Getting started with Linux isn’t as tough as it might initially seem, but it’s very easy for me to sit here and type that while you’re sweating over whether to choose Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Debian etc., and trying to work out how to migrate your data across. And that’s before you even consider the learning curve of a new OS.
Well, apart from the good news that Ubuntu and Mint are pretty much interchangeable for beginners, and use a mouse driven user interface not a million miles from Windows and Mac OS X, the problem with data migration is pretty much a non-issue .
While we’ve given you several guides in the past to help you to migrate to Linux , reading through a list of steps and believing some random guy behind a keyboard isn’t quite the same as seeing it with your own eyes.
So, let’s do that: we’ll show you five videos that demonstrate how easy it is for a Windows user to get started with Linux.
Install Linux on Your PC
You won’t get anywhere with Linux unless you install a copy on your PC first. Doing this is straightforward, and the steps demonstrated in this video can be replicated with virtually any distro instead of Linux Mint.
Remember that before installing Linux, you can run the ISO file from DVD or USB flash device as a live environment to spend some time evaluating whether or not you’re happy with the operating system. While you may be missing some functionality, and data cannot be saved, you can at least perform standard tasks like browsing the web, checking email and using a word processor. If you’re happy with these tools, moving forward to a full installation is the next step.
Using Linux for the First Time
Let’s face facts: a new operating system means a whole new way of working. Apps live in different places, access to the settings will not be the same as what you’re used to, and while these new actions are easy to learn, they will take a little getting used to.
This video is a great introduction to Ubuntu, providing a helpful first look at the desktop and giving you a good overview to find all of the tools and features you expect.
Once you have got to grips with the desktop, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with a few key apps, and the way Linux works.
Getting to Grips with the Terminal
While using a mouse-driven user interface is nice and simple, and certainly user friendly, it is less powerful than the command line. These days it is quite possible to get by with Linux without ever accessing the Terminal to input text-based commands, but if you want to become more efficient with the OS, then the command line is where the power lies.
This video introduces the Terminal, and provides some useful information about absolute and relative file paths, useful when browsing directories.
Want to know more? If this video inspires you to find out more, our guide to learning more about Terminal commands should help.
Nautilus Is Not the Only File Manager
There is a good chance that you’re planning on using Ubuntu, which means that by default you’ll have the benefit of the Nautilus file manager . But unlike Windows and Mac OS X, where the proprietary file managers are generally accepted as the only way to browse files, cut and copy folders and documents, etc., (despite there being plenty of alternative Windows file managers ), Linux Ubuntu users have the benefit of various alternatives.
In the video above, you’ll see Nautilus, Thunar and Nemo (the Linux Mint file manager) compared, giving you a good insight into what the alternatives offer.
Reset Your Lost Ubuntu Password
Gaining familiarity with a new operating system can take time. If you opted for a dual boot situation, you may be using the second OS installed on your hard disk drive occasionally at first, which might explain why you have lost your password.
Fortunately you can use this video to reset your lost Ubuntu password…
Password recovery in Linux depends on the OS, but is more or less the same as demonstrated here, although the method used to get to the command line may differ.
No Need to Fear Linux!
These YouTube tutorials have been chosen to help you gain familiarity with Linux, whether you’re using Ubuntu, Mint, or another distro. Speaking as a relatively recent convert, the ease with which Linux can be adopted is surprising…
Have you reservations about switching to Linux? Share your fears and concerns below, and we’ll help you put them right.