Using the Launcher
The first and most obvious difference between a regular Ubuntu install and the Ubuntu Netbook Edition is the launcher (Figure 9-2). Instead of a desktop with icons, your menu and desktop are replaced by a launcher that shows installed programs and allows access to files and directories.
Figure 9-2 Netbook launcher default
The netbook launcher uses the same categories for applications as the standard Ubuntu menu, so finding an application is still easy. For those applications you use all the time, you can right-click the icon and select add to favorites to add it to the Favorites menu (Figure 9-3).
Figure 9-3 Adding an icon to Favorites for easy access later
Using the 2D Launcher
If you are finding the 3D launcher a bit slow on an older computer, the creators of Ubuntu Netbook Edition have created something just for you. Designed for use on older computers and the new advanced RISC machine (ARM)-based netbooks, which lack 3D graphics hardware, the 2D launcher uses the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries to emulate the look of the main launcher without the resource issues. To use this version of the launcher, you need to change your session type. On the login screen at the bottom, there is a menu titled Session, which brings up a drop-down list.
On that list is the 2D launcher. Select that option, then log in normally (Figure 9-4).
Figure 9-4 The session selection window with 2D launcher selected
After you log in, you will see a fairly familiar setting with the launcher and the categories but a few differences.
The first major difference is the lack of the go-home applet in the upper left and maximus, which keeps windows maximized. In their place is the standard panel with the drop-down menus. To bring up the desktop launcher, you can use the Show Desktop button in the lower right, just as with the standard Ubuntu desktop.
To add a favorite, right-click on the icon and then select the Add to Favorites option. If it works, you will see a notification in the upper right telling you it has been added (Figure 9-5).
Figure 9-5 Adding to favorites
The 2D launcher does two things that the 3D launcher doesn't do. First, it tells you what programs are already running. Look for the little spinning wheel on the upper right of the icon (Figure 9-6). This will show for each running program with a menu entry.
Figure 9-6 Wheel showing running applications
Second, the launcher includes recently used files on the Files view, so you can quickly launch your current work without going through the menus (Figure 9-7).
Figure 9-7 Files view of the 2D launcher