11 Shortcuts For Learning Linux In Record Time

Danny Stieben 12-08-2014

Linux is a fantastic choice for an operating system, but some people have tried Linux and simply aren’t comfortable with it because they know very little about it. While the best way to learn it and get more comfortable with it is to force yourself to use it, that doesn’t mean that you have to make it more difficult on yourself than necessary.


If you’d like to learn Linux, but want some ways to speed up the process, here are ten shortcuts you can use to learn as fast as possible.

Linux Foundation Or edX Course

If you’d like to get a formal introduction to Linux, there’s no better way than to take part in the Introduction to Linux course presented by the Linux Foundation or the version provided via edX. In this course, you’ll learn all the basics you should know to become highly confident in your ability to use Linux.

The best part is that while you can pay a fee in order to formally complete the course, you’re also able to simply audit the course for free (via edX; a full free version of the intro course is coming soon via the Linux Foundation). This allows you to look at all the materials and partake in the lectures, but you won’t have any official certification that you’ve completed the course. If you’re just interested in taking the course for at-home Linux use, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with going with the free, audit route.

Four Free MakeUseOf Guides On Linux

We also have plenty of guides that can help you on your way to learning Linux. We have a guide about bringing older computers back to life with Ubuntu Getting Started With Linux and Ubuntu You're interested in switching to Linux... but where do you start? Is your PC compatible? Will your favorite apps work? Here's everything you need to know to get started with Linux. Read More , a beginner’s guide to Ubuntu Ubuntu: A Beginner's Guide Curious about Ubuntu, but not sure where to start? Everything you could possibly need to get started with the latest version of Ubuntu is right here, written in easy-to-understand, plain English. Read More , as well as a full manual to the KDE desktop Guide to KDE: The Other Linux Desktop This guide is meant to introduce the so-called "power users" of computers with an introduction to KDE, including the option (and freedom) that it provides. Read More which Kubuntu, openSUSE, and various spins of other distributions use. They are all great guides you should definitely check out, as they’re full of highly useful information and completely free to download!

Ubuntu Forum’s Absolute Beginners Section

Let’s say you’re on Ubuntu or an Ubuntu-based distribution, which tend to be one of the easier-to-learn distributions out there. If you ever come across a problem that isn’t a bug, there’s a very good chance that someone has already talked about it in the Ubuntu Forum’s Absolute Beginners section. If not, it’s very easy to create an account at the Ubuntu Forums and make a new thread that includes your question. The area is highly-visited, so it’s very, very rare for someone to not get a response to a post.


Progression Of Linux Distros

If you’re serious about learning Linux, and want to eventually come a seasoned master at the operating system, then you’ll want to follow the progression of the four distributions Want To Learn Linux? These Four Distros Will Take You From Beginner To Pro If you're interested in learning about Linux, some distributions are better than others at helping you out. Depending on how deep you want to go, there are different distros that are ideal for you.  Read More you need to work through in order to become a master. The order goes from Ubuntu (or any derivative), to Arch Linux, to Gentoo, and finally to Linux From Scratch.

Doing Linux From Scratch is already going to pretty extreme lengths to gain mastery, so stopping at any other level that you feel comfortable with is totally fine. Even I haven’t really touched Gentoo all that much or gone past there. However, if you want to make sure that you’re progressing in your Linux studies, then this is the way to go.

Essential Linux Commands

While the need to use Linux commands has gone down significantly as more and more GUI tools have surfaced, it doesn’t entirely rule out the possibility that you’ll face the terminal someday. However, have no fear, for we also have a great compilation of Linux commands that you should know An A-Z of Linux - 40 Essential Commands You Should Know Linux is the oft-ignored third wheel to Windows and Mac. Yes, over the past decade, the open source operating system has gained a lot of traction, but it’s still a far cry from being considered... Read More to have confident skills in the operating system. While there are plenty more commands than are listed there, these are by far the most-used ones. Once you understand how these work, it’s easy to learn other commands and use them appropriately. It’s nothing you can’t do!

Of course, there’s also another four ways you can learn more Linux commands 4 Ways to Teach Yourself Terminal Commands in Linux If you want to become a true Linux master, having some terminal knowledge is a good idea. Here methods you can use to start teaching yourself. Read More if you’re serious about it.


Three Additional Websites

Besides all of these resources, there are some other websites that you can check out if you want to learn more about Linux. For example, you can visit LinuxCommand to learn more about different commands you can use in the terminal. Linux is already pretty secure, but there’s also a Linux Security for Beginners site so that the paranoid can use their computers without any worries. Finally, any Reddit users may want to check out /r/Linux4Noobs, which is an entire subreddit dedicated to help out fledgling Linux users. It’s OK if you feel like a noob — the whole point is for people to help you out!

What Else Should People Use?

These resources should help get you well on your way to effectively learning Linux. Some of these shortcuts won’t really be of much use unless you combine them with others, so it’s always best to combine as many of these shortcuts as possible in order to get full immersion. And of course, it’s best that you already have a copy of Linux installed on your computer so that you can see the things you learn about in practice. Theory doesn’t stick as well in the mind unless you apply it.

What other resources do you recommend people use to learn about Linux? What do you think are the main reasons why people refrain from learning Linux? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credits: Emperor penguin Via Shutterstock

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  1. Bob
    March 12, 2018 at 12:39 am

    Install Arch linux onto a virtualbox and use their documentation. It's a DIY heavy distro which is well documented with an extensive helpful community, intsall every component from scratch with little handholding. For those who like getting their hands dirty and really get to understand the ins and outs of the mechanics of linux.

  2. Grcoeeg
    September 4, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    Danny, thanks for the article, learning Linux is hard. Any tip to make that long road easier, though no shorter is appreciated. Thanks.

  3. qnoox
    August 14, 2014 at 4:41 am
  4. Rama
    August 12, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Nice post, and the links, but these are definitely NOT shortcuts. Where are the shortcuts?

    • dragonmouth
      August 13, 2014 at 1:03 pm

      There are no shortcuts, to properly learning Linux or any other subject.

    • Danny S
      August 31, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      What were you expecting then? If you need to learn something, you'll be given resources. There's simply no other way. These resources are very good at teaching you, and we've given them to you in a nice list, so that's less effort for you.

    • Stiuso
      March 18, 2015 at 7:41 pm

      I think Rama was refering to the part of the title where says "11 Shorcuts...". I "we'll be given resources", then write resources.

  5. Melroy D
    August 12, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Thanks for the links. But misleading title "Shortcuts ??". Aren't these resources.