Guide for new members

Your posts
Most of the people who reply to your questions will not be professional computer experts, but just Linux users with more experience than you. They will have other calls on their time (like a job or family) so please be patient if answers don’t appear immediately.

Remember that there is no such thing as a “daft” question on this Forum. All contributors have gone through the same learning curve as you have embarked upon, so don’t be reluctant to ask a question, no matter how simple it seems.

Provide essential information in your post
Readers of your post are not clairvoyant and will have no idea of your system setup, so please always include enough information for them to place your questions in context. For example; the make/model of your computer; the operating system/version; and your printer/device also if that’s the subject of your post.

Key combinations
You will often be asked to type or paste “key combinations” as part of an instruction. It means that you press one key whilst already holding down one or more other keys. If you have used office software to create documents you are already familiar with the process. For example: Ctrl+c and Ctrl+v for cutting and pasting. And you select text by clicking-and-dragging your cursor over the text to be highlighted for copying.

It’s the same process in the Terminal (see the next paragraph) except that for historical reasons (you can ask if you’re interested) the key combinations are Ctrl+Shift+c and Ctrl+Shift+v for copy and paste, respectively.

The Terminal
Almost all the advice you receive will involve entering commands into your computer using the “Terminal”. This is simply an application which is just a blank, black window into which you type or paste instructions that you are given.

You invoke the Terminal by either:

  1. searching the menu for “Terminal” or, more simply…
  2. entering Ctrl+Alt+t on the keyboard.

Initially, the only text on the terminal screen will be your user prompt. Here’s mine:
Before the “@” is my computer user-name and “T500” is the name I’ve given my computer.
The “~” means you are set at your Home Directory and the “$” just marks the end of the prompt. The user prompt will change to reflect which directory you are in at any time.

Entering commands
Most of the commands that you will be asked to enter into the Terminal will be provided in a reply-post in the “code” box. In copying the command it is safest to highlight it by clicking on [Select] just above the code box, then copying it using Ctrl+c.
To paste a command into the terminal you use Ctrl+Shift+V. To copy text from a terminal, highlight the next as you would normally do and then use Ctrl+Shift+C

The computer has no idea when you have finished entering your instruction until you tell it by pressing the “Enter” key. Many new users are not aware of this.

Most of the commands that you encounter at first will appear almost magical in their brevity. Don’t worry about that – all will become clear with practice, and by you asking for explanations. Beware, though, that the Linux Command Line is addictive!

… And Finally
If you are satisfied with the outcome of your Topic, please let the world know by editing the title of your first post of the topic by adding [SOLVED] to the end of it. This will help others searching for a solution to the same problem, and will give a warm glow to those who have helped you.

Welcome to Linux

These might need a slight tweak for the new forums re; solved … ?