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I am a information systems student in college and I'm just getting tired with the BS that goes along with windows and I'm planning to switch to Ubuntu. Is there anything new users need to know right from the start? Also I've tried googling for resources for new users but have came up with mostly Ubuntu vs other Distro links, so if anyone could provide links to some Linux/Ubuntu beginner tips it would be great. Thanks in advance!

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closed as not constructive by Jorge Castro, RolandiXor, Rinzwind, fossfreedom, Geppettvs D'Constanzo Sep 7 '11 at 18:00

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Open ended questions like this are probably better on the forums, but if you have any specific questions as you're learning don't hesitate to ask. – Jorge Castro Sep 3 '11 at 18:09
I have used different variants of Linux since 94. I find Ubuntu by far the best. The worst problem you will have is after using Ubuntu is finding Windows palatable. Windows has quite a few shortcomings. – peck Sep 4 '11 at 4:51
  1. Try booting a live session of Ubuntu on the computer you want to install it on. That way, you'll confirm that the hardware works as expected. If there is something you're worried about, check Hardware drivers in Ubuntu. Sometimes it's necessary to install proprietary drivers for wlan, for instance. You won't be able to do that in the live session, but you will be able to confirm that drivers are easily available.
  2. Make sure you know what you want. It is useful to write down a list of everything you use the computer for.
  3. Find out if there are anything you need to do that cannot be done in Ubuntu. If that's the case, then you'll want to keep a small partition with Windows on it. That's very easy in Ubuntus installer.
  4. When Ubuntu is installed, most users will want to install the package Ubuntu Restricted Extras. When Ubuntu is installed, you can click this link to install it, or just search for it in Ubuntu Software Center:
  5. Explore Deja-Dup, which is the default backup system in Ubuntu 11.10. It's easy to use, so use it actively. You'll find it in the system preferences, which is the first entry on the power menu in the upper right corner.
  6. Explore the system, and please write down everything that isn't immediately obvious to you and if you can, explain why. New users have a fresh perspective that is very useful to developers.

I think most users should be able to just use Ubuntu. A primary goal for you should be to explore Ubuntu Software Center, as that is a concept Windows users are not familiar with and where you'll find most of the software you'll ever need.

I recommend using the Guest user as much as possible when you're experimenting with the system, as nothing you do as a guest can harm the system, and everything you do is forgotten when you log out or reboot. That means you can really go to town on the system and not worry about a thing.

You should also get yourself an account at You get 5GB of free online storage and you can sync with all your computers. You get databases and stuff too, and you get OAuth and OpenID so that you don't have to register with username and passwords on all those sites and just use "". Very pleasant.

I'm sure there are other things, but you'll have to discover them for yourself.

Good luck and have fun! :)

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This seems to be a good intro in the way of videos go and if you can bare the Irish accent.

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I have recently switched to Ubuntu and I have been using it for about 3 months now. I will share some of the things I think are good to do/know.

  • Make sure you have enough time to install.
    Assume it takes 5 hours or so. Depending on the kind of install you're going to do, this may be the time you need. (If you're going to classic dual-boot, you will want to back-up your windows system.) The actual install will take much less time, but if you want to start tweaking your system right away it's nice to have some time to do it.
  • Take things slowly. Once you get confortable, don't be afraid to tinker, but back-up before trying new things.
    Seeing as you're an IS student, I assume you're somewhat comfortable with terminals etc. I recommend you attempt to stay on the beaten track for at least two or three weeks. Once you get comfortable with command line usage, you can start tweaking critical system parts, if desired, if you back up files you're changing beforehand.
    If things go wrong, you can use the recovery mode to restore the back-up file. If you're going to do large operations on critical parts of your machine, do a full system backup ( ).
    For example, I did this before installing bumblebee, which provides experimental support for hybrid graphical solutions. In general, I back up my system every two weeks or so. This gives me the freedom to try and improve my system in any way I'd like, with relatively little risk of breakage.
  • Don't be afraid to ask.
    It seems like this won't be a problem, since you already did, but if you run into any trouble at all, first Google, then ask. I personally use and #ubuntu at (I haven't really had un-googlable problems since I joined askubuntu)

Hope this helps and is somewhat what you were looking for.

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5 hours?! On what device? A pinball machine? :p Installation only took me about 15 minutes and that includes the partitioning :p – RobinJ Sep 3 '11 at 18:44
Well, I had a comment there about how long backing up windows takes, if you want to do that, but that seemed to much of a tangent, so I took it out. When I installed my Windows/Ubuntu dual-boot, it took about 5 hours from out-of-the-box to installed and somewhat tweaked to my liking. Anyways, in my experience it's good to plan it takes longer so you have the time if unexpected stuff happens. :) – aureianimus Sep 3 '11 at 20:34

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