So what can you actually do with Linux? A guide for beginners

Jonathan MathewsPublic

In the comments to my recent post about dumping Windows and installing Linux Mint, in just 10 minutes, someone asked for an article about how to actually do things in Linux.

That’s certainly a fair request, and a good point — I am perhaps more guilty than many others of frequently writing about how easy it is to install Linux, but not about how wonderful it is to actually use Linux.

I can only partially excuse myself for this because I have always thought that the hard part was actually getting someone to try Linux, and getting them over the misconception that installing Linux was a huge, difficult task.

I still believe that if you can just get an ordinary computer user to try using a Linux system, they will quickly see for themselves that it is not some huge, mysterious, and inherently different or difficult experience. But looking at it objectively I can also see that simply saying that is nowhere near as good as providing some simple examples.

So here is a short list of how to perform some everyday tasks on Linux. This is certainly not a comprehensive and scientifically or statistically derived list of common tasks; it is based on nothing more than the things which I personally do on Linux every day, and a few others which have come to mind as I have been writing.

I would also like to make clear that everything I describe here is either included in some common Linux distribution, or can be easily installed by just making a selection from whatever software, application, or package management utility is included in your distribution.

Nothing I will mention requires any kind of compilation, other special effort, or technical skill for installation.

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