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 Applications menu is relatively self-explanatory, with application categories on the left and application icons on the right. Clicking on any of the application categories on the left changes the available application icons in the right section, displaying those that match the category. Clicking on any icon in the right column automatically launches the application. As a shortcut, you can open the Applications menu by pressing the left "Super" key (Windows key on PCs or Command key on Apple hardware), type in the name of the application you want to run, and press the "Enter" key when the application you want is selected.

On the right side of the task bar there are several indicator icons that allow you to perform a number of tasks. The default set of icons are as follows:

Display settings: Adjust resolution, position, rotation, and mirroring on all of your displays

Display an overview of all open windows. Click on the one you want to switch to. Press "esc" to exit scale overview. The hotkey for activating scale view is ctrl+alt+down-arrow

Lists open windows in all available workspaces, and allows you to switch between them.

Battery status and power settings, if applicable.

Connect to wireless networks, adjust your network settings, etc. This icon changes depending on the type of connection.

Connect to bluetooth devices (only appears if bluetooth hardware is present.)

Adjust input and output volumes, launch players, select output device, etc.

Open system settings, suspend, restart, or shutdown.

You may see additional icons task bar, depending on your hardware and currently running applications.

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.
  • Trackpad tapping is disabled by default. To re-enable, go to "System Settings" and click "Mouse and Touchpad"
  • A number of keyboard shortcuts have been changed/disabled to prevent confusion and accidental selection. To adjust these settings, go to "System Settings" then click "Keyboard"

For further assistance with basic usage of the system, click on the "Help" icon in the "Accessories" category.

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. Go to Applications > System Settings > Mouse/Touchpad.

How to Connect to a Home or other Wireless Network

To connect to another wireless network, click on the wireless icon in the top right corner of the screen and select the network name you wish to attach to:

How to Connect to a Printer

From the Application menu type in Printer and press enter. Then select the printer that you want from the window that appears.

If you don’t see the printer that you are looking for in the window you can manually add your own by clicking on the plus sign.

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, press the power button 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 clicking on the display icon at the top right of the screen. There you can choose whether or not to mirror your display, choose a resolution, etc.

Taking a Screenshot

There are two ways to take a screenshot, both can be found under the Applications menu then Accessories. On the right you will see ScreenShot and Shutter in the menu.

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

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