10+ mistakes Linux newbies make


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Rob2687

4: Not Finding Software

Finding software but finding the source packages and thinking you have to compile this thing to get it installed. It's not hard to find the compiled package for distros these days of course as long as you didn't choose a distro like Gentoo but you just gotta know where to look.

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____

I think the number one mistake people make with Linux and computers in general is that they don't want to learn anything. As soon as something requires the slightest amount of effort they cry that its too much to be expected to do. They make wild analogies like that they don't have to know how to rebuild a car's engine in order to drive, but in reality the amount of work required is more analogous to knowing how to put gas in the tank or replace a windshield wiper, most tasks can even be kludged through by simple trial and error but that's too hard because they aren't "computer people". As if there is some sort of gene that people who have invested the effort to cure their ignorance have that makes it easy for them.

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mantis-

Well, at least Valve has started the movement towards Linux. Pretty big player in the gaming world.

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It's not all gumdrops and unicorn smiles. Here's the caveat with the way Valve/Steam currently is doing the cross-platform thing (on the Mac); Valve first-party software titles will run natively, and I assume any games using that engine will as well, with little effort, since Valve is doing the heavy lifting in that regard. Kudos to them. However, as of right now, the other titles that are available are those that either had dedicated OS X versions already, or have committed to porting to OS X in the future. That number is further limited by what available titles there are that distribute through Steam. So there is a slow trickle of titles available for the Mac. After this PITA transition process...Linux will be picking up the scraps from those development houses that deem Linux worthy of the effort, having just come out with OS X versions. Couple that with the feelings many Linux users have about paying for software...and...that's that.

Don't get me wrong, Linux will have more games than it does currently, but don't expect Steam to catapult Linux into the limelight as a gaming platform. Especially with the...how shall we say...current state of "accelerated" driver "support" in Linux.

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wizardB

any new linux user should set their runlevel to 3 and login without x or GUI. Get used to the raw commands before fiddling with the GUI. Once you have an appriciation for where things are and how they interconnect its much easier. You can have 4 logins simultaneously.. ctrl + F1-F4 I think.. may be alt. been a while now!

Once you got a feel for your hierarchy, where your boot scrips are, how to edit them, use VI, use ps aux, hier command, df, dd, man pages, change file permissions, then look into starting X, wine, and getting the windows apps working...

Linux IS the terminal.. everything can be done from there. The gnome GUI or KDE or whichever GUI you use, is an overlay of your terminal.. like Windows 3.11 was.

You didnt learn windows overnight, dont expect magic with linux. The man command is about the most helpful there is. Most distros are 100% compatible with mainstream hardware these days. configuring your system should be the least of your worries.

What all Linux users need to understand if Linux wants to go mainstream is that the common user doesn't want tolearn command line doesn't want to know anything about the operating system want to be able to download and play their games go to face book or where ever read there email and download music and picture load their MP3 players with out worrying about what when and where and until Linux people like most of us grasp that fact Linux will be ours and crap like Windows and OSX will be theirs!!

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Solid Knight

Wow, I'm actually surprised. Usually these kinds of lists are filled with BS about how the Windows way is wrong. I'd have to agree with all the points. That's a first for me.

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Syanide

I lol'd at number 11, I had to disable workspaces on one of my friend's computer for reasons mentioned.

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Descartes

13: Installing Linux for Compiz :p

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Syanide

^ hahaha

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MBarvian

the only reason I don't use linux is because I hate dual-booting if I just want to open Photoshop, AE, or DW. I've tried Linux alternatives but they're just not as good, understandably so.

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Behemoth

the only reason I don't use linux is because I hate dual-booting if I just want to open Photoshop, AE, or DW. I've tried Linux alternatives but they're just not as good, understandably so.

That's what VMs are for. ;)

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Solid Knight

That's what VMs are for. ;)

So you run an OS that has all the applications you need inside and OS that doesn't and this makes it more convenient for the user how?

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Behemoth

So you run an OS that has all the applications you need inside and OS that doesn't and this makes it more convenient for the user how?

It eliminates the need to dual boot. Is that not more convenient?

Best of both worlds. Some people like to use more than one OS.

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Solid Knight

It eliminates the need to dual boot. Is that not more convenient?

Best of both worlds. Some people like to use more than one OS.

VMs come with their own pains. Typically hardware utilization is crippled in the hosted OS; video and audio notably.

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Rob2687

Another thing new users tend to do is blindly run terminal commands they copy and pasted from guides. Sometimes it won't execute properly or compile successfully and everything after that falls apart because that one step in the guide didn't work right.

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Behemoth

VMs come with their own pains. Typically hardware utilization is crippled in the hosted OS; video and audio notably.

Understood, but I have a Windows VM specifically for programs that don't run well under WINE (ie. Photoshop), and it saves me from having to partition the HD and boot into Windows. Much easier to fire up the VM and work instead of rebooting.

Although the allocated memory and cpu usage can get frustrating.

But, to each their own.

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SharpGreen

Can't argue with any of those points. I'm a Windows User, and a reasonably seasoned Linux user (although I wouldn't claim to be anything other than an amateur), and I still struggle to understand the Linux file layout hierarchy. To me, the Windows file system is structured very simply, whereas Unix seems cluttered once you leave your /home.

One of the best things I did to improve my familiarity with Linux was to ditch the GUI completely. I run an Ubuntu server in a virtual machine to host my web developments, and decided to restrict myself to just the CLI, and I've learned a hell of a lot from just doing so, particularly with regards to how bad some of the GUI configuration tools can be (gproftpd = fail) :p.

I put that down to the same issue that Windows users in command prompt, and that is that when you have spaces in filenames, the CLI requires that you put quotes around the filename, which seems to baffle a lot of users at first (myself included when I very first started with Linux).

The Linux equal to the quote marks around paths with spaces is the "\" ie /home/sharpgreen/My\ Music is a vaild path, same as "C:\Users\SharpGreen\My Music" on Windows. So really its not bad to use filenames with spaces, just gotta know the correct way to enter them.

Also the best thing for me...was buying a Linux netbook and trying to fix issues I had on my own :p I'd never used linux seriously before that, and for while that is all I used on both my computers.

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CentralDogma
9: Skipping updates

I have been burned with Windows updates many times. Need I bother mentioning the update from Explorer 7 to Explorer 8? Very rarely has a Linux update fubar?d a system of mine. In fact, I can?t remember the last time it has. So I am always up to date on my systems? and with good reason. Those updates bring new security patches and features to software and should be applied. Having an installation with a security hole is not what your users need, especially on a machine that houses important information.

I have to say, in my experiences, it's Linux updates that cause the most problems.

If they're talking about updates in a single version (ie. patches), I haven't noticed, on either system, them causing instability.

If they?re taking about compatibility between newer versions (ie. Vista->7 or 10.04->10.10), it's about on equal footing. Both Linux and Windows will have compatibility issues, that's the nature of the beast. The problem for Linux is that a new version is released 5x more than Windows! That's a major increase in the number of incompatibilities in the same time frame.

2: Trying to make exe files work
Really? I'm pretty sure that if a person is knowledgeable enough to know how to install Linux, they will know enough that exe's won't run on it.
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VII7

VMs come with their own pains. Typically hardware utilization is crippled in the hosted OS; video and audio notably.

True. I personally don't see any problem with Dual Boot, definitely not an inconvenient or a valid reason for that matter. :shifty:

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  • 1 month later...
mak123

1: Assuming they are using Windows:

Although this might seem way too obvious, it?s not. The average user has no idea there are even different operating systems to be had.

Because of this, new users might believe that everything works.

2: Trying to make exe files work

Unless you have done your homework and installed WINE, double-clicking those .exe files simply won?t do anything.

Make it clear to users that Linux, like Windows, will only run applications made for that operating system.

3: Choosing the wrong distribution

One of the biggest problems for users is choosing the wrong distribution. Imagine being a new user and selecting Gentoo or Slackware or Fedora! Yes those are all good distributions, but any of them would send a new user running away in fear.

A lot of distributions out there are made specifically for new users. Give them all a close examination before making the choice.

4: Not finding software

Because so many new Linux users are migrating from Windows, they think software can be had from the same channels. Most of the time, this is not the case.

5: Sending OpenOffice documents to Microsoft Office users in the default format

I see this so often. New Linux users are proud of the strides they have made but dumbfounded (and sometimes turned back to Windows) because the people they share files with can?t read their formats. Remember, Microsoft products are not good at getting along with other operating systems and other applications.

6: Avoiding the command line

I can?t, for the life of me, figure out why people completely avoid the command line as if it is the most complex tool there is.

7: Giving up too quickly

Here?s another issue I see all too often. After a few hours (or a couple of days) working with Linux, new users will give up for one reason or another. I understand giving up when they realize something simply doesn?t work (such as when they MUST use a proprietary application or file format).

8: Thinking the Windows directory hierarchy translates to Linux

There is no C:\ in Linux. Nor do you use the ?\? character. Nor should you use spaces in filenames. These are common mistakes new users make.

9: Skipping updates

I have been burned with Windows updates many times. Need I bother mentioning the update from Explorer 7 to Explorer 8? Very rarely has a Linux update fubar?d a system of mine. In fact, I can?t remember the last time it has. So I am always up to date on my systems? and with good reason.

10: Logging in as root

I really shouldn?t have to say this. But just in case, be sure to tell your users DON?T LOG IN AS ROOT! But? just in case they must? DON?T LOG IN AS ROOT!

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The_Decryptor

What's wrong with spaces in the filename?

And the default format for OpenOffice is OpenDocument, which Office reads and writes (current version anyway)

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kill3rt0m4t0

"It's not our fault, it's your fault; our only fault is not telling you sooner that it's your fault!"

Truth be told, I'd be surprised if some major Linux vendors have yet to consider hiring Steve Jobs as their PR spokesperson.

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mak123

"It's not our fault, it's your fault; our only fault is not telling you sooner that it's your fault!"

Truth be told, I'd be surprised if some major Linux vendors have yet to consider hiring Steve Jobs as their PR spokesperson.

this for newbies, who want to try linux... :rofl:

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Southern Patriot

#6 applies equally well to Windows and OS X as well. Call me an elitist technosnob if you must, but those of us who grew up HAVING to use the command line to get anything done are simply far more capable of fixing problems with a computer than those of you who have never seen, let alone used, the command line for anything. Stop treating it like some archaic, dangerous voodoo ritual. It is simply another interface, one that in many cases is far more powerful than any GUI could ever be.

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zeta_immersion

NOOOOOOOOOOOO ... first mistake is trying to run Crisis ... pffffff, n00bs ...

on a side note, everyone should be exposed to a proper *nix environment at least once ....

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speedstr3789

I call crap on at least 3 of these.

If you are a new user then you already know that Linux and Windows are two seperate Os's. How else would you consider trying it?

That applies to reason number 1,4 and 8.

Choosing the wrong distribution? Maybe if the Linux community would quit polluting us with a gazillion different distro's then this wouldn't even be a consideration. No wonder people give up so easily.

Avoiding the command line? Are you flipping serious? It's the 21st century. We have GUI everything. We have touchscreen technology. Who would want to use a command line? better yet, why should you need to?

If you build an OS that needs to use the command line then you don't deserve to be taken seriously. Why on earth would you want to go backwards?

You posted this as "10 mistakes"

You are right. It's 10 mistakes the Linux Community has made

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