October 31, 2021•883 words
Get Started with Linux
Regardless of whether you’re installing Linux on a desktop or running it as the server, getting familiar with this operating system can be critical. Today, there are several ways to learn about Linux. But which way is the best way?
Three Important things for me are:
Cutting down the time to learn Linux.
Being able to go deep into a topic. e.g. Learn everything you need to know about the command line.
Practicing: It will save you a lot of time as soon as you're done with your learning.
Linux doesn't have to be hard
If you're a beginner with Linux, you may think that it's a hard subject to learn. In fact, the more you know about it, the easier it gets. This article provides an overview that can help clarify some of the skills and tasks needed to get started with Linux.
It’s true, Linux had sort of had a bad reputation of being unfriendly to new users. I’ve found this to be the case many times in the past which is why I want to show you how you can learn Linux easily.
In fact with Linux distributions like Linux Mint and Pop!_OS you may never have to use the command line. But that’s not you. You want to become a power Linux user.
Learn the lingo
The best way to learn Linux is by example. If you don't know what the Linux lingo is, you can't benefit from the best books, message boards, and tutorials.
So here are the top 10 Linux terms.
- kernel. This is the core of the operating system. It acts as the brain of the system.
- shell. This is the program that gives you access to the operating system. You interact with it by typing commands.
- terminal. This is the program you use to enter the shell. It is what lets you type commands into the system.
- terminal emulator. This is what lets you type commands into the terminal.
- bash. This is the shell that comes on most Linux systems.
- cron. This is the program that runs commands at certain times.
- daemon. This is the program that runs in the background.
- crontab. This is the file that tells the cron program when to run certain programs.
- root. This is a special user who has great power. You should almost never be running as root, but sometimes you have to do it.
- sysadmin. This is a term for people who administer computer systems.
When you first start to learn Linux, you may fall into the trap of trying everything at once. This is tempting, because Linux has a lot of great, new things, and because Linux is more open than Windows or MacOS. It makes you wonder: if you can't do everything, why bother learning Linux at all?
But learning Linux is not about doing as much stuff as possible. It is about doing just the right stuff, and doing it right.
Because Linux is open source, there are many tools that can do almost everything. So when you want to learn Linux, the first thing you should do is learn one tool and use it.
Then when you're comfortable with that, you can expand your knowledge by learning another tool.
Keep it simple
Linux newbies sometimes have a problem getting started. Figuring out how to do everything at once can be overwhelming.
You start out reading hundreds of tutorials. Then you spend weeks learning one little part of it, then all the pieces, then more. Eventually you understand everything. But it takes forever.
Your problem is not with Linux, but with the way you are learning.
Instead of learning the commands one at a time, try learning one command at a time. Instead of following hundreds of tutorials, try starting with one.
Here are three things to try if you are starting with a command line:
- Separate things into little pieces. If you only understand one thing at a time, you will gradually understand everything else.
- Try one tutorial first. You don't have to read every word. Just read it until you understand the basic idea. Then try the next one.
- You don't have to understand everything. You don't have to get every command to work perfectly. Just get things to work.
Learning Linux this way takes a lot longer, but it's easier. After a couple of weeks of this way, you will look back and laugh at how long you used to take to learn new things.
My favorite resource is Youtube. Caleb Curry has a complete Beginners guide to Linux.
I like Caleb’s videos. He keeps things light and funny. You’ll learn a lot from him.
Even if you're a computer newbie, you don't have to feel locked out of the Linux community. There's a way for absolutely everyone to learn Linux, you just need to find what works for you.
When I was learning, I kept a list of linux topics and lingo that I wasn’t familiar with. I take one of those topics and search Youtube. After a few tutorials it would start to sink it.
For me, this has been the best way for me to learn.