What are your top tips for a Newbie?

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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby wyrdoak on Thu May 26, 2011 3:03 pm

My biggest suggesting is to make sure your computer is set up from you BIOS the first book device is you DVD player then you Harddrive don't worry if a bootable CD/DVD isn't in the drive,
the Bio'S will look for the next bootable device. That's one thing I forgot to do on the NetBook for it doesn't have a DVD player so I had to use a USB DVD player. This is one of the first things I do with a new desktop so it was took for granted on the NetBook.

Remember the computer ain't broke unless you hit it with a hammer. :) May mistakes, learn and have fun. For me Linux 11 took less than half the time of doing a full system restore with Windows 7.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby LordColston on Thu May 26, 2011 8:53 pm

Being a newbie myself I came here to look for tips myself. I am trying to find a site that will define all of the different acronyms. Like what is gnome, KDE, Debian etc. However I am having a hard time trying to get past the shirtless guy lol. My question to him is why? What makes you think that anyone other than your wife, girlfriend or Partner would want to be forced to see that?
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby luisgf on Thu May 26, 2011 9:01 pm

Wikipedia is a good place to start your search :)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_mint
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby hdsp on Sun May 29, 2011 8:13 am

As most probably do, have two computers for a while, one windows and one mint. Installed on HP Probook 4430s/8gb ram/dual boot/7 Performance
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby chrnoble on Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:04 pm

I've been a Linux user for a little over one year, and I'm a computer idiot. So, from me to you, this is the most important thing to remember about Linux:
You can't break it.
Really. Can't be done. Burn the image on a disc, back up your files, and you're golden. Delete some mysterious file that crashes everything? No problem, just use the disc to re-install. Takes all of twenty minutes. Hate the music player? Dozens to chose from, all free. Heck, hate Mint? Try Ubuntu, try Fedora, try different versions of Mint. You can screw up the whole thing, and it costs you all of a few minutes of your time. You're not going to make your machine cough up its kidney.
You might want to dual boot with Windows. I do, mostly because of Netflix streaming and some games. But this will allow you to flip over to Windows if you exceed your frustration tolerance. And you will get occasionally frustrated; you will hit a wall with something, and your Google-fu will be weak, and everybody you read on whatever forum will be talking in code. So, dual boot, do what you have to do on Windows, and, tomorrow? You'll figure out the issue.
Also, some things take an extra step. This takes some getting used to.
There's nothing wrong with Windows, not really. For the most part, it does what it's supposed to. But it's not really yours, is it? Microsoft is just letting you use it, so long as you do it their way. Which makes it feel like your computer isn't really your computer. This, for me, is the worst thing about Windows. Your Linux system is yours, and so is your machine. Means you have to monkey around with it a bit, but give it a few months, and you'll discover you're better off.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Tony.B on Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:24 pm

@chrnoble
I agree with your comments. I just wish I was clever enough to think it through and write it down before you did.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby wei2912 on Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:53 am

Jix wrote:UNDERSTAND THAT LINUX USES GRUB
Not sure what a GRUB is, and why Linux needs it, but it's important. Once you install Linux, it replaces whatever GRUB Windows used, and it's hard to bring things back to the way they were without pulling some of your hair out. When you lose GRUB bad things happen. Reinstalling Linux restores GRUB. Reinstalling Win 7 removes the Linux GRUB and restores Windows' GRUB alternative - it's the best way to avoid ripping your hair out.
[/quote]

BTW grub is the bootup manager (you choose what to bootup). When you install linux you replace the window bootup manager with grub. When you lose grub... actually it is when you lose the linux partition, grub can no longer find the linux partition and an error occurs.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby eb0b on Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:24 am

another good book is anything from O'Reilly. ive been reading through ubuntu hacks trying to get the most out of linux.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Servicetech on Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:08 pm

Install your "home folder" on a separate physical partition. If you ever REALLY mess something up your home folder is more likely to survive. This holds true for most operating systems including Windows.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby luisgf on Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:15 pm

wei2912 wrote:
Jix wrote:UNDERSTAND THAT LINUX USES GRUB
Not sure what a GRUB is, and why Linux needs it, but it's important. Once you install Linux, it replaces whatever GRUB Windows used, and it's hard to bring things back to the way they were without pulling some of your hair out. When you lose GRUB bad things happen. Reinstalling Linux restores GRUB. Reinstalling Win 7 removes the Linux GRUB and restores Windows' GRUB alternative - it's the best way to avoid ripping your hair out.


BTW grub is the bootup manager (you choose what to bootup). When you install linux you replace the window bootup manager with grub. When you lose grub... actually it is when you lose the linux partition, grub can no longer find the linux partition and an error occurs.


And you can restore the Windows bootup manager without reinstalling the whole system. Boot off a Windows 7 or Vista disc, then select the Recovery Console. It will most of the time fix it automatically. If it doesn't, or if you boot off a Windows XP disc, get to the Console and type the following commands:

Windows 7/Vista:
bootrec /fixmbr
bootrec /boot

Windows XP:
fixmbr
fixboot
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby M_Mynaardt on Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:16 am

My number one piece of advice, if someone hasn't already posted it, is to: Pay attention to where GRUB Goes when you want to make a portable install.

There's a chance I just might have gotten that wrong (three times) and the end result is that it makes a mess of both the portable install you want to make and the regular install that's already on your computer.

Therefore, always pay attention to the /dev/sd# you are installing to. I did not do so until I realized what the problem was! So if you install to /dev/sd1 (for example) be sure the GRUB (boot loader or whatever it's called) is also installed to /dev/sd.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby 3rdsurfer on Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:49 pm

1. as the other guy said read. as with learning anything new, it takes getting used to. this is actually quite easy to learn from windows, but there are still things that you will have to learn different ways of doing (ie which program is the linux equivalent of X program in windows). also as far as the install goes, it will do all the hard work for you. all you have to do is fill in the name and how big you want your partition to be if you are dual-booting.

2. explore. i never had any idea there was so much to do. in windows, you usually just hope what you want to do works. for whatever reason, Linux encourages you to find out how it works and how to change it to suit you. it will work better than windows out of the box, but from there most of us would say to figure out how to make the OS how you want it. explore all the settings at least. this will show you things you never knew were possible for a computer. (for me i love having not 1, but 4 desktops. i find it hard to go without them now)

3.keep that dvd and backup your files every once in a while. if you are like me, you may go overboard with tweaking things, so if you don't know exactly what you are doing...well i had to reinstall my OS 3 times this week because i backed myself into a corner which i didnt know how to get out of. im sure a reinstall wasn't the best option, but its a good thing to fall back on. it has saved me many times. but then again you may not be dumb like me and never need to use it. either way :P

4. learn to love the command prompt. while most things have a graphical equivalent, a lot of the time the command prompt is more powerful and faster.

welcome to freedom. the more i learn about linux, the more i despise windows and dislike mac. "every time i win i loose"
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby M_Mynaardt on Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:36 pm

3rdsurfer wrote:3.keep that dvd and backup your files every once in a while. if you are like me, you may go overboard with tweaking things, so if you don't know exactly what you are doing...well i had to reinstall my OS 3 times this week because i backed myself into a corner which i didnt know how to get out of. im sure a reinstall wasn't the best option, but its a good thing to fall back on. it has saved me many times. but then again you may not be dumb like me and never need to use it. either way :P


That's another good one too! I'm totally paranoid about data loss, so I shamelessly back up all my photos, tunes, and academic files on no less than four USB Hard drives. I've had one of the real 'joys' of M$ Window$ in the past; viruses (and s***) wiping out everything. I know that's a lot less likely with Linux, but there's always the chance one can make a horrid mistake and accidentally wipe out one's data.

After all, re-installing software is a bit of a chore. But once you've lost your data, good luck replacing that!
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Habitual on Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:46 pm

Read Twice, Execute Once.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby c30zD on Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:22 pm

Well, first of all, since I guess you come from Windows, I recommend you to read this:

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

It describes some differences between Linux and Windows, so you know what to expect. Secondly, I would say that you should read, as said on some posts above, because any info you would need is really out there, you just need to find it. I have had some doubts, but if you google about it, you will find the answer. If not, ask here. However, there is something called "man pages" (from "manual"), that come with Mint, and is a good source of information, although it is sometimes too much to read. Nevertheless, typing on the command line "man" followed by a whitespace and followed by the name of a command (program) will open something that will show you how that command is used. It is really helpful since sometimes you will need to use the terminal and it would be good to know how to use it. So if you use "man", you should know a couple of things:

1) Inside the manpage, you can scroll down/up/left/right with the arrow keys, although you usually don't need to scroll left/right. You could also use the space bar to scroll down page by page and pressing "b" will do the same, but scrolling up. To quit, press "q" on your keyboard.

2) The command "man -k" (or command "apropos") followed by a whitespace and some text will search manpages containing that text

Don't be afraid of the command line. Sure, it could be something new and probably you won't know the commands, but with time, you will see that is not that complicated. In fact, it can save you a lot of time.

Also, there is something called the "super user" or "root". Never log in as the super user unless it is strictly necessary. Whenever you use something like "sudo" on a command line, be sure to type things correctly, check as many times as necessary, and be sure you know what you are doing. Being the superuser means having complete power over your system, and that can be dangerous (if you mess it up being superuser, you're screwed). Doesn't mean you can't solve whatever you've done as superuser, but it's better not to have to solve those problems. When you create your user account during installation, that is not the superuser, so don't worry. In fact, I think the superuser account is not really created on Mint.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Elisa on Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:25 pm

I don't wanna read all those 7 pages of this thread so someone might mentioned this advice but IMHO the most important advice for a newbie is - first learn how to use google ! :D
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby owend on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:35 am

Most important tip for me: Back up before you do anything drastic! (Windows as well, if you're going to install as a dual-boot). I've never (yet) destroyed everything with an install, but be prepared. Also, back up at least monthly, I have a removable HDD for this, kept well separate. I back up Documents, Firefox bookmarks and the Thunderbird directory, and I have a paper list of extra programs installed and tweaks/settings etc, so if I reinstall or try a new distro I don't rely on the computer having the details. Also, reinstalling programs often means you get the latest version, and by not installing for example the three DVD players you tried but didn't like, you are cleaning up your installation!

I have everything for one OS on one partition, although I know a separate /Home makes sense - I currently have 4 distros multibootable, Grub 2 in Mint 10, my main distro, picks them all up without trouble.

To echo previous posts: you can't break the computer. Try different distros, programs etc, it's one of Linux's joys, and if all goes pear-shaped, it's only about 20 minutes to reinstall, another 30 minutes max to reload backed-up data and reset your tweaks, and then get the latest versions of programs you want.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Habitual on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:42 am

Elisa wrote:...first learn how to use google ! :D


"AMEN" to that!

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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby limotux on Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:25 pm

My 2 cents for newbies, the most important thing IMHO is "stop thinking windoze way", find out what is this, simply it is an OS, programs that will do the same and even better.
Let me put it that way, windoze is a lousy old 1950 modell car, manual transmission, nothing automatic... etc. Somehow you find yourself in the latest top class Mercedes, both are cars, both have engines, gearbox, use petrol... etc... both are the same in the basics BUT, you'll just need to take some time to read the manual, ask other drivers.. etc... you'll go no where if you insisted to find the clutch and use the stick to shift gears, or insist to find the handle to open or close the windows. This is the bigger problem I think new users face. Just that. Start finding out the real thing you are in, you'll never find the handles to close the windows, if you insisted, you are wasting your time and effort and you'll never find it.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby samriggs on Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:28 pm

I'm still learning but three things I've learnt is google, google google (ok that is one)
Next thing, keep the dvd handy and a backup of your files and software (I count these as one because they should always be)
Learn how to properly use the terminal I know someone that thought he knew it and borked his system 3 times in a row :lol:
I warned him to be careful but he was good at using dos and thought it was the same thing :shock:
Heres a good place to start and it helped me
http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/100

Other then that read and practise, if you bork it ya bork it thats what the dvd and backup is for.
Got to admit I never had this much fun when I was on windows years ago, it's like exploring something new everyday and learning all sorts of cool things.
Mind you I have had a few reinstalls mainly in the beginning because, well , I borked it :lol:

But as was stated have fun with it.
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