Monthly Archives: March 2014

Find File & Folder Size In Ubuntu 14.04

FileSize

Hard drives have gotten bigger over the years, but it’s still important to monitor your hard disk space usage, lest you accidentally fill up your hard drive. This is even more important on removable media, since it is much easier to fill up a four gigabyte flash drive than a one terabyte hard drive. Fortunately, there are a number of different ways to check the size of a file or a folder in Ubuntu.

To check the size of a file or folder, first launch Nautilus file browser by going to the Dash, searching for “files”, and click on the icon for Nautilus. You can also launch Nautilus by clicking on its pinned icon on the Launcher, by double-clicking the icon for any folder, or by clicking on the icon for a removable drive on the Launcher.

After Nautilus has launched, navigate to the file or folder whose size you want to check. Right-click on the file or folder, and select Properties from the context menu. A dialog box will appear showing the size of the file or folder in question. If you right-clicked and selected Properties for a folder, the dialog box will also show the entire size of every single item contained within the folder.

You can also check the size of a folder from the Terminal command-line interface. To launch the Terminal, either go to the Dash, search for “terminal”, and click on the icon for Terminal, or hit the CTRL+ALT+T keys simultaneously. Once at the Terminal, use du command with the –s and the –h switches to determine the size of a file or folder. For instance, this command will display the size of your home folder:

du –sh ~

-JM

Format Removable Media In Ubuntu 14.04

FormatMedia

Ubuntu lets you connect removable media without much muss or fuss. Assuming your computer has the necessary USB ports you can connect any number of USB flash drives or hard drives, or even SD cards if your system has a card reader. However, to prepare removable media for use (or to erase it quickly), you need to format it. “Formatting” a removable drive simply means that the computer writes it with a filesystem in preparation for use. A filesystem is a method of organization information stored on a disk so the computer can find it again – NTFS, FAT, and ext4 are the most commonly used filesystems with removable Ubuntu computers.

To format a removable disk, first connect it to your computer. Once Ubuntu has recognized the device, an icon will appear for it on the Launcher. Click on the icon, and a Nautilus window will appear. Your device will appear under the Devices category in the left-hand pane of the Nautilus window. Right-click on the device’s link in that pane, and select Format from the menu.

The Format dialog box will then appear. Under the “Erase” drop-down menu, you can choose whether or not Ubuntu will overwrite the information already on the drive. Under the “Type” drop-down menu, you can select what kind of filesystem to use on the formatted drive. You have four options:

-A FAT drive will be readable and writable on almost all Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X systems.

-A NTFS drive will be readable and writable on almost all Windows systems and most Linux systems. Certain kinds of Linux systems may not be able to read from or write to an NTFS drive. Additionally, Mac OS X computers can read an NTFS drive, but they cannot write to it.

-An ext4 drive is compatible with all Linux systems. Note that neither Windows computers nor Macs will be able to read the drive.

-An ext4 drive with encryption will be compatible with all Linux systems, but you will have to first enter a password to decrypt the drive.

In the Name field, you can enter a volume label for the drive. After it is formatted, Ubuntu will use that name to list the device in Nautilus.

After you have made your selections, click on the Format button, and Ubuntu will format the drive. Note that this will destroy all data currently on the drive – it is possible to recover any data, but the recovery requires special software tools.

-JM

Access Removable Media On Ubuntu 14.04

Media

There are a variety of different removable media devices you can connect to or plug into your Ubuntu computer – USB flash drives, USB hard drives, optical disks, and several others. Of course, once you have removable media devices connected to your Ubuntu system, you need to access them, and it isn’t immediately obvious how to do this. There are several different ways to access removable media devices in Ubuntu.

The first way is through the Launcher. Whenever you connect a removable media device to your computer, after a few moments Ubuntu should automatically “mount” the device (that simply means Ubuntu will make it accessible). After the device is mounted, it receives an icon on the Launcher, just above the icon for the Trash. Every removable media device receives its own icon on the Launcher. To access the device, simply click on its icon on the Launcher, and Nautilus will open up a window displaying the contents of the drive or device.

The second way is through Nautilus. In the left-hand pane of Nautilus is a listing of links to Places – Home, Desktop, Downloads, and so forth. Beneath the Devices category, you will see all the removable media devices connected to your computer. Left-click on the name of the device, and Nautilus will proceed to the top directory on the device.

-JM

Set Default Applications in Ubuntu 14.04

DefaultApplications

When you perform a certain task in Ubuntu, you will notice that the same program always tends to handle a particular task. For instance, when you play a music file, Rhythmbox always launches, opening an image file brings up Image Viewer, and clicking on a Mail To link on a webpage opens up Thunderbird Mail. These are the “default programs” – programs that Ubuntu always accesses when you open up a particular kind of file or perform a certain task. However, if you have more than one kind of program capable of handling a specific task, you might want to assign a different program as the default. For instance, if you install the Opera web browser, you might want to make that the default instead of Mozilla Firefox.

To change the default programs, first launch the System Settings utility. By default, it is pinned to the Launcher, and its icon looks like a small wrench superimposed over a gear. You can also launch System Settings by going to the Dash, searching for “System Settings”, and left-clicking on its icon when it appears.

After System Settings launches, click on the Details icon, which is located in the second spot on the bottom row of icons. After the Details dialog box opens, click on the Default Applications item in the left-hand pane. In the right-hand pane, you will then see a list of application types – Web, Mail, Calendar, and so forth. Click on the drop-down menu next to each item to set the default application for that task for type of file.

Once you are finished, close System Preferences, and Ubuntu will use the new default program settings.

-JM

Set The Default Printer In Ubuntu 14.04

DefaultUbuntuPrinter

When using Ubuntu, you may need to print documents from time to time. If you have only one printer connected to your Ubuntu PC, you don’t need to worry about which printer is the default. However, if you are using Ubuntu in an office environment, it is entirely possible that you have more than one printer connected to your computer. If you do, you will need to designate one of them as the default printer, the one to which print jobs are automatically sent unless you explicitly select otherwise in the print dialog box.

To set the default printer, first launch the System Settings utility. By default, it is pinned to the Launcher, and its icon looks like a small wrench superimposed over a gear. You can also launch System Settings by going to the Dash, searching for “System Settings”, and left-clicking on its icon when it appears.

After System Settings launches, click on the Printers icon, which is the first icon in the third row. This will bring up a window displaying icons for every printer connected to your system. To select a default, click with the right mouse button on the printer you wish to select. From the menu that appear, left-click on Set As Default. That printer will then be the default for any print jobs you generate.

-JM

Recover Deleted Files & Folders In Ubuntu 14.04

RecoverDeleted

When using Ubuntu, from time to time you may accidentally delete a file or folder that you really need to keep, or you might delete a file and change your mind about it later. Fortunately, when you delete a file in Ubuntu, it is not immediately erased, but sent instead to the Trash. The Trash is a special folder that holds all the items you delete, similar to the way a physical trash can in a home or office holds discarded items before they are permanently destroyed. If a file is in the Trash, you can still recover it. Note that if you empty the Trash, the files that were in the Trash cannot be recovered.

There are three ways to open the Trash in Ubuntu. The first way is to simply click the Trash icon on the Launcher – it is permanently pinned there, and users cannot remove it. The second is to open a Nautilus window and click on the Trash shortcut in the left-hand column. The final method is to hit the SUPER+T keys simultaneously.

Once the Trash is open, you will see all your deleted items. Like any other window in Nautilus, you can sort the items in the Trash using a variety of different views, which can come in handy if you are looking for an item you deleted several weeks ago. Once you have found the file or the folder you wish to recover, left-click once to select it. After the file is selected, click on the Restore button in the upper right-hand corner of the Trash window.

The file or the folder you selected will then be restored to its previous location on your Ubuntu system. Note that if you selected a deleted folder to restore, all the files and folders contained within that folder will be restored as well.

-JM

Delete Files And Folders In Ubuntu 14.04

NautilusLaunch

When using Ubuntu, you might need to delete files from time to time. Fortunately, Nautilus makes this operation quite easy, Using Nautilus, you can delete individual files, or delete large groups of files at once.

To delete an individual file or folder in Nautilus, right-click on the file or folder. When the context menu appears, left-click on the item marked Move To Trash. The file will immediately be moved to the Trash. Note that when deleting folders, any files or subfolders within the folder will also be moved to the Trash as well.

Deleting files and folders this way is well and good for deleting them one at a time, but deleting one file at a time can quickly prove cumbersome. Nautilus offers several ways to select and delete many files at once. To select more than one file at once, hold down the CTRL button and left-click on the individual files you want to delete. So long as you hold down the CTRL, every file and folder you left-click will be selected. Once you have selected all the files you want to copy, right-click on one of the selected files and then left-click Move To Trash from the context menu. The files will then be immediately moved to the Trash.

CTRL-clicking is useful for selecting individual files more quickly, but you can use SHIFT-clicking to select and delete large groups of files at once. Hold down the SHIFT key and left-click to select a file. While still holding down the SHIFT key, click on a file or folder further down the list. Nautilus will then select every file and folder between the first one you clicked and the last, and you can delete them all by right-clicking on one and selecting Move To Trash from the context menu.

Finally, you can delete files and folders by dragging them to the Trash icon on the Launcher. To delete more than one file or folder at a time using this method, first CTRL-click or SHIFT-click the files and folders, and then drag them en masse to the Trash.

-JM

Move Files In Ubuntu 14.04

NautilusLaunch

When using Ubuntu, you may need to move files and folders from one location to another. Fortunately, Nautilus makes this operation quite easy, Using Nautilus, you can move individual files, or move large groups of files at once.

To move an individual file or folder in Nautilus, right-click on the file or folder. When the context menu appears, left-click on the item marked Copy. Right-click again, and then click on the Cut item. Then navigate in Nautilus to the location to which you wish to move the file. Right click on a blank spot within the destination folder, and select Paste. Nautilus will then move the file to the destination.

This is well and good for individual files, but moving one file at a time can quickly prove cumbersome. Nautilus offers several ways to select and move many files at once. To select more than one file at once, hold down the CTRL button and left-click on the individual files you want to copy. So long as you hold down the CTRL, every file and folder you left-click will be selected. Once you have selected all the files you want to copy, right-click on one of the selected files and then left-click Copy from the context menu. Right-click again and then select Cut. Then navigate to the location to which you wish to move the files, right-click on a blank spot, and select Paste. Nautilus will then move every single file you selected.

CTRL-clicking is useful to select individual files more quickly, but you can use SHIFT-clicking to select and move large groups of files at once. Hold down the SHIFT key and left-click to select a file. While still holding down the SHIFT key, click on a file or folder further down the list. Nautilus will then select every file and folder between the first one you clicked and the last, and you can then move them as you would normally.

-JM

Copy Files In Ubuntu 14.04

NautilusLaunch

When using Ubuntu, you may need to copy files and folders from one location to another. Fortunately, Nautilus makes this operation quite easy, Using Nautilus, you can copy individual files, or copy large groups of files at once.

To copy an individual file or folder in Nautilus, right-click on the file or folder. When the context menu appears, left-click on the item marked Copy. Then navigate in Nautilus to the location to which you wish to copy the file. Right click on a blank spot within the destination folder, and select Paste. Nautilus will then create a copy of the file in the destination.

This is well and good for individual files, but copy one file at a time can quickly prove cumbersome. Nautilus offers several ways to select and copy many files at once. To select more than one file at once, hold down the CTRL button and left-click on the individual files you want to copy. So long as you hold down the CTRL, every file and folder you left-click will be selected. Once you have selected all the files you want to copy, right-click on one of the selected files and then left-click Copy from the context menu. Navigate to the location to which you wish to copy the files, right-click on a blank spot, and select Paste. Nautilus will then create a copy of every single file you selected.

CTRL-clicking is useful to select individual files more quickly, but you can use SHIFT-clicking to select and copy large groups of files at once. Hold down the SHIFT key and left-click to select a file. While still holding down the SHIFT key, click on a file or folder further down the list. Nautilus will then select every file and folder between the first one you clicked and the last, and you can then copy them as you would normally.

-JM

Rename Files And Folders In Ubuntu 14.04

NautilusLaunch

When using Ubuntu, you may find it necessary to rename a file or a folder. The nature of a project could change, for instance, or an existing file might acquire a new purposes. There are two different ways to rename a file or a folder.

The first method is to left-click once on the file or folder you wish to rename in order to select it. After the file or folder has been selected, right-click on it. From the context menu that appears, select the “Rename” item. A cursor will then appear next to the name of the file or folder. Left-click on the name, and type a new name. His the ENTER key, and the file or folder will be renamed.

The second method is to left-click once on the file or folder you wish to rename in order to select it. After the file or folder has been selected, click on the gear menu in the upper right-hand corner of the Nautilus window. From the menu that appears, select the “Rename” item. A cursor will then appear next to the name of the file or folder. Left-click on the name, and type a new name. His the ENTER key, and the file or folder will be renamed.

-JM