Linux: How can I even open an application?

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DarrenLadd

Guest
I had read many things on line assuring me that Linux is now easy to use for absolute beginners. I am a proficient Mac and Windows user but am beginning to think that there are no transferable skills between those and Linux. It looks similar . . . .but is that it?

I can't even install/run software that I have. I don't even know if its installed or what kind of file I would need to activate to run things - questions like should I be looking for a .dmg/ .exe or a Linux equivalent - is there one?

Even threads I find saying they are for absolute beginners use terms that require previous understanding and terminology that mean nothing to absolute beginners of Linux.

Are users of Linux required to know how to use terminal style language in order to get thing done on their system?

I am starting to worry that I overwrote my windows OS with something that is far beyond me. It really doesn't seem like I can boot it up and use google to research the information I need to use it.

I have one App (KSP) thats runs perfectly (and much better than on windows) which starts from a Launcher labelled icon but other things don't seem to have this icon.

Hopefully I have just made some silly, easily rectified noob assumptions . . . .?
 


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optimum

Guest
From a quick read of your post, it's obvious that you'd be better off just sticking to what you know.
 
R

rstanley

Guest
I had read many things on line assuring me that Linux is now easy to use for absolute beginners. I am a proficient Mac and Windows user but am beginning to think that there are no transferable skills between those and Linux. It looks similar . . . .but is that it?

I can't even install/run software that I have. I don't even know if its installed or what kind of file I would need to activate to run things - questions like should I be looking for a .dmg/ .exe or a Linux equivalent - is there one?

Even threads I find saying they are for absolute beginners use terms that require previous understanding and terminology that mean nothing to absolute beginners of Linux.

Are users of Linux required to know how to use terminal style language in order to get thing done on their system?

I am starting to worry that I overwrote my windows OS with something that is far beyond me. It really doesn't seem like I can boot it up and use google to research the information I need to use it.

I have one App (KSP) thats runs perfectly (and much better than on windows) which starts from a Launcher labelled icon but other things don't seem to have this icon.

Hopefully I have just made some silly, easily rectified noob assumptions . . . .?
Which Distro did you install? Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, etc...?

When you start up Linux, are you seeing a GUI (A windowing interface similar to Windows) or a text based Command Line Interface? (Like a DOS prompt)

Look for a tutorial based on the Distro that you have installed. Go to the Website for the Distro and there should be one there. I find The Linux Documentation Project to be a great resource!

Don't give up. You had to learn Windows when you first used it, like you had to learn Office and other applications. I'm sure it was frustrating at first.

Post a question here when you run into problems.

Learn to love Linux! You won't be disappointed!
 
A

arochester

Guest
I disagree with @optimum. If everybody stuck to what they know there would be very little progress in the world.

Yes, Linux is different. If it was the exactly same as Windows (or OS X) it wouldn't exist and be called Linux!

Whether you admit it or not you have spent time learning Windows and OS X . Linux will also need time.

You do not need to know everything at one about the Terminal. The Terminal is useful because stuff can be done quickly and with few moves. You can learn Terminal commands slowly over time.

What distro are you using?

You say
I can't even install/run software that I have.
What software do you have that you want to use?
 
D

DarrenLadd

Guest
Cheers muchly! That was far more encouraging :)

I was having a bit of a freak out but I have already made some in-roads. Its just very different at times and I was lured in by the Ubuntu GUI (look at me even using the lingo already!) making me think I should expect icon linked stuff going on.

I've never had to do terminal-writey-commands before and it spooked me out :eek:
 
A

arochester

Guest
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ryanvade

Guest
Just to answer one of the questions, no executables don't have a file extension. That being said, in most modern terminal emulators that have color support, executables are normally shown in green text (this depends on the color scheme you are using). Shell scripts (like BATCH files) have an extension based on the shell. Bash, sh, and the like use .sh which is the default for almost every distribution.

On Linux EVERYTHING is a file. So adding a file extension for everything would take forever. Most files such as pictures, music, videos, etc have the same file extensions as Windows and/or Mac.
 
J

JD P

Guest
There is an article here about what new Linux users need to know with lots of links. There are beginning Linux tutors here too.

http://blog.jdpfu.com/Lin_4_Win_Users has a primer for Windows users on Linux. That is a redirector to a longer URL at a diff domain.

All the issues you are having are common to people warped by other OSes. If you'd started out with Linux, you'd be frustrated using OSX or Windows too. That is the nature of computers. Imagine if you'd learned on MVS or a Cyber OS? Those aren't anything like any desktop you've seen.

Might be good to watch a few beginner youtube videos about Unity - things will become clearer. If you need a GUI that is more like Windows, Unity is best ignored. Just install XFCE or LXDE onto the system, logout, click the little "gear" to select a different GUI and login as normal. The user interface/GUI is NOT the OS in Linux. It is just another program. There are at least 50 different GUIs that you can install and try out. If you don't like the default, a different, maybe better UI is 3 min away. It isn't a big deal to switch, really. Youtube has lots of people showing off their favorite GUIs/Desktops too.
 
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ChristiW

Guest
I read the article that JD P linked to. I highly recommend it for those who are coming from a Windows platform. Very informative! Many times while reading it, things "clicked" and I had many "ah ha" moments.

ETA: Also from the link is a section called "Life topics", those are hilarious! :p
 
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JD P

Guest
Just to answer one of the questions, no executables don't have a file extension. That being said, in most modern terminal emulators that have color support, executables are normally shown in green text (this depends on the color scheme you are using). Shell scripts (like BATCH files) have an extension based on the shell. Bash, sh, and the like use .sh which is the default for almost every distribution.

On Linux EVERYTHING is a file. So adding a file extension for everything would take forever. Most files such as pictures, music, videos, etc have the same file extensions as Windows and/or Mac.
Almost everything is a file. Some things are processes - those are not files, but close enough. ;)

Shell scripts don't need any extensions either. File permissions control which files have "eXecute" permissions. It is possible to bypass the permission bit requirement for executable files, if needed. Most people just set the "x" bit for each of user:group:eek:ther ... chmod +x does it. To the OP - a basic understanding of Unix file and directory permissions will save you days, months, years of frustration. Lots of good tutors for that online. There isn't any way to get around needing that understanding - at some point, you WILL NEED to understand it.
 
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ChristiW

Guest
I have two tutorials that I have done getting up to speed on basic commands that you need to know:

This is a good one to start, it then has a bash script tutorial.

Then there is Linux Command with another great tutorial.

Going through my list of sites, here is another at The Linux Documentation Project that has Bash for Beginner's Guide. I bookmarked that one a while ago and haven't started it yet. I think I will do that today! ;)

Just remember, it will take practice (and errors) before you become proficient. It's not difficult, you just need to commit yourself to learning. Nothing happens overnight. I remember the first time I sat at the computer and was faced with learning DOS. There wasn't a lot out there and I made plenty of mistakes, but in the end I learned a whole lot about my computer and what it can do. You can do the same.
 


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