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Windows 7 Start menu
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.
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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.
Gnome application installer
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.
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