Ubuntu Linux Demystified – How to Configure Your OS Using The Indicators

If you have never used Ubuntu Linux before, do not worry! Those people who have used the Microsoft’s operating systems for their whole lives will fear that they might not be able to operate their first Linux operating. So, here, we will demystify the Ubuntu Linux desktop environment before you even install it on your systems.

The Desktop & Environment

The first thing you will notice, after installing Ubuntu 12.04, is a very user-friendly desktop with a neat and clean background. It may look a little different than any other OS at first, but you will get familiar easily because it is a GUI (Graphical User Interface) based operating system just like the other popular operating systems. To make it clearer, Microsoft Windows and OS X are probably the other most popular GUI based operating systems.

On the desktop, you will notice a bar at the top with a number of different icons called “Indicators”.

So, let’s look at these indicators and explore their purpose:


This is one of my favorite features in Ubuntu. This envelope is the one click solution to all your social needs. You can add your Facebook, Windows Live, Jabber and many other accounts for chatting directly from your desktop with just a single click. Similarly, you can add your social networks to broadcast and share the latest happenings with you via Facebook or Twitter.

To set up your chat client, click the envelope icon and then click chat.

Now, click the “+” sign and you will see an option to choose from a number of different chat accounts. In this demonstration, I chose “Facebook” from the drop-down menu and entered my user name and password.

You can see now that my Facebook account is added.

If you want to chat with your Facebook friends, just click that envelope icon again and click chat.
You can now see the list of your Facebook friends.

Similarly, you can add your Facebook or Twitter account to read the latest feeds or update your Facebook status or Tweet with your friends. Click the envelope icon and then click Broadcast.

Now, click the home button and an option will appear to select Facebook or Twitter. For this demonstration, I selected Twitter.

When you click add, you have to authorize your twitter account.

Now, enter your user name and password and click “Authorize app”.

You can also choose a color for your account. Then, click close to complete the setup.

Finally, you can see or post tweets.

Up-Down Arrows

Next to the envelope icon is an up-down arrow icon. This icon lets you access the network connections and settings directly from the desktop. You can see all the connections that you are connected to in this menu or edit the connection settings.


The speaker icon obviously lets you control the volume of your system. However, the best part about this volume controller is that it not only lets you access the sound configuration menu, but also lets you control the default music player “Rhythmbox” directly.


There is also a clock next to the speaker icon. When you click the current time, you can see the whole calender and switch months or years easily. You can also change the time & date settings directly from this menu.

User Account Name

Clicking your user account name will let you configure the user account setting or switch the user account easily.

Power Button

Finally, there is a power button that lets you log out, suspend or shut down your computer. You can also access the configuration menu of the system settings, display setting, startup applications or manage the available updates. Also, you can configure your printers from this menu.

So, these demonstrations will surely give you the confidence to install Ubuntu Linux on your computer. You can see that once you understand the basics of Ubuntu, it can become an amazing user experience for you.

Screenshots by: Zealous.Zaryab

Reaction on Twitter

  1. @zealouszar says:

    Ubuntu Linux Demystified – How to Configure Your OS Using The Indicators http://t.co/dTMaoHCr

Author: zealous.zaryab