What are your top tips for a Newbie?

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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby nomko on Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:26 am

bb333 wrote:Number #1 top tip: Ignore this entire thread.

Agree, but only if everybody goes off-topic here! Which in some cases already happened.

bb333 wrote:These "good people" are posting some seriously bad advice.

And your best advise is?? Beside #1??? I don't see any good advise coming from you except some unsubstantiated complaints...

bb333 wrote:No separate partition for /home?

Give us some good explanation why we should use a separate /home partition instead of ranting/laughing about this!

bb333 wrote:Use /home for multiple installed distros?

Please, explain why we shouldn't.

bb333 wrote:Swap, what's that?

Are you using swap? Good for you! Some of us don't use it due to a large amount of main memory.

bb333 wrote:Number #2 top tip: Jump right in after you thoroughly test and have a working livecd available. I would still suggest a dualboot solution or know how to get windows working in a virtual machine.

The problems a dualboot can create...you don't want to put a newbie in this situation..


My best advise is: whatever happens, don't get scared. Sit back, take a deep breath and seek help on this forum. It's a good learning experience!
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby altair4 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:52 am

bb333 wrote:These "good people" are posting some seriously bad advice.

I take umbrage to you characterizing me as a "good" person and the advice I offered in this thread as "bad":
* Never start smoking.
* Never get romantically involved with a redhead.
* Never gamble with a man nicknamed "Doc".
* Never loan money to a friend.

I have in my life violated every one of those suggestions and have paid the price.

Number #1 top tip: Ignore this entire thread.

At 15 pages long and counting you probably don't have to worry about that. No one will go through it all and searching has become a lost art. The purpose of this thread is to allow one to increase his post count in the misguided belief that it gives him more credibility and a chance to win one of these. It doesn't take a newcomer long to figure out that one does not beget the other.
Please add a [SOLVED] at the end of your original subject header if your question has been answered and solved.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby bb333 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:25 pm

nomko wrote:
bb333 wrote:Number #1 top tip: Ignore this entire thread.

Agree, but only if everybody goes off-topic here! Which in some cases already happened.

bb333 wrote:These "good people" are posting some seriously bad advice.

And your best advise is?? Beside #1??? I don't see any good advise coming from you except some unsubstantiated complaints...

bb333 wrote:No separate partition for /home?

Give us some good explanation why we should use a separate /home partition instead of ranting/laughing about this!

bb333 wrote:Use /home for multiple installed distros?

Please, explain why we shouldn't.

bb333 wrote:Swap, what's that?

Are you using swap? Good for you! Some of us don't use it due to a large amount of main memory.

bb333 wrote:Number #2 top tip: Jump right in after you thoroughly test and have a working livecd available. I would still suggest a dualboot solution or know how to get windows working in a virtual machine.

The problems a dualboot can create...you don't want to put a newbie in this situation..


It's already been explained by other users pretty well. It was ignored before; repeating it will get the same result.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby nomko on Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:10 am

bb333 wrote:It's already been explained by other users pretty well. It was ignored before; repeating it will get the same result.

That's not an answer to my questions. Giving such answers only means you don't know any answers..
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby AnonKS on Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:15 am

What I did to get used to Linux was, a lot of Google, installing apps through the terminal instead of the software manager (really helps to get comfortable with the terminal), and then install virtual box on your system and install arch Linux in a virtual machine. Some people argue that this isn't necessary, other say it will make you a pro. I say it's neither of those. It will, however, make you totally comfortable in the terminal (the complete installation is all terminal). And it will also help you to fully understand how the Linux file system works. I would actually rather partition in cgdisk or cfdisk in a terminal now, rather than gparted, thanks to arch. Once arch is installed, it's still just a bash shell. You then have to install your desktop environment from scratch. It sounds more difficult than it is. If you'd like to try it, go to the archlinux website and click on beginner tutorial. It's all outlined for you step by step with useful links to other articles, full of info! It will take you about 3 hours, not including the desktop. Just take your time, learn, and have fun!

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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby jamvaru on Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:51 am

lol, certainly not a newb tip, cmon... lets keep it sane

as far as swap and dual booting, that is one of the most basic and most important concepts to understand

1. A hard drive (or ssd) can handle 4 primary partitions, or 3 and 1 logical partition, which can then be partitioned up into however many you want, realistically, of course; so, taking a typical 1TB hdd you make 2 @ 100GB and a 3rd @ 10GB and a 4th @ remainder as a logical drive, which you can then partition however you desire later on; I usually just make it a primary partition and call it data; this will become obvious as you get through the installation procedure, but you may desire to do some research on this with a book (?) or a web search, perhaps wikipedia
2. Install windows 1st; choose to have it reformat the first or second partition and use it as the windows partition; install; when done you can then install linux and dual booting will be automatic and easy; However, there is a problem with the newer windows installs; it gets pissy if you don't have a boot partition, so you will have to put this step #1 and then finish partitioning when you get into your linux install; So, you erase the entire drive, and tell windows to make its partition only 100GB; it will then make a 100mb partition as #1, with a 100GB install partition and free space; when you get into the linux install after windows is done (put your disc or flash drive in and reboot to it), you make a 3rd partition at 100GB and the 4th then must be a logical partition with #5 being 10GB swap and #6 being data, the remainder... continue with the install; everything is automatic, dual boot is setup, ginchy
3. Buy a 2nd HDD (if it isn't a laptop)... it is worth the investment, of course. Install windows to it, put the swap drive as #3g, data #4. Then install linux on your other drive, whichever one doesn't matter, just that is a different drive. Same setup, minus the swap, cause you have one of those. 100/100/100/remainder, or whatever you like. Always put the system partitions first because hard drives work better closer to the rim, which is why we use defragmenters and disk optimizers like mydefrag, etc.

once you get this partitioning thing down you can start installing linux versions one after the other, till you find one that works for you and you really like and can get comfortable with and learn something for a change, like linux mint; trying other versions is really important if you want to learn something, not so much if you just want to make it work and watch youtube

you don't need to mess with terminal at all, really; but you can; i recommend synaptic and the software manager, very easy; if you need to use terminal, it will be because you searched for something you couldn't find in either synaptic or software manager and they tell you exactly what to type, so you learn just fine that way, although it is the slow way to learn

so, to recap:

1. Learn how to partition for installing alongside a windows install on the same hard drive and on separate hard drives
2. Try different versions, or just stick with Linux Mint (it works, like apple)
3. Read a book

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

Postby Anubisone on Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:33 pm

proxima_centauri wrote:This is a good picture guide of what you can expect for the installation -> http://www.howtoforge.com/the-perfect-d ... t-10-julia

Hang around the forums, the IRC Linux Mint channel #linuxmint-help is a good place for real-time support (Automatically connects from the program XChat in the main menu for the LiveCD and post-installation).

Research your hardware to see if there are any additional steps to get working with linux. I.e. google search "hardware (make & model) Ubuntu 10.10" (I use Ubuntu since generally there are more results because of their large user base, and any instruction in Ubuntu is compatible with Linux Mint.


I'm sure installing so many software isn't good for fast working with Linux Mint 14 and maybe other, previous distros. In my case using Azenis skin and some themes for Cinnamon with Cairo dock does the thing and everything is almost fine. No need to install codecs for 3gp or mkv movies etc.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Paulieboy on Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:08 am

I think the best thing any newbie can do is distrohop for a couple of months. Try as many distros and desktop environments as possible. Discover all the quirks and fixes, experiment as much as you can, BUT most of all don't be afraid of breaking it as it's easy to reinstall. :D
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby 3fRI on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:18 am

Paulieboy wrote:I think the best thing any newbie can do is distrohop for a couple of months. Try as many distros and desktop environments as possible. Discover all the quirks and fixes, experiment as much as you can, BUT most of all don't be afraid of breaking it as it's easy to reinstall. :D


Great advice! I like to check out distros via a Live CD and Virtual Box, first to see what it looks like and sometimes to check out the flavors. If I'm impressed enough, I'll see how the distro works in a HDD install. But ultimately, I always return to Mint.... :D
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Spinnekop on Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:38 am

The problems a dualboot can create...you don't want to put a newbie in this situation..


I have had a dual boot with Vista (which I *very* occasionally still use) from day 1 with Mint and I have not had any problems with this. I have tried various distros and desktop environments and keep coming back to cinnamon with cairo-dock as an application launcher.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby mfluder on Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:08 pm

I like Paulieboy's tip about distro hopping. Great idea. I tried many distros before settling on Mint.

I would like to add one piece of advice for new users. Learn terminal commands. In fact, learn to love the terminal. There are many things that cannot be done with the gui. Terminal knowledge is essential, especially for working through problems.

Just imagine. You install the normal batch of updates that are available. When you reboot the computer, that only thing you see is a black window and grub prompt. What do you do? No fancy graphics. No minty goodness. Just the inky blackness of despair. I'll tell you what to do. Get out your Linux Mint DVD. (Every newbie should have multiple copies on hand at all times. After all, who wants to try to download that iso when you computer won't boot) Boot into the DVD and get into that terminal. CHROOT your partition and get the problem fixed. Reboot with the satisfaction of knowing that you took control of your computing environment and triumphed without being reduced to tears, huddled on the ground in the fetal position.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Anubisone on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:13 pm

Txnca wrote:While I myself am no longer a complete newbie to Mint, the thing that I don't think anyone here has said is this,

DO NOT GIVE UP

If you don't give up, and you do what the rest of the posts here say, you will do fine with Mint and Linux in general. You will learn a lot and you will be frustrated at times. But if you don't give up, you will find an answer to any question you might have, and most of them will be answered right here in this forum...somewhere! :D

Yeeeah!!!! You are right! I know what yu mean xD I have more errors than actual icons on the desktop and I DONT GIVE UP!!
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby ContentiousOtter on Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:08 pm

When installing single-function printers, always try the Generic PCL5 and PCL6 CUPS + Gutenprint drivers first. This is especially true for non-HP manufacturers like Brother, Canon, Epson, etc. Usually the PCL5 or PCL6 driver will work just as well, if not better than the manufacturers driver and it's far easier to use the Generic driver that Mint provides than it is to dig around on manufacturer websites for Linux compatible drivers.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby Malsasa on Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:31 am

1) Read how to install a software
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby bt101 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:05 am

I'll throw in an important tip for newbies (I didn't read the entire thread so my apologies if I'm repeating).

I notice the OP said that he is awaiting a DVD in the mail.
I started out with linux many years ago thinking I would install this free DVD and be off to the races. I am on dialup internet and also have a remote machine at the cabin with no internet. In the past with "the other OS", if I saw a program I liked I could bring it home on a USB stick and install it. Well it doesn't work like that with linux (at least for the ubuntu/debian apt-get installations). The long and short of it is that you pretty much need highspeed internet to install software. I don't know about other people but I find I have to install quite a bit of stuff after the initial DVD install. This is where I have found linux mint better than other distros as it has more stuff pre-installed.

If you are out and about and you see a program you like, instead of being able just bring it home and install it, you need to go through some pretty convoluted and kludgy ways to get it installed. It usually involves something like:
  • drive home (or wait until you are home)
  • do an apt-get update (if you at least have a dialup connection), go have dinner
  • generate a list of files to download
  • drive back to a place with highspeed internet (or wait until you are back there)
  • download the deb files
  • drive back home (or wait until you are back home)
  • then install the deb files
  • pray that I don't get that message about an impossible situation with dependencies

As for the machine at the cabin with no Internet, uggggh its just not worth the headache.

Highspeed internet is highly recommended.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby jamvaru on Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:23 pm

when i was without internet access i found some good dvd's on ebay for cheap (basically cost of dvd+shipping)
for example, a 6 dvd set with the entire debian repository; i believe same thing is available for ubuntu
beats trying to download at the library and burn it yourself (usually impossible, though i managed to tweak it, lol; till they disabled usb drive access, i was using portableapps)
certainly a better use of time would be working and saving money for internet, lol
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby widget on Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:56 pm

jamvaru wrote:when i was without internet access i found some good dvd's on ebay for cheap (basically cost of dvd+shipping)
for example, a 6 dvd set with the entire debian repository; i believe same thing is available for ubuntu
beats trying to download at the library and burn it yourself (usually impossible, though i managed to tweak it, lol; till they disabled usb drive access, i was using portableapps)
certainly a better use of time would be working and saving money for internet, lol

There is also the package "aptoncd". The Synaptic description;
APT removable repository creator and package backup tool for Debian based
systems.

This tool will allow you to create a media (CD or DVD) to use to install
software via APT in a non-connected machine, as well upgrade and install
the same set of softwares in several machines with no need to re-download
the packages again.


You can also, in Synaptic, have it just download the .deb file. This will be a compressed archive just like your install all the time. If you have not changed the defaults ot auto clean /var/cache/apt/archive you have a copy of every thing you have downloaded and can see what they look like.

If you already have a package installed that file is where to simply copy it it a stick or DVD/CD RW. If not downloading just the package without installing will get you the package and any depends. Put them on your stick or CD.

You can go to a search engine and look up any Debian package for any supported Debian version. This will give a download target for the package and a link to a similar link to any depends. recommends or suggests packages.

The stick is then put in the unconnected box, the packages navigated to with your file manager, right click, install with gdebi.

Aptoncd will give you the packages as they would be on the many install disks besides the one you need for installation of the base install but with only the packages you want. As long as you have the CD source listed on your /etc/apt/sources.list (should be commented out but in there after a default style install) you can then use that disk to install with whatever install tool you use such as Synaptic, apt-get or aptitude.

If you have remote box that has a supported version of Debian and you can download all the DVDs offered with the install disk you can take them and upgrade the thing to nearly current. I believe they redo them weekly. They contain, as previously stated, the entire Debian repo.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby laidback on Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:37 pm

In my view you've made the right start as you've chosen an excellent Linux flavour, Ubuntu and it's derivatives, i.e. Mint, provide a really good starting point. When I started with Linux in 2006 I came across Ubuntu by accident and have never left the fold. I often look at other distros but never install them as my main system.

The forums (Ubuntu and Mint) are wonderful places to get answers and support. Read the other Posts too, it's amazing what you pick up.

I would also recommend that you keep a note book, recording what you do to your own installation and any other notes of interest, perhaps references to Posts that you might find useful in future. In time it starts to sink in, don't be afraid it's just great fun.

There are some good books too, even online.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby doronba on Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:08 pm

write-write-write !!!
i mean, every tweak that you do ( add software / change somehing in the settings ...) - write it down in a document, that will escort you along the first months qith linux, you'll figure out soon that you want to re-install the os, or try another os, and then come back to the one that you have tried before, but you don't remember how you managed to tweak that thing or change that thing.
documents that i wrote 3 years ago sometimes are found useful.... just sometimes.... but the idea is to have a 'rollilng' document with you, that will document all what you did and thought.....
you won't regret.
trust me.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Postby homerscousin on Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:31 pm

Definitely keep notes. I have a regular notebook with about 30 pages of scribbles. If something is a major concern, I create a new text document in my desktop folder and copy and paste paragraphs from web pages that may be useful along with my own notes. I also save terminal output to text files such as lshw, lspci etc. I can't remember all the terminal commands. When I learn a new one, it's nice to have saved the output for possible posting here at the forum.

Perservere: When I was using Windows I would do a Google search for answers to problems. Just do this, just do that . Most of the time that worked. Linux, answers are a little tougher. I have to understand the whole Linux system and computers in general to even know how to phrase a Google search correctly. It takes time and percerverence. Linux, maybe unfortunately forces you into this, but you will learn so much more by sticking with it.
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