New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

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MintNovice24
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New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by MintNovice24 »

Greetings!

I'm a gray beard automation professional, and have always had Linux on the infinite list of 'things I should learn someday'. Well, today is the day. I've got extensive Windows experience, and DOS before that. My professional arc includes providing support on all kinds of automation systems, VMWare, Ethernet, and so on, so I understand the importance of being self sufficient.

Having said all that.. I feel like a stranger in a strange land here. It's been a LONG time since I've been this much of a noob. Not sure of how to exactly formulate the question(s) I have to get to the right people, and not unnecessarily burden people as I find my way. To start I took an older i7 Windows 10 Laptop, wiped it, and successfully installed Linux Mint Cinnamon V21.3 using some of the excellent step by step instructions on the web. I've installed a few additional programs via the same carefully follow instruction approach, and each has installed correctly. I have been 'dumbed down' by windows installs over the years, but there is some rust coming off the memory as I recall the more involved installs of 'the good old days' (You kids! Get off my lawn!!)

With that as background.. today I installed Virtualbox V7.0.14/Ubuntu 22.04, as that was also on the things to learn someday list. However, as opposed to the previous packages where not insignificant command line interactions (for a raw novice) were required, in this case I double clicked on the download and it just installed with no other actions required? This seemed too 'easy', so my first official forum inquiry is along the lines of: was that 'normal'? And on a broader scale, is there a place on the forum that would give me some little league challenges and outcomes so I can be less of a parrot and more informed?

Thanks team!

Jim
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Re: New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by Pjotr »

In general, things have become considerably easier in Linux over the years.

Still, for an old hand like I, it's often easier to use the magical incantations of the terminal. If only because they rarely (if ever) change, in contrast to the ever changing user interfaces of the graphical applications. :mrgreen:

Finally, you might find my website to be of help to you, when it comes to finding your way in Linux Mint:
https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.com

I particularly recommend to try the "first 10 things to do" list, because it also aims to be a crash course for beginners:
https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.c ... namon.html
Tip: 10 things to do after installing Linux Mint 21.3 Virginia
Keep your Linux Mint healthy: Avoid these 10 fatal mistakes
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Moem
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Re: New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by Moem »

MintNovice24 wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2024 11:42 am I've installed a few additional programs via the same carefully follow instruction approach, and each has installed correctly.
Are you aware of the software manager and Synaptic the package manager? Installations typically do not require terminal usage; you can choose that way, of course, but you don't have to.
MintNovice24 wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2024 11:42 amas opposed to the previous packages where not insignificant command line interactions (for a raw novice) were required, in this case I double clicked on the download and it just installed with no other actions required?
Yes. That's how it's supposed to work. And that's how most people start. Raw novices typically do not need to use the terminal.
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Re: New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by wwblm »

From one graybeard noob to another... you are much less of a noob that you believe yourself to be.

As has been said, if you don't want to use the terminal you don't have to. Most everything is point and click. Certainly many instructions are terminal based as for many that is just the easier way to do it. The fact that you can ask questions and find answers will allow you to become as proficient as you want to.

I never warmed to windows and it always seemed to make anything I wanted to do more difficult than I was expecting. So, perhaps my perspective is a bit different from yours. People say that Mint Cinnamon is easy for windows users because it is laid out much the same. I can see that but when I am using windows it is always difficult. Mint just works and I think you will find that to be the case. Your experience with Windows and Automation support will serve you well. Mint is not Windows and things are not the same. Just take a bit of time to learn how Mint works and your experience will definitely pay of in how you apply it.

FWIW, I challenged myself to learn to install and configure QEMU / KVM rather than take the easy way out with Virtual Box. That was a bit of a challenge for me but now I have several lines of text that I can paste into the terminal and have it all up an running on a fresh install. Most of the software I have installed however has been point and click from the software manager.
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Re: New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by 151tom »

This may also be useful.

https://linuxjourney.com/
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BG405
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Re: New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by BG405 »

Welcome! :D

Re:
wwblm wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2024 5:55 pm As has been said, if you don't want to use the terminal you don't have to. Most everything is point and click. Certainly many instructions are terminal based as for many that is just the easier way to do it. The fact that you can ask questions and find answers will allow you to become as proficient as you want to.
This is certainly true. Where terminal commands are involved, though, it's often simply a case of copy-and-paste from here. +1 for it often being easier for us to provide help that way (guilty as charged!) - hopefully this doesn't put newcomers off.
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Re: New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by AZgl1800 »

am I old enough to be a greybeard? at 81 this month?
been with PCs since the 300 baud tape was the backup means of choice, for us peons with a
$5 budget.

I dropped Windows when it hit 8.0 and switched to Linux Mint Cinnamon with LM17.3

why?
Because the Desktop Environment resembled the MS Windows software so much, that I did not need Terminal for a long time.

Cinnamon has incorporated most of the Keyboard Shortcuts:
Windows key D to collapse all of the windows to the "panel", er uh, Command Line.

and on the rare occasions when I was introduced to Terminal, was when something did not work, and the gurus here led me by the hand thru the "arcane" terminology terms.

I can only echo what Pjotr's website can do for you, it was my mainstay for a long time, and I still refer back to it, because he updates it to the current version of Mint.

and this is a hang over from using Windows, my Desktop still contains shortcuts to projects that I work on everyday, I detest a blank screen and having to wade thru the menus to find things I use every 15 minutes.
you have to turn OFF Automatic Sort to do this, and use Horizontal layout.


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Re: New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by BG405 »

AZgl1800 wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 1:57 pm my Desktop still contains shortcuts to projects that I work on everyday
My old xp desktop used to be set up with groups of related icons a bit like that, but with slightly less "free" space! Only issue was, sometimes something would bork and all the icons would be re-shuffled and laid out in a block from the top left; VERY annoying and took ages to sort it all out (again)!

I had the comment once: "Does your computer actually work? :lol:" when we were posting our screenshots on the old Toecutter's Den. :mrgreen:

I don't bother with desktop icons these days. I have four Virtual Desktops on the other machine and now six on this one. Sometimes with more than one display. With all the stuff I have open, I rarely get to see my desktops ... :roll:
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Re: New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by AZgl1800 »

BG405 wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 2:49 pm
AZgl1800 wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 1:57 pm my Desktop still contains shortcuts to projects that I work on everyday
My old xp desktop used to be set up with groups of related icons a bit like that, but with slightly less "free" space! Only issue was, sometimes something would bork and all the icons would be re-shuffled and laid out in a block from the top left; VERY annoying and took ages to sort it all out (again)!

I had the comment once: "Does your computer actually work? :lol:" when we were posting our screenshots on the old Toecutter's Den. :mrgreen:

I don't bother with desktop icons these days. I have four Virtual Desktops on the other machine and now six on this one. Sometimes with more than one display. With all the stuff I have open, I rarely get to see my desktops ... :roll:
grin,
I have tried to keep multiple Workspaces open, and it irritates me....
I have backed off from using a fixed Desktop PC,

I now only use a Laptop(s)

my backup laptop is a ThinkPad e550 with just the OS on it, no folders or documents, period.
strictly used for communications with the world on trips.
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Re: New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by Alby41 »

Hi ...sounds like to me you are veritable expert on puter systems to me ... har ... as for me I started on Windows and am still on Windows 10 for my desktop Pc ... finance , family tree , agencies etc .. however I like to play away and use Linux and have been doing so for years ... best advice I can ever give is view a web site ... distrowatch ... freely availble and see the myriad of linux os systems available and their ratings from first ti last and see
the users/punters comments who use them good or bad ,,, you will formulate your own opinions very quickly ... stick to them .
for me my first is MX Linux and second is Linux Mint ,, many super OS outstanding in fact....but these two are so rock solid .. MX is just all encompassing does everything ,, LM has a lovely buttery feel about it.
So providing up update/upgrade regularly and use the foolproof Synaptic manager for additions/deletions you cannot go wrong be aware of what others say ... good luck :)
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Re: New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by AndyMH »

MintNovice24 wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2024 11:42 am With that as background.. today I installed Virtualbox V7.0.14/Ubuntu 22.04, as that was also on the things to learn someday list. However, as opposed to the previous packages where not insignificant command line interactions (for a raw novice) were required, in this case I double clicked on the download and it just installed with no other actions required?
Sounds like you installed it direct from oracle using the deb file. For a fully functional VB installation you also need to install the extension pack - that is another download from oracle.

Then when you have installed a guest OS, you need to install guest-additions in the guest. With the guest running, on the VB devices menu - insert guest additions CD, it should auto-run. This gives you the ability to go full screen in the guest OS.

Don't save data files in the guest, use shared folders and save all your files on the host. If you are running win as a guest, a shared folder appears as a network drive.
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BG405
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Re: New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by BG405 »

AndyMH wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2024 7:40 am
MintNovice24 wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2024 11:42 am today I installed Virtualbox V7.0.14/Ubuntu 22.04 ..//.. However, as opposed to the previous packages where not insignificant command line interactions (for a raw novice) were required, in this case I double clicked on the download and it just installed with no other actions required?
Sounds like you installed it direct from oracle using the deb file.
Indeed: in Arch/Manjaro-land we have VirtualBox Graphical User Interface Version 7.0.14 in the repos (-14 for kernel 6.1 and -15 for 6.6).
You might also need to install the VB Host Modules for your Kernel if you're using one of the newer ones.
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Re: New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by MurphCID »

#1 I HAVE a grey beard, so I am a member of the "club"
#2 You do not have to use the terminal, it is there if you need it.
#3 I am in the same boat you are. A good suggestion, is if you have one, or can get one, get a "beater" laptop and install different distributions, and just play around. The more you crash things, the more you learn.
#4 Welcome to Mint, the Mint Forum, and Linux land.
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BG405
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Re: New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by BG405 »

MurphCID wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2024 9:45 am I HAVE a grey beard, so I am a member of the "club"
Same here .. in fact a few years ago it was practically completely white after being salt-and-pepper for some time; past year or so the colour has been coming back (my head hair has lost nearly all the white patches/streaks, now darker than it ever was), go figure .. no, it's not just beer/tea spillage stains!

Let's hope the remaining brain cell follows suit! Linuxy-stuff seems to be keeping it nourished!
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Re: New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by coffee412 »

MurphCID wrote: Sat Apr 13, 2024 9:45 am #1 I HAVE a grey beard, so I am a member of the "club"
I tend to skip a few days between shaving. So perhaps Im a partial member? Im pretty much all grey now :(
Just turned 63 yesterday.
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Re: New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by Moem »

Having a grey beard does not a greybeard make; being a greybeard is a state of mind. 8)
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Re: New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by Catsbark »

In addition to Alby41's suggestion about Distrowatch, I'd like to recommend Distrosea.com. On that site, you can actually try out the many (more than 40) Linux distros in live sessions. The virtual machines the site operator provides for your session are modest, but not unreasonable. It's fascinating to try the many flavors of Linux that are available.
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Re: New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by MurphCID »

The kids say it turns orange when I eat something with Buffalo sauce, does that count for anything?

If being a greybeard is a state of mind, I have been one for decades then.....
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Re: New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by mediclaser »

My personal advice is to get yourself comfortable with the terminal early on.You will definitely find your self in situations where the use of the terminal is either unavoidable or easier than trying to find the GUI equivalent of what you are trying to do. And when experienced linux users try to help you diagnose an issue, most of the time they will tell you to execute a command or sets of commands in the terminal.
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Re: New to Linux, trying to understand the playing field

Post by BG405 »

I agree with mediclaser. It's often far easier to post a command for someone to copy and paste, especially as their desktop settings, configurations or even the whole desktop environment etc, are likely to differ. Hard to guess what's on someone else's screen. :wink:

Also, for some tasks it's often far easier and quicker to use the Terminal instead of navigating through GUI stuff.

BUT .. for general use on Mint, it's usually not common to have to touch the terminal, if you don't want to.
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