Linux for Beginners

Linux can be somewhat intimidating if you have never used it before.  But now Linux is more easy to install and use than ever. So if you have been thinking about getting into Linux but haven’t yet taken the plunge, I have some tips and tutorials that I would like to share with you.

Getting Started with Linux is a great guide for beginners. It covers everything that you need to know to help you get started.

If you are not sure which distribution to install then I would like to recommend Ubuntu. Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distros available and has a great user community. Ubuntu’s tagline is “Linux for human beings” and from personal experience I can understand why. It is very easy to install and use. If you don’t want to download it then you used to be able to have Ubuntu mail you the installation CD for free, but I’m not sure if this option is still available. They used to cover shipping.

Gnome is the default desktop environment for Ubuntu. KDE is another popular desktop environment that some people prefer. Personally, I like them both. I would however, recommend that you try them both to see which one you prefer. Follow the instructions in the article Installing KDE on Ubuntu to help you install KDE after you have completed your Ubuntu installation.

For help with installing programs check out How To Install Anything In Ubuntu.

And last but not least, be sure to top off your installation with a beautiful Ubuntu wallpaper.

If you are a Linux user, feel free to share any tips or tutorials that might help someone who is new to Linux.

About The Author


Casey (Surname withheld for contractual reasons) successfully started his own IT consultancy well over 10 years ago. He started training and mentoring other computer technicians who want to create a part time or full time income as an IT consultant. See the 'About Us' for more.


  • Steve

    Reply Reply October 10, 2006

    If you already know you just want to run KDE there is Kubuntu. It’s Ubuntu, with KDE instead of GNOME.

  • Mark

    Reply Reply March 2, 2007

    Ubuntu really isn’t a good place to start when it comes to linux. If you really want a good system that you can do a lot more with try installing Debian GNU/Linux. The operation and usage is similar to ubuntu but far less restrictive.

  • dpro369

    Reply Reply August 2, 2007

    Ubuntu very good for begineers in linux, I tried lots but this one is much better. Been using MSWindows for quite some time but now now I’m using both each for particular applications… Giving you Thumbs up for my stumbleupon, Kudos! on your site Casey! If I find time I would really love to share on on your site.

    If you don’t mind I would link your site on mine If I am able to finish my web in the future…

  • Peter

    Reply Reply August 4, 2007

    I would use UBUNTU 5.10 – The current release UBUNTU 7 is pretty difficult to install and often fails.
    It also hides what it is doing for much of the install process.

  • Lloyd

    Reply Reply August 6, 2007

    FYI, people can also download VMWare (which is free) and they have many virtual appliances free for downloading as well. Some of these appliances are various combos of ‘nix installations, including Ubuntu, Debian, etc, and they’re an excellent way of trying them out, especially for training purposes. I did so and it led me down the path of replacing my hardware NAT-based router with an old PC running OpenBSD, and now I have unlimited connections, my bi-directional throughput is _much_ higher, it’s a lot more secure than the old hardware router, it’s completely customizaable, and…it’s free! OpenBSD is a much larger pill to swallow, but you can do the same things with Debian or Ubuntu, too…and there are plenty of “how to” articles for setting up a 10-year old PC as a smart firewall router.

    Oh, and a ‘nix box can run VMWare Server (free!) as well, so you can have 1 box hosting up to 5 virtual servers, 1 of which can be your NAT-based border router…all running in software on a singel PC. Of course, you can install everything onto a boot CD/DVD so you don’t even need a hard drive, but you’ll probably want the HDD for storing email, web files, etc. But for security, a virtual appliance can’t be beat. (I.e. You get hacked? Just “reset” the virtual machine and it’s back up and running from a known write-protected backup. Nice.

  • K M Ashraf

    Reply Reply August 27, 2007

    Well I have a biz that is based on GNU/Linux. And I sure don’t go by just one distro. I look at as many as I can and choose the really good ones and recommend them according to client requirements.
    I use Mandriva/CENTOS/Fedora/Ubuntu/Kubuntu/PCLinuxOS/
    Vector and of late am trying out Linux Mint. The first three I use for server installations, the following three for desktops, and Vector for SOHO gateway/router/proxy on old boxes. Linux Mint could turn out to be a nice choice for the desktop it is based on Ubuntu. For the heavy duty desktop Sabayon is a choice. Debian GNU/Linux I am interested but yet to really work on it.
    It sure is a Brave GNU world out there for those who are willing to try.

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