Linux is an operating system like Windows, Mac OSX, etc. In earlier days, the DOS (Disk Operating System) is the widely used OS. But the need to learn commands dragged inventors to come up with user interface operating systems. Though Linux was started with command Line Interface termed as the ‘Shell’, the later versions of it made its usage very simpler! Yes, this Linux guide is more than enough to explain that Linux is user-friendly and even a beginner can learn with ease.
Why do you need to use Linux?
Knowingly or unknowingly, we are using Linux in our day-to-day lives. It is found in refrigerators, cars, or any other electronic devices that we use. The robustness and the reliability of the Linux made it a preferred choice among the manufacturers of such devices or computers. Most of us even think that Linux cannot be learned or used as easily as Windows or Mac OSX. But it is absolutely a wrong thought. We have taken every possible measure to make you realize the same in the form of this Linux guide.
Basic concepts of Linux
A good Linux guide should certainly help you find all the key concepts associated with it and therefore, we have drafted you the following points to give you an overview of Linux and its elements.
- Kernel: This is the most important element that controls the CPU, peripheral devices, and the memory units. Read here to know how the Linux kernel works?
- Shell: It is the Command Line Interface with which we type the text to the system. It was a must to learn those Linux commands to operate the system. But with the advancement in technology, we are provided with lots of interfacing tools or setups to overcome the issue.
- Boot Loader: It takes care of the booting process by controlling all the initial data transfers and enables the system to work smoothly. It can be considered as a piece of code or software that is essential for the system to start up.
- Graphical Server: It is also the ‘X Server’ that is responsible for the graphical displays. In order to cope up with other operating systems, Linux has also opened its door towards graphics with this ‘X’.
- Daemon: These can either be scheduled when the Linux system boots or after the desktop appears. They run in the background and provide a complete OS to its users by supporting processes such as scheduling, printing, sound support, etc.
- Desktop Environment: It contains the inbuilt applications to manage files, browsing Apps, tools to configure software, Gaming Apps, etc. from this Linux guide, you can understand that the OS allows you to use different desktop Environments such as Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE, UNITY, Enlightenment, etc. Here is the list of best Linux Desktop Environments.
- Apps: Different versions of Linux such as Ubuntu, Red Hat, etc provides its own software center to install Applications of our choice from a single place. So getting Apps in Linux OS is as simple as you get in Windows or any other OS.
Linux Distributions and which is apt for what?
Linux Distribution is just outer coverage to the actual Kernel. We can choose it as per the requirement and its easiness to exploit. In this Linux guide, let us look into the details of Linux Distributions now.
- Ubuntu: This is a well-known distribution and has become popular because of its simplicity in usage and installation.
- Linux Mint: If you like Windows and wish to create a similar working environment, especially, that of Windows 7, then it is a good choice. Apart from its simplicity in usage and installation, people who have lesser computer skills or expertise can easily use it.
- Fedora: This is the most recent distribution with all newer concepts. For people who wish to get updates faster, this is the best choice!
- Debian: It has all the free software, firmware, and drivers with no proprietary issues. When you are concerned about getting those freely, then you can go for the Debian Linux.
- CentOS: This Linux distribution is highly stable and is based on the Red hat Linux. The CentOS is made with commercial minds and has attracted larger crowds due to its stability.
- Mageia: It is a distribution that is based on the former Mandriva Linux and it has been used by many just because it is so simple to use and install.
- LXLE: LXLE can support even hardware that has been used years before and is capable of offering a full featured distribution. It is based on the Lubuntu Distribution that is lightweight.
- Manjora: If you always wished to use up to date software, then Manjaro is a great choice. It is based on Arch Linux and is comparatively easier to use and handle.
- Elementary: Some of us are used to Mac systems and may think that using a Linux is really a hard task. But it is not so! If you are one such person, then try the Elementary Linux distribution and is similar to using Mac.
- OpenSUSE: This Linux distribution is for those who can learn even the toughest concepts in order to remain stable. Yes, OpenSUSE is a very stable Linux distribution but requires patience in installing and using the version of the OS.
What is an Installer?
An Installer is a program that actually does the Linux Installation job for us. It can either install the Linux OS separately or alongside the Windows OS, as we specify. In this Linux guide, let us take a closer look on how to install Linux using such Installers alongside the Windows OS.
How to Install a Linux Distribution?
The first step in the installation process is to choose the Linux distribution and here let us consider the Ubuntu Linux distribution. Also, decide on whether you are going to install it separately or alongside Windows. Now, let us install alongside Windows.
- Dual Booting: When you install a Linux Distribution alongside other operating systems like the Windows, it is termed as Dual booting as it allows you to boot two different operating systems from the same computer. Now, we are concentrating on one such process as we have chosen to install Ubuntu Linux alongside Windows. This might be a quite familiar process for frequent users of Linux but in this Linux guide for beginners, we wish to elaborate it a little. You can also read here to know how to dual boot Linux on your PC.
- Backup the Data: This is the first step in every OS installation process and here also, we should take a copy of all the data that is present in the system. You can either copy your files on an external hard drive or can use any of the backup tools if you are familiar with. Through this Linux guide for beginners, we advise our readers to follow a simple backup strategy that would never fail for you.
- Allocate space for the Linux Distribution: If you use a single OS, then probably you won’t be facing any space issues. But this is not the case for multiple OS environments. Therefore, you should find the necessary space for the Ubuntu Linux Distribution before you start the installation. Most of the times you can recover the required space from the Windows unused space but if it is not available, then it is your job to allocate it. Here is a helping link for the Linux guide beginners on how to prepare your disk for dual booting Windows and Linux.
- Ensure that you can access the Internet: Before you start the installer, you should be able to access the internet. Therefore, connect through an Ethernet cable or through a wireless network. This Linux guide for beginners is there to assist you even in connecting to the internet. You can find the list of wireless networks by just clicking the top-right network icon on the Ubuntu desktop.
- Start the Installer Wizard: Now you can click the installer wizard by clicking the icon named ‘Install Ubuntu’ on your desktop. The wizard launches in a second and you are just 6 steps ahead to finish the installation process.
- Choose the language: The wizard drops a list of languages to carry out the installation. Just pick the one that you wish to use and click ‘Continue’. The Linux guide is drafted targeting the beginners and even the advanced users can get much out of it, by following the steps.
- Download Updates & Third party software: The next step is to decide on whether you need the updates as you carry out the process. You can simply enable the checkbox to get the updates information while you do the installation. In this Linux guide for beginners, we have shown it through the below image. Similarly, we can install third party software such as MP3, WI-Fi- hardware, Flash, etc by enabling the corresponding checkbox during the installation process. These are just simple clicks that are capable of saving many works for us. If you feel like, you do not require them, then simply ignore those check boxes and click ‘continue’ to move on to the next step. But through this Linux guide for beginners, we strongly recommend checking those boxes for your simplicity.
- Choose the Installation type – Dual booting or not? The next screen allows you to choose whether you need a dual booting option or a single OS. From the below image, you can notice the option ‘Install Ubuntu alongside Windows Boot Manager’. You can select this option if you require dual booting that means you can have both the Windows and the Linux operating systems on your computer. The next option is the ‘Erase Disk and Install Ubuntu’ and you can go ahead with it of you need only the Linux Distribution on your computer. But we are dealing with the dual boot now and we suggest you go for the former through this Linux guide for beginners.
- Mention your Location on Map: The Installer Wizard now displays a map to select your geographic location from it. You can either type the location in the text box or you can directly click on the map.
- Select the Keyboard Language & Layout: In this step, you can notice two panels on the screen. The left panel displays the keyboard language and the right panel displays the keyboard layout. You can select the language and layout accordingly and click ‘continue’. Just notice the button named ‘Detect Keyboard Layout’ on the above image. Being a Linux guide beginner, you can click to check the Keyboard layout on how it works.
- Create Default user profile: The last step in the installation process is to create the default user profile by specifying the Name, Computer’s name, username, and password. You can also select either an automatic login or a login after the credential checks. Through this Linux guide for beginners, we would like to show the security features of Linux right from the login screen. Yes, you can notice the option ‘Encrypt my home folder’ from the above image. Selecting this option encrypts the entire home folder that the particular user has on the computer.
How to install Ubuntu ‘s Live version?
Instead of using an Installer wizard, you can use a Live version of the Linux distribution too. This Linux guide for beginners has covered you those steps as well.
- USB Drive with UEFI Bootable Ubuntu Linux: The first step here is to get the UEFI Bootable version of the Ubuntu Linux on an USB drive. This can be downloaded from the Ubuntu’s online portal and here is the link on how to create a UEFI Bootable USB drive.
- Insert the USB: The USB with the bootable version of Ubuntu is the important element and just insert it into the computers. We assume that you already run a Windows OS on your computer and just by holding the Shift key, you can restart the computer. Now, you can notice a screen that is blue in color and displays a list of options. From the list, choose ‘Use a device’ and then pick the ‘EFI device’ as the option for from where to boot from. Now, you can see the booting menu as ‘Try Ubuntu’. You are almost done when you select this option!
Linux is such a simpler to use and to install operating system but there exists a myth among the people that it is not a user-friendly OS. From this step-by-step Linux guide for beginners, you can install and start using any Linux distribution as for how we did for the Ubuntu!