What was your Linux noob experience like?

Chat about Linux in general

How long did you use Linux?

I'm new to Linux
4
5%
1-12 months
18
24%
1-5 years
18
24%
+5 years
34
46%
 
Total votes: 74

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nuagedeboucane
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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by nuagedeboucane » Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:15 pm

Brother-in-law went home to repair my W$ XP, about 6 years ago. He was using Ubuntu on a mem stick. I saw this, and asked more about it. He left me the stick, so I could try it myself. I have played with the Live version several months, and then, decided to install it on my second HDD.


That's when things went unexpected. :shock: As a W$ user, I was accustomed to these C: D: drive letters. So, I have installed, by error, Ubuntu on my XP disk, and lost all my files. I should have read and document myself about these SDA's :cry: I managed to reformat and copy back all my files, from a backup.

Then, I forgot about Linux for a while.... until the end of W$ XP support. I was planning on retrying to install Ubuntu, but the version on the stick was obsolete. When trying to get a newer version of it, I felt on a Linux How-to that mentionned Mint.

I'm very satisfied of the quality of the Linux OS. I'm still learning, but I can say that I've already learned a lot of things in one year. I'm still not a terminal expert, but I must say that sometimes, when you exactly know which command and which parameters to type, it is a faster way to get things done.

I had to reinstall W$ (3.0, 3.1, 95, 98, Me, XP) quite a few times in my short existence, and I can say it's way slowlier than installing Mint, If only the average user had to install his/hers OS by themselves, when getting a new machine, they would realize that Linux is easier to install, for most of cases.

Finally, I love to use a Linux distro, because not everyone does it. I must admit that :wink:
To repair something, you must break it before ;-)

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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by Ginsu543 » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:14 pm

My Linux journey started in 2008 when one of my best friends invited me over to hang out with him. He happened to have a version of Kubuntu installed on his computer. Until then, I had never seen a Linux-based OS (didn't even know about it). I went home and promptly downloaded Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron and installed it on my computer. The installation went without a hitch and I now had a functioning Linux machine to play with. At the same time, I discovered the Ubuntu forums from which I was able to learn a ton. I loved the fact that Linux had a Terminal because it reminded me of my Amiga which also had a CLI.

From 8.04 forward, I was a loyal Ubuntu user and apologist. Until Unity. That's when I switched to Linux Mint. What I loved about Ubuntu and its community was even better in Mint. I stayed with MATE until the whole MGSE situation got straightened out and Cinnamon came out. I have loved Cinnamon ever since.

My Linux experience was not always smooth sailing, especially with Ubuntu. As later versions came out, some would install smoothly while others would introduce glitches. In trying to find fixes for these, I learned more about GRUB, Plymouth, GDM/MDM, partitioning, file structures, driver issues (video and wireless in particular), RAID (hardware and software), BASH scripts, even CSS style sheets. I learned to create "how to" and manual files based on what I had learned. All this helped me to get a better appreciation of how computers work in general and Linux in particular. It's amazing to me that not only do I know how to set up an in-home network in which I can serve up all my media files to every computer, iPad, and iPhone in my house from a central hard drive array, I recently learned how to install and run my own LAMP server for my small business. I never thought in a million years I'd be able to do any of these things, but that's what the "Linux way" has done for me.
Main: Intel Core i7 920 D0 @ 4.0 GHz | Asus P6X58D Premium | 12 GB Mushkin Redline PC3-12800 7-8-7-24 | EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti | Mint 17.2 Cinnamon 64 / OS X 10.7.3
Portables: Toshiba Portege R200 | Mint 17.2 Cinnamon 32 / Dell Mini 9 | OS X 10.6.7

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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by InkKnife » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:00 pm

I switched to Linux about 3.5 years ago. Previously I had used Macs almost exclusively for 25 years at home and a mix of Macs and Windows at work.
I had become increasingly unhappy with OSX and the hardware it ran on and I already knew Windows was horrible so I tried Linux in the form of Ubuntu, 12.10 I think. I was surprised at how nice that was and set about using it. I was using very mainstream older hardware so I had no issues at all getting things going. At first I was wowed by the look of Unity, two weeks latter I was looking for something else and that is when I found Mint so I wiped Ubuntu and installed Mint12/Cinnamon.
I have never had any problems with Mint and have been very impressed by the rapid pace of development. At 16 I backed up my wife's data, wiped XP and set her up on Mint and she is perfectly happy with it and likes it better than XP.
I don't distro hope. I did not adopt Linux because I wanted a new hobby. I wanted a great desktop to replace OSX with and that is what Mint/Cinnamon is to me.
I keep up on interesting new things other distros are doing but Mint is where I belong. I like that Clem and the other Mint devs are not trying to reinvent the wheel and have a very conservative approach to UI/UX design.
So my n00b experience was excellent, no real problems. Mint is so good I have learned practically nothing using it. :D
i7 3770, 12GB of ram, 256GB SSD, 64GB SSD, 750GB HDD, 1TB HDD, Cinnamon.

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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by frodopogo » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:11 pm

I was a Win XP user for a couple of years after having bought a computer with it preinstalled. Win98SE before that.
I got a couple of minor malware infections from my favorite music forums getting hacked with the kind of malware that wants you to buy THEIR virus protection software... yeah, RIGHT!!!
I wanted a safe way to access those forums while the sites were being cleaned up.
I had heard that a Knoppix Live CD would be just about bulletproof, so I did that.
Then, I had switched from McAfee to AVG, and gone to great lengths to get McAfee off my system, and they STILL broke in and kept nagging me!
And I was already using Firefox and Audacity, so I was impressed with the quality of open source software.
I did a Google search for something like "easy, popular Linux version for Windows users" or something, and it led me to Distrowatch.
I went down the list of the top 10 ranked Distros. Ubuntu had caught my attention since another musician was using it, but the control panel was in the wrong place, and everything at that time was BROWN.
Linux Mint was based on Ubuntu, and offered basically the same software apps, more bug fixes, the control panel in the RIGHT place, and a lot of my favorite color, GREEN. So I tried it. That was Elyssa. I've always gone with LTS. 6 months between versions seemed pointless to me.

Elyssa was great. When using Firefox on Linux Mint, I sometimes forgot I was using Linux! The only issue was getting the nVidia driver installed via Terminal. I had to get help here, but it was cut and paste the solution into terminal.
Isadora, the next LTS, was basically the same deal. Once the nVidia driver was installed, it was smooth sailing. EXCEPT eventually, long about the time Maya came out, panel items had gone missing and such, and one day the whole panel disappeared! I reinstalled it, but I don't think I ever got it back perfect again. I only realized recently that the panel items have a "Lock To Panel" feature, and I had never locked them down, and my clumsy mousing had exposed them to being moved and such. I think there are some things like that where the answer is obvious to an experienced user, but can be a real trap for a noob.
I waited a year to install Maya, because I was concerned that the Mint team had had to fix SO MUCH due to the changes with Ubuntu and Gnome, that more stuff was sneaking by.... at least that's what the reviews looked like. So I used Maya MATE a little while, and then Mint 17, MATE.
Oh yeah. It's hard for a noob to get used to not just going out and hunting down and installing software. The Mint Repository is decent, better than command line or Synaptic, but it can also be confusing.... I've accidentally installed some programs that sounded good, but it wasn't clear they were command line programs. There's just a lot of stuff like that once you get past the "Featured" and the obvious choices in each section.
I've also had problems with lagging and such in 17 and 17.1. I liked the Shiki Dark Theme in Isadora so much, that I downloaded Shiki themes to make Mint 17 look like that. But there is some kind of incompatibility between those old Gnome 2 themes and some of the icon sets. Certain icon sets cause the lag.
Customizing seems to be actively encouraged but there needs to be some "beginners guide to customizing Mint" or something.
I'm also missing some of the freedom to pick from a variety of software apps. I'm thinking of a different distro on another computer to try some more experimental stuff app-wise, but everything I try makes me want Mint. I may go for LMDE when it comes out.
The forums here are a mixed bag. I find them a bit confusing. There's been some good help though when I needed it, and I appreciate that.
I have a hard time with some of the Linux culture though. Sorry, but having to use the Terminal means that the GUI is BROKEN at that point, even if it's a relatively easy fix :lol: . I used MS-DOS.... I guess I was considered a "power user"! HA! But Terminal is MUCH harder and less intuitive than DOS. There ought to be a shell that works just like DOS, and then maybe you could get SOME of us ex-Windows users to be happy about using it!
Also, "Linux is not Windows".... there is this thing about being different just for the sake of being different. I KIND OF get it, I really dislike the Microsoft corporate culture, but this whole change for the sake of change thing is for the birds! (Well, Tux IS a bird of sorts, I guess! :wink: )
But as far as the GUI and how it worked, and the apps available, the Windows experience wasn't that bad, EXCEPT FOR BEING MALWARE BAIT!!!.
That's why I use Linux.... it's more secure. But fixing things that aren't broken leads to more learning curves AND bugs, and for WHAT???? And that really takes some of the luster off the Linux experience for me. I feel that that culture of change for change sake is what made GNOME jump off a cliff, Ubuntu go with Unity. I really hope some of you don't get Clem to drink the same Kool-Aid!!!!
So face it:
I iz here usin' yor Linnux MINT becuz it iz a LOT lyke WINDOZE! Nou- ken I haz cheezburger???? :lol: :mrgreen:

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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by Exodus_life » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:36 am

i had been procrastinating about switching to anything linux since the days of Red Hat :) but when i seen my wifes new laptop with 8.1 on it

firetruck that ! went on the search for something else,,first find was Ubuntu,but when i asked a question there i usually got the reply of something like
"it took me all of 30secs to find the answer using google" .that really soured me on Ubuntu all around so i went a little further and found mint

been using 99% of the time for well over a month now and no complaints,,other then terminal is still way smarter then me :D

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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by furbs » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:02 am

I first used Red Hat Linux 6 back in 2000 - a friend from college gave me a CD copy. I had a "Winmodem" and couldn't find drivers that worked with Red Hat, so I was relegated to poking around offline. It was still interesting to play with the terminal and get used to the file structure for the first time. I thought man pages were a particularly confusing method to explain commands!

Windows XP wasn't cutting it on my desktop around 2008 so I decided to try Ubuntu. Hardy Heron had just come out and it brought my desktop back to life! Since then I tried Gentoo and eventually Linux Mint within the past year. Mint is easy to use and it allows me to continue understanding the operating system as much as I like. Couldn't be happier.

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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by exploder » Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:19 am

I have been running Linux for about 12 years or so now. I started out with Caldera and became a full time Linux user when my wife brought home a book from the library that contained an early version of Simply Mepis. From that point on I was hooked! :D

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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by AdamMcC642 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:42 pm

karlchen wrote:Could it be that you have not cast your vote in your ow poll, yet? The only voter at this point in time seems to be me. 1 vote - 100% for 5 years plus. :wink:
I forgot to vote in the poll. :lol:
Adam McClure

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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by dXTC » Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:17 pm

My experience with Linux as a regular OS has been rather nice so far these past few months. I think one of the important things I had to keep in mind was the capability of the hardware on which I installed Linux. The two Core 2 Duo-based machines I acquired ran the heavier distros/DEs well during my initial testing, and currently run Mint 17 Cinnamon with aplomb. The older ones... well, let's just say I learned really quickly to stick with the lightweight distros on slower processors, and to stay away from running Flash on those wherever possible.

I have been quite impressed with ease of installation and automated recognition of hardware, not just with Mint, but with Ubuntu/Lubuntu, Fedora, Debian, even Puppy to an extent. Linux has indeed come a long way.

The only source of frustration I've felt so far is my inability to get Ardour running well in Mint for my music production. I may have to try out another distro entirely for that; I'll continue using Cakewalk Sonar on an isolated XP installation for my music for the time being.
dXTC
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Mint Cinnamon on Dell XPS 210, Optiplex 760, Inspiron N4110 and Latitude E4200;
Mint Xfce on Lenovo Ideapad S10.
Some OS X and WinXP too; I'm multi-platform like that.

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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by var » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:10 am

I first used Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon. Nothing special, burnt a CD, booted, played around with it and generally had fun. I've always been a highly technical computer user since modding Doom back in the 90's. I never installed it as my main OS because where I was working at the time required Windows for working from home etc.

I first installed it around 2010 if I remember well. Again, uneventful (and still Ubuntu). I've amassed quite the collection of relic cd's and dvd's of various different distros.

I eventually got used to bash and adjusting to differences in file structure (finding the sudoers file the first time was fun..). The rest is history.

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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by coolmark1995 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:15 am

I started using linux about 4 years ago when I first started out with trial and error my first distro was Manjaro Linux then after that I did alot of distro hopping between fedora,Ubuntu,CentOS, and linuxmint but as of now I reside with linux-mint rebecca Cinnamon. over the years ive hit a few bumps with linux but its nothing I couldn't handle.I knew about Ubuntu linux for about 10 years but never thought of installing it untill after I tried Manjaro.I am glad to see your enjoying linux not a fan of kubuntu myself but everyone has there own opinion and I respect that. I have also used xubuntu and ubuntu satanic edition as well its been a very interesting ride and yet I have enjoyed every bit of it.

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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by Fred Barclay » Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:39 am

If you count VMs inside Windows (I don't :)), then I belong in the 1-5 years category, with all of 18 months under my belt!

However, I've only used Linux installed to a hard drive since August of 2014, so I'm about 8 months into it. Mint and Kali were my first Linuxes, and they both are still my favourites, but I've also used:
Fedora
TAILS
Arch
Debian Jessie and Sid (I'm actually on Sid right now)
CentOS (barely)
and a few others in virtual machines.

All in all, my newbie experience was interesting. Kali inside a VM was my first, and the Gnome desktop takes a good bit of getting used to for a Windows user. Once I installed Mint Cinnamon onto my hard drive, I actually had relatively few problems with basic tasks. Every now and then a technical detail pops up--for example, right now I'm stuck trying to get LMDE Betsy to cooperate--but all in all I'm satisfied with Linux.

And yes, part of it is the novelty of using something almost no one else is using. ;)
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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by lexon » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:27 pm

Started with Lindows, Dec 2003. Bought a Lindows configured desktop from Walmart, online.
Name had to be changed to Linspire. Windows did not like the original name.

L
Lindows, Linspire, Freespire, Ubuntu, Mint 15 Cinnamon, Mint 16 XFCE, Mint 17 Cinnamon 64 bit. MInt 18 64 bit Cinnamon.

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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by crossroads » Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:09 pm

To be a "Noob", is to be part of an identifiable group. Bet your left nut, there are are a ton of people, guys and girls, whom are invisible, and have no clue what you do. But whom are here nevertheless ... contributing, silently. To be a noob, is to grasp ... fungi from the forest floor, and ask ... "Why did I not think of this before?" Okay, maybe not. Point is, almost everybody I've met in this forum are ... not noobs. But good people!
Last edited by crossroads on Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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It isn't what you know, it's what you think you know that ain't so which gets you in trouble" -- Mark Twain

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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by 1.618 » Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:29 pm

Started with XP in 2009 having only used computers at school almost 20 years ago previously (RMNimbus 286, BBC basic! lol) and not knowing any better, then a couple of months after i got pointed towards ubuntu by some more knowledgable folks, tried it but didn't like it at first, then when i went back to xp i noticed how noisy my pc was and how much more resource hogging windows was, so i decided to try ubuntu again, maverick meerkat. I dbanned my drive and installed it, forcing myself to use it and after the initial adjusting, found it to be a lot easier on me and the pc. tried various distros since, learned to do a lot more than i ever would have been able to with windows and basicly enjoy using the computer becuase of the freedom linux gives me to get under the hood and tinker with stuff, In a almost massochistic kind of way i actually enjoy borking my system and reinstalling it. :twisted: Totally loving Mint though and recommending it to everyone! :-)

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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by ganamant » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:24 pm

I stopped using Microsoft stuff when they moved away from DOS + Win 3.1 and began with the unusable and slow Win 95. Then I got an iMac, but the OS was getting old quick and becoming more and more unsupported. So, I started using more and more of the terminal on that Mac, compiling stuff myself (with many a dependency nightmare along the road). This is how I started learning about Unix, bash, sed & awk, perl, ssh, text-only web browsers, interactive fiction and so on.

In the meanwhile, I installed the arcane (and now defunct) Ark Linux on an old laptop, but it was slow, so I decided I didn't need a gui and went for pure cli Debian on that machine (it still works great as a radio/audio player). Now my main interest is bringing new hardware back to life with light- to middleweight distros, for myself and for my family and friends.

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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by jtarin » Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:38 pm

My first memories of Linux are of editing "X11R*.*" files for hours, from the console in attempt to get my video card functioning and my mouse working. I got to where I could do it in my sleep and then they make that function a no brainer. :lol:
Former Slackware user breaking bad.

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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by smashingyngman » Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:52 am

My introduction to Linux was actually through the Sony PS3's "Other OS" option, in the mid 2000s (2007/2008). Yellow Dog Linux.

I have a vague memory of setting it up and using it now, but of course thought the ability to run a full fledged operating system on a console was so cool. Still remember having to tinker with the display resolution, as the PS3 was hooked up to an SDTV at the time. I'm still upset that Sony removed the ability to use Linux with a firmware update.

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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by cinnamoncoffee » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:36 pm

I've been using Linux for a year now,
Well i tried to install various distros more than two years ago but i wasnt able to get wifi working and they didnt support my language (or maybe i just wasnt able to set it). So I gave up for a year and returned to Win 7. After a year I tried again and after hours spent chatting with my geeky friend I still wasnt able to get wifi working. Than a brilliant idea struck me and I realised that i didnt install the router in a proper way accourding to manual. And hey, i read the manual and the wifi was working in a few minutes! :)))
Thats how I got my first Ubuntu Trusty. I used it for about half a year and tried other distros meanwhile- Debian (too complicated) SolydK- i almost destroyed my computer because they dont have automatic installation and i broke disk partitions. I wasnt able to solve this problem in any way and was afraid that i destroyed my computer completely. But than a savior came. Mint! it solved the problem automatically. I was so relieved and thankful to this distro :)
Since than I am very satisfied with Mint and it is the right OS for me. Its user friendly for dummies like me.
I still cant use terminal, i just copy-paste things i find in forums, but thats enough for my purposes.
I installed linux on my father's computer as well and he has absolutely no IT skills. He only uses it for internet banking and skype. I was able to make it look and work exactly as Windows and he got used to it, which is a real miracle :)
i will definitely not go back to windows anymore.
Kernel: 3.16.0-38-generic x86_64 (64 bit, gcc: 4.8.2) Desktop: Cinnamon 2.6.13 Distro: Linux Mint 17.2 Rafaela Machine: Mobo: ASUSTeK model: X550CA

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Re: What was your Linux noob experience like?

Post by ganamant » Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:56 am

cinnamoncoffee wrote:I was able to make it look and work exactly as Windows and he got used to it, which is a real miracle :)
I don't want to tell you what you should do with your computers, of course, but isn't trying to imitate Windows and it's looks a double-edged sword? I think a great learning experience for a beginner is realizing that there is more than one way to make a computer work, more than one interface, more than one set of icons, etc. It is also a big step toward ridding their minds of the obnoxious and false equation that goes:

computer = Windows

Heck, I remember the ad "I'm a PC" vs. "I'm a Mac", like a Mac wasn't a personal computer too!

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