Where do I start - it all seems difficult to learn

As someone who is new to Linux trying to figure out partitioning, every time I come here to try to understand it, I feel as confused as the last time if not more confused.

I get that Linux is a complex system and all, and if I wanna use Linux I should learn what’s here. Right now I find it very daunting. Any suggestions?

[This comment is not very constructive… I get that.]

This should include some bases you may lack.


This is not really an answer to your question, but - after I first booted Ubuntu in 2008 it took me 8 months to work up the courage to run sudo apt-get upgrade in a terminal. I didn’t start manually partitioning my drives until 2014.

We all learn at our own pace.


Hello, this is my 1st week with a computer and chose Manjaro quite randomly to interact with it so I understand your frustration. Here’s my approach: I recognize that I have a powerful and mysterious system before me that all I can effectively do is poke and prod the outside of it like a caveman discovering something new. What could be more exciting, right?
Then I remind myself to not be in a hurry, because then it will diminish the fun and we learn better when we are having fun (or having a really bad time but lets avoid this!)
Then I make sure I spend plenty of tie doing other things besides my new toy. Your wellness is paramount and exersize gets you chomping at the bit for the next computer session. My point is don’t get burned out on the screen.
Solve 1 problem a day rather than a general question like yours. Rome wasn’t built in a day so going back to being in a hurry, try to keep a minimum pace and when you can take in more knowledge let it flow in freely. MY first q this week was on keyborad shortcuts , and last night a small question about game controllers. I got good answers and solved two problems in 2 days all the while learning.
I started auditing Linux Certification Course on Linux.org. It examples 3 popular operating systems that are not Manjaro, but so far so good. You might try something like that for general education.
Regards, Fellow Noob


@frost19k, @HikerTrash I’ve been using Manjaro for just over 2 months now. I started in October from using Windows.

I’ve switched back and forth from Linux to Windows infrequently for some years.

I think I understand the base of Linux, it’s the programming and partitioning that make me feel like an infant. :joy: I know that Windows and Linux are completely different so I’m trying not to compare the two, all I’m going to say is that Windows is (evidently) way easier when it comes to having multiples “drives” on the system. And I’ve been seeing a lot of “In Linux everything is a file”.

@maycne.sonahoz I’ll take a look. :sweat:

Yes starting with with a new system, is always a bit overwhelming at first, but it is also exciting, like exploring a hitherto unknown country.
My recommendation for a good start might be a bit unconventional. But I can only recommend to you looking at the book the linux command line by William Shotts. It’s available as free download
While using the command line is not really required for using any Linux system, it is still an incredibly versatile tool, and something new users feel intimidated by. This book helped me to learn how my Linux system was working, in a very easy way to follow. And was a fun way of getting to know what my new system can do. Just have a look at it, you can’t beat the price.


I’ve been doing my best to use the terminal for whatever I can.

Some of the commands are daunting, especially if they are long, some aren’t concerning at all.

Partitioning is something I find very daunting. I find myself in the KDE Partition Manager trying to do it that way and I still can’t get what I’m trying to make work to work.

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First of all, make absolutely sure that your important stuff is backed up, on a medium that is not part of the machine you’re learning on.

Second, have an iPad or something that you can use to refer to “the internet” if you get stuck.

Third…go and screw things up. Use the command line…dump the stupid mouse for the time being. It’s a good way to learn if I do this, then that happens. It’s not like the good old days…when you could literally smoke your hardware (I smoked a CRT back in the day, trying to set a refresh rate).

Finally, have fun. Try different distros. Hell, play with the BSD’s as well.

Plenty of helpful folks around, but do attempt to solve any quandaries you might come across. Sometimes there is nothing better than when the light turns on brightly.

Good luck on your journey.


I honestly don’t think Linux is any harder or easier than Windows or MacOS. It does give you more control, which can be more “dangerous”, but it is not inherently easier or harder.

My suggestion for the partitioning is that you don’t attempt to install Linux along side another operating system like Windows (also called dual booting). There is a much higher chance you will make a mistake and erase the boot partition.

Also, windows does not play nice with other OS, and may damage your boot partition in an update.

To make things easy for you to learn, I highly suggest you start with an empty hard drive, do a complete wipe (reformat) and a clean installation. The Manjaro installer is quite easy to follow along if you are doing a simple install and not dual booting.

Make sure whatever HD you use you don’t need any of the data on it anymore, back everything up. Once you wipe it the data is lost.


@merlock 1) I have all my stuff backed up to a hard drive that is part of my computer and I’m careful not to break it. I only have 1 computer.

  1. I do everything on the only machine I have. Probably not the best. :man_shrugging: I’m not overly concerned.

  2. I’m trying to do as much as much as I can through the terminal. I’ve been setting up shortcut keys for terminal and opening apps to negate using the start menu (which I removed).

Thus far I’m having fun using Linux. The only thing find jarring in Linux right now is dealing with large command lines (i.e. setting up partitions, setting up SAMBA).

My main goal at the moment is using one of my SSDs to put Steam games on it so I don’t use up the space on my boot drive. And I know “drive” isn’t proper for Linux but to switch my mind from using drive to partition is going to take awhile.

@CrankyFranky I’m a long time Windows user and Windows is fairly dumbed down for most people to understand. Most people just wanna do stuff and don’t care about how stuff works.

My other goal besides getting Steam to recognize my SSD is to stay on Linux and learn it. I am using Linux and trying to learn it so I don’t have to use Windows which I have a disdain for.

I want to support the open source community and not the proprietary side of things, and Linux is mostly FOSS (I think Red Hat costs money, that, as I understand it, is for server stuff though).


Well yes you are right, but it is not a “Drive”, but a “Device” → /dev/sda

I think it is much, much simpler on linux…

On Windows you have for each Partition on the Drive a letter. On the same Drive you can have 10 Letter: C:, D:, E:, … It makes me dizzy, seeing that.

On the other hand on Linux you have it well structured:

sda → SCSI Drive A (like C: )
sda1 → SCSI Drive A Partition 1

So easy… Now you need this drive… It is soo easy, like putting a straw in a cup.

You and your girlfriend lucy are sitting at a table.

You create folder (get a straw for yourself):

sudo mkdir -pv /media/lahpyrcopa

And put the straw into the cup:

sudo mount /dev/sda1 /media/lahpyrcopa

You think: “Man, I need a straw for my girlfriend too!”
Get another straw:

sudo mkdir -pv /media/lucy

Put it into the cup:

sudo mount /dev/sda1 /media/lucy

Now you and your girlfriend lucy are drinking together from the same cup. romantic atmosphere

(You can put a straw into the cup to refill it when it is empty :wink: )

Is it clearer that way?

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There are many tutorials about “Linux partition management” in Youtube.

Explanation and practice in many different videos are maybe understanding for beginners. :man_shrugging:

Partitions are hardware preparation that readies a device to be seen by the system.
A hard drive is like a bookshelf that comes in different sizes.
Some shelves, I put multiple books (partitions) on: Data, Games, Video, Backup, etc.
Some shelves, I put only one large book on: Root. Home.
The books can be had in different languages (file systems): NTFS, FAT, EXT4, etc.
When installing Manjaro the installer will offer to partition and format a small, almost invisible, pamphlet that contains bootloader, or GrUB.

“everything is a file” in Linux is just how the system streamlines all the storage to appear as seamless and continuous. The user is the one who has to struggle with the concept of partitions and files systems.

Have fun
-Phil (just some rando Manjaro guy)

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For some reason I always loved this interactive tutorial for basic terminal commands.

By no means is such a thing a requirement to run a modern linux desktop… but its a nice introduction.



This is by far the most understandable explanation I have seen for mounting a device and I’m guessing that making a directory (mkdir) is the partition part of the equation.

That said, what about permissions and such?

Glad to hear that :slight_smile:

The cup → Partition on the drive
The staw → An empty folder
Putting the straw into the cup → Mounting

So yeah, a mounted folder can only display one partition.

So lucy and you can drink the cup without restrictions.

Now you want to drink Sprite and she wants Fanta, but there is only one cup.

We now create 2 vessels, and put them in the cup:

mkdir -pv /media/lahpyrcopa/{sprite,fanta}

Now create name cards for it:

sudo useradd lahpyrcopa
sudo useradd lucy

Now we say the first vessel can only be drunk by lahpyrcopa

sudo chown -R lahpyrcopa:lahpyrcopa /media/lahpyrcopa/sprite

and the second vessel can only be drunk by lucy:

sudo chown -R lucy:lucy /media/lucy/fanta

After some time of drinking, you are tired of drinking Sprite and want to taste Fanta, but you don’t want to merry her. You force her in the most brutal way to give access to her fanta without permissions:

sudo chmod -R o+rwx /media/lucy/fanta

o → other
+ → add
r → read
w → write
x → execute

But she doesn’t like that so she does:

chmod -R o-rwx /media/lucy/fanta

o → other
- → remove
r → read
w → write
x → execute

and said: “First you have to merry me!” Long story short thought, you both get married and she gets your family name:

sudo usermod -aG lahpyrcopa lucy

and you get access to here fanta:

sudo chown lucy:lahpyrcopa /media/lucy/fanta

Now she has access to the sprite and you have access to her fanta through your family name (group name).

That is of course not everything, but a basic view, maybe you get the point.


Funny guy/gal, you are.

Well I’ve come to my first stomp and I’m forever grateful that I have a USB with another Linux distro on it (EndeavorOS, if curious), because had I not put EndeavorOS on my USB or any distro for that matter, I could not come here for help. I wouldn’t have any installation media to gain access to my computer. :laughing: :sweat:

I was in the terminal on Manjaro and I tried some commands thinking I knew what I was doing or had an idea any way. What I did, which clearly didn’t do what I thought it did, caused my Manjaro install to be broken/unstable/not sure, take your pick.

What has happened is I went to KDE Partition Manager and unmounted my SSD from /mnt to /home/jesse after I typed (or something very similar) sudo chown 777 /home/jesse/dev/sdb1 into the terminal, the terminal told me that such a file or directory does not exist.

I thought fine, whatever, I did it wrong.

I pressed the file manager button and suddenly I got an error message, something along the lines of no file or directory exists. I didn’t know what to do other than to try again, this time that same message popped up in the corner of the screen again PLUS a message in the middle of the screen popped up telling me a similar error and that it was likely caused by a full device.

GParted shows that my boot drive is clearly not full.

To further my confusion, when I rebooted thinking that would correct what was wrong, I can’t get passed the log in screen. When I type my password in I just get a frozen computer.

I’ll be using EndeavorOS as a live machine for a little while to see if anyone can help me figure this out. I’d rather not reformat my entire machine - could be the easier solution but I’d really rather not.

harddisks are labeled as sda, sdb, sdc
(or: nvmexx if they are modern ssd’s)

sda1, sdb3, sdc5 … are referencing specific partitions on each of these hard disks

in the example:
the first partition on sda
the third partition on sdb
the fifth partition on sdc

partitions are a way to divide the storage space of a hard disk into separately accessible pieces

These subdivided pieces of a hard disk can be attached to any point in the filesystem

Usually, the /mnt directory is used - so that the contents are accessible via /mnt/xxx
(creating the xxx directory is your choice and responsibility …)

external USB devices are usually attached (and are thus accessible) via the
these attachments (aka: mounts) are not permanent, do not survive reboots …
they are for removable devices …

…you just need to learn.
learning by doing (and making mistakes) is pretty effective.


Knowing the exact commands you ran will help ascertain what went wrong. I think there is a way to get those from a LiveUSB.

Using chroot, it is possible to have a terminal run from a LiveUSB as if it does from your actual system. Manjaro provides a tool in its ISO to ease the process, but since you use something else, you’ll need to use the basic one.
The idea is, after you chroot into your system:

  • log into your system user
  • print the commands history
su --login jesse

Are you instructing I go to the terminal in Endeavor and type chroot su --login jesse and then type “history”?