What are your top tips for a Newbie?

All Gurus once were Newbies
Forum rules
There are no such things as "stupid" questions. However if you think your question is a bit stupid, then this is the right place for you to post it. Please stick to easy to-the-point questions that you feel people can answer fast. For long and complicated questions prefer the other forums within the support section.
Before you post please read how to get help
stellafin5
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:58 am

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by stellafin5 »

This is very helpful thank you :)

WT101
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:52 pm

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by WT101 »

grey1960envoy wrote:Remember it is not windoze so try to take it easy as it is a bit of a steep learning curve and above all else HAVE FUN with it! Go ahead and don't be afraid to mess up if it gets too bad you can re-install.
I've been working with computers for decades and IMHO this quote hits the nail on the head. Even when I'm getting paid to do something it's a LOT easier to do when I'm having fun. When it's a hobby activity (and there's no deadline in front of me) and it's fun life is wonderful. :D

User avatar
NChewie
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 226
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:46 am
Location: Ireland

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by NChewie »

shaunhcorey wrote:
2nd tip: When doing anything to the OS, back up your data files before you start.
and always test the backup by restoring some of it to make sure it worked
Toshiba Satellite Pro C650-191 LM19.2 Cinnamon

techboy317
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:03 pm

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by techboy317 »

Get a USB drive. It will save you money in the long run by letting you install distros from IT and not a CD.

User avatar
tekknj
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:01 pm

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by tekknj »

shawnhcorey wrote:Top tip: Create a separate partition for the /home directory. That way, if you ever have to reinstall the OS, your data files will be preserved. Just remember not to format it when reinstalling the OS.

2nd tip: When doing anything to the OS, back up your data files before you start.

Reinstall??? You're kidding! That's a Windows term. If I've done hundred Linux installs, I've done a thousand. Short of a complete hardware failure. I have never had to "reinstall" the Linux OS to "fix" a problem. Backups (zip, tar, or whatever) should be made to separate devices, yes!

User avatar
shawnhcorey
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 209
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:23 am
Location: The Great White North
Contact:

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by shawnhcorey »

tekknj wrote:
shawnhcorey wrote:Top tip: Create a separate partition for the /home directory. That way, if you ever have to reinstall the OS, your data files will be preserved. Just remember not to format it when reinstalling the OS.

2nd tip: When doing anything to the OS, back up your data files before you start.

Reinstall??? You're kidding! That's a Windows term. If I've done hundred Linux installs, I've done a thousand. Short of a complete hardware failure. I have never had to "reinstall" the Linux OS to "fix" a problem. Backups (zip, tar, or whatever) should be made to separate devices, yes!
Then you were lucky. When I tried different video drivers, I discovered the hard way that once the ATI driver was installed, attempting to switch back to the open-source one left the video card in only a generic mode; it could no longer recognize my monitor. To only way to fix it was to reinstall. :(
Don't stop where the ink does.

User avatar
tekknj
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:01 pm

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by tekknj »

shawnhcorey wrote:
tekknj wrote:
shawnhcorey wrote:Top tip: Create a separate partition for the /home directory. That way, if you ever have to reinstall the OS, your data files will be preserved. Just remember not to format it when reinstalling the OS.

2nd tip: When doing anything to the OS, back up your data files before you start.

Reinstall??? You're kidding! That's a Windows term. If I've done hundred Linux installs, I've done a thousand. Short of a complete hardware failure. I have never had to "reinstall" the Linux OS to "fix" a problem. Backups (zip, tar, or whatever) should be made to separate devices, yes!
Then you were lucky. When I tried different video drivers, I discovered the hard way that once the ATI driver was installed, attempting to switch back to the open-source one left the video card in only a generic mode; it could no longer recognize my monitor. To only way to fix it was to reinstall. :(
Hmmm? Then you could have init 3 the machine to boot to the command line to fix your driver problems. Even if you had to rebuild the video driver kernel modules, it would not have required you to "reinstall" the OS.

User avatar
MintBean
Level 9
Level 9
Posts: 2967
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:54 am
Location: Blighty

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by MintBean »

My top tip is RTFM. (Read The Manual!)

Mint comes with a nice, concise and very useful manual. An operating system is a complex thing, so half an hour or an hour spent reading the basic introduction presented is invaluable and will help you avoid potential pitfalls and save a lot of unnecessary forum questions. I hear people on here claiming ignorance to the existence of a user manual but it's a pretty lame excuse given that it's presented front and centre on Mint's welcome screen.

User avatar
shawnhcorey
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 209
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:23 am
Location: The Great White North
Contact:

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by shawnhcorey »

tekknj wrote:
shawnhcorey wrote:
tekknj wrote:

Reinstall??? You're kidding! That's a Windows term. If I've done hundred Linux installs, I've done a thousand. Short of a complete hardware failure. I have never had to "reinstall" the Linux OS to "fix" a problem. Backups (zip, tar, or whatever) should be made to separate devices, yes!
Then you were lucky. When I tried different video drivers, I discovered the hard way that once the ATI driver was installed, attempting to switch back to the open-source one left the video card in only a generic mode; it could no longer recognize my monitor. To only way to fix it was to reinstall. :(
Hmmm? Then you could have init 3 the machine to boot to the command line to fix your driver problems. Even if you had to rebuild the video driver kernel modules, it would not have required you to "reinstall" the OS.
There comes a point where reinstalling is faster than learning how to fix the problem.
Don't stop where the ink does.

User avatar
GenericVII
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:10 pm

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by GenericVII »

Hello,

What I'm gonna suggest - Read a lot be patient and this forum should be your best friend. Make as much friends you can trust me in this it helps a lot when you got couple people who work on you problem as much as you do. Linux is the best thing that i even experience in the beginning i was is hard but after while i discover how much freedom you have and it feels amazing. Bill Gates just give you the windows,but Linux giving you full open door and beyond you can do anything.

Good luck,
GenericVII

bobfunduro
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 7:52 am

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by bobfunduro »

Hi fellow newbie!

Bottom line : Take the easy route and buy the installation CD online!
See below for Windows 10 BIOS for a dual boot.

But stick with it.

From my experience, probably your first obstacle will be downloading the software, burning to a cd or usb and trying to get it to work. I bet if you analyse the posts on the subject, my guess is, it is probably a (the most?) significant hurdle that newbies encounter. That is of course if you're not put off altogether at the first hurdle.

Why there is not a package to do all the donkey work reliably - I don't know - I'm no techy. To get started on the Linux journey, it's a bit fundamental really.

Anyway - stick with it - don't be put off - take the easy route and buy the CD online! The two days waiting for the post to arrive instead of tearing your hair out can be spent browsing the web for other Linux do's and don'ts n stuff.

If your looking to dual boot with Windows 10 and you can't get to the BIOS, try shutting down holding the left shift key and restarting holding the F2 at the same time.

But stick with it. Good luck.

JackA
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:29 pm

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by JackA »

Write.
It.
Down.

You're gonna screw up. Take it from me - I've had to rebuild more than a few times. You'll forget how you did something. Open LibreOffice and a Write document. Keep it open as you go along, take notes as you get things right (or wrong). Make it repeatable.

Ask questions.

powerhouse
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1086
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 3:54 am
Location: Israel
Contact:

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by powerhouse »

JackA wrote:Write.
It.
Down.

You're gonna screw up. Take it from me - I've had to rebuild more than a few times. You'll forget how you did something. Open LibreOffice and a Write document. Keep it open as you go along, take notes as you get things right (or wrong). Make it repeatable.

Ask questions.
Good advice!
Asus Sabertooth X79, i7 3930K CPU, 8x4GB Kingston DDR3, Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler, GTX 970 + Quadro 2000 GPU, Asus Xonar Essence STX, Sandisk 120GB + Samsung EVO 860 1TB SSD + 4 HDD, Corsair 500R, SeaSonic 660W Gold X PS https://heiko-sieger.info

User avatar
Pjotr
Level 21
Level 21
Posts: 14378
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:18 am
Location: The Netherlands (Holland)
Contact:

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by Pjotr »

powerhouse wrote:
JackA wrote:Write.
It.
Down.

You're gonna screw up. Take it from me - I've had to rebuild more than a few times. You'll forget how you did something. Open LibreOffice and a Write document. Keep it open as you go along, take notes as you get things right (or wrong). Make it repeatable.

Ask questions.
Good advice!
+1

If you post your notes on the web, they're useful for others, too. That's also how my own how-to website started out, nine years ago. :mrgreen:
Tip: 10 things to do after installing Linux Mint 19.3 Tricia
Keep your Linux Mint healthy: Avoid these 10 fatal mistakes
Twitter: twitter.com/easylinuxtips
All in all, horse sense simply makes sense.

powerhouse
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1086
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 3:54 am
Location: Israel
Contact:

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by powerhouse »

Pjotr wrote:
powerhouse wrote:
JackA wrote:Write.
It.
Down.

You're gonna screw up. Take it from me - I've had to rebuild more than a few times. You'll forget how you did something. Open LibreOffice and a Write document. Keep it open as you go along, take notes as you get things right (or wrong). Make it repeatable.

Ask questions.
Good advice!
+1

If you post your notes on the web, they're useful for others, too. That's also how my own how-to website started out, nine years ago. :mrgreen:
I totally agree! Once you post your solution onto the web, it's easy to find (unlike the little notes on my desk...).
Asus Sabertooth X79, i7 3930K CPU, 8x4GB Kingston DDR3, Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler, GTX 970 + Quadro 2000 GPU, Asus Xonar Essence STX, Sandisk 120GB + Samsung EVO 860 1TB SSD + 4 HDD, Corsair 500R, SeaSonic 660W Gold X PS https://heiko-sieger.info

benslinux
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:04 pm

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by benslinux »

I agree with Davinuk - don't dual boot if you're new. Dive in! Use a spare desktop or laptop and do a full install of Mint - keep another PC as it is with Windows or Mac so that you have a familiar OS to use while you learn Linux. You'll probably convert from a Windows PC. For Mint or Ubuntu, a computer that's capable of running Win 7 efficiently is recommended. If you have an old slow PC - try a lightweight distro. Learn how to boot / install, how to use the command line, how to install applications and experiment with different desktops. One of the biggest surprises for me was how easy Linux finds and connects to a wireless source. All Linux distros can teach you how the Linux OS works - but after 4 years of playing with different ones, I always come back to Mint. Both the OS itself and it's community (this friendly and encouraging forum) are all you need - there's so much to learn - it's empowering and fun. As others have said - don't be afraid to break something, it's how we all learn. But Linux is extremely stable. Welcome.

sercxulo
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:50 pm

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by sercxulo »

A good part of knowledge is, to use the terminal emulator for to try to open not functioning programs.

Before this knowledge, I thought the programs failed quietly, but terminal emulator can catch the complaints of the program for to read. :mrgreen:

This is much easier than hoping to find answers by use of the Internet. :mrgreen:

chibi-mint
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:36 pm

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by chibi-mint »

It's not difficult. No more difficult than windows, just different. Of course most people get their computers with windows pre-installed and never reinstall it.
Don't wait for the DVD, download the distro now, put it on a flash drive and have fun.
Allocate a whole day for mucking around with it.
Most people, the ones I mentioned before, toss their old laptops in the cupboard when windows starts to lag due to all the bloaty stuff and viruses they accumulate over time. If you're not proud, ask around, someone could give/lend you a practice computer.

Have fun. you'll get a tremendous sense of subversive independence and a feeling of "nyah, nyah, take that Mr Gates." :)

willieaames
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:57 am
Location: Denver

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by willieaames »

if you truly have a passion for Linux and open source then nothing will stop you from learning, especially not some anonymous guru online. Just keep trying and good luck!

randomNick3229
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:49 am

Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by randomNick3229 »

Take a live DVD of either Debian, Ubuntu. Mint, Knoppix or OpenSuse and just click on things once the graphical interface is up and running.
Try to figure out what each item does, play a bit a around as it won't hurt your current macOS or Windows installation.

And please use Linux forums and chats with precaution at your own risk!!!
Most users developed an elitist complex over the years while so they won't help in 95% of the cases unless you truly read every single line of a program's manpage AND the console output of programs which is ridiculous to presume to anyone.
That said, stay with things you can handle.
Stay away from the command line for the first couple of weeks until you figured out the basics on the graphical user interface.
Use only the distribution's repository to install new software, don't go to your Internet browser and download something off websites even though it might seem newer as the distro's software still gets maintained.

If you still feel better with macOS or Windows, don't blame GNU/Linux as it's no replacement for either one system but more like an alternative.
Keep using your current OS if that's your desire and don't judge Linux too hard, first impressions are always hard to get used to for computer stuff but that's what it is.

Post Reply

Return to “Newbie Questions”