  • /dev holds “block devices”. Physical and logical devices can be interacted with through their block devices in /dev.
    • /dev/sda represents the first physical drive.
    • /dev/sda1 is the first partition on that drive.
    • /dev/null is a pseudo-device that behaves much like null in any context of computer science. It discards any data written to it.
  • /etc/ contains configuration files.
  • /lib holds shared libraries.
  • /proc provides information about running processes and the kernel.
  • /usr is a seconday heirarchy containing mostly read-only data.

See man hier or for details.

Desktop Customization (note: not actually porn)