Linux: Tricks of the Trade -- tips from our members

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Linux: Tricks of the Trade -- tips from our members

Postby vrkalak on Tue Dec 22, 2009 1:02 am

I found a topic thread about this same subject on another Linux Forum, and thought it would be a grand idea for inclusion here.

To open this forum up to our Members who would like to make some useful suggestions.
Tips and advice from our more experienced Mint users to the novice Mint user.


To our new Members please feel free to browse this thread and pick up some tips from our more experienced Members.

Please do not post questions in this thread.

This thread is ONLY for suggestions/tips and tricks that you have learned.
'Tricks of the trade' -- so to speak -- about Mint and GNU/Linux, that may be of some use to someone else.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

When looking to install LinuxMint, or any Linux distro, for that matter, remember:

Don't make it more difficult than necessary. Follow the directions. Listen to other users, those that have been there. Ask questions.

A little common sense goes a long way

A quick browse of this forum will illustrate what I mean:

Some beginners who are very new to LinuxMint, or to Linux in general, but they seem intent on trying the most bizarre 'installation' procedures ... with the excuse they are doing so, as a learning experience or something. :roll:

There are very good posts in the How-to/Tutorial Section. Which will solve many/most problems before they happen!

Just do a simple, straight-forward install, and you should be well on the way, to enjoying LinuxMint. Customization comes later.

If you run into problems with a normal install, or have unusual hardware/requirements and so on ... we're here to help. :P
But, please, don't start hacking away without, at least, some basic understanding of how the thing works and expect forum members to pull your butt out of the fire!

If you want to try something different, make a post detailing your plan prior to executing it.
Chances are someone here has experienced the same thing, or tips to help you, before you mess things up" :wink:

Read this page, it's about using a Help Forum, like this one >> http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntucat/get ... ux-forums/
Last edited by vrkalak on Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 'Tricks of the trade' -- tips from our members

Postby vrkalak on Tue Dec 22, 2009 5:43 pm

I found this Linux blog ... thought I'd share it.

Lots of information, for those new to Linux.

http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2009/ ... oducti.php
http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2009/ ... istros.php
http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2009/ ... s.php#more

It is in no way Distro specific. Just plain and simple GNU/Linux :P
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Re: 'Tricks of the trade' -- tips from our members

Postby vrkalak on Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:06 am

From the Ubuntu Forums.

Linux Newbie 101 (a place to start) >> http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=790485

Lots and lots of useful information here ... advisable for all Linux Users to read this. Even some not so new users.
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Re: 'Tricks of the trade' -- tips from our members

Postby vrkalak on Sat Dec 26, 2009 7:23 pm

Most everything pertaining to Ubuntu works for Mint >> http://www.ubuntupocketguide.com/index_main.html


Freedom!! This is how Richard Stallman (the father of Free Software) puts it:

There are four crucial freedoms that define Free Software:

Freedom 0 --The freedom to run the program as you wish.

Freedom 1 -- The freedom to study the source code of the program, and then change it to make the program do what you wish.

Freedom 2 -- The freedom to redistribute exact copies.

Freedom 3 -- The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions, supposing you have made modified versions.

Next to that comes the practical aspects of community driven development of software, what you see happening on this forum.
The development of diversity of taste and individuality which is made possible by the four freedoms.
The most refreshing is for me the absolute lack of commercialism, that is to be found in abundance in the Linux world.
I hate that so many things in this world are driven by the desire for profit instead, of the love for cooperation and sharing.
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Re: 'Tricks of the trade' -- tips from our members

Postby vrkalak on Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:07 pm

Post Title
Remember that when you post a support request to title the thread well, specifying exactly what the problem is.
"MInt killed my Hard-drive!!", "I need Heeeeelp!", "Screw this I'm going back to *buntu" ... will just make you appear stupid.
"Nvidia fx 5200 - no X at boot", "Atheros Wireless - doesn't connect with Wicd" ... much better! :wink:

Content of the Post
Try and give as much information about the problem as you can, maybe including screenshots or copy 'n' pasted terminal information.
If you've copy 'n' pasted something, please be sure to include it in:

"Code:" ... "Quote:" ... "Attachment:" ... tags depending on the material being pasted or written down.

Stay On-Topic
Please try to stay on-topic in threads, it means the moderators don't have to keep splitting them :wink:

Ask Again
If you don't understand an attempt to solve your problem, ask again ... this is a support forum.
Everybody here was a beginner once ... we are here to help.

Be Prepared to Help Yourself
You will earn a lot more respect from other members, if you try and fail, rather than not trying at all.
Use a Search Engine to find some info ... "Google is your friend"
Perform a Forum Search ... your question may have already been asked and solved.

The Support at LinuxMInt Forums is good ... but we aren't Psychic
PLEASE post your hardware details; Make and Model of your Desktop, Laptop, Graphics Card, Network Card, whatever is causing you the problem.
Post which desktop - Gnome, KDE, Xfce or Fluxbox. If you just post "Mint doesn't install" ... that tells us absolutely nothing and would normally get your post ignored.
LinuxMint Forums has nice people. :P So you will probably, get a link leading you to "How-to: Ask Smart Support Questions"

Give Something Back to Your Community
If you find out something new or solve your own problem. Look for somebody else who has posted about the same problem and help them.
Better still write a How-to for our "How-to Section of this Forum. These guides are priceless to new users.

.....and top of all this, be courteous, polite and respectful.
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Re: 'Tricks of the trade' -- tips from our members

Postby vrkalak on Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:18 am

10 things to do after you install Ubuntu/Mint

http://davestechsupport.com/blog/2008/1 ... ntu-linux/
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Re: 'Tricks of the trade' -- tips from our members

Postby vrkalak on Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:00 pm

A huge list of How-to pages for most everything involving GNU/Linux.

http://www.linuxbasis.com/howtos.html
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Re: 'Tricks of the trade' -- tips from our members

Postby vrkalak on Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:31 pm

Found an excellent site:

A-Z Index of the 'Bash' Command Line for Linux

http://ss64.com/bash/

CLI comes in, quite valuable, at times. :P
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Secondly:
LINUX: User's Tutorial and Exposition (Version 1.0.0)

http://rute.2038bug.com/rute.html.gz

A great resource and How-to, on just about anything for Linux (this tutorial is not Ubuntu affiliated)
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Linux 'Tricks of the trade' -- tips from our members

Postby vrkalak on Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:14 pm

Getting help from other people

1. Look first.
Start by searching your chosen forum. Someone may already have asked this question. If there is a FAQ, use it.
Use Google's Search feature . . . "Google is your friend"

2. Don't post off-topic
Find the right sub-forum for your post. If it's very basic and there is a "newbie" forum, you can post there. Be careful not to post in a forum that's labeled "not for support questions". And don't post in more than one section; most forums have rules against this.

3. Choose your post title carefully.
Never use titles like "N00b needs help!" or "Somebody help me PLEEEEZE!!!". It really puts people off. Your title should indicate what your problem is. Then anyone who knows the answer will be encouraged to share it with you. Be as precise as you can. For example "Modem keeps hanging up during authentication" is much more useful than "Can't get on the Internet".

4. Be brief but informative.
In the body of your post, give the name and version of your Linux distribution, the name and version of the program that is playing up, and any relevant hardware details. Also include the precise error messages - this is where your report file will come in useful! Indicate briefly what you have done to try to solve the problem. That way you will come over as an intelligent and competent person.

5. Don't use "texting" abbreviations.
It's very annoying.

6. Do use the opportunity to learn.
Don't follow advice blindly; you're here to learn something. If you are asked to use command line tools to gather information, use your man pages to find out what those tools actually do. Then you can use them with confidence if you run into similar problems in the future. If you are asked to post a file, find out what that file does within your system. Important system files often have their own man pages.

7. Say thank you.
Linux is a community. Nobody's paying us to help you. We do it because we've all been helped in the past and we want to pass it on. As well as saying thanks for the specific help, you can learn to do your bit to help other novices on their way, people who perhaps know even less than you do. And then you will experience a sense of satisfaction that Windows cannot give.

Most experienced Linux users are happy to help those who have shown initiative in helping themselves, but many get seriously irritated by people who expect to be spoon-fed. Remember that the people who use forums are fellow-travelers on the Linux road, not support staff who are paid to answer your questions.
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Re: Linux 'tricks of the trade' -- tips from our members

Postby hemimaniac on Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:35 am

vrkalak +1

And thank you to all the posters in this thread. Sounds like this should be added to a "new to linux, start here thread"
"Linux allows for one thing above all else - 'A user can truly be themselves!'"
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Re: Linux 'tricks of the trade' -- tips from our members

Postby FedoraRefugee on Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:22 am

hemimaniac wrote:vrkalak +1

And thank you to all the posters in this thread. Sounds like this should be added to a "new to linux, start here thread"


ROFL! Until you came along there has only been ONE poster in this thread! :lol:

But good job vrkalak. You state many important things for the newcomer and I find nothing I disagree with. Good information. :D
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Re: Linux 'tricks of the trade' -- tips from our members

Postby tower on Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:11 pm

My number 1 tip is BACK UP YOUR DATA!
Not all distros are well mannered and some will consider a default install to mean format and wipe ALL the drives!
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Re: Linux 'tricks of the trade' -- tips from our members

Postby FedoraRefugee on Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:28 pm

tower wrote:My number 1 tip is BACK UP YOUR DATA!
Not all distros are well mannered and some will consider a default install to mean format and wipe ALL the drives!


Great point!

I want to further it. My number one tip is to NEVER accept default partitioning! Always choose custom partitioning and create a separate /data partition. This not only prevents accidental mistakes like Tower mentions but it also allows the user to create a layout suited to his needs and it is useful information understand partitioning and be able to do this. It is really easy, almost self explanatory, and there are so many guides and how-to's available on this subject.
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Re: Linux 'tricks of the trade' -- tips from our members

Postby vrkalak on Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:24 pm

Some good answers and suggestions about 'backing-up' your data ... and also, a need to learn How-to make partitions.

A couple of good partitioning links (in no particular order)

http://apcmag.com/how_to_dualboot_vista ... _first.htm
http://maketecheasier.com/quick-guide-t ... 2009/12/17
http://www.easy-ubuntu-linux.com/ubuntu ... 606-9.html
http://linux.about.com/od/ubuntu_doc/a/ubudg28t4.htm
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Re: Linux 'Tricks of the trade' -- tips from our members

Postby _h_ on Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:30 am

vrkalak wrote:...


This post deserves to be in a new topic and stickied. :D
Last edited by _h_ on Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Linux 'tricks of the trade' -- tips from our members

Postby remoulder on Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:29 am

A useful tip, especially for newbies is not to quote the entire post you're replying to
[Edit] your original post and add [SOLVED] once your question is resolved.

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Re: Linux 'tricks of the trade' -- tips from our members

Postby tower on Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:50 pm

Clonezilla is your friend, back up your system once you get it working it is a lot easier to restore an image of the system than it is to start an installation from scratch

When solving a problem or configuring a unfamiliar piece of software, take notes! (I you have a memory like mine you will have probably forgotten the correct solution when you need it next time!)

Just because you have found a solution that worked on one version of the OS, do not expect it to work on the next!
Things change under the hood from one version to the next and the change may not be obvious to the beginer - intermediate user!
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Re: Linux 'tricks of the trade' -- tips from our members

Postby vrkalak on Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:10 pm

I've borrowed this list from the #!Crunchbang/Linux Forums... so that we can, also, use them...

1. Google for Linux -> http://www.google.com/linux

2. Online Security Training from the Creators of BackTrack -> http://www.offensive-security.com

3. Learn -> http://www.linux.com/learn

4. Linux Online - Documentation -> http://www.linux.org/docs

5. Debian -- Documentation -> http://www.debian.org/docs

6. Debian Linux Tutorial - Beginners Guide To Linux Servers and Networking Installation and Set Up with Instructions On How To Configure A Home Server -> http://www.aboutdebian.com

7. Ubuntu Home Page -> http://www.ubuntu.com

8. HowtoForge - Linux Howtos and Tutorials -> http://www.howtoforge.com

9. The Linux Documentation Project -> http://tldp.org/

10. Linux How-To Articles, Tips, and Guides :: How-To Geek -> http://www.howtogeek.com/tag/linux/

11. Quick HOWTO: Linux Home Networking and Linux Forums Help -> http://www.linuxhomenetworking.com

12. ibiblio linux archive -> http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/

13. TuxRadar Linux -> http://tuxradar.com/

14. LinuxDocs.org - documentation for Linux enthusiasts -> http://linuxdocs.org/

15. Boot and run Linux from a USB flash memory stick | USB Pen Drive Linux -> http://www.pendrivelinux.com/

16. Linux Journal | The Original Magazine of the Linux Community -> http://www.linuxjournal.com/

17. Digital Hermit - Kernel-Build-Howto -> http://digitalhermit.com/linux/Kernel-Build-HOWTO.html

18. Linux Knowledge Base and Tutorial -> http://www.linux-tutorial.info/index.php

19. Linux Basics-start -> http://linuxbasics.org/

20. FreeOS.com: The Resource Center for Free Operating Systems -> http://www.freeos.com/

21. Open of Course -> http://www.open-of-course.org/courses/

22. bash commands - Linux MAN Pages -> http://ss64.com/bash/

23. Linux Command Directory: Index -> http://oreillynet.com/linux/cmd/

24. Linux and Unix commands, information, and help -> http://www.computerhope.com/unix.htm

25. LinuxCommand.org: Learn the Linux command line. Write shell scripts. -> http://www.linuxcommand.org/

26. Linux Command Line -> http://www.linuxguide.it/linux_commands_line_en.htm

27. Linux Config-> http://www.linuxconfig.org/

28. Ubuntu:Karmic -> http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/Ubuntu:Karmic

29. GNU GRUB - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF) -> http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/

30. WPA How-To for Ubuntu -> http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=318539

31. Another WPA how to for Ubuntu -> https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiDocs/WPAHowTo

32. Linux on Your WLAN: Configure WPA -> http://www.enterprisenetworkingplanet.c ... hp/3594946

33. Unix and Internet Fundamentals -> http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Unix-and-Inte ... als-HOWTO/

34. Various Quick Reference Cards -> http://refcards.com/

35. Ubuntu - Iptables - HowTo ->https://help.ubuntu.com/community/IptablesHowTo

36. TCP/IP Concepts Review Lecture by Same Browne -> http://securitytube.net/TCP-IP-Concepts ... video.aspx

37. Security Tube-> http://securitytube.net/Default.aspx

38. The Linux CookBook -> http://dsl.org/cookbook/cookbook_toc.html

39. Linux Internet Connection -> http://www.virjacode.com/tutorials/linu ... nnect.html

40. Wikipedia -> http://www.wikipedia.org/

41. Commandlinefu.com -> http://www.commandlinefu.com/commands/browse

42. Command Line Kung Fu -> http://blog.commandlinekungfu.com/

43. Linux wireless LAN support -> http://linux-wless.passys.nl/index.php

44. How To Become A Hacker -> http://catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html

45. Online Man Pages | UNIX | FreeBSD | Linux : DNSwatch: Index Page -> http://www.dnswatch.com

46.Linux: Tutorials, Howto's and FAQs, Shell Scripts -> http://www.cyberciti.biz/

47.Linux newbie help... in plain English! -> http://www.tuxfiles.org/

48.Introduction to linux -> http://www.tldp.org/LDP/intro-linux/html/

49. Distro Watch - huge list of available Linux OS Distributions -> http://distrowatch.com

Have fun.. and if anyone has more, please do, post them .... it would be great to bookmark the necessary links...
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Re: Linux 'tricks of the trade' -- tips from our members

Postby det4100 on Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:38 am

vrkalak,

Outstanding post. Thank you for this collection of great links.

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Re: Linux 'tricks of the trade' -- tips from our members

Postby vrkalak on Wed May 12, 2010 5:21 pm

If you find any other 'useful' links do not hesitate to add them here.

I know I don't have them all. :lol: This is primarily a Help Forum and a 'sharing' site

It doesn't matter, if they are directed toward "Linux Newbies" or not. We all have much to learn
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