SoSLUG Archive

Linux for novices

Linux for novices

This section covers material to help a novice to Linux get started. If you are just starting out, or wondering what flavour of Linux to try, then read this in conjunction with the section on Linux distributions (distros for short). Of course you may be new to Linux but have been using computers for some time. This section is aimed at helping you make that transition. Many of the articles have been written by novices themselves, recording their experiences and first impressions of Linux.

One thing that initially may seem strange is the emphasis seasoned Linux users place on the command line (or console), giving rise to the unjust reputation that Linux is complex, or just for geeks. With today’s Graphical User Interfaces (GUI), you don’t need to use the command line at all, if you don’t want to.

Linux gives you a choice of GUI that has the right look and feel for you.

A number of Linux applications also run in a Microsoft environment. Open Office (LibreOffice) provides much the same functionality Microsoft Office. Familiarising yourself with these packages is another way to ease yourself into a Linux environment.

The real power behind Linux is through the command line. As your confidence grows, you’ll find yourself using the odd console command or two, to get things done. Most are simple commands that can be strung together to perform more complex tasks, that would be difficult to accomplish with just a GUI alone. All come with their own built in help.

Still wondering whether Linux is right for you? If you live locally, why not pop along one evening, where a (ex) novice, can provide you with any additional advice you need to get started, we are after all, an open source!

Author: Alan Campion - Page reference: 144
Last modified: Peter Horwood - 2015-01-30