When working in LaTeX on Ubuntu in the past, I was reasonably impressed with the development environment called "kile".
To install it, I fired up the System->Synaptic Package Manager and searched for "kile". I marked it for installation and applied the changes.
After several minutes, it had downloaded and installed itself. I then right-clicked on my menu bar in a blank area. A small menu popped up, I clicked "Add to Panel". A dialog pops up. I clicked "Custom Application Launcher". Another dialog shows up. In both the name and command fields I typed "kile". As soon as I completed typing it in the command textbox, the icon visible on the left side of the dialog changed to the kile icon. I hit OK.
Now I have a Kile button on my main menu bar. I fired it up.
At the top of the screen is had a button that said "ViewHTML". I want to be working with PDFs not, HTML. So I clicked the little down arrow to the right of the button. A menu popped up. I selected "ViewPDF" from the menu.
This is when I found out that I do not have "okular" installed. It is a viewer that kile integrates well with. I go into Synaptic Package Manager again and search for "okular". I download and install it.
Now when I load up a .tex file, such as my blank tex that I created, I can click "PDFLatex" to build the tex into a pdf. Then I can click ViewPDF to view it.