-   Linux - Newbie (
-   -   Stupid Newbie (

quincy469 12-02-2014 09:58 AM

Stupid Newbie
Several months ago, I was searching for an alternative to Windows. And any MS programs. I ran across Linux via Google and while I did sign up, I must admit that I have not had the time really spend learning about Linux. So I am a "stupid newbie", however a fast learner.
I have been searching through the threads and posts on here, yet still do not understand what Linux has to offer and exactly what Linux does. Does this make me beyond stupid? Perhaps I just need to find the "basics" about Linux and how to use it. And of course, I'll have several questions that I was unable to find answers too. Please don't slap will not make me smarter. Just hope someone on here can help me to improve my knowledge about Linux and the best way to use it. Thank you for your time and when you are finished laughing at my post, please feel free to contact me.


schneidz 12-02-2014 10:18 AM

i would remove the email address so that spammers add you to their lists.

gnu/linux is just an operating system for pc's, fones and embedded devices. a growing minority of people prefer it to mac and windows. unfortunately only a few oem's install it by default on their pc's. much like the difference between mac and windows most software made for one doesnt run on the other but there are a few exceptions.

linux is just a kernel (small part of the software that interfaces with hardware). multiple companies make their own version of gnu/linux and bundle it with the kernel. the most popular distributions are fedora, ubuntu, mint, debian (redhat and novell are aimed at large corporations -- android is for embedded but i suppose you are interested in desktop only).

maybe research the top few at and select one to test out the live-usb ?

Soadyheid 12-02-2014 10:33 AM

Coming from a Windows background it may be advisable to read this to get an idea of what Linux can do.
Don't come to it with any preconceived notions. You must have learned Windows at some time in the past, there's a learning curve with Linux as well. :)

Play Bonny!


DavidMcCann 12-02-2014 11:11 AM

Any operating system for a conventional computer, as opposed to a phone, is going to do the same sort of thing: Windows, Linux, or OS-X. I've never had a computer with Windows, but I've used other peoples' without having to be shown (much).

The applications — browsers, mail clients, media players, office software, graphics programs — will work much like their Windows equivalents. Indeed, in some cases people use the same things in both systems: VLC, Firefox.

The operating system will naturally have a few tricks up its sleeve: look at the "Virtual desktop" article in Wikipedia for an example.

A big difference is that Linux does not have a built-in GUI, which means you get to choose one. If Windows 8 is too big for your computer, or you just preferred the look and feel of XP, you're out of luck. But Linux gives a choice of environments: large, small, plain, fancy, weird...
Your choice of GUI affects your choice of distro, because the default GUI is the one most of the users and developers use, and so the best cared for. Good distros are
Mate: Mint
Cinnamon: Mint
Gnome: Ubuntu
Unity: Ubuntu
Xfce: AntiX MX
LXDE: being re-written, so avoid until the dust settles!

jross 12-02-2014 02:10 PM

I think it's important to say what you want to do. Do you mean you want to do "normal" everyday stuff like surf web , email, etc? Do you have specialized needs (i.e. for work)? Do you want to set up a server?

All of these can be done with linux, but you need to be clear in what you want or you may get more confused than you need to be

Rexc 12-02-2014 03:57 PM

I would recomend downloading and installing Ubuntu. Ubuntu because it has good irc support. It's good to have it installed because then you can ask more specific questions and get better idea of what it can do.

timl 12-02-2014 05:31 PM

Quincy, as per the above post download a live version of ubuntu or linux mint.

Install Virtual Box on your windows PC. An opportunity to find out how VB functions and set up a virtual machine running either of the distros mentioned above.

In that virtual environment you will be able to see what you can do with linux and what linux does. You may find that it "just does" all the things windows does. Then you can think about committing the virtual installation to something more permanent. If you don't like linux then you delete the virtual machine and put it down to experience :)

BTW, nowt stupid about being a newbie. We have all been there. There was a time many years ago when the elegant experts on this site were grasping for solutions also.

grail 12-02-2014 07:55 PM

I am with the above comments. Fire up Virtualbox and go the suck it and see route. Only you will truly be able to say if it is for you and the only way to do that is try it.

I would also recommend (as above) to jump onto and have a look around. At the top of the page you will find a link called 'Major Distributions'. Have a read through the details there
and it may help you to identify what you might like to give a go :)

frankbell 12-02-2014 09:24 PM

We were all newbies once. Being new doesn't mean being stupid, and no one here will say it does. It just means you have some things to learn.

Linux is not hard, but it is different.

About dot com has a pretty good section on Linux; much of it is oriented to new users. Going Linux is also a great resource.

I second the suggestion to remove the email address from your signature; spammers may harvest it. Persons can reach you through the LQ message feature and you can set your profile to forward any messages to your email address.

kareempharmacist 12-03-2014 01:16 PM

Don't forget to backup your data before installing any distribution of Linux and read a lot about the distribution and its file system.
I recommend Linux Mint 17 as a starting point.Also reading proprietary books about Linux which can be found on will help.
Free books and websites are also very useful.
REMEMBER.. Linux is not always command line stuff.. most of the work can be done with the mouse ..Linux now is a lot easier than before specially if you are using a distribution suitable for beginners such as Linux Mint or Ubuntu ..Linux is just like food..comes in a lot of flavors..good luck.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:26 PM.