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Old 08-25-2015, 12:48 AM   #1
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Smile I am new to Linux. Can someone explain to me how to use Linux.

Can someone tell me the basics about Linux. like how to download and use it.
Old 08-25-2015, 01:40 AM   #2
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1. What hardware do you have?
2. Choose distro:
3. Download it. http, ftp, torrent
4. Burn it to DVD, USB stick
5. Install it
6. I guess you should start with Xubuntu.
Old 08-25-2015, 01:54 AM   #3
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1 - Do some research to find out which systems look suitable for you: meant for beginners or experienced users; mostly automatic or require the user to configure; hardware requirements; etc. You can find that information on the website for each distribution.
2 - Once you have chosen one or three that look suitable, download an ISO for each system.
3 - Read the installation instructions in the manual on the distribution's website.
4 - After installing a system, do more in depth reading of the system's documentation to learn how to configure and customise the system to your preferences or needs.
Old 08-25-2015, 02:07 AM   #4
John VV
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Can someone tell me the basics about Linux. like how to download and use it.
linux is just the base kernel of well a bunch of different computer operating systems

it is not a program you install in Microsoft windows

it is a operating system that can REPLACE the windows operating system

as to downloading , see distro watch

i like OpenSUSE

others like Mint

both are good home desktop systems

suse is in the RPM camp and Mint is in the DEB camp

different package managers
think of Ford or GM trucks
Old 08-25-2015, 02:25 AM   #5
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This is a very general question. The answer has so many options, that it's hard to know where to begin. For now I'll assume that you are somewhat familiar with some version of Windows, or Mac (since users of those two operating systems are the most common. I'll also assume that you probably are using a laptop, or a desktop type of computer. If either asumption is wrong, please let me know.

Hardly any ordinary user of Mac or Windows has ever installed an operating system before - most don't seem to know what one is. Linux is a generic term that describes a whole, large group of operating systems, with names like Ubuntu, LinuxMint, and many others, that have in common that the innermost core (or the most essential elements) are contained in a portion of the system that is called "Linux" (from which all the others are often called linux. That core is different from the core of Windows or Mac (and several others), In that it is "open Source" which means that anyone who can is allowed to look into that code and change it, so long as they are willing to share their changes with others, under the same agreement. (I have oversimplified to be brief. But that is one of the reasons that you are free to download and install Linux without paying for it. It's also one of the reasons why most linux distributions (called 'distros') are much safer to use than Windows. (Mac uses as it's base a system very similar to Linux, that is also very safe.

Downloading is easy. Choosing which to download is a little harder. If you've never used Linux, and have a computer that has at least two Gig of Ram, and, say 30 or more GB of room on your hard drive, I'd suggest using Linuxmint17. Others would recommend other systems, and you might be happier with one of them. Checkoutwhat's available at .

If you don't know how to "burn a disc from an *.iso", you can either study that issue, or sidestep it, and just by an installation disc instead of downloading it. It comes with a pretty good instruction for installing. On your first attempt, you might just choose (in the installation procedure), to install it alongside of your current installation.In most cases the installation program will handle the nitty-gritty of this with very little guidance form you, but read the directions as you go along. You'll be asked some questions as you go along. When it asks you to choose a username, and a password, Be sure and remember what you type in. Case is important.

When the installation is finished, you should be able to reboot, and in the process choose to reboot into your old system, or your new linux system.

Now I should warn yo that I have oversimplified. If your hard disk is small, or nearly full, that might make it unwise to follow what I have suggested. If your computer is not as I suggested above, procedures might be different. If you want a better answer, study the situation awhile, and write a more informative question. What sort of computer, how new (or old) how much memory, original operating system, etc.

As far as using linux: I think you will find it much more useable once you get used to it than windows. Most distros come loaded with programs that let you cruise the internet. Write very nice letters, posters, labels, edit photos, play music and videos (and even make them. And all of this and more is without cost of time or expense. It's usually inclded in your original installtion.
Old 08-25-2015, 05:45 AM   #6
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Welcome aboard.
Old 08-25-2015, 06:09 AM   #7
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1. Choose the compatible version for you OS.
1. Do check the hardware compatibility list for the list of compatible hardware corresponding to the selected OS. Especially Graphics
1. Back up data whenever performing any drastic steps

Best Regards,
Old 08-25-2015, 06:41 AM   #8
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Welcome to Linux Questions!

As an addition to what's been said above...

Can someone tell me the basics about Linux. like how to download and use it.
From your profile it looks like you're a Windows person. Can I ask, "how did you find out about the basics of Windows and how to use it?" Most of it was probably by playing around with it. Linux is a bit the same; you can teach yourself by playing with it.

One thing worth noting is that Linux is not Windows, check out the link as the article is very good at highlighting differences and misconceptions.

Note that most of the various distributions of Linux, once downloaded as an .iso file and burned to a DVD or loaded on a USB stick, are "live" when you boot from the DVD or USB. That means that they are running in your PC's memory without disturbing any existing operating system or data on your hard disk. This allows you to "play" with Linux and decide if the distribution is the one you want to install. (There's usually an install button on the desktop you'd see once it was running.) You don't like it? Don't hit install. Switch off the PC and nothing's changed; you'd still boot into the original Windows or whatever.

Play Bonny!

Old 08-25-2015, 07:58 AM   #9
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Try out Linux using virtualbox, therefore you can see if it's compatible with your particular hardware before you install it.
Old 08-25-2015, 09:47 AM   #10
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Member response


Welcome to LQ!
Originally Posted by HashBrown24 View Post
Can someone tell me the basics about Linux. like how to download and use it.
Some people will use the term 'Linux' to represent distributions. I prefer to use 'Gnu/Linux' when speaking of distributions and use the term 'Linux' when speaking of the kernel.

Here at LQ you can use Download Linux to choose available Gnu/Linux' ISO that you can use.

If you happen to be using MS Windows then once you have selected and downloaded the ISO image you can use one of the 'MD5SUM' checkers below to verify a valid download. Then use 'Imgburn' at a low burn rate (setting of 4) to insure a valid burn on your hardware. I like to provide these links to new users;
Windows Burn tutorial <- 'Nero' Live Video for the newbies who burn the iso instead of the image of the iso.
Imgburn <- 'ImgBurn is a lightweight CD / DVD / HD DVD / Blu-ray burning application that everyone should have in their toolkit!' + Freeware
-- MD5SUM:
M$Windows iso md5sum checking <- LQ Post on how too
md5sum.exe <- M$Win Application to perform md5sum checking.
winMd5Sum Portable <- FREE + Good for all M$ Windows
I also provide these links to new users;

Just a few links to aid you to gaining some understanding;

Linux Documentation Project
Rute Tutorial & Exposition
Linux Command Guide
Bash Beginners Guide
Bash Reference Manual
Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide
Linux Newbie Admin Guide
Utimate Linux Newbie Guide

The above links and others can be found at '
Slackware-Links'. More than just SlackwareŽ links!
Have fun!
Hope this helps.
Old 08-25-2015, 11:59 AM   #11
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For a beginner, a good start is Linux Mint. Get the Mate version, which runs well on all sorts of computers and has a traditional user interface. It also has a very useful pdf manual which explains how to install it and start using it.

If you have a writable DVD to hand, this guide will be everything you need to get started. You can run Mint (a bit slowly!) from the DVD to try it before you decide to install. Remember to tell your disk burner to make a disk based on the .iso file, and not just to copy the file to the disk! And burn at the slowest speed to avoid errors.

If you want to test or install from a USB stick rather than a DVD, follow these instructions.
As you see, you need to get a little program for Windows to enable it to prepare the USB image.

The Mint user guide explains the basics of how to use the system, what programs you have, and how to get extra software. The programs will all have help and many will have web sites, often with lots of information. Your user interface, Mate, has its own site too


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