Five Websites for the Linux Noob

I have a confession to make. This isn’t easy for me to tell you, and it might make you think considerably less of me. Ready? Here goes nothing…I have never used Linux before. I’ve had an interest in the operating system for a while, but I’ve simply never gotten around to trying it out.

Feel free to take a few moments to stop laughing before you continue reading this article.

Thankfully, there is hope for me yet. I’ve decided that I will, at long last, start using Linux. I’m going to start small, mind you – I’ll probably just run whatever distribution I end up deciding on in a virtual machine for the time being. Maybe I’ll see if I can grab an old PC online to convert into a full-fledged Linux box which I can mess around with. At the moment, I’m still in the research stages, and I’ve come across some fairly useful stuff in my wanderings. Feel free to contribute a few resources of your own, if you find this list to be woefully inadequate. (Linux Commands Directory): This one’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s a directory of pretty much every single basic command in Linux (as well as details on what each command does).  If you’re trying to figure out how something works, or what something does, this is the place to go.

The Linux Subreddit: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you can find pretty much everything on Reddit. The Linux subreddit contains news, advice, and information in droves about the open-source OS, and is actually pretty useful for learning some stuff about it. If you’re feeling confident, you can pore through the posts to find a cool project to do, or simply look to get some help with a particularly irritating problem. Either way, don’t discount Reddit as a resource for learning Linux.

How-To Geek: For those of you who don’t know, How-To Geek is a massive help center/blog related to all things about technology. There’s an Encyclopedia’s worth of how-to’s and tutorials related to Linux, as well as a bunch of cool tips and tricks.

The Linux ie Beginner’s Guide: Again, pretty much what’s written on the box. It’s a tutorial for anyone who’s new to Linux, and walks you through the initial installation process, hardware configuration, and all the most basic (and most important) commands.

Distro Watch: Deciding on which Distro to use is probably one of the more difficult tasks when it comes to using Linux. DistroWatch contains information on pretty much every Linux distribution out there, as well as updates and new releases. The site is a bit overwhelming simply due to the sheer volume of information, but it’s still a useful resource if you’re trying to figure out a distribution (or keep abreast of updates once you’ve settled on one).

That’s what I’ve found so far. If any of you’ve any further suggestions, I’ll gladly add them to the list.


  1. Ubuntu forums is also a good place for help with problems, as is

  2. Breaking the ice is the most difficult step to take; afterwards, everything will fall in place – with a bit of an effort.

    I wish I had started with Puppy Linux. It works like a charm, and you can test drive it as much as you like without affecting your current OS since it gets stored in RAM only. Once you switch off, poof, it’s gone. Well, you still keep your CD with ISO burnt in for next time round. NB: When you burn it, keep the CD open. Puppy can add your profiles to it as you use it, which saves a bit of time on every run. is your first port of call, and you may need no other. It provides all the info I ever needed.

  3. Oldtimetech says:

    I started out with Ubuntu and have stuck with it, because it’s kind of a no brainer. The desktop is easy to understand and yes, it does come with Unity, but can be switched to Gnome or KDE.

    Most Linux Os’s don’t need a fast and new machine, they will work on Pentium’s (especially DSL).

    I’ve been on Linux since 9.10 Ubuntu, they have great forums that people work hard to answer your question. is another great place to get info on Ubuntu.

    • 2 pts:

      a) Getting rid of Unity is not something a Linux beginner should have to face.

      b) With 12.04, RAM is an issue: 512 MB is barely enough. I certainly could not properly use the Software Center before upgrading to 1 GB. In fact, 2 GB would be better still. Also and unlike previous versions, 12.04 is exceptionally buggy and not as easily adjustable.

  4. gordcampbell says:

    +1 for the Ubuntu Forums and Askubuntu, even if you are using my suggestion, Mint with Cinnamon. It will run a bit better with a gig of memory, but you can do most things with 512 MB.

    Another way to try Linux is using pendrive linux to create a 4GB “persistent” flash drive. You can install programs and they are still installed when you reboot. Pendrive Linux is a Windows program. Booting from a flash drive is slower than booting from the hard drive, but for some things, the performance might be better than running in a virtual machine.

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