Submitted by wildcat in freeAsInFreedom

Any recommendations for websites / internet resources that introduce beginners to Linux? I'm only a basic user (not interested in coding, etc.) and I'm looking for guides that don't assume any prior knowledge. I currently have Fedora and Windows dual-boot.

After a few years of getting up to mischief I'm finally starting to take digital security/privacy seriously!



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alqm wrote (edited )

Let me give you an idea. Assign a task to yourself. "I will move everything I do in Windows to Linux". That way you can have a place to start.

Example: "I edit videos in Windows. How can I do that in Linux?" A quick search reveals editors such as Kdenlive, Pitivi and Openshot. "How to install them?" Now you have the need to learn about repositories. Each Linux distribution has its repository, which is like an app store where you get everything for free. The most reliable way of managing them is through the terminal. Now you will probably feel the need to search about using the terminal.

Because you want to "edit videos", there's more fuel to keep your curiosity going. There's a purpose. It will be less likely for you to give up. So don't just pick a random subject or a guided learning experience. Do what you want to do and it will pay back.

I don't know you, but I could never focus on learning something until it had a practical utility or potential for... fun stuff. giggles. That's why I never went to college.


Ape wrote

This is a good idea, you need a sustainable reason to use Linux.

One of the things I started doing when I made the switch is to have a base Linux box that does nothing except run Virtual Machines (both desktop and server) and separate all my activities into one VM per activity.

So I have a VM for web browsing, another for email, another for business etc. and different machines have different levels of security.

One reason I do this is "speed of recovery" - if there's a disaster all I ever need is my virtual machine backups and a new box and I'm back up and running again super fast. Running things this way also allows for a ton of experimentation, you can build and burn virtual machines and not have to worry about messing something up.


alqm wrote

Now that's something I never heard of anyone doing. Very cool.


tnstaec wrote

Excellent tip. This has been my experience with going from Photoshop to GIMP.

I'll add:

  • Try out different distros using a live CD/ USB, if you haven't already.
  • Learn some of the command-line basics (like moving/ renaming files). At some point you'll probably want to work "under the hood", so its a good idea to at least get the feel of it.
  • As far as websites: you can poke around various distro websites or to get some ideas of beginner questions and concerns.
  • Troubleshooting: Many seasoned Linux users are happy to help new-comers, but also may ignore questions about common problems with documented solutions. If something doesn't work, learn where to find its log files. Copy-pasting an error message into a web search turns up workable solutions surprisingly often.

wildcat OP wrote

Thanks for your helpful reply :)

Generally that's how I go about learning computer skills (i.e. as I need to use them). However I find that quite often (especially when it comes to fixing problems, following solutions I find online) that I end up following directions without actually understanding what it's doing. So I thought I should go back to basics and make sure I'm properly orientated so that as I'm learning to do things I know why I have to do this or that, what this or that terminology means, and how different things are connected, etc.


Ape wrote

My suggestion is to try all the different flavours.

KDE Neon is one of my favourites that's also great for people switching from Windows desktop.


hotcool wrote (edited )

I've always been a fan of KDE, but haven't seen Neon yet. I'll check it out.


Naokotani wrote

I would familiarize myself with the Linux command line. At first you will find yourself using it to solve problems, but eventually you will find yourself using it more and more.

I would recommend the book "The Linux Command Line" by William Shotts. It is sort of the heart of linux, and spending some serious time learning how to use it and what it can do will be invaluable to you. When I started using linux I did a lot of copying and pasting bits of things into the command line to get things done with no idea what they did.