The right path for a first time Linux user

The right path for a first time Linux user

Are you new to Linux or thinking of using it for the first time? Wait! What the hell am I saying here! There is no such word as “New to Linux” or “first time Linux user”. Without your awareness, you probably use it every day! And you were thinking Linux was meant for programming nerds, hackers and going by Linux means using that old green terminal!

That’s racist you know!!

The main question should be: are you new to personal computing with Linux? Well, if your answer is “Yes”, then don’t worry, a superior operating system is ready to be served by your only master. See what I did there? If not, I mean that you and only YOU own your hardware and software. No one is going to install a crappy app you don’t need or change your system settings while you’re enjoying the old “funny kitty video” on the internet!

In the world of Linux personal computing, there are a plethora of options to choose from. The people on the planet Linux call these “Distributions”. What this means is that while the “Kernel” of the primary system is identical, the appearance and entire ecosystem may be different.

My personal favorite, at least for my daily desktop work, is Kali Linux. It is a Debian-derived Linux distribution designed for digital forensics and penetration testing. However, for my personal use, I prefer Linux Mint or Elementary OS. But here are a few others you may have heard of:

  1. fedora

  2. zorin

  3. openSUSE

  4. Debian

Those are the largest distros in terms of users. However, as a beginner, you should use “Linux Mint cinnamon edition”. It looks a lot like your Windows PC and if you come from the world of fruits, I suggest you try “Elementary OS” or “Deep OS”. They are very similar to the Mac ecosystem.

Stick with Linux Mint: From day one of the migration, it is recommended to stick with distributions like Linux Mint, Zorin, Linux Lite, etc. They are easy to install and use and have a large number of users online. These users are quite knowledgeable and friendly, ask them what problem you are facing and you will have the correct answer in a matter of hours, if not minutes! Linux Mint comes with some pretty decent software out of the box. This includes Libre Office (a free and open source office suite), Thunderbird (email client), Rhythm (music player), and Firefox (you can easily install Chrome and Chromium). As you become more familiar with the Linux environment, you may end up experimenting with different distributions and DEs (Desktop Environments); however, for now, it’s a good idea to stick with Linux Mint and gradually understand how Linux works.

Dive in: The best way to build a relationship with Linux is to make it your daily driver. Without a doubt, the first days of travel would be strange and bumpy, as would everything new and beyond the comfort zone. A distribution like Linux Mint, Zorin and Ubuntu try to make the journey from Windows or Mac to the Linux universe smooth and magical! Very soon I can assure you that you will be wondering why you ever used anything other than Linux!

Don’t be afraid of the terminal: Distributions like Ubuntu and Linux Mint are made so that you never have to open the terminal command line if you don’t want to. However, knowing the command line is highly recommended, and it’s not as painful as it seems at first. The command line is actually better and more productive than the graphical user interface (GUI) in many cases. What requires multiple clicks, scrolls, key presses, and more clicks in the GUI can usually be accomplished with a single terminal command. That’s simplicity!

Make an alliance with Google: Over time, you will find something in Linux that you want to do, however you are not sure which method to follow. This is where Google will become your best friend! If there’s something you can’t figure out how to do on Linux, someone other than you has run into the same problem before. The official Ubuntu Wiki and AskUbuntu forums will apparently monitor your search results. Conveniently, Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, so any solution that works on Ubuntu is pretty much guaranteed to work on Linux Mint as well.

There’s a lot more I want to say, however I think you’ll learn it eventually. In conclusion, I would like to say follow the Linux blog pages, follow their social networks. Learn about themes and icon packs and always want to do something new and creative. Have a happy trip to Wonderland. Thank you for reading!

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