How to Use Linux

Trying to figure out how to use Linux? If you're new to the Linux world, you should choose a distribution that caters to beginners. Fortunately, you've got a few options to learn the system.

Select an Easy-to-Use Linux Distribution.
One of the best things you can do for yourself if you're just learning how to use Linux is to select an easy-to-use Linux distribution. Some distributions are designed for beginners who need good graphical user interfaces. Other Linux distributions cater to long-time users who are comfortable with a command line and a few applications to run their entire system. If you get the latter and you've never used Linux before, you'll probably be scratching your head and wondering how to use Linux to do even basic tasks. Look for a Linux distribution that caters to newbies if you're just starting out.

Dual-Boot Your System
While you're learning how to use Linux, there may be things you simply don't know how to do with your new operating system. Consider setting up a partition on your existing machine and dual-booting Linux and your old operating system. You can use Linux and learn it as an operating system while at the same time retaining your old operating system for tasks you can't accomplish otherwise. Be careful when installing a dual-boot system, though, or you could create more problems than you solve.

Find an Online Community to Learn how to Use Linux
After you select a good distribution for beginners, find a community that offers good support for your Linux version. Many Linux distributions have a good online following and good support for newcomers. Ubuntu has one of the biggest online support communities. All Linux distributions have some degree of support; however, keep in mind that this support may not be through the developer but through other users willing to answer your questions. Many Linux versions don't have formal support through the developer, so if you want this feature, shop accordingly.

Books and Courses on How to use Linux
The Linux operating system is extremely powerful if you learn to use the various applications and the command line. You don't have to become a Linux programmer, but taking a few Linux courses can give you a deep understanding of how to use the system.

Because there are so many Linux distributions, it's impossible to create a detailed, comprehensive walkthrough for how to use Linux in a concise, Web-oriented form. However, you can find many helpful Linux walkthrough books at your local bookstore.

When flipping through a book about how to use Linux, look at the type of detail it offers and whether it caters to a new user or a power user who wants to learn command and application details. Linux for Dummies, for example, offers a great, detailed walkthrough for beginners.

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