Your number 1 tip for Linux newbs

What is your number one tip for Linux newbs that will keep them using Linux in the long term?

I’ll start. Mine is learn the simple tool of Clonezille and use it to make device to device backups of your system drive. Then clone that drive at least every two weeks without fail. That way you can easily get your system back up and running when it inevitably has an OS or hardware failure. You don’t have to keep more than three or four clones to have that sense of security.


Start with stable, supported, LTS releases of main stream distros. Stay away from the bleeding edge.

Canonical’s Ubuntu doesn’t turn many heads, but it does ease newbs into the experience.


Buy a 2nd hard drive to run Linux on. Boot it from an m.2 to USB converter or install it on a 2nd machine. Don’t dual boot. Transition slowly taking plenty of time to find both the Desktop and the OS that are the most comfortable for you to use.


Install something like Ubuntu an then try to use it and live in or with it for a longer period of time before changing the distro or giving up. After some months of real use, you can then go a step further.


My advice is to allocate an extra PC if you have one for Linux tinkering , don’t be scared it’s ok to break it! that is just an opportunity to learn


I’d say avoid Wine or trying to run Windows software, explore and find something new instead, it may be better. If there are multi platform apps like Steam these are fine of course.


Ignore the drama you find pertaining to linux/distros, and keep in mind this is software made by people who love using computers, and by enlarge are “passion projects”, that very talented programmers invest their free time into constant improvements.

Is it perfect? Nope. Did it cost you anything to try it? Nope. Could you program something better? Probably not, but if so, EVERYONE is looking for contributors and input, it seems! :smiley:


Install Virtualbox in Windows and try-out famous Linux distros like e.g Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux Mint etc in a VM. You can give each LInux distro its own VM.
If you made your choice, turn the things around, install Linux on the hardware and run Windows in a VM :slight_smile:


I mostly recommend people to check out some video’s about the different desktops there are and where they would feel comfortable using or starting with.
Then checking out some video’s about beginner friendly distro’s based on that desktop, mostly Debian or Ubuntu based.
Then checking these out in a VM.


Tab-completion in default command line. Press tab one time after typing something like:

sudo systemctl disable a

don’t hit spacebar, but the tab key directly after the a. I’ve been using Linux for years and STILL have trouble with this.

Sometimes (90%) it takes two, slow, delayed tab key presses to work. Sometimes pressing tab once may work, I haven’t gotten consistent behavior from this even once, after over ten years of Linux use. It will not show any indocation of it working, so you might want to watch your storage activity light for an idea.

It shows any possible entries that start with that letter, related to the command before it. Sometimes it just lists files in the current directory, which is annoying when I know there are other possible commands.

Change the vm.swappiness value from 60 to 10 or even 2:

some kind of echo command maybe:

echo vm.swappiness=98 >> /proc/sys/something/vm

to use a live value and test on the running system to figure out how it affects performance

to apply the change after reboots and keep it:

sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf

at the very top of the file above all comments:

vm.swappiness=# 0-100

Ctrl + x



or for vi

press the letter e to got into editor mode, then when done press escape key

then type in


This writes the file and exits.