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HOWTO - Treat a *nix Newbie

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Linux

The *nix world has grown considerably over the past decade. There is no longer just Linux or just Unix, but rather dozens of varieties each proclaiming to be the distro to choose - One needs only to visit sites like Distrowatch to see this for themselves. Many old-school users went with the flow and have settled with a branch that they feel most comfortable with.

But what about the new users?

New *nix users are dumped knee-deep in a slurry of distributions. The seasoned user may think ‘Oh, how I wish I had this much choice when I started out!’ but stop and think for a minute. The true new user knows nothing about these menu choices.

When coming across a new user who has chosen wisely, do not tell them they are lame for using the easier distribution. Mostly, do not harrass them to the point where they try the ‘leet’ distributions. Do not throw the user in the deep end.

2. The Command Line

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I finally got the time to install Linux on my home PC last night. I choose Ubuntu Linux (Linux for Human Beings) 5.10. The install was relatively painless. I had to do the disk partitioning on my own to setup a dual boot system so that was a little more advanced but if someone wanted to set it up on a empty hard drive they shouldn't have any issues.

This morning I got up and decided to have a little play with Ubuntu to see how easy it was to use. The first thing I notice is that Firefox (web browser) was an older version. I wanted to update it. When using Windows, I simply went to www.mozilla.com, clicked on the download link, ran it and the update was a simple matter of clicking next a few times.

Not so with Linux. The download was easy enough. I saved the file to my desktop. Now what?

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