Remember when you installed your very first Windows, added bells and whistles and then couldn’t see the trees for the wood any more and had to re-install?
Well, you’re in the same situation now: You’re a N00b again! Embrace it!
Right now you’re thinking:
- Why is this so much more difficult than Windows?
Whereas in 6 months time you’ll be like:
- Why can’t I make Windows jump through hoops like I do with Linux???
OK, so here are the main differences: (click the ► to expand a section)
Windows has drives, Linux has a hierarchical file system
- So Windows:
- has drives
- the C:-drive generally contains Windows and sometimes data
- the D:-Drive (if present) contains data and hardly ever contains Windows itself.
- The maximum number of drives is 26 (A-Z)
- Linux has one huge file system:
- with an unlimited number of partitions (not disks, not drives!) 1
- you can mount any partition of a disk anywhere!
(You cannot mount a disk, only a partition under Linux)
- Here is the official documentation on the FHS in HTML / PDF / Text format.
Homework assignment #1: read that!. No, really: read it!
OK, you didn't read it; here's a summary
/etccontains system configuration files.
/homecontains user data and user config files (E.G. if you have one user who sets their resolution to HD whereas you have a UHD screen that’s where this is set)
/rootcontains the home directory for the root user.
/libcontains shared libraries that the essential binaries in
/sbinneed to be able to run and where kernel modules are stored.
/usrcontains the Unix System Resources and is intended to be a read-only directory that stores files that aren’t required to boot the system. In general, when you install additional software from Manjaro’s repositories, its binaries, libraries and supporting files go here in their corresponding
/opt: contains “optional” software. In general, this is where games install themselves..
Linux has multiple GUIs
- Windows has one GUI whereas
- Linux has different Desktop Environments (DE):
- XFCE: Lightweight, simple, best for beginning users
- KDE: lots of bells and whistles, good for recent and powerful hardware
- Gnome: Simple, the default for lots of distributions
Gnome like it should beBeefed-up Gnome with more bells and whistles.
- LXDE: comparatively low resource requirements. This makes it especially suitable for use on
- I3: Great for power users. Stay away from it: you’re a N00b again!
Even I’m not running I3 (yet) and am still on KDE…
- And all of the above come with their own:
- File Manager
- Partition Manager (except XFCE: they need one of the others to be installed)
- System Settings (The Linux equivalent of “Control Panel”)
- The above is less important on modern computers and has become a matter of taste.
Linux is a self-help OS
There are manuals for everything, including the manual program, so:
Go to a terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T or if that doesn’t work look for something called
terminalin your menu.
In the black box type:
and now you’re reading the manual for the manual program.
Hit Q to Quit the manual program.
Some things are so easy or so complex that they don’t have a manual. E.G.:
There is no registry!
- OK, Gnome has something that is called “the dconf database” which is similar to the registry, just different.
- All other DEs (Desktop Environments, see above) have config files:
- system config files are located in
- user config files are in
~is an abbreviation for “your home directory”
.configis a hidden directory:
Any directory starting with a
.is hidden and you probably have to press Ctrl+H in your DE’s File Manager to see these.
- Application config files can reside somewhere else (though that happens rarely)
- system config files are located in
Linux has multiple file systems
- Windows has one file system: NTFS (and if you include the DOS file system it has two: FAT ²)
- Linux has:
- EXT2, EXT3, EXT4: If you’re unsure, take EXT4 as that is the newest member of that family and the most used FS on desktops.
- BtrFS: “Better FS” Good for servers or if you have a beefy computer and want FS resilience
- And even more than you’ll ever need
- And guess what? Linux can also read and write to NTFS although it cannot do CHKDSKs, defrag such volumes nor can it change its permissions , so before you finally wipe that damn Windows from your machine,please, please please also convert any NTFS volumes to EXT4!
Linux has multiple kernels
- Windows has different versions (I distinctly remember saying about Windows Version 1.0: “Huh, what a piece of crap, that’ll go nowhere! Let me buy SideKick instead!” and history proved me wrong…)
- Linux can have multiple kernels and:
It’s always a good idea to have at least one Long Term Support (LTS) kernel and one of the latest kernels installed.
E.G. to install the latest kernel at the time of this writing execute:
mhwd-kernel --install linux59
Go here to read Linus Torvald’s page about the End Of Life (EOL) of the kernels you install…
End all applications before shutting down
A major difference with Windows is that there are two kinds of signals to end applications under Linux:
SIGINT: “Dear Application, please end nicely and do your cleanup” (and this is the only one Windows has)
And that’s the one invoked when you shut down
This is how you install software
- In Windows, you download crap from the Internet and install it and if you can’t find it on the net, you install it from the Microsoft store.
- In Linux, that’s doing things completely arse-backwards!
Go to Add/Remove software or Software depending on your DE.
Go to Categories, and choose your category:
Just click Install, Install, Install on any of the software packages you want and then click Apply and the software manager installs all the software you want in one go!
Use the search function:
Just click the , type the name of the crap you want and Install or Build and click Apply
The more proficient you get, the more you’ll know what to install exactly and then you go to a terminal to install what you want:
pamac install opencl-nvidia Preparing... ==== AUTHENTICATING FOR org.manjaro.pamac.commit ==== Authentication is required to install, update, or remove packages Authenticating as: Fabby (fab-root) Password: ==== AUTHENTICATION COMPLETE ==== Synchronizing package databases... Choose a provider for opencl-nvidia: 1: opencl-nvidia-340xx 340.108-1 extra 2: opencl-nvidia-390xx 390.132-1 extra 3: opencl-nvidia-418xx 418.113-1 extra 4: opencl-nvidia-430xx 430.64-1 extra 5: opencl-nvidia-435xx 435.21-1 extra 6: opencl-nvidia-440xx 440.100-1 extra 7: opencl-nvidia-450xx 450.57-2 extra Enter a number (default=1): 6 Resolving dependencies... Checking inter-conflicts... To install (1): opencl-nvidia-440xx 440.100-1 extra 10.6 MB Total download size: 10.6 MB Total installed size: 39.3 MB Apply transaction ? [y/N]
If there is no other way of installing software except from source, only then do you download and install from the Internet.
This does not include drivers! Drivers are built into the Linux kernel: install a newer kernel first for new hardware! (see above). Older kernel for older hardware, do not mix very old and very new hardware: that’s a recipe for disaster!
How to thank people here on the forum
- The best 'Thank you" you can give someone in a thread you started, is to press the Solution button. (Only if an answer solved your problem)
- The 2nd best 'Thank you" is by pressing the emoji below their post.
- The 3rd Best 'Thank you" is by pressing the black emoji and giving them
- And last, but not least, it’s writing 'Thank you".
Why??? Oh, why, you ask?
That’s because the forum software tallies the solutions and and gives these people bragging rights to the other geeks and nerds here on the forum, and eventually unlocks more privileges for them…
Note 1: Yes, there is a limit, but it’s so large no one has ever hit it yet and Linux powers supercomputers too!
Note 2: Yes, I’m aware of ReFS, most people aren’t though…
Note 3: If you liked reading the above, here is a more in-depth article explaining the differences between both.