The Linux training question of the day today was: “What’s the best way to teach a Linux newbie?” We received a great response from our Facebook and Twitter friends and followers and wanted to post these ideas on our blog so that others may be inspired to share Linux more effectively.
@5h3r4t4n said “You got deleted everything you know about windows, thats the difficult part, after that everything gonna be Easy, read, read..”
@allan1850 said “I would say sit them in front of the system and let them play”
@parinsharma said “Telling him about it the FOSS and after he/she gets interested just start them telling about shell scripting and GUI Compiz etc.”
@airurando said “Patience, small steps, introduce them to what they would find useful first.”
@juanfer1 said “I think with some series of screencasts tutorials”
@vargas7 said “Begin with Ubuntu and a comparison of the common windows functionalities and where they can be found in Linux”
@jamesswinyard said “Sit down with them, let them play, then let them ask questions as they find things.”
As a Linux newbie sure you have a lot of choices out there but what should you look for in a distro? I’ve come up with a few tips to help the new guy decide what he’s going to try first.
From full Debian DVD sets to lightweight Mini distros, Linux distributions come in about every size possible. So one of the first things you’ll need to decide is what you’ll be installing this disto on. If it’s an older computer or your hardware is outdated be sure to look at the large selection of lightweight distros like Damn Small Linux, Tiny Core, xPUD, Puppy and many others. Linux distros like this are known for getting the most out of older hardware so you should see some significant improvements on computers that were previous running older versions of Windows.
You may have noticed that many Linux distros offer releases that feature GNOME, KDE, Xfce, and many other desktop environments. These desktop environments are basically the interface of your Linux desktop. It is important to decide what environment will work best for you so you can be matched to the best distro. Once you’ve experienced KDE on OpenSUSE for example, that knowledge will be useful while using other distros that offer KDE. Most users find a desktop environment they like and stick to it regardless of distro.
This one seems obvious but needs to be mentioned. Not so much for English speakers but for everyone else. A Linux user that speaks Spanish may have a much more gratifying experience on Mandriva because Spanish languages support has been included in Mandriva for a long time. Some distros have been optimized for specific languages like the recent version of Greenie Linux which focuses on Czech and Slovak speakers. If you’re more comfortable in another language check around to see if distros optimized in your language are available.
I see Linux newbies selecting distributions that aren’t very popular based on one or two things they like about them. Keep in mind that you can make distros like Ubuntu and Fedora do just about anything. How? Support. Without a base of other users that you can talk to in the forum, chat room or at your local LUG, it’s pretty hard to figure things out when you’re stuck. With such a huge number people using distros like Ubuntu finding help will be much easier than if you pick the latest and greatest from distrowatch and try to figure it out on your own.
Many factors go into choosing a distribution, taking some time to think about your needs first may save you some time in the long run.
At some time during your adventure as a Linux newbie you’re going to hit a bump in the road. Sooner or later you’re going to have a problem that you can’t fix. you might even become confused, frustrated and overwhelmed!
Before you hit this point, seek support, get help, and tap into what makes Linux great. If you’re a Linux user and you have a problem you’re not the first. Use this new Linux resources and you’re sure to find others that have a solution to your Linux related problems.
The BeginLinux community includes many resources for all types of Linux users. Linux videos, screenshots, and courses have been mixed into the community setting. Users can gain access to additional Linux training products through participation at the forum, course and quiz completions, and more. This makes getting access to Linux training products like PDFs, and training CDs as easy as submitting an article, opinion or review. This is all in addition to thousands of Linux desktop and server tutorials, screenshots, and Linux training videos available to everyone..