I'd really enjoy some community participation!

KGIII

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In the not too distant future, date unknown - but soon(ish), I am going to do another anchor article.

This article will be, LinuxTips's Tips For Linux Newbies - or some similar title. I already have quite a few tips for newbies, but I'd really like to get a bunch of tips together and then write the article with a collection of tips offered by the folks here.

I've got the obvious tips covered, such as starting with an easier to use distro to not running random commands you find online without knowing what these commands are going to do. I have an article about backing up that's in the works, but this will of course mention keeping good backups.

So, what tips would you offer newbies? If you're a newbie, what tips have you found helpful?

EDIT: Let me know if you want to be credited with your suggestions. If you have a site and want it linked to your name, your profile, or whatever...
 


captain-sensible

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1) Well lets maybe clarify the "likely" damage that can be done from running a Linux OS live from a usb ; maybe ways to avoid that damage, how realistic is it really that you might cause damage since i think that is one route to start.


2) before you get going get a contingency plan going such as putting rEFInd onto a usb, grub rescue etc

3) If you get Debian derivative say even kali up and running , immediately search for and install timeshift. Also is dual boot know how to use Windows rescue disk back up everything.


4) Always look onthe bright side , there is no such thing as failure only the universe giving you feedback. Realism there will be a pyschological transition period as you go partly cold turkey coming off Windows involving maybe hair pulling ; frustration etc

5) explore about the process of getting an iso ; ways of downloading , checking md5sum etc; then the ways of getting that iso onto a usb rufus, etcher , ventoy

6) read up on package management system ways ,to update database of repo ; neeed of possibly editing mirrors etc
 
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wizardfromoz

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I'm pinning this Thread for the time being, so that it catches people's attention, more coffee with my girl and then I'll be back with input (6:55am not human yet) :):)

Wiz
 

KGIII

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I'm pinning this Thread for the time being,
I almost did that, but then it seemed like a potential conflict of interest. I don't want anyone to think that I'm abusing my position.
 

wizardfromoz

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...abusing my position.
Naah, I do it from time to time. If you think something is worthwhile, then it probably is. :) - go with your gut.

I am thinking in terms of a (arbitrary number) Top things to do after installing Linux, and first on the list would be

1. Installing or enabling your Firewall. In many cases that would be UFW, the Uncomplicated FireWall (in any Debian-based Distro), in others it might be FirewallD

Who is using it?

firewalld is used in the following Linux distributions as the default firewall management tool:


  • RHEL 7 and newer
  • CentOS 7 and newer
  • Fedora 18 and newer
  • SUSE 15 and newer
  • OpenSUSE 15 and newer
  • Available for several other distributions
and so on.

With the firewalls we should also cover GUI frontends such as GUFW and so on.

Members such as @Peer I remember used to have practices of ramping up the IP tables a little, if they can be explained to suit Newbies, well and good, but at least a minimal level of security should be advocated, until the User becomes more experienced.

2. Find and/or Install Timeshift, as Andy has suggested with his 3. I can be of assistance there, as I have it installed on all 74 Distros in my stable.

You get the picture.

Wiz
 

KGIII

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You get the picture.
The article isn't to be too in-depth. Though the entries on the list may lead to deeper articles in the future. Like, I absolutely plan on having an in-depth article about backup and backup strategies (explaining 3-2-1, for example).

I'm thinking something like and entry for each item and maybe up to three paragraphs beyond that. Anything too long will lose most readers. I try to keep the reading time to under 5 minutes, but that won't be the case with this article.
 

stan

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With a warning about "don't copy from places you don't trust"....
Explain how to copy and paste into a terminal. In some cases, how to redirect a large terminal output into a file for easier copy/paste (Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V). How to put large output into "Spoilers" for much easier reading and understanding of new user's problem(s).

Besides "Spoilers"... explain the other most useful BB tags: Quote, Code, and Inline Code. And most especially the Code tags, so that the user output isn't mangled by Xenforo (or other) software that strips white spaces and converts some strings into emoji's.

Explain how to use Google first. Far too often, I copy a new user's question, paste it into Google or Duck Duck Go, and the solution comes up in the first few hits.

Search out and provide link(s) to the best install instructions you can find for a small handful of distros that would be preferred for new users. In my personal opinion, those instructions would include that Linux be installed to the entire disk... avoiding "something else" where people fail to install the bootloader properly, and where they create a separate /home that is too small. These problems have come up here repeatedly. For dual-boot, with these preferred distros, it should encourage "install alongside Windows" as the easiest method for new users, again avoiding "something else." The devs creating these distros have worked hard to make Linux easier than ever to install, and we shouldn't encourage "old school" techniques with new users.

Perhaps none of these suggestions are good for a simple one-page introduction for a newbie. They may each fill up an article of their own. But will people read them? An enormous frustration is that people too often do not read the information you give them, or don't follow directions. I know you're perfectly aware of this problem too. But I have no idea how to fix that.

(No credit needed for me.)
 

KGIII

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But I have no idea how to fix that.
That's why I try to do things in bite-size. Then, if nothing else I/we/you can link the person to concise text that covers one specific thing without overwhelming them.

Do note: The site's registration is open AND there's a page that will let folks write articles without actually joining. They go into the draft's section and I can edit 'em and schedule them for publication. So, there are all sorts of ways for folks to contribute.
 

craigevil

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One of the things the Debian forum has posted is the following:
Before asking here or on the <debian-user> mailing list, you should read the Installation Guide, or if you already have Debian installed, the Debian Reference.
Also take the time to read:
Linux is NOT Windows : http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm

We do have a few expectations of what you have done already to find your answer.
1) We expect that you have used Google or another search engine to find your answer.
2) That you have searched the Man pages available on your topic.
If you don't know how you may do this, open a terminal and at the prompt enter "man topic" where "topic" represents the topic you are having trouble with.
3) Lastly, that you have tried to use the forum search feature to find help on your issue.
Something for the newbies:
Linux lessons:
(1) Don't change the permissions
(2) back up your data
(3) KISS - keep it simple, stupid
(4) read the manual
(5) don't screw up package management
(6) don't type anything you don't understand
(7) always have a liveCD or live usb on hand
(8) read your log files
(9) the FIRST error is the one that counts
(10) don't leave your root shell until you TEST your changes
(11) don't be root when you don't have to be
 

Confused_nerd

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Allow me add my two cents on the topic.

First off, I immediately agree with those above me who have suggested:
(1. Keeping a live usb stick with you at all times.
2. Making a backup.
3. Using timeshift to make snaps)
All of these things helped me immensely in the beginning.

I ran linux for the first time on March 20, 2021; as I write, it's March 31,2021 here.
I'm relatively super new to it but, within two days I managed to completely destroy the system. However, I had all my files backed up in a seperate usb, so no problem, I just used my live usb to install it again.
Next day, I managed to f*ck up the system again, but this time used a snapshot created by timeshift to restore it. So yeah these three things are SUPER essential.


However, I'm gonna have to respectfully disagree on other things...
Continued on in next reply to this thread by me.....
 

Confused_nerd

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Okay, here's what I think will be good for newbies:
Step zero: Read this. Then make the decision whether on not to use Linux.
From now on, I'm assuming you've decided to switch. If so, be prepared to give it time and hard work. Also, be sure to do it when you don't have urgent use for the pc, be prepared to not use the pc for at least 2-3 days.

Step one: Don't stop using whatever os(windows or osx) you're using.
Read this. Follow it EXACTLY for the os you're using. I say again EXACTLY.
( If it ain't loading for some reason, it's the command line crash course by Zed A. Shaw).
This will make you familiar to using a shell, and that's honestly gonna make a huge difference. This step is probably the most important one, give it time(I did it in one week).

Step two: Backup all your important data onto an external disk(use your gui for it).
Choose your distro(I recommend mint cause it's the one I'm using, however Arch would be bEsT if you wanna say "I use Arch BTW"). Then just install it after playing around in the live mode.

You're done. Welcome. If you were on windows, go do the command line course quickly again but for linux.
At this point set up timeshift.

Now for some non-traditional advice:
0.(obviously a joke) As per the user agreement of linux, you have to now feel superior to other os users and recommend them linux at the least expected times(Eg. "You should switch to Linux bro!" at a party.).
1. Don't load up your data yet. Wait at least a few days, unless it's really important.
2. Play around, take screenshots, try web browsing, read and try to understand as much as u can about open source alternatives to programs you used before.
3.use terminal, check out what root is. Now is the best time to explore and 'poke it with a stick', as you don't have data on it, and can just reinstall it with your usb if something big happens.
4. I'll provide the essential resources and links that help a lot at the end.
5. When you feel confident, load up your files and Abracadabra, you're a linux user.
6. Never run "sudo rm -rf /"

Some super useful links I found:
For learning linux. Give this one some time.
Linux funny on linux.org , you won't understand them all, but memes are a good way to be introduced to something cause they're like inside jokes, and are mostly true.
On that note.
After doing the advanced text-fu course on linux journey, learn vim, it's the best; use the book practical vim, then here's a cheat sheet,
and a game )
Watch Rick and Morty. Watch Mr Robot. Watch Rick and Morty.

Some general things:
Privacy guide beginner: Essential even if you don't decide to use Linux.
Another one ,be sure to check the comment by u/maqp2.
Wiki of r/privacy.

Important to mention to newbies:
I'd like to interject for a moment and point out that what you're referring to as Linux,is in fact GNU/Linux. Or as I've recently taken a liking to calling it GNU plus Linux.

Keep caml and linux.jpg
 

f33dm3bits

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Step one: Don't stop using whatever os(windows or osx) you're using.
Not necessarily, I dual-booted for a short time when I started with GNU/Linux and then eventually removed Windows from my machine because I kept catching myself going back to Windows because it was familiar. After I only had GNU/Linux running on my system and got stuck or couldn't figure something out it forced me to have to figure it out and it helped me learn how everything works faster because in the beginning you run into a lot of things because of having to learn a new OS.
 

Confused_nerd

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Not necessarily, I dual-booted for a short time when I started with GNU/Linux and then eventually removed Windows from my machine because I kept catching myself going back to Windows because it was familiar. After I only had GNU/Linux running on my system and got stuck or couldn't figure something out it forced me to have to figure it out and it helped me learn how everything works faster because in the beginning you run into a lot of things because of having to learn a new OS.
I said that for the purposes of doing the crash course
 

SpongebobFan1994

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My advice would be:
  • There's going to be a lengthy process of unlearning everything from Windows and Mac

  • Some of the prebundled games are okay, while others suck (depending on which distro you use). While you get more of a variety and better games on platforms like Steam, GOG, and Proton, you're beholden to the platform, so many of your favorites could disappear overnight and for whatever reason.

  • Be aware that there will be some incompatibility issues now and then due to distro fragmentation

  • While most of the Linux community are fine to get along with (including those on this forum), there are a few members who have a holier-than-thou kind of attitude
Those are just a few points I can think of off of the top of my head
 
D

Deleted member 101831

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Install all updates.

Change level of swappiness from 60 to 20 which decreases the amount of writes to Hard Drive or SSD.

Open terminal and copy and paste each command one at a time into terminal press enter then enter password when asked then press enter.
Code:
cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness

sudo sysctl vm.swappiness=20

sudo sed -i '$ a\vm.swappiness = 20' /etc/sysctl.conf
When finished reboot computer and open terminal and copy and paste this command to check level of swappiness.

Code:
cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
This is from the Ubuntu forums.
Scroll down to Swappiness.

Optimize SSD.

Install Firejail.

None of these tips are mine just some I've run across and use.
 
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