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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
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Relax! It may sound and/or look scary, but that's only because it's foreign to you; and there are terms bandied-about with which you may not be familiar. Believe me. I'm nearly computer-illiterate, and when I dumped Windows 4 years ago, the transition to Linux was amazingly easy. Now I wish I would have taken the Linux plunge much sooner!
Just do it. The great thing about Linux is: It just works! Install it on your 'puter, and believe me, you'll be able to use it with nary a problem. And it feels OH SO GOOD, after Windows, Linux is like a world of stability and serenity.
And even if you need a little help from time to time, as we all do (regardless of what OS we may use), you can come on a forum like this, and get great help quickly- much better than what you get from talking head 10,000 miles who is not a native-speaker of your language, and who is reading off of a script because they don't know anything about computers, and are essentially just telemarketers. I've never yet had anyone on one of these forums tell me to try rebooting my computer; or that "It must be a virus"!
Just jump right in and enjoy it. You'll wish you had done so sooner.
Different people have different definitions of 'old'. One thing you should do is to familiarize yourself with the hardware on your computer. The processor, graphics card and RAM (memory). Some Linux systems have much higher requirements than others. They are definitely not all alike. You can go to the site below and scroll down a bit. On the right is a list of Linux distributions under the heading 'Page Hit Ranking' which will give you a general idea of the more popular system. There are links to all so check them out to get more information.
Gnu/Linux in some form (distro) will run fine on 'old' hardware, and likely run 'very well'
But the problem is, it will not be XP!
if you just do email and a bit of web surfing, you will be ok
If your use of XP was more 'involved' then you must provide detail to get specific help.
Personally I wouldn't try to convince anyone to use Linux instead of XP, that is unless I knew what they were using XP for, and Liunx was suited to the task(s)
Unless the OP has some very specialized needs- such as the need to use specialized proprietary software [which is probably not the case if someone is running XP] Linux will likely be fine for them. It's certainly good for far more than web surfing and emails! I mean, you can do word-processing/documents; presentations; spreadsheets; programming; games [maybe not the latest proprietary ones]; graphics editing; audio stuff.....pretty much almost anything you can do on a Windows PC or Mac......except if you require a few of the latest greatest proprietary file types to be compatible other Windows users...but again, that likely is not an issue with somneone who currently runs XP.
I have used Linux as a desktop computer since around 2006 and I just got around to learning how to really use Linux a few months ago when I joined this forum. I started with Ubuntu and Mint. Both are very easy to install (basically hit "next", "next", "next). And both can be used almost entirely from the desktop gui pretty painlessly. Once in a while you might run into something that doesn't work exactly right and you might have to open up the dreaded, frightening command line interface ;-) but you can generally google your problem and then copy and paste stuff into the terminal without typing anything. Of course that's what I used to do and I didn't actually learn much, now I'm taking time to learn what all the silly commands do. But point is, the learning curve is a steep as you want it to be. ...but I would recommend starting with something like Ubuntu or Mint because they are more newb friendly and they have huge communities on the internet so it's easy to find help and someone who has had the same problem as you before and more importantly has solved said problem already.
You know, you can go to Youtube, and find some videos which show various Linux distros in-use; and tutorials...tons of great stuff; so you can familiarize yourself with Linux a little. Just search terms like "Linux" or the names of various distros, like Linux Mint", and you'll find some great stuff- and after watching a few, you'll see that Linux is easy- and you'll become more familiar with it, and making the switch won't seem so daunting.
It consists of videos made by this kid, who sits his non-geek mother down in front of a computer with various Linux distros installed, and sees how she does with them! It's entertaining and informative.
Also, you can find lots of vids on Youtube that will walk you through the installation of various distros.....
You'll feel a lot more confident after watching some Linux videos.
Hello, I'm Sue, a newbie. I'm wanting to install Linux on my older computer since XP is now defunct, but Wow, looks like a lot to learn, I'm scared now, LOL
If you are jumping from XP to Linux I would install Ubuntu first and get a "feel" for the system's GUI and then google the cli (command line interface) to see what Linux is all about. That's my advice.
Hello and welcome to the world of Linux I can very much relate to your story After a brief stint with MS-DOS I basically grew up using Windows. And to this day I still do. I have Linux installed on a small laptop. I love to play with it, but it's not my main computer so to speak.
Since you are completely new to Linux I would recommend either Linux Mint or Ubuntu. Both are very user friendly. And have an "app store" similar to the ones you find on Android or OS X. Makes it easy finding programs for you to use. With user friendly I mean that the systems themselves will take care of nearly everything without you having to worry about it. It's only with some specific hardware that it can become a problem. So I would recommend for you to look up the Device Manager in your Windows XP and see which hardware is listed there. And run those names through Google to see if they are supported in Linux. Again most of it should work without a problem
Then my next question would be, what do you use your computer for? For me it's surfing the net, e-mail, writing documents and letters, listening to music, watching (youtube) movies and playing games. Basically your average Joe
If you only play simple games like Solitaire, Minesweeper and the like. You'll do fine in Linux. But if you are more like me who plays the big games in Windows. Linux isn't really an option.
Surfing the web etc. isn't a problem whatsoever. By default most distributions (like Mint and Ubuntu) will install a web browser and an e-mail client for you. Next to that a full office suite (LibreOffice usually) and a photo editor (Gimp). LibreOffice is highly compatible with Microsoft Office and can read and write MS Office files. Gimp is basically a freeware version of Adobe Photoshop.
Linux also has several nice programs available to listen to music with. Some have the look and feel of iTunes (Rhythmbox and Banshee), others have their own setup. Only problem I have here is that in the past I have bought a lot of music from Apple's iTunes Music Store through iTunes. Recently released music plays without problems. But music bought before 2009 have a DRM protection on it. And I have only been able to get those to play on iTunes and MediaMonkey (through iTunes). Both are Windows programs. And both I couldn't get to run (well) with Linux. So I have installed Windows 7 in a virtual machine (using Virtualbox) and play my music from there. If you don't have DRM protected music like I do, the Linux music players will do just fine.
Linux is different compared to Windows. It may look daunting at first. But don't let it scare you. Chances are big you won't need the Terminal at all. That is of course if you are like most people. Using their computers to surf the Internet, make documents and spreadsheets and the likes. etc. I'm sure you'll find your way around Linux soon enough. And as mentioned above there are lots of information and help to be found on the net (and places like this one).
You have all the concepts already from windows. You simply ask us or use web pages to find out how to do the tasks in linux. For the most part, only the names have been changed.
Most of the popular linux distro's will boot up and seem quite like xp to many users.
When I first switched from Windurs to Linux, I was expecting "a bold new frontier"..... In reality, I remember booting up Linux for the very first time; clicking around a little just to explore and see what I had and where everything was; and then I was just using it! So big deal, the little close/minimize/maximize buttons were on the left-hand side of the windows rather than the right...and clock and the shut-down button were in the upper right-hand corner of the screen [not even true of all flavors of Linux]....I think most people can figure out such little trifling things in about a nano-second. I was amazed at how natural the transition was.
I dual-booted at first, so I'd still have Windurs to fall back on, in case Linux "didn't work"..... but I literally never ended up booting up Windurs again. It wasn't long until I completely wiped Windurs from my computer.
I think a lot more people would be using Linux, if they'd only give it a try. Switching to Linux was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Some people have mentioned wanting to know your hardware specs.
(In XP) click Start, then right-click on My Computer and select Properties. In the General tab, it should say your RAM and CPU. Don't worry if you don't understand it, we will . Then open up My Computer, right-click Local Disk (C and select Properties. Directly above the pie chart, it says the total size of the hard drive. It might help to post how much free spaace you have, since you probably want to dual-boot at first.
As for the distro, my first one was Lubuntu, and IMHO it looks almost just like Xp with different colors and icons. But keep in mind that no matter what distro you use, you will have to learn the Linux way of doing things.