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The first four chapters of this book took you through the fundamentals of Linux. At this point, you should have a solid grasp of essential Linux terminology, know how to install Linux, and know how to do some basic configuration of your system. These are the essential functions you will need in order to progress with Linux. The Linux terminology is critical to being able to understand Linux articles and books, use online tutorials, or simply communicate with other Linux users. The capability to install and configure a system is absolutely essential to being able to use that system. However, these are not the things that most users do on a day-to-day basis. You generally install Linux on a PC only one time. You will usually only change the system’s configuration when some pressing need arises, such as if you change your hardware or a person with different requirements will use the machine. This brings us to this chapter. In this chapter, we will explore some basic, common tasks that most people will use on a frequent basis.
This chapter will show you how the most commonly used functions in Windows can be accomplished in Linux. The point is to take those common functions you formerly accomplished in Windows and translate them into Linux. We will walk through many of the basic tasks that typical users will do. This should take you to the point that you can start using Linux productively. The tasks we will examine will include using basic text editors to write documents, finding calculators, using a contact manager, and screen captures. In most cases, we will discuss briefly how the task is done in Windows and then show you how to accomplish the same task in Linux.
The applications and utilities we will deal with in this chapter come with the KDE user interface. If you will recall from Chapter 2, “Installing Linux,” during the installation process you were asked to select the KDE interface as your default mode of using Linux. KDE has a similar feel to Windows, so it should be no surprise that KDE offers a number of applications that are quite similar to Windows applications. This chapter will review the use of some of the more common of these utilities.
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