12 handy tips for your new Linux netbook

Got a new Linux netbook? Here's some things to do with it...

/usr/share/pixmaps/backgrounds/ -- there are plenty in there to choose from. If you want to use a custom desktop image, just copy it to that folder before selecting it.

8. Strike the search bar
If you've carried out the previous two steps, the Search bar may now be looking a little conspicuous. The best solution? Get rid of it altogether. Open a terminal window (Alt+F2 / terminal) and type the following to open the search bar's setting file for editing:

sudo mousepad /usr/share/search-bar/start-search_bar.sh

Now you'll need to comment out each line, which entails adding the comment symbol (a hash) to the start of each line in the file. Save and restart, and your search bar will be gone.

9. Ditch the default desktop
Acer has tweaked and hacked the Linpus Lite operating system -- and, specifically, the xcfe desktop environment -- to meet its own ideals. If the Aspire's standard desktop appearance doesn't suit you, you can revert to xcfe's default. Open a terminal window. We need to open the file that determines which desktop xcfe uses:

sudo mousepad /usr/bin/xfdesktopnew

And change any line which currently references 'xfdesktop2' to reference 'xfdesktop' instead. Restart and you'll have a fully working xcfe desktop rather than Acer's take.

10. Set your root password
The Aspire One has some mysterious, hidden root password set by default; you'll need to change it to something you'll remember. Just open a terminal window, type sudo su -, then type passwd -- use a combination of letters and numbers to create a new password, and for goodness sake write it down. TechRadar takes no responsibility for inaccessible netbooks.

11. Grab more apps
Time to snaffle some software! Right click the desktop, choose System, and click Add / Remove Software. Ta da: this is Linpus Lite's package manager, featuring a host of additional programs for your delectation. Just use the root password you set earlier when prompted.

12. Try a different OS
You're not stuck with your default Linux installation, you know. Suse 11 is a favourite amongst many manufacturers, and Linux-du-jour Ubuntu Netbook Remix is making strides as well. USB-based installations for both can be found online. Then there's Windows which, clearly, works rather well on the netbook; even Vista isn't too much of a task for most models. Heck, even OS X has been confirmed to work on a couple of models (primarily the MSI Wind and its clones) although use on a netbook is of questionable legality.

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