What are your top tips for a Newbie?

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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby tlcmd on Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:39 pm

As a "long-term" noobie myself, you will not find a nicer and more understanding group of people who can help you out than on this forum. I started with Helena and now am trying to learn Linux Mint Debian. And I'm sure some of these guys on the forum have pulled hair out at how dumb my questions are. But they're still nice about it and provide help and assistance. So hang in there and gofor it. Being a noobie, i can tell yu lots of ways to screw up.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby podagee on Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:48 pm

my response to a newbie,as i am one too,would be ask the questions and dont just wait around for the answer.go into your linux and figure out how to do it.ive been asking a lot of things lately and i end up figuring some stuff out on my own.i dont get everything but most of the stuff that im trying to do.mess around a bit.i messed up my operating systems over 20 times.and now i know what to do and what not to,sort of haha.get familiar with your system
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby widget on Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:41 pm

Do a lot of reading. Best to start before installing but it is never too late. Here are 2 links that I think are good for the average noob to read just to know what you have gotten into;
http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm

http://www.linuxnewbieguide.org/content ... what-linux

Get in the habit of running a search, on a search engine and on the forum(s). You are probably having a problem that others have had and solved.

Use the terminal. It is one of the best tools you will ever find for figuring things our. If, for instance, a program will not open try to open it in terminal by simply typing its name there at the prompt. This may open it. If it does not it will give you some sort of message. Post that message with your question. This will speed up the help process a lot.

One thing that I personally recommend, from my experience is to dual boot. Not with another OS, with the one you just installed. Why, because then you have one that you use and one that you learn on.

I broke Ubuntu 8.04.1 five times in five days because I came from MS and was intoxicated with the power that Linux gives you over your system. Hadn't a clue as to what I was doing so it broke. Heard about dual booting and did a Hardy/Hardy dual boot install. The second installation was on a total of 29 Gb (did not need to be that big). Before doing anything to my "real" install I did it to the "play" install.

This allows you to to be completely uninhibited in your learning process and makes the learning curve go faster.

Learn to install on 2 partitions, / (root) and /home, this will make your life easier, just do it.

The most important thing is to HAVE FUN.
Dell XPS 420 Core2 Quad Q 6600, audigy5.1, Radeon HD 6450 - currently 4 320Gb HDD, Debian Squeeze for secure use, Debian testing for daily use, Debian Sid for fun.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby maxpolaris on Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:36 am

Find and download a copy of RuteUser Tutorial and Exposition.
Read its 600 or so pages at least 3 times at your own pace and have a working linux system to enter commands and navigate the file system.
Everytime I go back to this document I learn more and more. I'm on my second pass through it.
I think I'll be reading it at least 5 times though because I'm not as smart as I used to be. :)
http://wireless.ictp.it/school_2003/docs/linux/rute.pdf

Google your questions, problems and random thoughts in plain english. Chances are you'll hit something useful.
Wikipedia is your friend.
Check out and book mark the oodles of excellent Linux Support Sites.

Don't all jump on me at once here, but use these support forums as THE LAST RESORT. Do your own thinking and research first. When you do need help on a forum, search the forums to see if the topic has already been discussed, then be as specific as you can and carefully consider how best to construct your request for help.

Remember to keep it fun!!!!!!!!

Good Luck
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby lmintnewb on Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:10 am

Have 3 simple steps to add to this. Honestly last couple posts I read here look dang good.( only read a couple) So made me think of point #1 and more than likely something very few people new to LM or gnu/nix are doing anyway. Hmmmm ... I didn't either.

1. READ THIS THREAD, lol.

2. Occurs to me a really good 1st project for people new to Linux to undertake ... Learn how to make a full and working backup of your new OS. However or whichever way someone goes about it. Remaster system, Clonezilla ... etc. etc. Cause if you're reading this. Then you will have noticed a recurring theme going on. The I broke my Linux x times at 1st and had to reinstall. Yep ... me too folks. Not just x times, xx times. As in like 24 or so. I probably cost LM HQ $100 bucks in bandwidth n overloaded a couple of their servers too. ;) Do the math ... reinstall even on a decent PC ya can probably expect to take 30-45mins or so. Not to mention all those cool customizations and tweaks ya spent another 2,3, 4 hrs doing. :D Then something breaks, can't figure it out how to fix it and time to reinstall ... IT'S ALL GONE !

3. Once ya are properly armed with a good backup and can reinstall everything from a good place in 15mins instead of 4hrs. ( your Linux happy place. :D ). Break stuff ... break a lot of stuff. Push buttons, twist dials, find out what clicking on that things does.

:D
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby gunavara on Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:01 am

There are 2 things that you will be most dependable when learning any linux distro. First is that you will be reading a Lot tutorials, guides, forums etc and second but probably more important is the community of the given distro. Always do some research on the question you are about to ask in forums, so the guys here see that you really are struggling at solving your problem and they would really take some time to help you :)
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby gothicpreston on Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:25 pm

Once upon a time I bought a shiny new mobile phone. A Nokia N900. Then I found it wouldn't sync my music from my MS Windows PC. A quick search on the internet told me that Banshee would talk to my phone...but that was a Linus based media player. So I bought a couple of Linux magazines with free DVDs and reviews of the latest distros.
I tried the distros on the free DVDs with my kids. My daughter insisted that I fully install Ubuntu IMMEDIATELY she saw it, and has never looked back; we just did the 11.10 Ocelot upgrade just as easiliy as the initial install, with no issues at all on her Acer laptop . Same went for Mint 11 with myself and son on our Asus 1015PX netbook and Dell 1540 laptops. Even the broadcom wireless driver install was a doddle.
This weeks challenge was to create a USB mount point for my wife's Acer A500 Android tablet, which again was all there on the Internet and worked on all three of our machines when I followed the instructions found online.
We now take music from Itunes Store into our Linux laptops and out to the Android tablet; and vice versa.
Plus, my now less than shiny N900 is fully compatible with everything :-)
So..don't worry, its a great OS that works straight off the DVD/USB and has a massive, active community to help you through almost every issue you could possibly imagine.
Hope you enjoy Linux as much as we do :D
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby nicabod on Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:55 pm

Pierre wrote:
and remember to have fun with it


actually, don't be afraid of breaking it - you won't learn, if you haven't broken, something.
that said, don't do anything that's rash, either. :)


Hi, all!

Just started reading this thread, and am reminded of the T-shirt that says "I void warranties" (referring to the solemn promise every geek makes to him/herself that, if possible, any device must be opened up* to see how it works (such as a mechanical pocket metronome, resembling a pocket watch), and better yet, what one can learn about it.) *Or have its software probed.

I'm not really a newbie; was a midnight hacker in 1960, although that doesn't really say a lot. I was exceptionally fortunate, though.

My T-shirt should read, "I break operating systems* {next line says} *Only my own". I've done it at least 3 times. and at least twice, if not all, was over-tired and got careless.

Until you're sure your Mint is stable, don't entrust valuable/precious data (including photos, private videos and sound recordings, etc.) to Mint; back them up, on another medium if possible (external drives are not costly, but I worry that they run too hot unless they have a fan inside). It should be safe to use Mint's built-in backup.
Do backups, once you're up and running!

Sound dead? Look for level (volume) controls set all the way down, and muted channels. Have a look at the ALSA mixer.

You've made an excellent choice!

Best regards,
[n/b] 3/4 century old
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby nicabod on Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:05 pm

widget wrote:Do a lot of reading. Best to start before installing but it is never too late. Here are 2 links that I think are good for the average noob to read just to know what you have gotten into;
http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm

http://www.linuxnewbieguide.org/content ... what-linux

_ _ _ _ {snips follow -- n/b}

Use the terminal. It is one of the best tools you will ever find for figuring things ou[t].

One thing that I personally recommend, from my experience is to dual boot. Not with another OS, with the one you just installed. Why, because then you have one that you use and one that you learn on.

_ _ _ _ {By golly, what a fine idea! Been with computers for decades (with a long hiatus) -- New idea, to me. --n/b}

Learn to install on 2 partitions, / (root) and /home, this will make your life easier, just do it.

The most important thing is to HAVE FUN.


My best to all,
[n/b]
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie? -- Fedora dual-boot

Postby nicabod on Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:41 pm

Fedora is a fine distribution ("distro."), and I won't say a bad thing about it, except for a warning. I had frustrating problems getting sound to work in Mint/Katya, after living with a sound-less openSUSE (11.1) distro. for far longer than common sense would permit. Lack of sound in Mint was, therefore, doubly frustrating. (I seem to have solved it; posts elsewhere.)

Along the way toward fixing dead sound, I finally remembered that a Fedora live CD did make my sound work.

[Here, I get technical; you can skip ahead, if it doesn't make sense]
By this time, I'd installed Katya. I ran the Fedora 15 live CD to confirm that sound hardware was still OK (of course) and to start gathering info. about why its sound worked, but Mint's didn't. Along the way, had a look at Fedora, and decided that it might be nice to actually install it from the live CD.

I had partitioned my HD with /home at the end, to see whether that would speed up that partition (more "real" sectors per track; the old "C/H/S" scheme is somewhat-useful fiction, and has been, for some time). Unallocated space was in the middle, more or less, of the whole HD space.

At first, the Fedora installation seemed to be going well; it asked permission to install LVM (technical matter), and I told it to go ahead.

{END of technical part]

With Fedora installed, I had a good look at the contents of my HD. Fedora 15 had brutally over-written Katya, iirc even creating a different partition scheme! Now, I don't (even now) hate Fedora, and really should let them know what happened, but, no promises.

Summary advice:
Do be careful if you create a dual-boot setup, installing Mint first, then Fedora [15].


Fedora just might wipe out Mint!! (If Fedora were installed first, it might be much more hospitable.)
[Possible technical explanation: Almost sure that Fedora installs GRUB in a different place from where Mint installs it.]

I do hope that my case was unusual, or even unique.

I should have taken the advice, to have fun, more seriously! (open SUSE's installs have traditionally had a final message that says "Have fun!')

Regards,
[n/b]
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie? -- Fedora dual-boot

Postby widget on Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:57 am

nicabod wrote:Fedora is a fine distribution ("distro."), and I won't say a bad thing about it, except for a warning. I had frustrating problems getting sound to work in Mint/Katya, after living with a sound-less openSUSE (11.1) distro. for far longer than common sense would permit. Lack of sound in Mint was, therefore, doubly frustrating. (I seem to have solved it; posts elsewhere.)

Along the way toward fixing dead sound, I finally remembered that a Fedora live CD did make my sound work.

[Here, I get technical; you can skip ahead, if it doesn't make sense]
By this time, I'd installed Katya. I ran the Fedora 15 live CD to confirm that sound hardware was still OK (of course) and to start gathering info. about why its sound worked, but Mint's didn't. Along the way, had a look at Fedora, and decided that it might be nice to actually install it from the live CD.

I had partitioned my HD with /home at the end, to see whether that would speed up that partition (more "real" sectors per track; the old "C/H/S" scheme is somewhat-useful fiction, and has been, for some time). Unallocated space was in the middle, more or less, of the whole HD space.

At first, the Fedora installation seemed to be going well; it asked permission to install LVM (technical matter), and I told it to go ahead.

{END of technical part]

With Fedora installed, I had a good look at the contents of my HD. Fedora 15 had brutally over-written Katya, iirc even creating a different partition scheme! Now, I don't (even now) hate Fedora, and really should let them know what happened, but, no promises.

Summary advice:
Do be careful if you create a dual-boot setup, installing Mint first, then Fedora [15].


Fedora just might wipe out Mint!! (If Fedora were installed first, it might be much more hospitable.)
[Possible technical explanation: Almost sure that Fedora installs GRUB in a different place from where Mint installs it.]

I do hope that my case was unusual, or even unique.

I should have taken the advice, to have fun, more seriously! (open SUSE's installs have traditionally had a final message that says "Have fun!')

Regards,
[n/b]

This is true for a lot of, I think most, Red Hat branch of Linux distros. They assume that any partition that is not MS is all for them.

The only distro that I have come to somewhat trust in the RH branch not to do that is Mandriva. Magica (I think the name is right - they forked from Mandriva) may be safe too. PCLOS is based on Mandriva and it is pretty safe.

It is easy to have this NOT happen but it is kind of a pain. When you get to the installer, and it mentions "mount points" (this is what files go on what partitions), Go through the entire list of partitions and check the mount point for each of them. Know the partitions you are using and where you want the new install. Make sure that it is being installed where you want it.

The installer that they use is actually a very good one. It encourages people to use more than just a / (root) partition. This is good.

Assuming that I use an MS product is kind of insulting. I dual boot with Linux.

Always be very careful when installing any OS. Any installer can eat your installs and your data without a pause. Make sure you understand what it is doing. Never use any automatic installation option. Do it the manual way. If not sure what you are doing QUIT. Ask questions and find the answers to your doubts. Then go back and do your install.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Ryszard on Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:11 pm

Finally, Linux Mint on the first beat Ubuntu!. Today, a great celebration. Remember the date November 7, 2011.
http://www.distrowatch.com
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby dcihon on Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:20 pm

This is a direct link to the article:

http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20111107#news
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Kevin108 on Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:22 pm

I'm in the process of setting up my familiar keyboard shortcuts so that Mint works with what I already know.

To get the menu to open with the Window key:
Vincent Vermeulen wrote:Right-click on mintMenu, choose Preferences. Change "Keyboard shortcut" to read: Super_L
Logout/login and now left Windows key will open the mintMenu.


I went into the Keyboard Shortcuts and added Ctrl+Escape for XKill. I'm used to terminating frozen programs with the Process Manager. Xkill is even easier though. I also added Window Key+E to bring up Nautilus in my home directory, similar to how I used to open Windows Explorer for file management. I modified Alt+F2 for Run Program to Window Key+R.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby LongNightOfSolace on Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:59 pm

the best tip I can think of is if you're a noobie don't be a newbie :lol: :D
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby sledwich on Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:22 pm

The installation is quite straight forward and fairly automatic. You should try it and report back your experiences and problems and the community will help where it can
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby r0berto on Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:17 am

deanom wrote:Hi
I'm thinking of trying Mint for the first time, and have no experience of using any Linux distros. What are your top tips for me BEFORE my DVD arrives?
Possible topics:
Installation
Connecting to the Internet
Problem Solving
Please note that technical instructions will need to be pretty basic.
Thanks

Deano
Lincolnshire
England


I've been using Linux off and on since Red Hat 1.0 back in the mid 90's. What I can say is: DON'T BE AFRAID TO BREAK YOUR MACHINE! It's how you will learn. I can't stress that enough. Read, research, and read some more. Know your video card, and be prepared to try a couple of different drivers. Same for Wifi. If possible, have a hardwire ethernet connection available in case things break, and you can't get on the internet. GUI is nice, BUT LEARN TO LOVE THE COMMAND LINE! Learn useful command line tools like vi, nano, grep, etc. It will save your bacon when you find you have to recover your system. Heck, it's just plain easier in general anyway. Oh yeah, and compile a custom kernel at least once. It's truly geek zen.

Don't get caught up in the political fanboyism of KDE/Gnome/etc. Find one that works for you aesthetically and stick with it. Learn it inside out. They each have their upsides and downsides, and at the end of the day, it's still just a computer. A tool that is an extension of its user. (Why does that sound TRON-ish?)

Find the people here who are genuinely interested in helping and ask questions.

Oh yeah, and welcome to Mint!
Lenovo T61 laptop | Core 2 Duo T7300 | 4GiB RAM | 128GiB SSD | Mint 12 Gnome 64bit
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby seppalta on Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:40 am

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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby podagee on Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:46 am

nice that looks like it'll come in handy. nice mock up
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby midnight gypsy on Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:26 pm

r0berto wrote:
deanom wrote:Hi
I'm thinking of trying Mint for the first time, and have no experience of using any Linux distros. What are your top tips for me BEFORE my DVD arrives?
Possible topics:
Installation
Connecting to the Internet
Problem Solving
Please note that technical instructions will need to be pretty basic.
Thanks

Deano
Lincolnshire
England


I've been using Linux off and on since Red Hat 1.0 back in the mid 90's. What I can say is: DON'T BE AFRAID TO BREAK YOUR MACHINE! It's how you will learn. I can't stress that enough. Read, research, and read some more. Know your video card, and be prepared to try a couple of different drivers. Same for Wifi. If possible, have a hardwire ethernet connection available in case things break, and you can't get on the internet. GUI is nice, BUT LEARN TO LOVE THE COMMAND LINE! Learn useful command line tools like vi, nano, grep, etc. It will save your bacon when you find you have to recover your system. Heck, it's just plain easier in general anyway. Oh yeah, and compile a custom kernel at least once. It's truly geek zen.

Don't get caught up in the political fanboyism of KDE/Gnome/etc. Find one that works for you aesthetically and stick with it. Learn it inside out. They each have their upsides and downsides, and at the end of the day, it's still just a computer. A tool that is an extension of its user. (Why does that sound TRON-ish?)

Find the people here who are genuinely interested in helping and ask questions.

Oh yeah, and welcome to Mint!


So true, When I was introduce to linux. I couldn't even spell the word computer.. Actually I hated them. I was force to buy an use one. A friend of mine, who kept pushing linux( Mandrake 8). Finally said, You can keep getting viruses with Windows. Or you can learn what your computer is doing and why. He also said... Worst case if you screw up " REINSTALL".... It was these words that made me brave enough to click on everything.. Just to see and learn. Because of his advice and words. He now calls me. When he has a problem. So click and tweak away bud... You'll learn.... Merry Christmas....... Russ
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