in Open Source, Technology

Five Top Errors made by First-time Linux Users

The new Linux Mint 10 and Ubuntu 10.10 have recently made their presence felt in the open software operating system market and with every latest edition of an open source OS product hitting the marketplace, there is advancement and an upgrade that surely goes into them making them more user-friendly and beneficial in terms of costs and efforts. Of course, it is a smart move to make when a user shifts from windows or Mac OS X to becoming a full-time Linux user since there is not much of cost involved in using the latter.

However, it must be noted that there are quite a few first-time Linux users who go wrong or are erroneous in using the open source OS. This article is a devoted to all those who are Linux first-timers including those who have shifted from Windows or Mac OS X to Linux. Here is a list of the top 5 errors from amongst many that are made by people who use Linux for the first time:

1. Linux is not Windows or to be more precise

Linux does not function exactly like the way a Windows OS or a Mac OS X functions. There does exist some difference, the kind of difference that you see between a normal laptop like that of Dell or HP and an Apple Macbook. Though there have been advancements made to Ubuntu and other Linux products enabling the integration of windows and Mac OS X alike features, deep down there are still differences. Hence, even a consumer-ready Maverick Meerkat is not like Windows and users should not expect it to be. This does not prove that Linux is a tough toy to play with, but it is essential to note there will be difference when it comes to open source OS systems and licensed OS systems.

2. Unwanted running as root is not mandatory

There is no requirement for Linux users to unnecessarily run as root meaning that Linux users don’t typically have “root,” or administrator access and this is considered to be one of the big differences between Windows and Linux OS. Having said that, it is not a mandatory rule that you should be scared of running as root, since there are some functions that require root privileges. Hence use the running as root, only for necessary tasks.

3. No need to hunt for software packages

A previous user of windows is mostly taught if not trained to search for software packages online (preferably through a Google search) and also end up paying for them too. With open source OS systems this is not the case. Especially with operating systems like Ubuntu which have the Ubuntu Software Centre, which acts as the software package manager, facilitates users in not just finding general and important software packages but also installing them for free (some of the restricted packages could be chargeable).

4. Do not fear the command line, just respect it

Being a Ubuntu Maverick Merkat user, you do not have to be scared of command line. Just respecting it, by using it for specific and special purposes is enough. It is more comfortable to type in a few commands, than clicking through the necessary screens in a GUI. The former is faster and far effective. Again, it is not completely necessary for users to use the command line always, but when it becomes mandatory users should not get stressed out.

5. Do not get the ‘resistance to change’ phobia

New users of Linux must not get apprehensive of shifting from predecessors like windows and Mac, but must be more open to this new change which in the long-run definitely would prove to be fruitful in many ways than ever. It is not hard to make this shift and it is definitely not harder to use the open source Linux systems. Just a little bit of effort and focus and life should become simple and easy.

I hope that these tips should come in handy for all the new Linux users (first-timers). Just Remember to keep it simple and not panic.