Forward Learning

Next Generation Learning Initiative

Laptop How-to

ubermix is designed to be a small and fast combination of the Ubuntu Linux operating system and popular open-source applications, wrapped in an easy-to-use interface that works well on nearly any screen shape or size.

For the most part, the interface should look relatively familiar, sharing elements from many other technology systems, and is relatively touch-friendly for touchscreen systems. The "dock" at the bottom displays a series of favorite applications, with an "applications" icon on the far right that displays a list of all installed applications. Clicking or tapping on any icon automatically launches the application. As a shortcut, you can search for and launch applications by pressing the left "Super" key (Windows key on PCs or Command key on Apple hardware), followed by typing in the name of the application you want to run, and pressing the "Enter" key when the application you want is selected.

On the right side of the task bar there are several indicator icons that display various status icons. When clicked, the system displays more details and options, such as wireless and bluetooth status, battery state, etc., which vary from device-to-device. At the bottom-left side of this menu you will find the System Settings button (looks like a screwdriver and a wrench crossed), which will take you to more detailed settings for the device, and to the bottom-right, the Power button, which gives options for restarting, shutting down, or suspending the machine.

Additional details:

  • Ctrl+alt+t opens a terminal window at any time
  • You can switch between workspaces by pressing ctrl+alt+[left or right]arrow-key. By default, there are two workspaces. To add additional workspaces or to see a workspace overview, press ctrl+alt+up-arrow.
  • The default user account is called "user" and it is an administrator account with full access to machine settings, which allows for installation/configuration by the user without any password prompts. Should you be prompted for a password at any point, the default password is "password".
  • "Screen lock" and all the hotkeys associated with it have been disabled
  • Print screen button will do a full screen capture. To capture the current window or a portion of the screen, hold down the shift key and press prnt-scrn, or ctrl+shift+f12, if you have no prnt-scrn button. Or better yet, use Shutter, which you can find under the Accessories category.
  • Touchpad tapping is disabled by default. To re-enable, go to System Settings -> Devices -> Mouse & Touchpad
  • A number of keyboard shortcuts have been changed/disabled to prevent confusion and accidental selection. To adjust these settings, go to go to System Settings -> Devices -> Keyboard

For further assistance with basic usage of the system, click on the "Help" icon in the dock or application list.

The Keyboard

Some important keys that you should know are:

  • Del-delete in the upper right corner
  • Ctrl-is in the lower left and is used for most command shortcuts like Ctrl C(copy)
  • Crtl X(cut) I (Italic) V(paste)B(bold)
  • The Function, Fn key activates the other blue keys on the keyboard
  • The Fn and the up/down arrows are sound
  • The Fn and the side arrows are screen brightness
  • Fn F8 is mute
  • Alt F1- Multi-workspaces
  • The 4 Squares Windows key between the Alt and Fn key opens up the Applications menu.
  • The three lines page next to the arrow keys allows access to the editing keys

The Touchpad

The touchpad will take a little getting used to for a MAC User. Here are some tips to help you adjust.

  • To scroll it is a 2 finger swipe up to go up the screen.
  • To open a document it is 2 clicks.
  • Since this is a PC there is a right and left mouse (touchpad) function. To use the right click function which opens up menu window, click on the lower-right portion of the touchpad, or use a 2 finger click.
  • For the left click use one finger.
  • If you want to change any of the default settings of the touchpad you can. Click on the Power/Settings icon (top-right icon in the status bar) and go to System Settings -> Devices -> Mouse & Touchpad

How to Connect to a Home or other Wireless Network

To connect to another wireless network, click on the indicator icons at the top-right of the screen and then click on the wireless icon, then choose "Select Network". A window will appear listing all of the networks that the device can see. Simply select the network name you wish to attach to and click on the Connect button.

You can also find wireless settings by clicking the System Settings button.

How to Connect to a Printer

The fastest way to get to printer settings is to click on the Applications button at the far right of the dock and type "printer" in the search box. You can also click on the indicator icons at the top-right corner of the screen, then click on the System Settings button at the bottom-left of the menu that appears. Once the settings window appears, click on Devices on the left, then Printers.

Once the printer setup window appears, click on "Add" to use the automatic wizard to locate and setup your printer. For more advanced printer setup, click on the "Additional Printer Settings..." button.

How to use the quick recovery features

One of the key features of this software is the ability to quickly recover from problems and restore the system to a default state. This process is relatively non-destructive, as all of the user's files can be retained, should you so choose. To perform a quick restore, perform the following steps:

  1. If the machine is already off, press the power button to turn it on. If it is running, click on the Power/Settings icon (top-right icon in the status bar) and choose "Restart" from the menu that appears.
  2. Immediately after you see the system's splash screen the screen will go black and you will see a 3 second countdown timer - press ESC during those 3 seconds to enter the boot menu. Be prepared - you will only have 3 seconds to press the ESC key.
  1. When you see the following screen, choose "Restore Factory Settings"
  1. After a few moments, you will see the following screen. Choose your option (usually will be "1")
  2. Follow any additional directions on the screen.

Connecting to a Projector

The laptop comes with a dongle so that you can connect your laptop to the projector in your classroom. The dongle plugs in on the back of the laptop. After you plug in the dongle you may change settings by holding down the left "Super" key (Windows key on PCs or Command key on Apple hardware) and pressing "P". You can find more detailed settings under System Settings -> Devices -> Displays.

Taking a Screenshot

There are two ways to take a screenshot, both can be found under in the applications list.

The Screenshot application is a simple camera tool. It allows you to grab the whole screen, a window or selected area, you can also use the timer feature.

Shutter is the other screenshot application that is available. Shutter has more options to choose from; you can do a full screen, the desktop, the window under the cursor, a specific window that is open, or a section. You can also crop, write on, highlight, add shapes and export the image you capture. This by far is a much more powerful tool. It created this manual. For more information on Shutter visit

The Dock

The Dock is a convenient place to put your favorite applications for easy access. To add or remove an icon from the dock, right-click (or click with two fingers on the touchpad) on a dock icon, and click the "Add to Favorites" option that appears. Right-clicking on an icon sometimes displays other application options as well, such as the "New Document" option shown to the right.

Default Password

The system is designed to limit requests for a password as much as possible, however certain functions might still request one. If your laptop requests that you enter a password, the default password is "password" (without the quotation marks).


To discard something that is on the desktop click on it to select it and then hit the Del key on the keyboard.

Click here for a printable version of this manual

Las Virgenes Unified School District - 4111 Las Virgenes Road, Calabasas, CA 91302