What are your top tips for a Newbie?

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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by scryan »

What cad programs are you using, and have you had success?

I have definitely felt like engineering programs will make you keep a windows partition around. Been my solution so far.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by capngp »


I think the best advice I can offer is to get used to using
the available internet resources. Learn how to ask a
question of Google and sift through the hits.

Of course go to the Distro's web site and download
whatever the developers have posted.

Search through the archives here for solutions to issues
you may encounter. Chances are good someone else
has already solved your problem or one similar.

One of the best resources I have found is YouTube. There
are an amazing number of videos, some short, some quite
long, on almost every aspect of Linux, how to use many of
the available packages, and computers in general, as well
as many other topics. The production quality varies.

On YouTube:
Search for "Eli the computer guy" for good basic hardware info.
Search for "Linux", or, for example, "Gimp" to learn about the
distro or how to use an application.

Also look for "xx things to do after installing Linux", where xx is
some number like 7 or 10.

Don't be shy about following YouTube's suggestions for related
video topics. You can waste days, maybe months, here learning
about Linux and other things.

You can point and click to your heart's content and get a lot of
work done just from the GUI (we used to call it a "wimp" interface
for Window, Icon, Mouse, Pointer), but eventually you will find
that a surprising number of things are easier to do from a command
line in a terminal window. To that end:

If you have $, the nutshell books are very good if a bit terse. My
favorite unix reference is O'Reilly's "Unix Power Tools". I think
it is unequalled for using the command line, but there are many
good contenders.

There are still a number of good magazines that cover Linux on
a monthly basis.

Don't forget the built in "man" command for online help in a
terminal window. It is great for reminding you of all those
command line flags that modify how commands work.

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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by mackyy20 »

I bought a thinkpad laptop cheap just to learn how to use linux on, tried ubuntu on a dual boot on my pc, that was enough to convince me to learn how to use it 'properly' - don't dual boot would be my recommendation, put it solely on a machine to learn from if you can
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by linuxstart »

Great tips, I like this post.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by sports fan Matt »

I've been round since 2007.
- Don't get discouraged..we will all try and help the best way we know how.
I've been dual booting with several Linux distros since 2007.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by Derex »

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.
this is good but really doesnt answer much for him. sorry but it is true alot of people say the same things yet it doesnt really help.

1 have a windows disk...
2 have linux disk (that has live boot and easy installation)
3 play with live boot
4 look everywhere ... there is a method you just need to find it.
5 ask questions... just make sure you are ready for the "its in this page you just have to read 20 paragraphs answers..."
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by Fred Barclay »

1. Don't think in terms of Windows. You will have to learn new ways of doing things, but it will be much simpler if you remember that your not dealing with Windows anymore.
2. The internet, especially Google, is a great place to learn. Need I mention that the Mint forum is also superb?
3. Try to remember what you've done. Writing down your steps as you go along is helpful.
4. Don't be afraid to tear your OS up. We've all made mistakes. Just remember what you did and search for the mistake :D .
5. Pay it forward! Whenever you can help someone else, do it! Even if you make mistakes along the way, both you and the person you help will learn something.
6. Lastly, have fun!
"Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy."
- Albert Einstein
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by Exodus_life »

hey i am real noob to linux also :) i am on my 5th day using it

and i've already had to re-install mint once

if'n you not breaking stuff,you're not doing anything
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by hal8000 »

I always found it harder to learn from the Internet but much easier from books.
My advice is:
Your Library.
Often they have a large selection of books, many in colour now and easy to use.

Depending on where you live in the world, magazines may be available.
In the UK we have Linux Format, Linux Voice, Linux Magazine and Linux User
and Developer.

Quite often linux books and magazines are on offer, but have a look in your
library first, you may get something too difficult or too easy.

As well as google, you may find watching a video on Youtube helpful.
From youtube seraching for "linux for beginners" listed 129,000 matches.

Join a Linux User Group
Linux User Groups are setup worldwide, a quick google should help
Link for UK Clubs below:

Dual Boot (at first)
Your first 3 months can be quite frustrating. This is the reason I recommend a dual boot.
Anything you cant do in linux you have the option of using windows. Personally I keep
a very small windows partition only for games that wont run under wine or steam.

This is quite a long thread, apologies if some of this has been mentioned before.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by Fred Barclay »

Exodus_life wrote:
if'n you not breaking stuff,you're not doing anything
"Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy."
- Albert Einstein
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by BeskedneElgen »

Something someone told me that I have found invaluable (I'm still very much a newbie) is to read the "man" pages in the terminal. Maybe I'm a bit paranoid but sometimes I get a little wary when I read terminal commands in forum posts. My first thought is "Is this going to hurt my computer?". But that's only if I don't understand the commands. The first time I ran an "apt-get" command I was really nervous, but reading the man pages (just put

Code: Select all

in front of any command you don't understand and it'll display the "manual" for that command) helps a lot. You don't have to do anything you don't understand. For me, it's gotten a lot better when I've taken the time to learn to understand what I'm doing.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by rodin »

I am a long time newbie if that makes sense but here are my thoughts and what I wish I knew as I started out.

We all want to get in and get started and once a system is running can be reluctant to fiddle with it. However being able to install, uninstall, experiment, ditch and if need be abort OS is a really good starting point. Be ready for iso files not burning, cds not booting, finding your dvd drive is knackered, having the wrong iso - being persistent - this is all part of the learning curve. Plus the common problem of OS overwriting the MBR without a by-your-leave. A seperate boot drive is the way forward.

Which brings me to an essential preliminary capability which is partitioning, mount points and formatting plus associated Grub set ups. Time spent learning and experimenting here will pay handsome dividends very early on if you get on top of it. Gparted should be your first tool.

An initial set up of swap, home and 3/4 OS partitions is a great start. Be aware that Windows Secure Boot type arrangements make this impossible to achieve on modern computers though which is a huge insurmountable hurdle for beginners. I am having a new comp built with a legacy motherboard without Secure Boot for this very reason.

In short be willing to curb the urge to "get started" a bit and get used to installing and reinstalling over and over until you get it set up as you like it.

Finally abolish the Windows mindset. A lot of important stuff is completely different - that is why it works so much better.

Every distro has its quirks and faults. Nothing is 100% right out of the gate. That is a fact so get used to it and be ready to fix it / roll back / switch to earlier OS whatever.

In my experience in terms of hardware Lenovo is very linux friendly and good value for money.

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

Post by mach50 »

the best tip is this.

if you are use linux for the first time , try first mint on some computer that is not new.
like some dell machine , dell dimension 9200 or hp computers works just fine. full supported for sound , network , printers like canon , on my pc , dvds and bleurays works perfect.
all sounds are perfect , on virtual box perfect

its better to try linux first on some old pc , and if you wanna buy some new one for linux mint , first do some check on internet if its compatible on your hardware.

if you like the games or if you are a freak in games , linux is not for you. stay on windows
if you like your setups like .exe ,you better stay on windows , if you never have use dos systems like , dir ,list ,cd or whatever in amiga systems , linux will give you trouble , however its not like 10years ago , it alot easy this days for install software.

the development of mint is in my eyes just perfect , and far beyond , in what linux was in 1999 , , the best system in this days was redhat , and later linux mandrake.

however i run on linux mint cinnamon 64bit 17.1 a triple screen , and mate , on the same machine , inside i run in the network virtuallbow with triple screens , sharing from the network , from virtualbox or the main macine to other pcs and my media tv lg not one problem.

if you are a new users in linux try mint cinnamon on some computer that have power and is 3a 5 years old for testing the system.
you will see that old computers will have more power than windows.

some dualcore with 4 or 6 or 8 gb ram is more than enuff do work just fine.

i hope you like mint alot like i do , i dont use windows anymore this days , i have enuff of cracking or whatever , just clean software on a smooth perfect distro..
best distro ever deepin 15.4.1
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by Cowdiddly »

My own idea of some things for new users.
I myself am not a guru, but have used this stuff since the Mandrake, Xandros, Lindows days so I feel comfortable enough to have took off the dual boot training wheels and use it exclusively. I could never go back to anything else now.
First off, I would like to bring back some a couple of points from the old days.
!. This stuff is for free and thousands upon thousands of people have contributed to this since the Bell Lab days. So don't expect everything to just work perfectly on your particular setup and be thankful for the millions of donated manhours, brainpower, expertise and simple brilliance. I often hear new people try Linux and start complaining about this or that,------- for something that was given for free. To them I say go and buy you a key and enjoy your multiple reboots, blue screens of death, one licence per computer, and viruses

2. This is also another idea that was around from the old days- If you do not like the way things work or how they look or you need a certain feature- the old school crowd would simply tell you to get off your lazy rear-end and learn to find it, fix it, or even perhaps try to make what you want or need. geterdone

3. The terminal is not your enemy, it is your best friend, and the longer you stay at it you will find it becomes an efficient preference.

Now on a more modern note. I would advise new guys to be persistent, if you break something well it can be fixed, and by breaking it you learn what not to do and by fixing it you learn even more. Thats the process.

Never give up, the solution is there you just have to find it. That is the satisfaction of owning an OS put together like YOU like it instead of how someone else made it.

Never ever get rid of that other old outdated dinosar computer you have in the closet, it might just be the own to pull you out of a crack, even something simple like checking if you iso is bootable/readable or maybe a way to wipe a hardrive, test a pci card ect.

Anyone reading this took the other fork in the road, the one less traveled and more difficult for a reason. This makes you a special breed in and of itself.

And last, In the true Linux spirit, Help a Brutha, pass it along, contribute what you can---the world is a better place for it.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by pagester »

New here but I've been using linux for many years (since Caldera back in 97) and Mint, is the absolute best distro I've ever installed. I've removed ubuntu (argh!) from everything I own and I love mint.

Mint is the closest thing to mimic'ing a windoze evironment yet... even if you don't know what specific program or utility, simply go to the menu and start typing in the search bar. If you're thinking about your computer security, while security doesn't give you any results, typing in things like 'users', 'password' does.

If you think 'control panel' in windows, and you type in control -> system settings shows up. It's very inuitive and I applaud the developers of Mint for making it the most user friendly linux o/s out there today. And I have tried almost EVERY version out there.

Yesterday I went to MicroCenter and bought a chromecast stick for my TV. I had it up and working with Chromium / Mint within MINUTES. Wow. I almost got everything I want. (boy do I sound like a newbie).

Anyway, every time I had an issue on installing or fixing a specific problem that I was having with linux, it's always google: linux mint install xxxx. Or something like linux error blah blah... and I find others have the same problem. Not all problems are fixable right away, but eventually most are resolved in time by the tireless developers.

I'd never recommend dual boot option to anyone working with linux for the first time. Shoot... hard drives are so cheap, and so are computers too for that matter. If you need windows, do not use your existing machine which has your life's work, photos and videos on it. A core 2 duo refurb system can be had on the CHEAP, is excellent for running Mint, and will give really good performance for most normal things internet, word processing, spreadsheet, etc. Three days ago I purchased a new Quad core intel laptop with 4 gig ram, 500g hd for only $229. There's absolutey no reason not to get another cheap system to learn how to work with linux, and never risk your treasured data.

Now as far as favorite programs you use with Win whatever, you will find some are lacking. WineHQ.org will tell you what has been tried, tested, and whether or not the win program you need is great or garbage with Wine. This is the reason I still keep a decent xp machine around (and I've always loved xp despite it's security flaws) with two programs that I've always needed, picture publisher (very old but insanely good photo editor - I've used since the 90's), and magix video editor(s).

As long as there is no wine solution to my program needs, I will always keep a good win xp machine. Don't use it online much, then again don't need to, only when I need to use those two programs. Everything else is taken care of by Mint.
My 16yo son uses Ubuntu on his laptop,
My ex uses Mint on her laptop.
I've got another old amd laptop running Mint, not too fast mind you but it works great for what I need. (It doesn't like youtube in full screen mode).
Two more desktop quad core Intel systems (mb's with processors and ram bought off ebay for 40 bucks each) running Mint... lol these little beasts can run more than 8 vlc video's at a time.

Mint, is MINT!
Now... I must throw in the only caveat... as long as the developers do not change the update repositories to 'that doesn't exist anymore', then I'm happy with this arrangment for the rest of my life. I love mint, as an old hag server administrator, and one that has previously proclaimed that user friendly linux would never become main stream, I'm very happy to see the progress and maturity of this distro to the masses. Besides that I like the light green much better than the old purple - plus the logo is more cool.

Take care.
I'm just an older than dirt linux server adminstrator. Mint - is the best user friendly windows like linux distro ever.
I love user friendly.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by Hoser Rob »


Definitely get out of the Windows mind set. A lot of people think of linux as a Windows replacement but actually it works a lot more like OS X, which is also a Unix derivative.

Don't use 3rd party external ppa's unless it's something you just cannot do from the tested repos until you have a better idea what you're doing. These can definitely make your system less stable and can even install malware.

Be aware that there are a lot of linux blogs written by people who aren't actually all that qualified. I don't seem to get pointed to them like a lot of forum newbies do but I think that's because I search with startpage HTTPS, which doesn't give preference to sites with Google powered ads.

Don't do anything you read on one of those blogs unless it explicitly says it is for your release version, and tell you how to undo the changes if it doesn't work.

Also in the bad advice category, don't install multiple desktops on your linux install. This is probably the most common bit of bad advice I see on forums. The only exception I'd make is installing a Qt based DE like KDE on a GTK based DE. Otherwise you're dealing with more than one DE using the same libraries but they don't always want the same version of a library component. It's just trouble and the problems are hard to diagnose.

As the Mint docs say, don't upgrade your release version just because you think you're going to get the latest everything. Very rarely do they actually have anything earth shattering. And you'll just be dealing with new bugs. Plus, whatever configuring you had to do in your present release will probably be different in a new one. I'll only upgrade from an lts release if I have hardware support issues and need a newer kernel.

If you want to play and potentially bork your OS, fine. Just don't do it on your only computer.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by chetvaldes »

as a newby and one prone to experiment, I suggest don't get too cocky when it comes to modifying your installation without some sort of guidance. For instance, I've had to do complete reinstalls more times than I care to count just because I lack impulse control. Of course, you could argue that you end up learning a lot in the process, but many would give up and ponder on how seemingly easy it is to break the system. Recently I got it into my head that I could eliminate a lot of useless (to me) features that show up in the menu of Cinnamon, and found that I could easily uninstall them by right clicking on them. Many were removed in the hope of lightening the system, until I got to one of them called "Domain Blocker"- I could have stopped when the warning dialog popped up saying that certain packages were going to be uninstalled, some with pretty important sounding names, but my finger clicked ok before I could even read the entire list. Sure enough, on restart, wouldn't boot with scary error message and no practical way to repair it. I think there's another thread warning about the ease of falling into this trap somewhere else on this forum, but all I can say is: whenever you get a warning dialog box, stop, write it down, hit cancel, and ask someone more knowlegeable before proceeding. You can save yourself a lot of frustration and lost time that way.

Edit: Also, it's a very good idea to prepare yourself for trouble if you're doing anything even slightly risky by having rescue tools ready to go, like having a first aid kit handy. This means another working computer, bootable disk (the install live disk will work) USB drives loaded with software tools, etc. This will save you time for when and if you need it. And good to have for future unforseeable problems.
Last edited by chetvaldes on Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by mehimu »

Really nice discussion, Its informative.
I am learning linux and computer networking more and more. I've a blog related to computer networking. If you are interested may visit there. Thanks
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by pepper311 »

I found this site very helpful:


Especially the section called "The first 10 things you should do first after you install Linux Mint 17.1"
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Re: What are your top tips for a Newbie?

Post by Xenofuscus »

Nothing much here. Installation should be straightfoward.

Connecting to the internet:
If you have a reltek chip,it should work out of the box 90% of the time. Broadcam chips are the most problematic,but can usually work with propritary drivers.

Problem Solving:
Ill be completly honest here. Problem solving isn't exactly easy to do. First is try to solve the problem by yourself. If not,linuxmint has a great forum and webpages to help you with nearly any problem.

Overall my best advice is to take chances, make mistakes. This is how I got around to learning linux well. Also it isn't required,but learning linux and the Terminal will help you a lot with your experiance with linux.

Have lots of fun!
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