What are your top tips for a Newbie?

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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby deanom on Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:22 pm

Hi All
Thanks for the replies, and encouragement. I'm looking forward to the ride.
Time for a bit more reading,.

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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby grey1960envoy on Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:01 am

Hey Deanom just remember "If at first you don't succeed ...you're about average !!!!
In a perfect world everything has it's place, Linux on my computer, windows on the wall, and M$ in the trash!
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby kidflash on Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:36 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
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England

also was a newbie just like you. my first advice is just take your time with each new program and just get used to it. For me coming from a windows environment to a Linux World did not really confuse me much. It seems to me that the Linux side is much more organized and structured. On install you have a world of programs already at your fingertips and if you need a certain type of software just post up in the forums what you are looking to do and the members here are the best with response. You will love the Linux World.

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

Postby cra1g321 on Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:14 am

WHEN THERE'S A PROBLEM, DONT RUN AWAY BACK TO WINDOWS!!!

Some people (including me) expect to be able to install linux, login and expect to be able to know how to use everything, just because they've been using a pc for years. What i didnt realised at 1st was that i had been using Windows all those years, meaning i only had experience and knowledge about windows.
So spend sometime using it and learn ! google is your friend !!
You dont have to switch completely i run linux alongside windows 7. Meaning that if i evr need to use a certain program like itunes or something i can always run it on my Win7
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby vardomescro on Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:43 am

Man, I love this community. Everyone has already nailed it, but here's my 2¢. It's a whole nother world with Linux. As such, fully expect to go through all the stages of culture shock. If you stick with it, you will realize the rewards you were looking for when you embarked on the journey.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby grey1960envoy on Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:01 am

vardomescro wrote:Man, I love this community. Everyone has already nailed it, but here's my 2¢. It's a whole nother world with Linux. As such, fully expect to go through all the stages of culture shock. If you stick with it, you will realize the rewards you were looking for when you embarked on the journey.

Ain't that the truth ... BTW you live not far from where my wife was born ...the windy city !
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby willie42 on Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:38 am

Never Give up
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Aging Technogeek on Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:40 am

As others have said - read, read, read. Some topics that have not yet been linked in are

Linux is not Windows

viewtopic.php?f=61&t=5714&start=0

To get a feel for the differences between Linux and Windows

Beginners' guide to installing and using Mint

viewtopic.php?f=90&t=13252&start=0

It's a little dated but still valid.

A little more advanced (would not recommend for complete newbies):

Considerations before you install

viewtopic.php?f=90&t=11872&start=0

A lot of new users could benefit from reading this. It saves a lot of questions on internet security, virus and malware protection and system maintenance.

viewtopic.php?f=90&t=31723

Of course there is the Linux Mint User Guide available here

http://www.linuxmint.com/documentation.php


For much more advanced new users or anyone who wants to get a truly deep understanding of the Linux Command Line there is this site and the book referenced therein

http://linuxcommand.org/index.php
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Tony.B on Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:33 pm

Read everything, and commit it to memory.

We'll test you next week.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Rudemeister on Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:35 pm

Linux is not Windows. It is a complete paradigm shift from the way Windows works, so you have to prepare yourself for a new adventure. Having said all that, it's not like trying to figure out an alien brain boost machine. It is laid out very logically. You just have to keep an open mind free of your previous Windows bias. The way to run it will become obvious and simple. Getting into it's internals and true power will take some research and perseverance though. Once you have become an expert, you will also find a system that is much more configurable and customisable than Windows will ever be.

But one of the biggest advantages is all the free native Linux software too. People have asked me, "If it's so good, why don't more people use it?". The reason is because free software does not spend billions to cement brainshare through advertising. You may have to dig to find the beauty of Linux, whereas Windows uses glitzy advertising to convince you how good it is.

You don't need Windows to get work done, you need software tools. Linux is a new tool that you will learn to appreciate more than any alternative.

Further more, I have used many other versions of Linux. Some of my favourites have been PCLOS, Suse, Mandriva, Ubuntu and Mepis. But when it comes down to the final choice, Mint is superior in many ways to the others.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby rtrev on Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:10 pm

My wife had a nice plan when switching to Linux. She simply made a list of everything she needed to do on the computer. Then, she installed a dual-boot of Linux alongside her Windows install.

Systematically, she went down her list and checked off each item as she learned how to do it in Linux.

When she'd checked off the last item, she scraped Windows off the drive and has never looked back since.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Aging Technogeek on Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:19 pm

rtrev,

That is a good method for any new user to try. Unlike my method which was - dual boot for about 10 days, realize I was booting into Windows only to check for updates, and reinstall Mint on the entire drive.

I have since reinstalled XP Pro on a small partition on my desktop. I use a couple of mobile broadband modems from AT&T and Verizon and need Windows to run the device manager software and keep the devices up to date. If it were not for that and a Lightscribe CD/DVD labeling program from LG that only runs in Windows, all of my systems would be pure Linux (mostly Mint)
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby rtrev on Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:34 pm

Aging Technogeek wrote:That is a good method for any new user to try. Unlike my method which was - dual boot for about 10 days, realize I was booting into Windows only to check for updates, and reinstall Mint on the entire drive.


I did it the same way you did. :) Of course I could just ask my wife if I got stuck.

I have since reinstalled XP Pro on a small partition on my desktop. I use a couple of mobile broadband modems from AT&T and Verizon and need Windows to run the device manager software and keep the devices up to date. If it were not for that and a Lightscribe CD/DVD labeling program from LG that only runs in Windows, all of my systems would be pure Linux (mostly Mint)


That's the big problem with getting people on to Linux. Everybody seems to have one application they can't live without and can't find, or don't want to re-learn, for Linux. One guy I know has invested years in learning AutoCad, another can't find a good way to update his GPS maps under Linux, and so on.

I figure eventually most things of that sort will be doable under Linux.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Rudemeister on Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:49 pm

If you want to find an Open Source alternative to your Windows stuff, try this website for guidance:

http://www.osalt.com/


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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby caprus on Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:40 am

@ deanom

First off.. I'm a little surprised nobody's said "Welcome aboard" yet. I'm sure it's just an oversight, so Welcome to Linux and Freedom.

I've been dabbling with Linux for many years now but only made the leap for good in '07, so I'm hardly an expert, however I'd like to chime in with four thoughts.

1. Set up your partitioning the "conventional Linux way" with three partitions. "swap", "/" and "home". That probably sounds very mysterious to anyone whose never done a Linux Installation before. Don't panic it'll turn out to be quite intuitive as you go along.. provided you don't panic. suggestion: take your time, the screen that looks so intimidating at first glance will make sense as you get used to it.

2. I envy those who've said that their installations just found and set up their wireless right from the start. Most times that's true, but I've not always been so lucky. Some PCs (esp. newer laptops and netbooks) have wireless cards (example: BCM43xx) that require proprietary drivers to be loaded before they can work. For that reason I always have a working ethernet cable available just in case. If the new installation doesn't have any wireless I connect the cable and use that connection until the wireless card comes up. (to then find the proprietary drivers just look for the little green icon in the right hand side of the toolbar. click on it and follow the directions.)

3. The reason for #1 is quite simple. Others have noted that you can always wipe out your installation and reload if you screw things up as you're learning. True, but a Windows user would think "Oh no, that means I've got to backup all my data and go through the hassle of restoring it after the reload. Not True! Well not entirely true, hopefully you'll be smart enough to always have an up to date backup at all times anyhow. With a properly set up Linux installation you can reload from scratch by simply doing a new install in which you reuse the old "swap" and "home" partitions, and reformat "/". Reinstall the OS into the "/" partition. When you do that you should lose none of your data and few (if any) of your preferences. Once the new OS is up and running just reinstall your applications and they should find and adopt your old settings and data from the "home" you're reusing. MUCH easier than windows where most often one common partition holds all, and a reload means a total wipe out.

4. Pretty soon I got to the point when I only booted into Windows on very rare occasions, to run some stubborn Windows app. that wouldn't run with Wine, I installed VirtualBox and installed XP in the virtual machine. Then I was able to wipe out the old Windows partitions and have my Windows apps. running while being able to switch back and forth between them and the Linux ones without having to go through the hassle of rebooting.

You can find detailed instruction for all of the above elsewhere in this Forum. Good Luck.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby admiralspark on Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:02 am

Tony.B wrote:
tdockery97 wrote:Read, read, and read more.
daveinuk wrote:be prepared to learn and make mistakes
proxima_centauri wrote:Hang around the forums
LongRider wrote:There is plenty of info already out there
grey1960envoy wrote:above all else HAVE FUN with it!

... and then try to wipe the silly smile off your face when you realise you understand things that the "experts" at your local computer shop haven't even heard of.

Welcome to Linux Mint.

And as Pierre said, don't be afraid to break it, because that's the easiest way to learn.

That's the best advice I ever received...now, when I have a friend say "such and such isn't working" I can tell how to fix it because I've broken it before!
Oh, and one last thing...the Mint forums are great, but, do remember that Mint is built right off of Ubuntu (well, that and alot of cleanup that the Ubuntu crew couldn't do). What this means is this: if something on the internet makes reference to "this is how it's done in Ubuntu", it directly translates to "this is how it's done in Mint". The Ubuntu forums are a valuable resource as well for help; there are many great Mint users here, but there are literally thousands and thousands of people who use the Ubuntu forums.

Oh, one more thing: get active! Find a distro to help with, write documentation, create artwork, provide support, blah blah blah... anything you do will help you learn and build new relationships with people from around the world!

EDIT NOTE: Keep windows, even if it's shrunk down as far as possible. I hate windows for one reason: I know from firsthand testing how ungodly easy it is to crack windows security even with AV's, firewalls etc. You WILL find that 6 months into the linux life, there will be some obscure program that doesn't quite work on linux that you'll need Windows for. TomTom GPS, for example, runs on the linux kernel but it's interface program only works with windows. Go figure...
For instance, I first started using linux in September 2009: one year later and I now help write documentation for multiple OSS projects, provide support on multiple forums, I've built distros from the command line (both Debian and the ultra-pain-in-the-rear Gentoo), I strip down and compile programs for Puppy Linux, and am currently building a linux distro of my own for like-minded college students!

Finally, welcome to Mint (and Linux)! Don't ever be afraid to ask any question, and use Google to learn as much as possible. :wink:
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Tony.B on Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:52 pm

admiralspark wrote:.....Oh, one more thing: get active! Find a distro to help with, write documentation, create artwork, provide support, blah blah blah... anything you do will help you learn and build new relationships with people from around the world!.....For instance, I first started using linux in September 2009: one year later and I now help write documentation for multiple OSS projects, provide support on multiple forums, I've built distros from the command line (both Debian and the ultra-pain-in-the-rear Gentoo), I strip down and compile programs for Puppy Linux, and am currently building a linux distro of my own for like-minded college students!

... and, if you can't do any of that, there's nothing wrong with trying to help out with the occasional comment on these forums.
Last edited by Tony.B on Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Hazzbin on Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:07 pm

As written above by Txnca, DON"T GIVE UP and take it slowly read as much as you can, absorbing it on the way
It is very very different to "MickeySoft" you are in control of whatwhere and how you set you machine up. And it takes a little time and effort.
Be patient.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby renzokukenreddragon on Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:18 pm

I would being careful with which formats to use for documents, spreadsheets and presentations. OpenOffice is commonly installed on Linux systems to take care of your office-y needs, and it's a good program for what it does. However, you may find you sometimes you run into formatting errors when converting between file formats such as ODF and DOC for example.

Please don't let this put you off in any way, I'm generally very happy with OpenOffice's compatibility. I just wish someone had warned me about this before I discovered an assignment I had submitted to my university wouldn't open. I always use open formats whererever possible, but in cases you're forced to use .doc, .xls and the like, exercise caution.

*sits back and waits for flame-war*

grey1960envoy wrote: All I can say is YUP YUP YUP I love messing with some of these guys in the computer shops here (although in Staples they do have people that use Linux)


Yes, I worked at Staples in the UK while at university. I routinely recommended Linux and OpenOffice in conjunction with the Microsoft products I was meant to be pushing, advised customers on Linux compatibility for hardware they were purchasing and told customers to at least trial free anti-virus and anti-spyware products before blindly paying the order of £60 for a new Norton license each year. From the company's POV, I was a terrible member of staff, but I received positive comments from the customers!
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby libssd on Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:32 pm

tdockery97 wrote:Only 3 tips: Read, read, and read more. On the Mint Forums, of course. Everything you could possibly need to know about Mint and Linux is somewhere on these forums. Read thoroughly the Newbie and Installation and Boot sections. Also the Hardware section for anything to do with the types of Wifi/Ethernet cards and Video cards that you have. You won't remember everything you read, but if you run into a glitch you'll have an idea where to look to find the answer.

Excellent advice, with one caveat: read, read, read BEFORE you install Linux (whatever flavor).

One more tip, if creating a dual-boot system (presumably on a Windows machine): Make sure that you can restore Windows before partitioning/installing any Linux distro. Stuff happens. I can't count how many times I have seen (and experienced once or twice myself) a post that says: "HELP, I just installed xxxxx, and now all I get is a black screen when I turn on my computer."
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