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Carleton DeTar detar at physics.utah.edu

Terminal Utilities

Here are instructions for accessing the browser, mail utility, emacs, and Maple, editing simple Microsoft Office documents with our lab terminals.

This document assumes you already know how to log on and start the Terminal window manager..

Web Browser

At the top of your screen you should see an ``Applications'' pull-down menu. Use it to select ``Applications'' -> ``Internet'' -> ``Firefox''. You can also start Firefox from a Terminal window by typing the command firefox &.

Mail utilities

You should choose your mail client carefully. It is best to use only one so your mail messages are not scattered among different computers.

When you get a departmental computer account, you will have a departmental e-mail address. Usually, classes will send mail to this account. So if you don't want your mail to end up in a departmental mailbox, you need to set mail forwarding. See Email..

Most students are already using a mail client. The popular ones are web-based, such as ``gmail'' and ``umail''. To access them, you must open a web browser first, of course. See above.

The full-featured Mozilla mail utility is called Thunderbird. To start it, select Applications->Internet->Thunderbird or open a terminal window and type the thunderbird & command. You will need to configure it.

The Unix ``pine'' utility is also popular. It is not windows based, but it can manage folders and handle attachments. To start pine, select Applications->Internet->Email-pine or open a terminal window and type the pine command.


The text editor of choice for this course is emacs. You can start it by selecting Applications->Programming->emacs or by typing the emacs & command in a terminal window. To start emacs editing a file called foo, type emacs foo &. For more about emacs see the brief chapter that takes you through the basics.


You can run maple in dumb terminal mode by opening a terminal window and typing the command maple. This is handy if you are doing a quick calculation with only a few commands.

It is, of course, nicer to run Maple under windows. Select Applications->Other->XMaple. From a terminal window you can start it by typing the command xmaple &.

LibreOffice for Microsoft Office documents

The LibreOffice application understands and can edit simple Windows documents. This includes Excel spreadsheets and Microsoft Word documents.

To run LibreOffice, select Application->Office->LibreOffice Writer (for Word), Calc (for spreadsheets). You can also start it from a terminal window by typing the command libreoffice &. If you already have a Word file, say ``foo.docx'', you can open the document from a terminal window with the command libreoffice foo.docx &.

About this document ...

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