What Linux newbies Need to Know
"Linux is like that classic muscle car, in that if you are willing to put in the hours and don't mind spending your weekends under the hood, you'll have yourself a sweet ride at the end of the day and the knowledge you built and tweaked it with your own two hands," said Slashdot blogger hairyfeet. "But if you aren't willing to put in the work, all it is gonna do is make you frustrated."
Just Google It !"Every newbie, to be deemed worthy, must possess the Two Virtues of the Linux Acolyte: Patience and Curiosity,"
"Patience, because sometimes things are just different enough to throw you off, and curiosity to keep you motivated when your patience wears thin like a cheap rug from everyone saying, 'Just google it, n00b!'
Also, "please don't handicap yourself by making your first experience be on some old oddball hardware that will be so slow that it turns you off the whole experience,"
'Go for the Quick Default Install'To make things easier, newbies should "just go for the quick default install the first few times -- you're just getting your feet wet, and you're going to wipe it down and install a few different distros until you find the one that's right for you, so don't sweat things like getting partitioning picture-perfect the first time.
"It's your new toy -- play with it, note what you like/hate about it, and move on to the next," Meanwhile, when obstacles arise, "remember: if the man page for a particular command is too cryptic (or wasn't installed), 'apropos' + the command name should give you lots of related material," 'Apropos' might even help keep you from looking like a n00b online, which makes it quite apropos for n00bs."
'Go Ahead and Try Something Hard'"Try something hard,"
"You can install and maintain your average Linux distro without ever touching the command line, but you don't learn as much that way," . " Once you have mastered an easy version of Linux, go ahead and try something hard such as Linux From Scratch."
'There Is No Escaping the CLI'"Ask yourself this question: 'Am I willing to learn the command line, and to invest the time to learn bash and how to edit bash scripts and commands?'" . "If the answer is 'no,' then you shouldn't be on Linux -- it's that simple."
I tried "every 'user friendly' distro under the sun," there simply is no escaping the CLI -- either something goes wrong or an update borks a driver and you'll end up in the CLI."
Ultimately, then, "Linux is like that classic muscle car, in that if you are willing to put in the hours and don't mind spending your weekends under the hood, you'll have yourself a sweet ride at the end of the day and the knowledge you built and tweaked it with your own two hands," hairyfeet concluded. "But if you aren't willing to put in the work, all it is gonna do is make you frustrated."
'Pass the Help Forward!'I have three suggestions for newcomers to Linux.
"The first one is have someone sit down with you and answer your questions, in a hands-on way," he explained.
"The second one is to get someone who is friendly and listens, who can help you ramp up your skills," he added.
"The third one is, please pass the above help forward!"
'There Is Nothing You Cannot Do'Last but not least,
- "In Debian GNU/Linux, 'apt-cache search keyword' is your friend;
- 'apt-cache search keyword | grep keyword' is your lover -- with these two commands you can search for and find any package of 30K packages in the repositories and install them in seconds with 'apt-get install package';
- Using the APT package manager, you update all your packages, applications, utilities, and Linux itself with a single command: 'apt-get update;apt-get upgrade';
- In GNU/Linux, any PC can be a client, a server, or both simultaneously because no one is trying to charge extra money for such functionality;
- If you have more than one GNU/Linux PC (or virtual PC), learn to use the X window system and openSSH to manage one PC from another and to interact with one PC from another";
- and finally, Linux Girl's favorite: "There's nothing you cannot do with GNU/Linux."