Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux – Navigating the Desktop – Part 6

Last Updated on May 22, 2022

Activities Overview

The Activities Overview is a full-screen overlaying hosting various operating system controls. Let’s see what you’ll see when clicking Activities.

Linux for Starters - Activities and Virtual Desktops
Click image for full size
  1. At the centre top is a search bar. We’ll explore that below.
  2. Most of the screen estate is taken up by large thumbnails of the windows open on the current workspace. It offers one way of moving between windows. But you’ll probably be familiar with the keyboard shortcut Alt + Tab to switch between windows.
  3. Workspaces – these are virtual desktops letting you manage your desktop so that it’s less cluttered. You can drag and drop application windows between the workspaces. Workspaces can be used to organize your work. For example, you could have all your communication windows, such as e-mail and your instant messaging program, on one workspace. Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + Up or Ctrl + Alt + Down to efficiently switch between workspaces.

The search bar

This is one of the most powerful features of the Activities Overview.

In the image below, we’ve entered a couple of characters. Relevant software matching the typed characters are displayed on the fly.

Linux for Starters - Activities - Search
Click image for full size

You’ll notice there are sections headed Settings, Files and Characters offering quick access to various settings, files, and keyboard characters.

Page 3 – Dash

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Breakdown the Desktop
Page 2 – Activities Overview
Page 3 – Dash

All articles in this series:

Linux For Starters: Your Guide to Linux
1What is Linux? Why use Linux? What do I need?
2Choose a Linux distribution meeting your specific needs and requirements.
3Make a bootable Ubuntu USB stick in Windows.
4We show you how to install Ubuntu 21.04 on your hard disk.
5Things to do after installing Ubuntu.
6Navigating your way around the Desktop.
7Updating the system, install new software.
8Open source replacements for proprietary Windows desktop software.
9Get started with the power and flexibility of the terminal.
10We cover the basics of files and permissions.
11Getting help from your system.
12Learn all about the file system.
13Manipulating files from the shell.
14Maintain your system with these simple tips.
15Managing users on your system.
16Explore different desktops to GNOME 3.
17Gaming on Linux.
18Protect your privacy with this guide.
19Access the Windows desktop from Linux using a remote desktop client.
20Set up a virtual machine running Ubuntu as the host and openSUSE as the guest.
21Wine lets you run Windows programs on Linux without emulation.
22Extend your GNOME desktop with extensions and themes.
XUseful Linux commands.
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John Duncan
John Duncan
2 years ago

My beef with Ubuntu is that there’s insufficient testing of each release.