If you're a Windows user who wants to try Linux, and you are new to Linux, this tutorial is for you. We'll cover a few basic tasks that may be different from what you are used to. We'll cover these tasks:
- Logging in and understanding the Linux desktop
- Navigation and settings
- Tweaking settings to suit your personal needs
- Command line access
- When you really need to work at the command line
- Becoming superuser (or root)
- When ordinary user authority isn't enough
- Using a GUI application as another user
- Getting comfortable with multi-user system capabilities
- Removable devices
- Using removable media and making sure you don't lose data when you detach removable devices
- When you're done for a while or need a panel icon for logout or other applications
- Adding users and groups
- Adding more users or user groups to your system
These instructions and examples focus on three popular distributions and their default graphical desktops:
- Fedora 14 using a GNOME desktop
- OpenSUSE 11.3 using a KDE 4 desktop
- Ubuntu 10.10 using a GNOME desktop
Other distributions, desktops, and window managers are available, and we encourage you to explore further on your own. Even if some of the information here is specific to a particular distribution and even a particular version of a distribution, what you learn here should help you navigate a strange distribution. Because this tutorial simply aims to help you get started, you won't find information on more advanced tasks like recompiling your kernel or installing software. We recommend our no-charge Linux (LPI) certification self-study guides for deeper information.
At the time of writing, GNOME 3 is likely to be available soon. Expect changes in that user interface from what is described here.
Before using these instructions, install a Linux system and create at least one non-root user as part of your installation process.