What are your top tips for a Newbie?

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/Home folder Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby MacLindroid on Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:54 pm

Always keep a recent backup copy of your entire /HOME folder. When you do a new install or version upgrade copy this entire folder and paste into your new installation. In this way, setting up your new installation will be super easy as your Thunderbird or Evolution mail clients come configured and all you mail settings and emails will be there.

I am not a techie but just a user who is sort of becoming confident. I always use Lyckybackup as it can be set to do scheduled backups and I have two primary partitions for data backup on my hard drive. One is used to sync my /Home every six hours and the other does a weekly backup. I also do a weekly backup to an external hard drive.

Tonight, I have installed Mint onto an 8GB flash drive and then copied my /Home folder to my profile on flash. Once again, everything just worked and there is no hassle in configuring anything then.

More technically minded folks obviously can state this in a better way, but you get the gist of it and it can save lots of time in future.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby virusdunil on Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:46 am

Id say...

before installin or re installing any linux OS...take a live cd or dvd

go on gparted or similar
delete any partitions on hd's
create a new partition as ntfs and apply

shut down,reboot on live dvd on the system you want to instal and install as recommended.I always use:Use entire disk

why format in ntfs ? i dont know at all BUT i realised that when re-installing on an existing linux partition,i was having all sort of small things happening...like no wifi,touchpad installing in english when i selected in french..........

Maybe some residue from old partitions were still on the hd ?...........dunno but since doin that,no more install problem :wink:
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby MacLindroid on Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:34 pm

Booting from a LiveDVD, and using Gparted as suggested, I always create:

Primary partition that holds
Extended partition for /
Extended partition for /home
Swap partition 2GB (optional, more is wasting space)
Primary Ext4 partition
Primary NTFS partition

Using Luckybackup, do scheduled backups of /home to the primary Ext 4 partition and to NTFS partition.

When I need to install/reinstall:
Remove / and /home partitions
Remove their primary partition

Set up new install as above

I never have any issues.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby scryan on Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:42 pm

As a newbie I read a lot of guides on partitioning and generally I saw a recommendation that a separate / and /home was not needed, and to just use one partition.

ESPECIALLY FOR NEWBIES, I couldn't disagree more. The only downside to this is that if space is limited you may end up needing some of room from one partition for the other as one runs out and the other has more then you expected. With huge drives its easy enough to just say give 10-15gig to the OS depending on how much you plan to install and if your worried about wasting space, and the rest split between home and a storage drive with home being at least a gig or so. (10gig root and 10gig home would basically never have issues for most people and partitions CAN be resized...)
Having a separate home partition means you can re-install, skip formatting home and be ready to go again REALLY easily. When I was a newb I had a separate home that went through MULTIPLE distros... and while that leaves a bit of clutter it sure was nice to install a brand new distro, and have your desktop already completely set up.


Really, the absolute BEST advice I could ever give, that transformed linux from some annoying platform with impossible to install software to being relatively easy and incredibly satisfying is...
Read a book.
Yes, forums, wikis, ect is all good, sometimes great... But there is little replacement for a professional author with a depth of knowledge on the subject who has been reviewed edited laying out the topic for you in a succinct manor. I found "The Linux Bible" to offer a good start.
Read a book.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby ffifield on Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:28 pm

I read all 22 pages! :D I've bookmarked nearly every link that's been posted in this thread and they've all been very useful to me. It's a lot of reading but if you're up for geeky adventure this is the right place for it.

I've been using Mint 17 for three weeks now and I'm loving it. I dual-boot with Win 8.1 (for games) and it's been a few days since I've even seen my Windows.

I'm a Windows power user and I think we may have a bit rougher time adjusting to Linux than someone less experienced. For me the biggest frustration is doing things that I can do on Window without thinking about it. It takes a lot of patience and a willingness to learn. That said, I'm having a great time with Mint and I love using it.

My first tip, particularly if you share my background, is to learn the file system. The Linux file system is completely different and once you learn your way around it, what's in the various directories, what's stored where, etc., it starts to make sense.

My second tip is to play with the command line. There are many good introductory books that cover this. I bought The Linux Command Line: A Complete Introduction by William E. Shotts, Jr. and he takes you from the basics to things like compiling programs and shell scripting. He explains the file system in detail and shows you how to explore what's in your system. I'm having a great time with it.

Again, thanks to all the people who've shared their experience and encouragement.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby powerhouse on Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:50 pm

virusdunil wrote:Id say...

before installin or re installing any linux OS...take a live cd or dvd

go on gparted or similar
delete any partitions on hd's
create a new partition as ntfs and apply

shut down,reboot on live dvd on the system you want to instal and install as recommended.I always use:Use entire disk

why format in ntfs ? i dont know at all BUT i realised that when re-installing on an existing linux partition,i was having all sort of small things happening...like no wifi,touchpad installing in english when i selected in french..........

Maybe some residue from old partitions were still on the hd ?...........dunno but since doin that,no more install problem :wink:


NEVER format your Linux partition to NTFS !!! Pre-formating the drive may be a good idea, but use ext4 or similar. Just don't use NTFS for Linux - it's not a native file system to Linux and you could run into all sorts of issues on the long run - performance, fragmentation, and CPU overhead being a few examples.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Incentive I.C on Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:30 pm

When you do a new install or version upgrade copy this entire folder and paste into your new installation.

You might not want to paste the whole folder. The Home folder contains alot of config files that COULD cause confilcts with you new install. You might just want to post the non hidden files(Ones without . before the name.) Mint to Mint on same version should be fine. Mint to Mint on a new version like 16-17 could cause conflicts. Mint to a new distro has a higher chance to cause conflicts

Just my opinion.
The best way to learn from it is break it OS's (is there a plural for OS?) included.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby var on Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:36 am

My advice....

Read, read read. All the documentation, history, filesystem, the hows, whys and whats etc. It will familiarize you with the 'Linux Way', how everything is organized and why it is organized this way, it will feel a lot less alien when you finally boot up your livecd.

And just because you can, don't go around sudoing into every config file and changing things you don't understand, just because you can, doesn't mean you should :D (unless you know how to fix it).
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby exploder on Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:52 am

The best tip I can offer is to forget everything you know about Windows. :) Ask questions and remember that Google is your friend! Also, try to keep within the default repos if at all possible when you add software to your system. Linux is point at click just like any modern OS, you do not have to memorize complicated commands unless you want to.

Knowing some commands is helpful if you should happen to break your system though. I learned far more from breaking things than anything else! :mrgreen: A Live CD has come in handy counless times from file editing that has gone worng too! My brother gave some great advise years ago when I started with computers, "It's only software, you can always fix it", he was right and I have never been afraid of tinkering with things to resolve problems.

Enjoy your new found freedom!

Edit: As others have already mentioned, always back up your data!
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby adfd1 on Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:17 am

exploder wrote:The best tip I can offer is to forget everything you know about Windows. :) Ask questions and remember that Google is your friend! Also, try to keep within the default repos if at all possible when you add software to your system. Linux is point at click just like any modern OS, you do not have to memorize complicated commands unless you want to.

Knowing some commands is helpful if you should happen to break your system though. I learned far more from breaking things than anything else! :mrgreen: A Live CD has come in handy counless times from file editing that has gone worng too! My brother gave some great advise years ago when I started with computers, "It's only software, you can always fix it", he was right and I have never been afraid of tinkering with things to resolve problems.

Enjoy your new found freedom!

Edit: As others have already mentioned, always back up your data!


Good info! I'm new and learning all the time. I learned from windows [it applies here as well] that using a program like Redo BU and creating an image of the OS after a fresh install and updates when everything is working well is worth its weight in gold. Then I create a new image monthly to cover updates or changes I made, and delete the old one. I combine that with backing up data, and recovery from just about anything bad is very easy. -AD
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby expat_tony on Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:08 am

I'm starting to consider myself an ex-newbie. How do I know this? Because I actually look forward to sitting down at my computer these days.
My top tip - remember that your current - no doubt Windows - system IS a system, more than just an OS. The implications include:
1. You need your printer to work, perhaps a scanner too.
2. You need your internet connection to work - and you probably prefer your current e-mailer to work
3. You need a Plan B in case you inadvertently break Linux while you're still learning

1. Printer installation did not go right for me in just a few clicks. I use a slightly elderly Canon and I had to get a driver from their Asia site. This involved a bit of work at the Terminal, but I found several helpful threads on here. ALWAYS TRAWL FOR THREADS MARKED [SOLVED].
2. There are many potential pains in the neck associated with getting Wifi right on Mint. If you have trouble and can't go back to Ethernet fixed cable, again you should look out for success stories on these boards.
3. One plan B is to install a dual-boot. This is far easier for XP users than Win8 users, but the advice is the same as in 1 & 2 - SOLVED is your magic word. Another option is, once you have installed from your USB, re-make it and keep handy for emergency booting - but don't forget to leave your boot order configured as USB first (if you don't attach a bootable USB, your installed OS runs anyway). Making a persistent version of Mint (one where your changes / additions are saved) on USB is the optimum approach to this; and let me be specific here, by far my best experience is with http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/.

So to sum up, don't just focus on the OS part of your system.
This board is gold if you look for SOLVED issues
Keep a bootable persistent version of Mint on a USB if a dual boot is beyond you at the moment.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby YourJust on Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:21 am

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


Here you have a website that covers Linux basics: Linux tutorial
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Simtech68 on Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:38 am

I'm still a noob but the best thing I can advise is read, read and read some more, then when you finally do take the LM Leap be sure you have access to the internet for help. Remember----1. This forum is your friend 2. Google is a valuable tool to find information. 3. Always work from the LiveCD for a while(more that 15, 20, 30 minutes) to get a good idea of what you are getting into(this will be slower but still will get you comfortable with LM-----haven't used a USB don't know if that's faster)

Case in point I decide to convert my old laptop, tossed in the LiveCD and low and behold everything worked out of the box, touchpad, wireless, internet, the only thing that didn't which I know I have some work to do is the printer. That is one area where Linux in gereral is lacking mainly because printer manufacturers target M$ and OSX people. I have found things appearing to turn around, I'm seeing more and more info for Linux and printers.
I'm still playing around with the laptop/LiveCD going on day 3.......FYI

The other thing people often for get is that M$ usually took a while to install( hours and hours) and you still had to find drivers, download updates etc,etc, so no matter which OS you go with it all takes work one way or another to get up and running the way you want.......the good thing is LM won't cost and arm and a leg and be restricted by licensing agreements!!!!!!!!!
Details, details, and more details will help get the answers you seek!!
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby BhojpuriKa on Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:00 am

Once you have the installation DVD/USB ready go ahead. But ...
1. save the documents, pictures, videos you have saved on your machine to some other drive. This will make you bold to experiment and reinstall if something goes wrong in the process.

2. Linux Mint 17 is 'almost' complete but as each user/machine/system has something individual you may need something more to install.

3. The best, easy and safest way to install new softwares is to go Administration >Software Manager.

4. If somthing goes wrong come back to Forum, ask relevant questions and wait till someone chooses to reply. As it is a Open OS no one is under obligation to reply you pronto. We all come here now and then and when there is something we can reply to or help we certainly reply.

Hope you are now ready to go ahead. Best of luck!
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby MacLindroid on Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:05 am

Incentive I.C wrote:
When you do a new install or version upgrade copy this entire folder and paste into your new installation.

You might not want to paste the whole folder. The Home folder contains alot of config files that COULD cause confilcts with you new install. You might just want to post the non hidden files(Ones without . before the name.) Mint to Mint on same version should be fine. Mint to Mint on a new version like 16-17 could cause conflicts. Mint to a new distro has a higher chance to cause conflicts

Just my opinion.


I have done it countless times without any ill effects. I won't post something here unless it had served me well over time. Sometimes, I do a number of new formats and installs per day and have yet to run into problems.

The .hidden files are the ones that transfer system settings, email client setups & data, etc. You need to copy this over if you want to retain your data.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby MacLindroid on Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:13 am

powerhouse wrote:
virusdunil wrote:Id say...

before installin or re installing any linux OS...take a live cd or dvd

go on gparted or similar
delete any partitions on hd's
create a new partition as ntfs and apply

shut down,reboot on live dvd on the system you want to instal and install as recommended.I always use:Use entire disk

why format in ntfs ? i dont know at all BUT i realised that when re-installing on an existing linux partition,i was having all sort of small things happening...like no wifi,touchpad installing in english when i selected in french..........

Maybe some residue from old partitions were still on the hd ?...........dunno but since doin that,no more install problem :wink:


NEVER format your Linux partition to NTFS !!! Pre-formating the drive may be a good idea, but use ext4 or similar. Just don't use NTFS for Linux - it's not a native file system to Linux and you could run into all sorts of issues on the long run - performance, fragmentation, and CPU overhead being a few examples.


I agree that one should not be using NTFS to install Linux upon. Usually, I would use Ext4 or Ext 2. See some of my earlier posts where I explained how to create partitions also for /home and for backups. I have an Ext4 backup partition AND one done in NTFS; both are backed up to by chron job through Luckybackup. The NTFS partition is for dumping data that can easily be used on a Windows system if even needed.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby InkKnife on Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:10 pm

This thread makes learning Linux Mint sound about 100 times harder than I found it to be.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby MacLindroid on Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:38 am

Simtech68 wrote:That is one area where Linux in gereral is lacking mainly because printer manufacturers target M$ and OSX people. I have found things appearing to turn around, I'm seeing more and more info for Linux and printers.
I'm still playing around with the laptop/LiveCD going on day 3.......FYI


With Windows 7 Ultimate 64x and Windows 8 Pro 64x I had encountered driver problems and even had to buy a new broadband dongle. In every Linux distro and version of said distro's , these devices simply worked. If you want to get something that isn't even compatible with itself, waste you money on Mac. LM so fas has been the very best computing experience I ever had and my cheap Chinese phone works nicely with it. I sold my iPhone 5 as it was badly built, unreliable and spent too much time in the repair shop. It messed up notes, contacts and calendar when I was forced to use iCloud. The "extremely secure" iMessage service forwarded my very sensitive business plans from my son's (junior partner) iPhone 5S to his friends. Let him play with the MacbookPro now, I have my own rather sweet running Mint going. Everything just works.

Linux is not difficult, just different.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby cseder on Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:40 am

I've been using linux since the linux kernel reached 2.0. (That's like some twenty'ish years ago).
Back then things were, to say the least HARD.

You've chosen the best GNU/Linux "distribution" to start experimenting with Linux with, and the way things are now, you should just RELAX. If something doesn't work as you want it to, you're just a #IRC channel away for a solution to 99% of potential problems.
Besides, the forums are great for things you don't need ASAP answers to.

My best advice would be to learn how the operating system is built up in terms of the filesystem, general system commands in the terminal, learn how to read and possibly edit basic shell scripts and you'll be on your way to Linux Mastery.

Don't be a "distro hopper", (a geek who changes distributions because he thinks everything will work better with a different wrapping), learn how to use the packaging system in Mint, how to cope with package inconcistencies (trouble installing), but most of all, have fun!
I can't stress this enough: A distribution is nothing more than glazing around the same kernel. If it works in one distro, it will work in Mint. It's only a matter of getting the configuration files right.

Don't feel like you need to know everything there is in two weeks, as this is a no-go. Explore!

Use your computer as you would with any operating system, and if problems arise, first try to google around and check the forums, and as a last resort, ask in the #IRC channel.

Be prepared for a new mindset!


It will be a rewarding experience. Just "Don't Panic!"

And good luck!
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby asciiman on Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:16 pm

MacLindroid wrote:
Booting from a LiveDVD, and using Gparted as suggested, I always create:

Primary partition that holds
Extended partition for /
Extended partition for /home
Swap partition 2GB (optional, more is wasting space)
Primary Ext4 partition
Primary NTFS partition


I have been using some form of Linux for just a couple of years now, so I am no expert. I have a fair amount of experience with computing though and so this partitioning tip really intrigued me.

Using Gparted, what I found was that the Primary could not contain any other type of partition.
However, I was successfull in using an Extended partition to contain a couple of Ext4 Primary partitions.
I could have also created a Logical partition within the shell of that single Extended partition, allocating the Logical as a swap partition.

So I guess I am just checking back with the quoted poster above to see if I missed something, or if he just got it reversed between Extended and Primary in the above quote. :?:

But I am not sure I fully understand the advantage in "nesting" these Primary partitions within a larger Extended partion. Can anyone expand on that?

Thanks for the cool forum.
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