10 key lessons for Linux learners

10 key lessons for Linux learners

Summary: TR's Jack Wallen says he can ensure a smooth migration to Linux simply by providing new users with a machine running the operating system and a few basic facts.


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  • 2. It's not Windows
    Many new users aren't really aware of a difference between Windows, Linux and Mac. But what they do need to know is that they shouldn't invariably expect Windows-like behaviour. That expectation almost always leads to trouble. Of course, you don't need to explain every difference between the operating systems, but you do need to prepare them for any unfamiliar machine behaviour that you think they are likely to encounter.

    Image credit: Dong Ngo/CNET News

  • 3. There is no C
    Windows users are used to a file-system structure that never really made sense. Linux, on the other hand, has a perfectly logical directory hierarchy — a fact new users need to understand. There really is only one main directory they need to know about: /home/username, where username is their name.

    Most modern distributions create certain directories in the user's home directory: Documents, Pictures, Music and Video. The purpose of these subdirectories is obvious, and new users only need know where they are located. They also need to know that their home directory is the only place on the file system where they can save files.

  • 4. Installing software is a different process
    This issue can trip up the new user more than any other. PC users are used to searching for software on the internet, downloading the .exe file, double-clicking it, and waiting for the software installation to complete. So they have to understand that Linux distributions come complete with their own special tool that will do all of that for them.

    All they have to do is open the add/remove software tool — such as the Ubuntu Software Centre, PackageKit or Synaptic — search for a piece of software, and install it. New users tend to love the sheer volume of software available. Naturally, some of it is useless, but most of it is good and serves its purpose.

    Image credit: Polishlinux.org

Topics: Operating Systems, Linux, Open Source, Software

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  • RE: 10 key lessons for Linux learners

    the best between all the operating systems :)
  • RE: 10 key lessons for Linux learners

    It's important to stress that the word "free" in the term "free software" refers to four fundamental freedoms, and it has nothing to do with monetary cost. The freedoms are

    1) Freedom to run the program for any purpose.

    2) Freedom to study the code (i.e., study how the software works), and make modifications if you wish.

    3) Freedom to share exact copies of the software.

    4) Freedom to share your modified versions of the software, so long as you keep the four freedoms intact.
  • Is there one example of a successful Windows to Linux Migration

    I am a Linux user. I have switched many friends and most family members to either Ubuntu derivatives or PCLinux OS. I have yet to find one company that has made a Linux Migration successfully and stayed with it. One business?
  • RE: 10 key lessons for Linux learners

    But there are far more things to note than just these 10.
    You need to choose which linux distro you want to use, availability of software that you use and support (even if thru forums) and there are quite a few variations out there and few more introduced every month. However the good thing is there is lot of commonality in them.

    I have been using ubuntu for some time now and I am quite comfortable with it. During early days there used to be Fedora, then came ubuntu and things changed a lot. Now-a-days you are not restricted to linux as the only true "free" OS. There are few more choices like opensolaris (for personal use), chrome OS (if all you do is browse and cloud storage is dirt cheap these days). I would like to hear from people if they have used FreeBSD as well.

    Linux Mint is next I want to try out, read few good reviews, but it is internally ubuntu. However for end-users (non-programmers) it would be a different OS altogether.

  • RE: 10 key lessons for Linux learners

    I'm a loyal Linux Mint user, have been since Mint 7. I don't entirely agree with this list.I suggest a re-write.
    1. Linux is not just for nerds/hackers, it's just a tablecloth over the table that is UNIX (which forms the base of all modern OS's)
    2. Linux is more secure than windows (so long as you don't go root unless you have to)
    3. No more driver disks, linux takes care of that for you.
    4. Linux can give older computers a new lease on life
    5. Not all computers can run linux out of the box, some need to be modified
    6. Don't give up because it didn't work first time, grow and learn
    7. There are friendly Linux experts all over the web available to help you if you have problems, most will help you for free.
    8. Do not fear the terminal, it will not bite you
    9.The Linux GUI's KDE,xfce, and Gnome(geh-nome) are very similar to windows
    10.Installing software on Linux is not terribly different from windows