Newbie learning Linux

Hey everyone… I don’t feel this is a tech question more of a learning guidance advice QQ.

I am still very new to the world of Linux… Watched a video on Youtube were the person suggested that new people actually use “Arch Linux” from the point of view that “You build everything” I would setup the boot space, grub, install packages … ect…

So my question, Is this a good idea? I see some valid points because no matter what distro the installer does all of the work and that leaves out a lot of learning.

Does this make sense?

Another question I had related to Linux itself… Even when we use Manjaro today… The commands are the same no matter what distro someone uses correct? I think I get it that each distro has their own package manager and that has it’s own commands with options but beyond that Linux commands are the same right?

Lastly. Instead of using Arch. I have found Manjaro to be fun and pretty cool so far. Can I take the Kernel used here with Manjaro and just install everything step by step as someone might do with Arch?

Thank you everyone!!

Hi @MrDerby01,

Take it from someone that has installed Gentoo, (which I think is a bit more barebones than Arch.) no. Or at least, not right away. And it’s definitely not for the faint-of-heart.

Basically, yes. Linux itself, is the Linux kernel and it’s the same kernel used in all distributions. So the commands are identical.

Since the Kernel is the same, why bother trying? Just use the one by Arch.

Once again: Arch Linux is not for the faint-of-heart. DON’T go there if you are new to Linux.


The logic behind this is that people should use Arch Linux in order to learn how Linux works. If that is indeed a good way to learn Linux, it is way overkill for the average user IMO.
If you actually want to learn and control from the ground up how your Linux installation works, go for it. If you don’t, then don’t. :person_shrugging:

I would oppose to that the first priority for users is likely to have a runnable system, rather than to learn how to install it.
Yet, having a system which installation has been automated does not mean you cannot learn about it. There is still a lot of applicable documentation available, and in some cases you may still need to learn why some parts don’t work the way you want.
Furthermore, one does not necessarily need or want to learn everything right away. Personally, i distro-hopped three times and changed DE as many, because i got myself interested in how things were working under the hood or what they would become. So i wouldn’t blame anyone wanting to start into Linux the easy way.

Overall you got the nuances right.
Usually, a program will use the same options whatever the distribution it is installed on. What one shall keep in mind is that applies to programs and not necessarily to goals:

  • if most allow managing packages, the program used to do so may not be the same (APT, Pacman, DNF…)
  • likewise, some core programs may not be the same, most notably the init software used to boot the distribution and control the services (Systemd, Initd…)

Arch has the documentation for installing it “manually”. I think some parts are applicable to Manjaro, other shall be adapted for Manjaro (such as pointing the repositories), and the last ones probably not. I don’t know if there is an official documentation for doing so, probably not, since one of Manjaro’s goals is to be accessible to newcomers.



It’s a great learning experience indeed. Mostly because you are forced to read archwiki on installation steps, bootloaders, how to maintain system, etc.

But if you are a completely new user then I would advice against using Arch (or even Manjaro). You can always practice in VMs.
To clarify that: I would advice against it if you don’t have time to read manuals, search things online, etc. and in general be proactive. I would advice against it if you feel the need to ask basic questions like “How to change a kernel?” or “How to delete a file?” instead of finding it yourself.
But if you aren’t that kind of guy, then sky is the limit. You can use whatever you feel comfortable with.

Commands are the same, but there might be different tools or ways how one distribution does some things from the other, ie. Manjaro uses mhwd* scripts to make installation of drivers and kernels easier, Manjaro has multiple/versioned kernels, etc.


Thank you guys!

I think after reading the replies that I am way to new. I will focus on learning Linux commands and the file structure. Then later approach ““the next steps”” of continuing to learn and advance. I still have a tremendous amount to learn about the kernel “Why this, why that? , What makes it new …”

You learn the most when you break something and then try to fix it. But for that to not be a painful experience, install VirtualBox or QEMU/virt-manager and try doing it in a virtual machine.


And before you tweak anything in the system, prepare a plan B: backup!


:point_up: :point_up: :point_up:

Yes and no. First of all, what you need to realize is that GNU/Linux is a UNIX system, and UNIX is a standardized operating system design, with standardized commands. However, There are some deviations depending on the UNIX system — e.g. GNU/Linux versus FreeBSD versus macOS versus NetBSD, versus OpenBSD, versus Solaris, et al — as well as between the various GNU/Linux distributions.

When it comes to commands, there are two kinds, just as in MS-DOS, OS/2 and Windows, i.e. there are commands that are provided as standalone executables, and there are commands that are internal to the shell.

In Manjaro concretely, the default command interpreter is now zsh for terminal sessions within a graphical environment such as Plasma, GNOME, XFCE, et al, and bash for everything else. And while zsh and bash share a common set of internal commands, they do differ on account of a number of other commands, as well as in terms of the command syntax. And there are yet other shells than just those two, all of which also have their own internal commands and syntax — e.g. tcsh, pdksh, et al.

Now, most modern UNIX systems strive for compatibility with the POSIX standard, and as such, most shells will have a (strictly) POSIX-compatible mode and honor POSIX commands. zsh is not POSIX-compatible, but it does offer compatibility with the original Bourne Shell, which has also long been a standard, and whose commands almost all of the shells mentioned above — except for tcsh — are for most part compatible with.

If you are new to GNU/Linux, and especially if you come from the Microsoft world, then it is however most important that you familiarize yourself with the principles and design of UNIX, because compared to Microsoft Windows, UNIX is a very different beast.

Not so as to toot my own horn, but I’ve written a long and very detailed post about UNIX/POSIX permissions and file ownership, which also covers some of the other aspects of UNIX in comparison to Windows, and another post which covers the differences between them on account of how either operating system deals with storage and filesystems. I will include the links below. :arrow_down:


i think it would be better to first familiarize yourself with Linux,it’s commands,technical terms,directory tree and so on,
then be able to maintain a Distro that has already done most of the work for you .

you could in the meantime try installing Arch and other Distros in a VM and see how it goes.

this guy has good tutorials:

Search the forum. There are a lot of helpful resources mentioned. A couple listed below:

Reviews and weekly newsletter at distrowatch

If you are into youtube videos, OldTechBloke is very informative and user friendly.

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Please do not use internet slang or invented abbreviations. Please see How to Post.


Installing Arch, after only 8 years using Linux, served to teach me that I really hadn’t learned anywhere near enough about certain things which most folks never need to bother with.

So my advice would be firstly to install something you can use. Then play about installing Arch on a spare SSD or something… You have to issue terminal commands to set up the keyboard, and locale etc, because you won’t have a GUI ask questions about the basic things you have to do.

Hmmmm I used Ubuntu since 2006, then Linux Mint until 6 years ago, and still needed time to adjust to the differences with how Manjaro works.

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It’s a lot of time and therefore you would probably need to be exited to do it.
Otherwise it is school. Then it can take way longer.

Another thing to consider is installing on a virtual machine. If it goes wrong, delete the machine and start over. Related to this, check out DistroTube on youtube. He’s got a heap of GNU/Linux related stuff you might find interesting to watch. He tries heaps of distributions on virtual machines, but I believe he runs Arch on hardware.

Brother you gave a very great message. I truly agree with you.