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There are many, many great tutorials, references and cheatsheets on the internet that you will undoubtedly need to consult as you learn to use Linux.  Below, are some of the most common useful tips and tricks that may help you be productive and efficient you learn Linux for the purposes of using ROS.

  • Window Navigation:  You will likely end working in a number of concurrent windows
    • Alt+Tab will switch between windows
  • Launching Terminals: Bringing up a new a ROS system often requires a few terminal windows
    • Ctrl+Alt+t will open a new terminal window
    • Shift+Cntl+t will open a new tab in the terminal window (having multiple terminals in a single window can be easier to navigate)
  • Command Line
    • Learn to use Tab Completion - this will save you many keystrokes
    • Learn to use the Up and Down arrows to browse your command line history for the same reason.
    • To exit a program running (in the foreground) on the terminal, use Ctrl+c
  • Copy and Paste
    • In many GUI programs the copy and paste shortcuts are the same as Windows: Ctrl-c to copy and Ctrl-v to paste.
    • For the terminal window, the shortcuts are slightly different: Shift-Ctrl-c to copy and Shift-Ctrl-v to paste.  You can also copy and paste through the menu: Edit->Copy or Edit->Paste

Asking for Help / Debugging

For assignments and tutorials, the best way to document problems is to use the comments section of the particular wiki page you are using.  The authors, and anyone else "watching" the page are immediately notified.

If your problem includes computer issues (errors from comments, code snippets, etc.) it is a good idea to include the commands you issued (you can use the history command in a terminal to see what commands you have issued) and any error reports.   If you are attempting to paste terminal commands, code, etc. into the comment, use the Code Block Macro feature to avoid formatting problems with the text you are placing in the comment.

  • In general, reproducible errors are much easier to address than intermittent ones.  If you can provide the commands that lead to the error and then the error output, that can be really helpful in determining what is wrong.
  • Copy and paste in the Gnome terminal


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