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How do I get a command line in Ubuntu? I just installed it on a USB disk and it runs great, but I found I could not write files to the /etc/var/www folder, which is the Apache server default root directory.

Then, I tried to change the permissions of the www folder, but I was not able to do this through the Ubuntu GUI. I am looking for a command prompt so that I can enter something like sudo chmod, etc.

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As I understand, you already are in the desktop session. Please see the quote below.

In Unity

Unity is the default Desktop Environment used in 11.04. Where systems are not ready for Unity they revert to Gnome which is also used in previous releases such as Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid), see next sub-section.

The easiest way to open the Terminal is to use the 'search' function on the dash. Or you can click on the 'More Apps' button, click on the 'See more results' by the installed section, and find it in that list of applications. A third way, available after you click on the 'More Apps' button, is to go to the search bar, and see that the far right end of it says 'All Applications'. You then click on that, and you'll see the full list. Then you can go to Accessories > Terminal after that. So, the methods in Unity are:

Dash -> Search for Terminal

Dash -> More Apps -> 'See More Results' -> Terminal

Dash -> More Apps -> Accessories -> Terminal

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctl + Alt + T

In Gnome

Gnome is the Classic Desktop Environment for Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty) and is the default DE in earlier releases, such as Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid).

Applications menu -> Accessories -> Terminal.


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Open an xterm session. This will give you a terminal where your can execute your commands.

You could also install the ssh server package and use ssh to open a terminal window where you have a shell. This can be done remotely from another machine.

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If you are blocked and you want to have a quick CLI interface you can also tape this :


You will see a pure Prompt (no X11 server). Then, we you've finished, you'll need to press :

CTRL + ALT + F7 (the default one)

With this you will return to your Gnome Session (or another else) without changes. You can perform this keyboard syntax with F2 or F3 or F4 in replacement of F1. Work too ...

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