New to Linux? - Read this

I have seen a huge number of computer users shifting from Windows to Linux but they have no idea of how to start with Linux. Unless and until Window users put their hands on Linux, they consider Windows easy and reliable to work with.They find the command line boring and difficult to cope up.But once they start working on Linux, they never look back to Windows.

This article is for all new Linux users who are keen to know how to start with Linux.

For new users it is always difficult to know which distribution to start with.Today there are thousands of Linux distribution and everyone claim their own favourites.Red Hat is the popular Linux distribution in the market today.With Enterprise versions, Red Hat has gone commercial, ie you need to pay for Red Hat Enterprise Linux(RHEL) distributions in case you really want to try. While Fedora and CentOS being free to download and work which are almost similar to RHEL. In the other hand, Ubuntu has come forth as a second most popular distribution in the market. Its easy to install and lightweight.

I always recommend a new users to start with Fedora / CentOS as these are simple to use Operating System. The Commands which you can run on Fedora/ CentOS works in RHEL too.

OpenSUSE, Mandriva, FreeBSD and Debian are the other popular distributions which comes next in the popularity.

Once you decide on the distributions, I always recommend you to go through basic Linux commands. The Best way to start learning Linux is first setting up Virtualbox on top of your Linux/ Windows Machine. I have discussed about setting up Virtualbox on Fedora 14 in this link.Virtualbox is a powerful x86 and x86_64 virtualization product both for corporates enterprise and home users.You can run multiple operating systems on top of your underlying base OS.

Next step is to collect the commands is through man pages on Linux box. Just type #man < commandname> and you are ready to go with.

There are couple of website which talks about the Linux Commands for the newbie.
Few of them listed below:


We will discuss further with the Linux Installation and basic commands in the next article.
Till then, have a nice time and Happy New Year 2011.


  1. I actually always suggest new users to start with Ubuntu, as it has IMO the easiest to learn package system, whether it be their Software Center, or apt-get.
    If they want to learn more and have more customization, I turn them to Arch, or Gentoo.
    Nice post, btw.

  2. Thanks Putnam,

    Everyone has their own taste for their favourite distributions.Yes, Ubuntu is fast, easy to use and with less boot time too but I don't recommend it for new users. The reason being I generally test each and every Ubuntu releases like 10.10 Alpha, Beta, RC and recently announced 11.04 Alpha, I found that it does carry numerous bugs. For normal users, its always difficult to fix those issue. Ubuntu is always first to include new features like Wayland replacing X Windows system, Unity Interface etc.and so product comes from unstable branch of Debian. Fedora and CentOS carries less bug and are good for desktop uses with less buggy.

  3. I've never heard anyone say that Linux is easier to use than Windows. It normally ends up being a big time sink.