Xubuntu New User FAQ 12.04

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How do I get started?

The first time you use your Free Geek Computer, it will come up to a login screen for the oem account. The username for this account is oem and the password is freegeek. While this account will work, and is the one we use to test the machine, it is not very secure to have an account for which hundreds of people know the password, so one of the first jobs you will want to do is to create a new account and delete the oem account. Fortunately, there is a simple way of doing that, but be warned that this will destroy all files you have created or downloaded to the computer so far. From the oem account, go to System">"Administration">"Prepare for Shipping to end user". Then restart your computer. As it boots up, it will prompt you to create a new account. Be aware that usernames should not have any capital letters or spaces, and that some users (like "admin") are already used by the operating system.

How do I create additional user accounts?

New users are created by going to System>Administration>Users and Groups

The first user is set to have administrative privileges. This will not be true of additional accounts unless "Executing System Administration Tasks" is specifically set under User Privileges.

What software is included?

The Free Geek Ubuntu box has a full complement of useful software. The list below is not exhaustive.

  • The Gimp - Image processing software roughly equivalent to Adobe Photoshop
  • OpenOffice - Word Processing, Database, Spreadsheet, Drawing, Presentation Manager
  • Firefox - Internet browser
  • Evolution - Email, Calendar, Personal Information Manager
  • Nautilus - File Manager and CD/DVD creator
  • gThumb - Photo archive and Camera reader
  • XSane - Scanner Software
  • Lots of games
  • Many utilities such as a calculator, screenshot taker, dictionary

How do I change my password?

Your password can be changed in Menu ->System ->Users and Groups

How do I change the name of my computer from "freekbox"?

This is set in a file /etc/hostname. You will need to be an adminstrative user to edit it.. After changing the computer name, many functions may not work correctly until you reboot, so reboot as soon as possible.

How do I add a printer?

USB printers should be automatically detected and configured otherwise go to Menu -> System -> Printing and click on 'Add Printer'.

How do I connect to the internet?

Broadband (cable or dsl)

For most cable and dsl modems, once the broadband modem is configured, your ubuntu box will be able to connect without any extra configuration. If you are not able to connect, then check the following:

  • The ethernet connection may need to be enabled. Go to Settings ->Network Connections, highlight the ethernet connection and then click on properties. There should be a check mark in "Enable this connection". The Configuration should be DHCP unless you know it should be otherwise.
  • The modem may need to be rebooted or reset.


Many (but not all) wireless cards will work with Linux, but most of them require some special configuration. Internal (pci) cards are the best option for desktop computers. Details of which cards are supported and how to configure them can be found at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/WirelessCardsSupported. Free Geeks wiki has a page on tips for configuring wireless (http://wiki.freegeek.org/index.php/Wireless_Tips), plus our tech support department can help set up supported wireless cards for a fee.

Cellular Wireless Services and WiMax

Internet service from companies such as Cricket, Verizon, Sprint, and Clear may or may not work with Ubuntu. Please contact technical support before choosing to use one of these services.

Adding Software

Xubuntu has many thousands of software packages to install, both free and paid. These can be found in the Ubuntu Software Center under Menu.

Virus protection

Linux computers don't suffer from the same virus and spyware problems that Windows operating systems have. Average users will not need to worry about installing virus protection software on a Free Geek computer.

DVD Playback

Most commercial DVDs are encrypted using a format known as Content Scramble System (CSS). For various reason FreeGeek does not distribute the software required to play this type of DVD. However you can add support for this by installing libdvdcss2 manually following these instructions:

Note: Check with your local laws to make sure usage of libdvdcss2 would be legal in your area.

First, go to system ---> administration ---> software sources. Under the tab labeled "Ubuntu Software" check the box next to "Software Restricted By Legal or Copyright Issues (multiverse)." Hit "Reload" when prompted.
Then open a terminal by going to the Aplications menu and selecting Accessories>Terminal, then enter the following commands in order:
sudo apt-get install vlc xubuntu-restricted-extras libdvdread4
sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh

This will install VLC (a media player) extra video decoding software, and the required DVD libraries. Once these packages are installed your system should be able to play any DVD media.

YouTube and other online media

To view youtube and many other online videos you will need to install the flash plugin. This package is included with "ubuntu-restricted-extras" (see above), but can also be manually installed from the terminal by visiting


and choosing "apt for ubuntu 10.04+" in the box labeled "Select version to download"

Adding Hardware

Not all hardware works with all operating systems. This is especially true for wireless cards and modems. To ensure that the hardware that you would like to add to your computer will work, please make sure the device that you wish to add is on a list here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardwareSupport