Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
steezemageeze

A guide for getting started with Linux

Recommended Posts

Posted · Original PosterOP

Okay, so I have notifications turned on for this subforum, and very frequently, I get the same "what distro for this computer" and "how to learn linux" posts, and I thought I'd write this to try to put some people's minds at ease. Because there is no way I can possibly cover everything, outside links will be plentiful. Please feel free to suggest edits or correct me on any points I make.

 

First off, anyone looking to ditch Windows who has never used Linux before needs to realize that they are immensely different. You don't download you software from websites (for the most part, I'll get to this later). A good portion of the software that you used on Windows will not be available on Linux, however there are plentiful open source alternatives for these. Most of your software will be downloaded directly from your distribution's repositories, either through a software "app store" so to speak or through a command line package manager. Speaking of the command line, you can't be afraid of it. The command line is one of your greatest tools in a Linux system. This is a pretty good guide for getting started.

 

So which distro is right for me?

 

This can be a tough question. Nobody can tell you exactly what distribution is right for you, in the end you will have to distro-hop until you find a home somewhere. I will however, try to give you a general recommendation

 

EDIT:  @Azgoth 2 covered it very well in a comment below

 

For the complete noob:

Most people will point you towards Linux Mint in this case, and I tend to agree. In fact, I ran it on my main PC for a long time. For the most part, it is a very stable distro, it's very easy to set up, and the community is very friendly. It is based on Ubuntu 16.04 as of the version 18 release. Ubuntu, or any of it's flavors, is also a very good place to start. I've also heard that Elementary is good for beginners (especially OSX converts) but I haven't used it. Honorable mentions go to Zorin OS and ChaletOS, I have heard that they are both very Windows-like and are generally pretty stable.

 

For an older computer:

The general consensus here is that Lubuntu and Xubuntu are the best choices for a beginner with a slower computer. Both are low on resource consumption and run great on older hardware. I personally have Xubuntu running on all three of my systems, one of which is as old as me (16 years!). BunsenLabs and ArchBang are good choices if you are slightly more experienced or want a challenge.

 

For anyone else:

Really, just take your pick. Fedora (or offspins like Korora or Chapeau), Manjaro, and Debian are all great choices. If you're brave, give Arch a try. 

 

Desktop Environments explained (link to post below)

https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/593724-a-guide-for-getting-started-with-linux/?do=findComment&comment=7754472

 

 

Installing Software

This varies between distros. Each has their own command line package manager, and graphical front-ends for them. This is a pretty complete list of programs available in Linux, as is this.

 

Debian-based: APT package manager

Debian based distributions such as Ubuntu, Mint, Elementary, BunsenLabs, etc, use the APT package manager. Installing a package is achieved by typing in the terminal 

sudo apt-get install chromium

Chromium, the open-source version of Chrome, is being used in the example. "Sudo" grants you temporary root access in order to install the package (after providing your password). 

 

You also have the option to install pre-packaged ".deb" files, which you download from a website and then install with something like gDebi or Qapt (usually included in the distro. Left click the .deb and choose "install with ___"). This is how you would install Google Chrome (the non-open-source version).

 

To remove a program, type 

sudo apt-get remove chromium

or

sudo apt-get purge chromium

Purge removes all files associated with the package (ie config files), remove only removes the package

 

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

These are used to update the repository lists and then upgrade the installed packages

 

EDIT: As of Ubuntu 16.04, you can simply type "sudo apt install ____".

 

Synaptic Package Manager is a good graphical front-end if you wish to avoid the CLI

 

Fedora-based: DNF package manager

I will admit, I have less experience with this than I should, and I'm sorry if there is misinformation. I used Fedora for a few weeks but not as extensively as I would've liked. If someone wants to swoop in here and correct me I'd be very thankful.

 

To install a package:

sudo dnf install chromium

To remove a package:

sudo dnf remove chromium

To update a package:

sudo dnf check-update
sudo dnf upgrade

 

DNF mostly uses simple commands, and is pretty easy to pick up. This is a good resource, I actually had to use it to check myself.

 

Arch-based: Pacman package manager

Pacman is one of my favorite package managers, for a couple reasons I won't get into. It's also pretty easy to pick up.

 

To install a package:

sudo pacman -S chromium

(the capital S is important.)

To remove a package:

sudo pacman -R chromium

or

sudo pacman -Rs chromium

same deal as APT, -R removes the program, -Rs removes dependencies & configs

To update packages:

sudo pacman -Syu

 

Arch also has the Yaourt and Pacaur (Pacaur is preferred by most users) package managers for the Arch User Repository, but I won't get into that. The commands however, are all the same as pacman (ie -S, -R, -Syu). Octopi and Pamac are popular graphical front-ends for pacman

 

Coming soon eventually: openSUSE: Zypper package manager

I finally got around to giving OpenSUSE a shot, and I'm really loving it! The commands are super simple.

 

To install a package:

sudo zypper in chromium

To remove a package:

sudo zypper rm chromium

To update packages:

sudo zypper up

 

 

Eww, Linux is ugly!

You're damn right it is. However, with a little work, your OSX buddies will be jealous of your desktop for once. I'll just recommend you a few popular themes to get you started.

 

GTK Themes:
Arc (my fav)

Numix

Paper

 

Icon Themes:

Numix

Moka

Paper

 

Obviously there are TONS of themes out there, these are just the most popular and (imo) best looking. You'll most likely find the option to change your themes in your distro's settings menu, otherwise you could edit the configuration files manually.

 

How do I install Linux on my PC?

First, make sure that secure boot is turned off in your BIOS/UEFI. Next, go to the website of the distro you're going to use, and either direct download or torrent (torrenting isn't bad!) the .ISO file for the OS. Once that's done, either burn it to a CD using the build-in burner in WIndows (not recommended), or use a tool like RufusUniversal USB Installer, or Unetbootin to burn the ISO to a USB drive. Now reboot the PC, press whatever key your PC requires to change the boot device, and select your USB drive (If you have a UEFI mobo, it can be a crapshoot whether or not you should boot it as UEFI or BIOS. Try both.). Select the "Live" option if there is one, since it gives you a chance to play around with it before installing. Once you're convinced you want to install the OS, fire up the installer (should be an icon on the home screen) and follow it's instructions. Reboot when it's done, and you're good to go!

 

How do I dual boot Linux and Windows on my PC?

https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/593724-a-guide-for-getting-started-with-linux/?do=findComment&comment=7862971

 

 

I'm having trouble with graphics drivers

Usually, there will be an "additional drivers" menu somewhere within your distro's settings menu's, usually you can select the Nvidia or AMD driver from there. If not, you're gonna have a rough time. This may help you on the Nvidia side, while AMD drivers can really be a crapshoot from what I've heard (don't own an AMD card, can't testify). If anyone has a good guide for getting them working, I'll link it.

 

 I NEED this piece of Windows software

You're in luck. There just so happens to be a program called Wine (and by extension, PlayOnLinux) that runs a "compatability layer" that allows some Windows programs to, albeit not always perfectly, run in a Linux environment. Nice, right?

 

I broke my system!

It happens, don't worry. Most likely, it's a simple fix, and you'll be able to recover your data. Your best bet is a Google search first, and if you come up empty come post in the forum here or in the Linux Helpdesk on the Tek Syndicate forums. Their Linux community is very active, sometimes you'll get a better/quicker answer over there. 

 

My laptop gets worse battery life in Linux than in Windows:

This is most likely the fault of unoptimized hardware, and affects just about everyone. The solution to this is to install a package called TLP. To install it, you'll want to run (assuming Debian base)

sudo apt-get install tlp

and then 

tlp start

You should get the output "TLP started in (bat/AC) mode".  Depending on the laptop, this could increase your battery life by a few minutes or a few hours in my experience.

 

How do I check my RAM & CPU usage? Where's Task Manager?

One of the most popular task manager applications is a command line script called HTOP. It looks like this:

Screenshot from 2016-05-10 15-36-13.png

You run it in the terminal by simply typing

htop

in the terminal (it may or may not be installed already). Your distro/DE of choice may also have their own graphical Task Manager installed, you can usually find it by searching for "task manager" in the search bar or in the Administration folder of the main menu. In my case, Manjaro Cinnamon, HTOP is the pre-installed task manager, and I can actually click on an icon to launch a terminal with it running.

 

(this file) that I downloaded won't run! What should I do?

 This could be one of two very likely things. First, you probably want to make it executable. You can do this by typing 

chmod +x (your file)

in the console. Now try running it again. The other thing that may be wrong is that you're missing dependencies. In Debian/Ubuntu, you can run 

sudo apt-get -f install

just as an example. Some distros will handle this in different ways. If that doesn't work, try googling problems with that specific package on your distro. In many cases these are well documented and you can find a very simple answer.

 

Useful Resources:

  • Arch Wiki: even if you don't run Arch, you will find that the Arch Wiki is a great resource 
  • Man pages: Accessed through the command line by typing "man sudo", or whatever you want to know about. Linux is one place where it's uncool not to read the manual.
  • Your distro's website: a lot of distro's have  a wiki or a forum on their website, both of which are great resources if you can't find information elsewhere
  • Here: A lot of the time, your question could've been asked and answered here before. Try the search bar in the top right of the website.

 

For now, I think that covers the basics. Again, edits are welcome, and I will be adding more information to this thread if it comes to my mind. Cheers, good luck on your journey into open-source!

 

 

Note to those scared about trying Linux for the first time: I have only been using Linux since February 2016. I had never used it before, minus one time I installed Ubuntu with Wubi (look that up, it's actually pretty neat) on my laptop and then immediately deleted it when I was 8. I am pretty advanced with computers, as teenagers go at least, so I had an idea of what I was doing, and I wasn't afraid to learn. The whole key using Linux, in my experience, is to not be afraid to learn, not be afraid to experiment, and to google the hell out of everything!!! Good luck!


A Guide For Getting Started With Linux

My first rig:   CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860k Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper T4 MoBo: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-DH3 Video Card: EVGA GTX 750 Ti Superclocked RAM: 8GB Kingston HyperX Fury White 1866MHz Storage: WD Blue 1TB PSU: EVGA 100-W1-0500-KR Case: Rosewill SRM-01

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, steezemageeze said:

 

wow this is one awesome guide for beginners! Wish I had this when I got into Linux...

 

Awesome work :D


Ultimate XP gaming system build log coming soon!  Q8200 // 8GB DDR2 // Asus P5E Deluxe X48 // Asus 4870 DARK KNIGHT X-Fire // Supreme FX sound // BFG Ageia PhysX PCI Co-Processor // AX 860x with Silverstone extensions 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP
3 minutes ago, PCgamer324 said:

wow this is one awesome guide for beginners! Wish I had this when I got into Linux...

 

Awesome work :D

I just got bored in class, and "POOF!". It just kinda happened lol


A Guide For Getting Started With Linux

My first rig:   CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860k Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper T4 MoBo: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-DH3 Video Card: EVGA GTX 750 Ti Superclocked RAM: 8GB Kingston HyperX Fury White 1866MHz Storage: WD Blue 1TB PSU: EVGA 100-W1-0500-KR Case: Rosewill SRM-01

Link to post
Share on other sites

awesome, maby il set up a dual boot tomorrow, always wanted to play with Linux and i have never had the courage nor knowlage in case i would horendusly break something beyone repair xD well this is a great start to my Linux adventures, probably lol


I spent $2500 on building my PC and all i do with it is play no games atm & watch anime at 1080p(finally)...

Builds:

The Toaster Project! Northern Bee!

 

The original LAN PC build log! (Old, dead and replaced by The Toaster Project & 5.0)

Spoiler

"Here is some advice that might have gotten lost somewhere along the way in your life. 

 

#1. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

#2. It's best to keep your mouth shut; and appear to be stupid, rather than open it and remove all doubt.

#3. There is nothing "wrong" with being wrong. Learning from a mistake can be more valuable than not making one in the first place.

 

Follow these simple rules in life, and I promise you, things magically get easier. " - MageTank 31-10-2016

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great tutorial! How would I check CPU usage and temperatures on Ubuntu though?


My main computer:

i7 6700k || GTX 1070 || Asus Z170 RGB || C.M. Hyper 212 EVO || 16GB RAM || 256GB NVMe SSD || 500GB SATA SSD || 12TB total HDD || Define R5 Blackout || 850W PSU

More Details Below :) 

Spoiler

 

CPU: Intel Core i7 6700k                             GPU:  EVGA GTX 1070 FTW                                  |  Motherboard: Asus Z170 Pro Gaming Aura
CPU Cooler: C.M. Hyper 212 EVO             RAM: 16GB Kingston Fury 4x4 DDR4 2400MHz         SSD:  Intel 256GB NVMe SSD & Plextor 500GB SATA SSD

Hard Drive:  WD 2TB Black, 2TB WD Blue, 8TB WD Red     Case:  Fractal Design Define R5 Blackout Edition   PSU:  Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 850W

 

Additional Computer Parts: NZXT Hue for LEDs

Peripherals: Dell U2414H (x2) || Corsair Sabre RGB || Corsair K95 Platinum || Sennheiser 558's || Modmic

 

Pictures of setup:

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP
2 hours ago, njmyers3 said:

Great tutorial! How would I check CPU usage and temperatures on Ubuntu though?

I've never really worried about it, so I don't check them, but a quick search tells me

 sudo apt-get install lm-sensors 
  sudo sensors-detect

is probably what you're looking for.

Edit:

If you want a graphical version, try

sudo apt-get install sensors-applet

and add it to the tray


A Guide For Getting Started With Linux

My first rig:   CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860k Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper T4 MoBo: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-DH3 Video Card: EVGA GTX 750 Ti Superclocked RAM: 8GB Kingston HyperX Fury White 1866MHz Storage: WD Blue 1TB PSU: EVGA 100-W1-0500-KR Case: Rosewill SRM-01

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP
50 minutes ago, Name Taken said:

1- meh, poorly written and unprofessional. I guess everything helps a newbie, but that guy barely even tried

2- probably waaaayyyy beyond the scope of a "getting started" guide, but waaaayyyy cool. I'll have to take a couple hours to read that

3- Good resource, slightly outdated, but still applicable

4- Added into OP


A Guide For Getting Started With Linux

My first rig:   CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860k Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper T4 MoBo: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-DH3 Video Card: EVGA GTX 750 Ti Superclocked RAM: 8GB Kingston HyperX Fury White 1866MHz Storage: WD Blue 1TB PSU: EVGA 100-W1-0500-KR Case: Rosewill SRM-01

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, steezemageeze said:

Snip

Also I recomend tlp for people using linux on laptops that aren't running xubuntu/lubuntu I use it on my laptop and get about an hour of battery over 30 minutes(only holds 35% of what it used to).  It also lets the user set  a high performance mode when on AC power and power saving (turning off all usb ports even and network cards) on battery.  http://linrunner.de/en/tlp/tlp.html


 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP
3 hours ago, flowalex said:

<snip>

Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that. It's kind of a "set it and forget it" thing for me. I'll add it in.


A Guide For Getting Started With Linux

My first rig:   CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860k Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper T4 MoBo: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-DH3 Video Card: EVGA GTX 750 Ti Superclocked RAM: 8GB Kingston HyperX Fury White 1866MHz Storage: WD Blue 1TB PSU: EVGA 100-W1-0500-KR Case: Rosewill SRM-01

Link to post
Share on other sites

No worries the only reason I brought it up was I just installed Ubuntu 16 after my other HDD was on its last legs


 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome guide!

 

But i'm missing some sort of task manager, like htop.

And maybe give some general directions on where you can find the task manager in most DEs?


CPU: Intel i5-3470

GPU: MSI GTX 780

OS: GNU/Linux.

Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, KaasKop said:

Awesome guide!

 

But i'm missing some sort of task manager, like htop.

And maybe give some general directions on where you can find the task manager in most DEs?

I use gnome system monitor, I think it works pretty well, what distro are you using?


 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, flowalex said:

I use gnome system monitor, I think it works pretty well, what distro are you using?

Manjaro, I mostly use htop.

But I run XFCE so we have, XFCE Task manager.


CPU: Intel i5-3470

GPU: MSI GTX 780

OS: GNU/Linux.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP
2 hours ago, KaasKop said:

Awesome guide!

 

But i'm missing some sort of task manager, like htop.

And maybe give some general directions on where you can find the task manager in most DEs?

Good idea, I'll add it in when I get the chance


A Guide For Getting Started With Linux

My first rig:   CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860k Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper T4 MoBo: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-DH3 Video Card: EVGA GTX 750 Ti Superclocked RAM: 8GB Kingston HyperX Fury White 1866MHz Storage: WD Blue 1TB PSU: EVGA 100-W1-0500-KR Case: Rosewill SRM-01

Link to post
Share on other sites

Some stuff to add:

 

Other good beginner distros:

  • Various Ubuntu flavors and spins.  (I have a hard time recommending regular Ubuntu any more, since they have on-by-default data sent to Amazon and integrated Amazon searches in your start menu (as of 16.04 this is off by default, and it can be disabled in older versions), and I just don't like Unity at all).  Xubuntu is great for lower-powered machines, as the XFCE desktop is a very customizeable one and pretty lightweight.  Lubuntu is great for even older machines, since the LXDE desktop is even more lightweight, but less customizeable.  Kubuntu is great for beefier machines, since the KDE desktop environment is massively feature-filles, extremely customizeable, but not shy about using up a lot of resources.
  • openSUSE is a great distro geared a bit more towards workstation use, but it's perfectly usable as a home/desktop distro.  It comes with the YAST tool ("Yet Another Setup Tool"), which is sort of like a control center/control panel on steroids.  As of fairly recently, openSUSE has a rolling release version that's a bit less stable than the fixed release one, but being a rolling release, you never have to do a major update or reinstall to keep your system up to date.
  • Fedora is geared at bleeding-edge software, and is a oriented towards more computer-savvy users.  But, it can be used as a normal everyday desktop by most people who have used a computer before.  Since Fedora focuses on bleeding-edge software, it has a very short release cycle (new version about ever six months), but you'll always have some of the newest software out there.
  • Debian is also a good choice after you've been using Linux for a little bit.  It's extremely stable (only Slackware and maybe FreeBSD can be said to be more stable, to my knowledge), even in the testing branch (software is added to the Unstable branch, without much testing, so this is a bit of a risk; the Testing branch is where software goes after testing in Unstable, then it goes from there to Stable after extensive vetting and review).  But, Debian is geared towards power users and more technical Linux types, so it's not the best distro to start with on your first foray into Linux.  You can try it out after using another distro for a bit though, without any real problems.

People often ask for lightweight distros for old hardware.  There are a few options here that are worth checking out (I've spent a lot of time diving down some of these rabbit holes):

  • Lubuntu is the best place to start.  It's a version of Ubuntu with all the default programs swapped out for much more lighweight ones; most prominently, it uses the LXDE desktop environment, which is the most lightweight desktop environment out there that isn't just a bare window manager like Openbox.  The core system is the exact same as Ubuntu, so if you can do it in Ubuntu, you can do it in Lubuntu.  Lubuntu is also a very new-user-friendly distro, and is an excellent choice for older laptops.
  • Ubuntu has a minimal installation .iso file you can download.  This will install only the base system for Ubuntu--which is pretty small--and let you pick what packages, if any, to install on top of that.  You can manually select packages if you know what you're doing, but there's an option for a Minimal Lubuntu Install, which will install a very stripped-down version of Lubuntu that will run even better, but at the expense of not having much pre-installed.  Still, this is a great option if you're a bit more Linux-savvy (if you've been using Linux for just a few months, you've got about all the knowledge you really need) and Lubuntu feels a bit much for you.
  • Debian, too, has a minimal install image, but they have it under a page titled "network install fro a minimal CD".  Debian's minimal install will likely be a bit lighter, but a little more work to configure, than an Ubuntu minimal install.
  • Many other distros have minimal installation images, but they might be called "network install" images.  They only install the core/base system from the downloaded .iso, and the rest gets downloaded over the network, hence, "network install".  These usually let you select what packages to download, giving you a lot of control over your system and making it very light if you want.
  • If you really know what you're doing--like, if you've been using Linux pretty full time for about six months or so--you can give Arch Linux a try.  It's a distro that requires a lot of work from the user, but also gives you some of the most direct control over your system.  After installing Arch, you have very little actually on your computer, and can build your distro from scratch to be as lightweight or as heavy as you want.
  • Puppy Linux is a very small distro--the .iso images are only about 200MB--and it comes in a few different flavors.  One is built for compatibility with Slackware packages, one is built for Ubuntu compatibility (the Ubuntu one is recommended, since Ubuntu has more software in its repositories for you to access and use).  Puppy Linux is designed to run with an extremely small footprint, and it does this very well while still being a very functional, fully-featured distro.  Puppy Linux uses fewer system resources than Lubuntu, even!
  • SliTaz is yet another option if Puppy Linux isn't doing it for you.  It's a completely from-scratch distro with its own very nice package manager (Tazpkg), and it's designed from the ground up to support permanent installations to flash drives and removable media, so you can have a fully portable OS with you wherever you go.  SliTaz takes up even fewer system resources than Puppy Linux, loads itself entirely into RAM (where it only takes up about 200MB) for an extremely snappy system even on very, very old computers, and it can compress its root file system to take up under 100MB on disk.  The root file system compression is mostly useful for installing it to flash drives; you can do a full installation to a hard drive and disable this to make startup a bit faster.  SliTaz is also a rolling distribution, which is pretty cool.
  • Tiny Core is one of the ultimate nuclear options for small distros.  You can get a very stripped-down version that has just a desktop environment, command line, text editor, file browser, and package manager.  This version comes in at a mind-boggling 15MB for the entire system image.  You can get a version called Core Plus, which comes with more amenities pre-installed, and clocks in at right about 100MB.
  • NanoLinux is the other ultimate nuclear options.  It was forked from Tiny Core, and has many more amenities pre-loaded (not quite as many or as big as Core Plus), while still staying under 20MB for the downloadable system image.
  • And a general tip for making any distro even more lightweight: you can run just a window manager, like Openbox, rather than a full desktop environment!  Normally your window manager runs underneath your desktop environment, and defines how windows get drawn and how they behave and such, while your desktop environment then utilizes all of that to make windows and pretty them up and such.  But you can run just the window manager and shave off a large chunk of system resource use--Openbox, a popular window manager, is way more lighweight than even LXDE!  But it has no dock/start menu unless you install one (tint2 is a popular one), and most of the stuff has to be accessed through the right-click menu and then configured manually.
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Azgoth 2 said:

Snip

The Amazon searches have been disabled by default in 16.04, and can be turned off in older versions


 

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is also Open Suse, which uses Zypper as back end command line package manager.

And YAST as graphical package manager.

But i think that Zypper might be a bit too complicated for new users.

But still might be interesting to add to your list of package managers.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP
12 hours ago, Azgoth 2 said:

<snip></snip>

Great post, I'll link it in the main post

4 hours ago, Sintezza said:

There is also Open Suse, which uses Zypper as back end command line package manager.

And YAST as graphical package manager.

But i think that Zypper might be a bit too complicated for new users.

But still might be interesting to add to your list of package managers.

I really wanted to include SUSE, but I have no experience whatsoever with it so I decided to leave it out. I might try it out, either in a VM or a dual boot, just so I can add it to the guide.


A Guide For Getting Started With Linux

My first rig:   CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860k Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper T4 MoBo: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-DH3 Video Card: EVGA GTX 750 Ti Superclocked RAM: 8GB Kingston HyperX Fury White 1866MHz Storage: WD Blue 1TB PSU: EVGA 100-W1-0500-KR Case: Rosewill SRM-01

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, flowalex said:

The Amazon searches have been disabled by default in 16.04, and can be turned off in older versions

Ah, I was not aware 16.04 had turned that off by default.  Post edited!

Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Azgoth 2 said:

Ah, I was not aware 16.04 had turned that off by default.  Post edited!

No problem, that is why when I replaced my HDD I went for 16.04 instead of an older version


 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Might be interesting to add a littebit of info about some of the most common DE´s aswell like, Unity, Gnome, KDE, Cinnemon, Mate, XFCE, LXDE.

Maybe add a little screen, and a bit of text.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP
38 minutes ago, Sintezza said:

Might be interesting to add a littebit of info about some of the most common DE´s aswell like, Unity, Gnome, KDE, Cinnemon, Mate, XFCE, LXDE.

Maybe add a little screen, and a bit of text.

 

I meant to do that, just never got around to it. If I have time between studying for finals this week I'll add a section on that in.


A Guide For Getting Started With Linux

My first rig:   CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860k Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper T4 MoBo: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-DH3 Video Card: EVGA GTX 750 Ti Superclocked RAM: 8GB Kingston HyperX Fury White 1866MHz Storage: WD Blue 1TB PSU: EVGA 100-W1-0500-KR Case: Rosewill SRM-01

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

Desktop Environments explained:

One big deciding factor in choosing a distro can be the Desktop Environment. The desktop environment is exactly what it sounds like, it handles your window manager (although many window managers can be used alone, this is personally what I tend to prefer, although it's not for everyone), handles GUI applications and other similar things. (The Arch wiki explains it much better than I do so I'm going to quote it below)

Quote

Desktop environments such as GNOME, KDE, LXDE, and Xfce bundle together a wide range of X clients, such as a window manager, panel, file manager, terminal emulator, text editor, icons, and other utilities.

While you might pick a distro based on it's DE, it is also possible to change DE's/have multiple DE's installed at one time, so don't pick your distro solely on the DE alone.

Unity

unity.png

While only available on Cannonical's official Ubuntu (technically, you can install it on Arch through the AUR, but it's super buggy apparently), Unity is a popular controversial desktop environment that is relatively stable. It supports icon theming and some GTK themes, but personalization is somewhat locked down. Up until 16.04, it was impossible to even move the dock to the bottom instead of the left. It is similar to GNOME (it's based off it), and former OSX users may find some familiarity in it as well.

 

XFCE

xfce.jpg

Xfce is a popular desktop environment for lower-spec computers. It is pretty ugly at first, but it is also very customisable. It features the use of panels that you can add and remove at your will, it supports GTK theming, icon themes, etc. It is not my favorite desktop, but I highly recommend it for lower end computers

 

LXDE

lxde.png

Lxde is another popular lightweight desktop environment, though more extreme than XFCE. It is based off of GTK 2.0, so some GTK theming will be limited (please correct me if I am wrong, I've not used LXDE yet), but icon themes should be fine. LXDE will soon be replaced by LXQt, based on the same concepts, but using the Qt toolkit instead of the GTK toolkit. I have used LXQt, and I can highly recommend it, especially if you've used KDE before.

 

KDE

kde5.pngkde4.png

KDE is a fully featured (that's just a fancy word for resource intensive :P) desktop environment that uses the Qt toolkit, something not seen in many DE's. Depending on your distro, you may be using either KDE 4 (2nd image) or KDE Plasma 5 (first image) (Linux Mint still uses 4, as does Ubuntu 14.04, and some other odd distros). It is popular for it's desktop widget support, something not a lot of DE's feature. Some people consider KDE unstable, while others have no problem (me), so your mileage may vary. I consider KDE to be very Windows-like, so if you're making the jump KDE may be a good place to start.

 

GNOME 3

gnome-1.pnggnome-2.png

GNOME is another "fully featured" desktop environment, and it is the basis for a lot of different DE's. It has a somewhat tablet-like UI, which some people love and some hate. It is easily modified through a repository of extensions that you can download here. It supports GTK theming and icon themes, and as I mentioned, extensions that modify the shell itself.

 

MATE

mate.png

Mate is a fork of the old GNOME 2 desktop interface, created because some people didn't like the direction that GNOME took with version 3. It is very popular among GNOME nostalgics and new users alike. It is very customizable, from GTK theming and icon themes, to panel arrangement and much more. Having not used it very much, I don't have much else to say about it.

 

Pantheon

pantheon.png

Pantheon is another odd DE that can only be installed on it's own distro. The distro in question is Elementary OS, a kind of OSX clone distro based on Ubuntu. It is built to be simple and tightly integrated, much like OSX. It supports icon themes and I believe GTK themes, and some GNOME extensions if I remember correctly. It has a handful of homegrown default apps that tie in with the OS very well. It is a very boring and plain DE, so I don't have much else to say about it.

 

Cinnamon

cinnamon.jpg

Screenshot from 2016-05-12 23-19-44.png

Cinnamon (my current favorite DE, as evidenced by the second picture) is a desktop that was originally designed by the Linux Mint team, but has since gained popularity and is available on most other distros. It uses the GTK toolkit, so GTK and icon themes are supported, and it supports a limited number of GNOME extensions. It also uses a couple of GNOME apps/tweaked GNOME apps by default, such as Nemo which is based on Nautilus (file managers). It, like KDE, is also very Windows-esque, so I can also recommend it for any converts. I feel like, for me at least, it is a happy medium between KDE and GNOME, both of  which I used heavily up until a while ago.

 

I think that about covers the basic DE's, so I'll wrap this up. Let me know what I missed or if there's any misinformation in the post. Peace :D


A Guide For Getting Started With Linux

My first rig:   CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860k Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper T4 MoBo: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-DH3 Video Card: EVGA GTX 750 Ti Superclocked RAM: 8GB Kingston HyperX Fury White 1866MHz Storage: WD Blue 1TB PSU: EVGA 100-W1-0500-KR Case: Rosewill SRM-01

Link to post
Share on other sites
On May 9, 2016 at 5:04 PM, steezemageeze said:

<snip>

I really cannot thank you enough. My brother had given me his old laptop like 5 months ago and i know use that as my daily driver. My old laptop was just sitting around, so tonight while i was bored i decided to install Ubuntu on it. I am generally pretty good at working with software, and I have never had an issue before, but lets just say it has taken me 15 min to figure out how to install chrome, and another 10 min after that to figure out how to run it. I was just popping onto the forums to post a topic asking for some help starting when i noticed your post, and it was definantly very helpful and informative. Thanks again


******If you paste in text into your post, please click the "remove formatting" button for night theme users.******

CPU- Intel 6700k OC to 4.69 Ghz GPU- NVidia Geforce GTX 970 (MSI) RAM- 16gb DDR4 2400 SSD-2x500gb samsung 850 EVO(SATA) Raid 0 HDD- 2tb Seagate Case- H440 Red w/ custom lighting Motherboard - MSI Z170 Gaming A OS- Windows 10 Mouse- Razer Naga Epic Chroma, Final Mouse 2016 turney proKeyboard- Corsair k70 Cherry MX brown

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×