New Linux user from NYC

ex4722

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I recently started to learn how to use Linux after i got a new SSD and decided to do something different with it this time. Currently i know nothing about linux and im hoping to learn something about it and maybe even use it as my main driver. In the past i used linux and i hated it cause the only thing i had was problems with GRUB error and something like that. I recently found this forum and now i hope to restart using linux with some help. I am open to any recommendations on guides as i started watching a few but they are not really clear.
 


KGIII

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My views are different than some. I've been using Linux since back when it was 'hard' to use. Today, you got a nice GUI installer that will handle partitioning, you have GUI package managers, and vast stores of software that's installed at the touch of a button. It's user-friendly and, for the most part, fairly intuitive - so long as you don't think it's going to work like Windows.

So, my views are that folks should just jump right in. Find a distro that piques your interest, ensure it works on your hardware, and install it as the *only* operating system on your computer. Screw dual-booting. Jump in at the deep end and sink or swim. Worst case scenario, you can put Windows back on it. Best case scenario, you plow through any difficulties and get the joy of accomplishment when you make it work.

For the most part, any major distro is going to be rock solid and easy to use. So long as you don't go tinkering with too many settings, it just works. So long as you don't try tweaking too much, you don't really run the risk of breakage. If you do break it, you've learned what not to do and can push forward. It takes more time to brew a pot of coffee than it does to install Linux. Learn to preserve your /home directory and it'll go even faster.

Not everyone shares my view. I can say that it worked for me. I don't even dislike Windows. I don't have any moral qualms with using proprietary software. I just prefer Linux, because it works for me.

Grab a distro, write it (not copy it) to a USB drive with something like Balena Etcher, boot to it, play with it in the live environment for a few minutes, and then install it if things work. If they don't, try another one. Repeat until you're happy.
 

ex4722

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You see my first time installing linux ended up giving me a brick for a few days until i had a friend help me cause grub error drove me nuts. This time i think i will try what you said about only installing one. I used virtalbox to test out a few distco and i might end up using one and deleting windows.
 

KGIII

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I say go for it! If you have struggles AND if you can clearly describe any problems you encounter, there's a great community of folks who will help you. However, so long as you're not trying anything too fancy, you probably won't have any problems.

I will say these things...

Know exactly what each command is going to do before you enter it. Don't just copy/paste stuff you see online, find out what it's going to do before you pound that enter key. 'man $app_name' is your friend, as well as a search engine of your choice.

Learn to keep backups. An untested backup is not a backup. You mostly just need to preserve the /home directory. Eventually, when you're a wizened geek, you'll learn to partition properly and /home will be on its own partition, preserved across many installs and upgrades.

Avoid the Shiny Object Syndrome. There's no reason to use bleeding-edge software if you're trying for stability. Your distro will provide pretty much all the software you need, and they'll backport security and bug fixes as much as they reasonably can.

Start with a major distro that has tons of people using it. You'll get better support and have more default software available. Don't go for some obscure distro unless you really, really need it.

Don't be afraid to re-install. After all, you've learned to backup and to test your backups. You'll be fine and save a lot of time. Re-installing includes trying entirely new distros. It's fine to distro jump until you're happy - or even just to keep doing it. It's not like you're being charged per OS install, knock yourself out! Try new things - and you'll learn stuff along the way.

Remember that it's not Windows. It may look similar, but it's not. For example, Windows uses a task-manager, while Linux is really more a task scheduler. Everything in Linux is a file. Even a directory is a file. Even a directory is a file. Everything is a file.

Good luck!

Edited to add something you should read:

 
Last edited:

wizardfromoz

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:) G'day @ex4722 and welcome to linux.org

A good read, too, is

https://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm

Be sure to safeguard any personal data before blowing away Windows.

Friday evening here in Oz, so

Avagudweegend

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 

ex4722

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Thanks for the tips and guides ill be sure to look into it. If i run into any problems where should i post them?
 

70 Tango Charlie

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Greetings ex4722,
Let me extend my welcome to you.
I came from Windows about 3 years ago. I would like to put a plug in for Linux Mint as being the easiest distro to transition to from Windows. {I compared it with about 15 other distros that I downloaded and looked at}.
However, as KGIII and Wiz have mentioned, it is your choice. That's the freedom that comes with Linux - choice! I love it!!!
Old Geezer,
Tango Charlie
 

ex4722

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When it comes to the transition from windows i don't really care cause i didn't like it much, i ended up installing widgets and moving around the task bar. I do have a question thought. I looking into ubuntu and i liked how theirs lots of beginner support for it but i hate the GNOME thing. I found out that Kubuntu and other variants existed but im wondering about whether they will share the same support from the developers or is only the GUI different and everything else is the same.
 

captain-sensible

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Thanks for the tips and guides ill be sure to look into it. If i run into any problems where should i post them?
always post error code exactly as you see it , so we can see it exactly as it is; that helps a lot. Either copy and paste or pipe to a text file.

No say you have a problem with a browser; you can launch a program straight from a terminal.

eg if i type at a bash prompt $ :

$ waterfox


that launches the browser if everything is OK, if not it will certainly give you a clue .Dual boot of Linux and Windows is OK BUT when you do updates Windows has the habit of wanton vandalism , which can cause havoc. You can have Mint with XFCE Desktop so no need of Gnomes, Elves or anything else
 

captain-sensible

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My views are different than some. I've been using Linux since back when it was 'hard' to use. Today, you got a nice GUI installer that will handle partitioning, you have GUI package managers, and vast stores of software that's installed at the touch of a button. It's user-friendly and, for the most part, fairly intuitive - so long as you don't think it's going to work like Windows.

So, my views are that folks should just jump right in. Find a distro that piques your interest, ensure it works on your hardware, and install it as the *only* operating system on your computer. Screw dual-booting. Jump in at the deep end and sink or swim. Worst case scenario, you can put Windows back on it. Best case scenario, you plow through any difficulties and get the joy of accomplishment when you make it work.

For the most part, any major distro is going to be rock solid and easy to use. So long as you don't go tinkering with too many settings, it just works. So long as you don't try tweaking too much, you don't really run the risk of breakage. If you do break it, you've learned what not to do and can push forward. It takes more time to brew a pot of coffee than it does to install Linux. Learn to preserve your /home directory and it'll go even faster.

Not everyone shares my view. I can say that it worked for me. I don't even dislike Windows. I don't have any moral qualms with using proprietary software. I just prefer Linux, because it works for me.

Grab a distro, write it (not copy it) to a USB drive with something like Balena Etcher, boot to it, play with it in the live environment for a few minutes, and then install it if things work. If they don't, try another one. Repeat until you're happy.
If you ever get Nostalgia , you can always install Slackware. GUI if you can call it that is basic. It will not install the EFI partition for you,actually my memory is not great bit not swap or install either; but at least it will tell you its missing and a clue what you have to use.
 

ex4722

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Okay thats good to know. My quetion is their a difference besides GUI between ubuntu and Kubuntu and the other variants of ubunut. I saw online that they are not created by the official company so was wondering if they are safe and reliable to use.
 

KGIII

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you can always install Slackware
I have a Slackware VM. ;-) I really, really enjoy creating virtual machines and playing with stuff. I find new and creative ways to break things. This has kinda been my learning process for years.

I have a non-working LFS VM that I need to get squared away. I like to keep my skills up!

I do not have a Gentoo VM and I've not installed Arch in years. I should do those. I've got ample disk space. Winter is coming and that means more time indoors. I'll do some geeking out come shorter days and longer nights.

I wasn't able to completely switch to desktop Linux until 2007ish. It wasn't until I retired. When I could make the jump, I dove right in. We'd used it on servers at my old company, but using it as a desktop is an entirely different animal - or is the way I use it. I came from a Unix background, however. Hmm... I never did do an intro post. I just kinda assume people know me.
 

JasKinasis

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Okay thats good to know. My quetion is their a difference besides GUI between ubuntu and Kubuntu and the other variants of ubunut. I saw online that they are not created by the official company so was wondering if they are safe and reliable to use.
The only difference between any of the *buntu’s is the GUI. Same with the variants of Mint - which are based on Ubuntu, but again with different desktops. Recently Mint diverged from Ubuntu a little, by removing some dummy packages which Canonical included which installed snaps instead of traditional Debian packages.

Also mint have a couple of variants based on Debian, rather than Ubuntu.
Ubuntu is derived from Debian.

But again, other than the desktop environment, any Debian based system is pretty much the same as any other.

Also the *buntu and *buntu derived distros support ppa’s, where’s purely Debian derived distro’s do not. That’s the only other major difference I can think of between Ubuntu derived, vs Debian derived distros.

Even more generically - the differences between most Linux distros are purely cosmetic - different desktop, different package management systems, different default set of software pre-installed, maybe a different init system. But Underneath it all, they’re all pretty much the same.

The only other difference are the ethos behind a distro - e.g. attitude to inclusion of non free software, easy install with little user interaction and a sane set of defaults vs trickier install, with more manual interaction to give users fine tuned control of what gets installed. Etc.

And then there are specialised distros that include software for a particular purpose.
E.g. General, every day use, server use, low power/lightweight resource usage, penetration testing, forensics, scientific computing, engineering, Audio/video production etc.
 

ex4722

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According to google kubunut is not maintained by the offical group but does that mean it still has the same features as the official ubunut as the code is open source so it can be added in? I was thinking about nither getting kubunut cause i like the KDE thing but also cause its ubunut and that means that theirs a larger community their. Also im wondering what are your ideas on deepin. I tried it and liked it a lot but it seems like theirs no community for it and that it might be a spyware
 

captain-sensible

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warning this has embedded dry humor

in the scheme of things , its easy to get paranoid. I have got around this by using Google so i know I am not being paranoid and know i'm being spied on. At one end of the scale "all free" and "no spying" i guess we should refer to Richard Stallman and how he does his computing ? : https://stallman.org/stallman-computing.html

i'm not sure if he has tendency to paranoia but in his emails he has and I quote
[[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider ]]]
[[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies, ]]]
[[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]
 

ex4722

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I see, i have finally made the choice to install only kubuntu and get rid of windows. Hopefully nothing gets messes up and nothing gets bricked.
 

KGIII

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Same with the variants of Mint - which are based on Ubuntu, but again with different desktops.
Slight correction. There's Linux Mint Debian Edition.

The only difference between any of the *buntu’s is the GUI.
Edit: And Ubuntu differs some with default software installed. Which is not a significant difference, but worth mentioning in case the OP gets confused.
 
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captain-sensible

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re: by KGIII
Grab a distro, write it (not copy it) to a USB drive with something like Balena Etcher, boot to it, play with it in the live environment for a few minutes, and then install it if things work. If they don't, try another one. Repeat until you're happy.
i agree ; another alternative is to use Ventoy https://ventoy.net/en/index.html you can with ventoy use an intact iso as it is and just drag and drop.
 

KGIII

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JasKinasis

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Slight correction. There's Linux Mint Debian Edition.



Edit: And Ubuntu differs some with default software installed. Which is not a significant difference, but worth mentioning in case the OP gets confused.
Read my post again, I mention the Debian variant’s of Mint too!!
I also mentioned that the default software differs. Though admittedly in my section where i described the more generalised differences between distros. But it still applies!!
 


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