8 Common Mistakes First-Time Linux Users Make

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So you've finally made the switch to Linux? Congratulations! It's like entering a new world of possibilities.

Your old device can come back to life with a few more years of runtime. You can use an open-source operating system for free. You can learn the language of computers and experience how it feels to be one with a machine. But you're going to make a lot of mistakes along the way.

Thanks to IoT devices, Android phones, and supercomputers, Linux is the most used operating system in the world. But installing it on your laptop or PC will get you weird looks as soon as you open the terminal. You'll use the command line instead of relying on your graphical user interface. To make your experience seamless, here are 8 mistakes that first-time Linux users make and how to avoid them.


Not Using The Terminal

When you see someone using a Linux terminal for the first time, they look like a hacker. A black background with white letters, no icons, and rampant typing. That's what boils down to the fundamental Linux utility. You can do everything through the terminal. All small and major operations go through it. The terminal becomes incredibly convenient as soon as you master it.

If you're switching over from Windows, a GUI seems more familiar. You double-click an executable file and complete an installation through a tab. But in Linux, you're better off using the command line.

Beginners often avoid this functionality because they're used to macOS or Windows. It's completely normal. Take your time and learn the commands slowly. Keep them on your desk so you don't have to search for them all the time, and they'll become second nature to you. Set aside a few minutes to experiment with the functionality, and a whole new world will open up.

It's always frustrating to be a beginner. But as you learn more, you'll start to feel like a power user. You'll have more control over your devices, save time, and have an enhanced user experience.


Running EXE files

There's nothing easier than installing an EXE file on Windows. You select where the application needs to install and click next a few times. That's it. But the same thing doesn't work on Linux.

The process differs from the download. Instead of downloading an EXE file, you need to check extensions based on your distro. RPM is for Fedora, and DEB is for Ubuntu. That's why so many download pages ask you for your operating system.

The good news is that you can run EXE files on Linux. However, you need to set up the device and configure it beforehand.


Repositories Instead of Installation Files

We're going deeper into installing apps. Instead of doing the hard work yourself, use repositories.

Repositories keep, maintain, release, and secure installation files on remote servers. You don't have to install, run, or download the files. Use the terminal, give it a package manager command, and Linux will do the download and installation automatically.

If you want to make it even more convenient, you can use Flatpak or Snap.


Not Being Careful About Security

Linux is more secure than Windows. The architecture itself is complicated and makes it hard for malware to do harm. Becoming a superuser is like having superpowers that protect you from viruses and hackers.

But thinking the system has your back without caring about security is a massive mistake. You shouldn't be carefree, even though it's tempting. Technology always evolves, and cybercriminals are always trying to break into your device.

A combination of VPN and antivirus is crucial to be on the safe side. The VPN will hide your IP address and encrypt your data. An antivirus will scan every file and check if it has malicious code. When everything is open source, hackers know which loopholes to exploit. There are various antivirus and VPN deals to give you peace of mind when maneuvering the online world. Because the operating system is completely free, it makes sense to invest in its security.


No, Linux and Ubuntu Are Not The Same Things

Kernels, distros, operating systems, and commands will hit you in the face as soon as you switch over to Linux. The learning curve is steep at the beginning, but it gets easier as time goes by. However, if you're a complete novice, you probably think Ubuntu and Linux are synonyms.

Actually, they're two completely different things. Linux is the essential part of the operating system called a kernel. It's the software that interacts with the hardware. Ubuntu, on the other hand, is a distro. That's an operating system built on top of the Linux kernel.

Because Linux is open-source software, you can customize it to any extent you want. You can create new versions or use ready-made ones like Manjaro or Ubuntu. They have different features, and you can pick the one you like most.


Running Every Command You See Online

The Linux terminal can grant you god mode if you know how to use it. You can bypass security restrictions and become a superuser of applications. But it comes at a security cost.

There are millions of guides online for installing updates, apps or improving your user experience. You can't remember them all when you're a beginner. Everyone uses guides, but running every command you see online is dangerous.

Somebody could plant a one-liner to exploit your accounts or the entire device. Make sure you're using reputable websites with loads of reviews or trusted forums with loads of upvotes. You can never be sure at the beginning, so use proxy accounts in the first few months.

While we're on the topic, don't use root and sudo too often. The whole operating system will crash if you change information in sensitive files. Use powerful commands only where necessary.


Sending Linux Files To People Using Windows

Android vs. iOS is the new version of Linux vs. Windows. The world always wants to divide itself into two categories and belong to a specific group. That's why you should never share Linux files with Windows users. It's a mistake that frustrates both sides because both operating systems have different environments and functionalities.

If you're editing something in MS Office on Linux, the files will look jumbled in Word, Excel, or any other app you're using. The same thing's true in a reverse scenario. There are many app alternatives for popular software, but you'll definitely run into problems.


Not Trying Application Alternatives

Many beginners fall into the trap of using Wine to have the same Windows features on Linux. It's the easiest way to adapt to a new operating system because you already have the familiar feel of Windows in case you get stuck.

But depending on Wine too much will be a detriment to your progress. The app isn't efficient and stable, so you can become even more frustrated. There are dozens of open-source alternatives available, and they're free to use. The faster you dive into Linux deep waters, the easier your onboarding will be.


A Few Final Words

Switching to Linux is a massive decision. Many have tried, and few have succeeded. The Linux community is incredibly welcoming and wants it to become mainstream.

Start small, read blogs, watch videos, and tinker with the terminal. In a few months, you'll become a master and see the friendly face that Linux offers.


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