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Why Use a Virtual Machine?

Yet Linux has now spread to become the backbone of the internet and the most common operating system for supercomputers 5 Surprising Ways Linux Is Changing the World 5 Surprising Ways Linux Is Changing the World From hosting popular websites to the future of science and space travel, Linux is furthering the development of our world, and our understanding of the universe. At the end of the day, while using Linux feels very similar to Windows and macOS, there are aspects that you will have to learn for the first time. One common reason people switch to Linux is to continue using a computer that can no longer handle the latest version of Windows or macOS.

How good is Linux for this job, and why? That involves getting to know a few terms you may not have encountered before. To recap, a distribution is a Linux operating system that ships with all the software needed to provide you with a complete experience. They provide the kernel along with hardware drivers and applications. Distributions come in all shapes and sizes. Some are aimed at newcomers, while others are geared toward the most diehard of command line junkies. Ubuntu , Fedora , and openSUSE are three general-purpose distributions good for people of all skill levels. There are many other Linux distributions available, and each one is a bit different.

Some distributions are fine-tuned to serve a particular niche. On that note, hardware compatibility is perhaps the most important thing to consider when switching to Linux. While most hardware is supported by default in the majority of Linux distributions, less popular or quirky hardware might not work. More on this later.

Windows 8 Tutorials - The Basics (Non Touch)

You can visit Distrowatch to see hundreds of Linux distributions. Unless you read our list of the best Linux operating systems for gaming, Raspberry Pi, and more. Depending on which distribution you choose, this decision may already be made for you. All distributions have a default desktop environment, but how did your favorite Linux OS end up looking so awesome?

In that case, checking out desktop environments first can help you make your decision. Each provides a different experience, and some work better in certain distros over others. Here are a few of the big ones. Instead, you switch between open windows by opening the overview screen, a dashboard that also shows your app launcher, virtual desktops, and a search bar that can access files, open software, and issue commands.

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Though if you want a traditional panel, there are extensions available to make that happen. KDE Plasma is perhaps the most configurable interface you can run on a desktop computer. You can make KDE resemble most other desktop interfaces without having to edit obscure files or tweak any lines of code. Cinnamon provides a simple experience that feels familiar to many Windows users making the switch to Linux.

Set up your development environment

An app menu sits in the bottom left, system indicators reside in the bottom right, and your open windows appear in between. It is the default desktop environment in Linux Mint. While Linux is a great way to revive an old PC, not every desktop environment will run on aging hardware. You may find yourself having to use one specifically designed to use fewer system resources. Xfce is one of the more popular options well-suited for this task. It is the default desktop environment in Xubuntu. Use our simple tips and never despair over lost data again!

Install Python

Be cautious and check twice, because you may erase everything from the hard drive later on. Backing up is not difficult, but it can be tedious if you have lots of data scattered around. The easiest way to save your files is to plug an external hard drive into a USB port. We'll help you decide.


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This method makes your data accessible on other devices with internet access, but it will likely cost more over time. It also comes with many security and privacy risks.

Learning git for beginners

Knowing a little about the hardware inside your computer is important later on if there are compatibility issues. It is important that you write these down now because if something breaks during the installation process or at first boot, you will need to search the web for a driver, kernel patch, or package. Bluetooth chips, card readers, and printers are trickier, but most of them are supported as well by default. This program gives you a comprehensive view of all the hardware present in your system. You can find it by opening the Start menu and entering msinfo32 into the search box.

On older versions of Windows, you may have to click the Run option in the Start menu and type msinfo32 there. Don't worry! Of the three options above, replacing your existing operating system will run the fastest and smoothest on your computer. Installing Linux without getting rid of your existing operating system is known as dual-booting. Whenever you start your computer, you will have the option to choose with operating system you use. Here are seven dangers of dual booting that you should be aware of before installing a second operating system. Here are the most useful Linux distributions to run from a USB drive.

In that case, when you sign into your new operating system for the first time, you will see a screen that looks like this. This is the Ubuntu desktop. While Canonical has added a few of its own elements of charm, the interface you see is not exclusive to Ubuntu. Everything you could possibly need to get started with the latest version of Ubuntu is right here, written in easy-to-understand, plain English.

There comes a time when you need more apps. Where do you get them? You may be accustomed to heading to a big box store and purchasing a program, which you either install with a disc or download from the web. Maybe you get all of your apps by going to individual websites and downloading installers.

You may even get all of your software from app stores that sell you content, just like on a phone or tablet. Programs made for Windows only run on Windows. The same is true of software made for macOS. Windows users are being guided to an app store. Linux, meanwhile, has had an app store-style experience for years. But which one is right for you? Using them is similar to using an app store on any other platform. Simply find the app you want and hit the install button. These app stores are the alternative to package managers, the traditional and more complicated way of getting software on Linux.

Nowadays, you may never need to use a more advanced tool like Synaptic or Apper, but they do give you more control over what you install. While downloading installers directly from websites is not the preferred way to get Linux software, there are times when this is the only option. This is how you get Google Chrome, for example. But package managers differ depending on your distro.

So which apps can you download and install?


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It's all in the acronyms. Now that you know how to install apps, which should you grab? For an idea, check out our list of the best programs for Linux The Best Linux Software and Apps The Best Linux Software and Apps Whether you're new to Linux or you're a seasoned user, here are the best Linux software and apps you should be using today. Updates are a free part of the Linux experience. They keep your system running the latest version of software.

You may also receive enhancements to the user interface and patches to components that run in the background. Often it will have its own section, as is the case in Ubuntu. In Linux, not only do you receive free updates to your apps, but you can upgrade from one version of a distro to the next without paying a dime. Upgrades, like updates, are always free. Git Tutorial Guide for Beginners.

This cheat sheet features the most important and commonly used Git commands for easy reference. Basically, Git is a content tracker. The Hello World project is a time-honored tradition in computer programming.