8 Common Mistakes First-Time Linux Users Make

Tired of Windows or macOS? Many PC users get fed up with Windows updates or sky-high Macbook prices. Fortunately, Linux is free, easy to use, and built with security. However, no matter how many advantages Linux users receive from using it, they should avoid these eight common mistakes when they get started:

1. Not Using Extra Security Software

Linux is renowned for its security and privacy-friendly policies. In contrast to Windows, Linux’s superuser privileges aren’t as easy to access by third-party files. This makes it very appealing for those concerned about security as it overshadows Windows’s security.

However, many new Linux users have become carefree regarding their security, believing their new operating system is malware-proof. Because of this, they might not even scan files for viruses.

This common mistake can lead to huge virus and malware issues in the long run that might even result in ransomware, data loss or theft, and more. To mitigate this issue, new Linux users should consider installing a proper antivirus or a VPN.

Both these extra security features can help you boost your cybersecurity and prevent data theft or virus/malware infestation. Whenever you download something new, especially from a suspicious website, use the “scan file for viruses” option to determine if it is safe. This feature will alert you if something is wrong with the file that is being downloaded and help protect you from malware.

2. Using Root for Everyday Tasks

Linux has a powerful root account that has full administrative privileges. It’s easy for new Linux users to use the root account for routine tasks haphazardly. However, this should be discouraged as it can lead to accidental system modifications or deletions.

New Linux users should create a separate user account with limited privileges for regular use. Switch to the root account only when it is absolutely necessary. This way, you keep your data and activities safe from disruptions or damage.

3. Mixing Software Packages From Different Sources

Another common mistake new Linux users make is mixing software packages from different sources. This may include various Linux distributions or third-party repositories. In many instances, this can easily lead to compatibility issues or dependency conflicts.

The best way to avoid software package mixing issues is to stick to the official software repositories provided by the Linux distribution. There are also many trusted third-party repositories you can use to ensure software compatibility and system stability.

4. Neglecting Regular Software Updates

It’s easy for new Linux users to bring their Windows habits to Linux, such as neglecting software updates. However, regular updates on any OS include security patches, bug fixes, and new features crucial to your system’s overall security and well-being.

Ensure optimal performance and security by regularly updating your Linux distribution and installing the newest software packages.

5. Not Backing up Data

This next common mistake applies to all PC users, including Linux OS users. Data backup is crucial in keeping important files and configurations safe. You can store your data on an external storage device or a cloud-based backup solution.

This way, you can recover your data easily in the event of a system crash or other unforeseen events. It is also useful against a ransomware attack, as you regain the data held hostage by bad actors.

6. Little Terminal Usage

If you are a Linux newbie, don’t shy away from using the terminal. Many new Linux users rely solely on graphical user interfaces (GUI). However, the only advantage of GUI tools is that they are user-friendly.

If you want powerful command-line capabilities and greater control over your system, then you should use the terminal. To get started, familiarize yourself with the basic terminal commands. Move on to other commands as you master each. This way, you can enhance your Linux experience tenfold and enable more efficient system management.

7. Overly Complex Customizations

Plenty of new Linux users are enticed by its extensive customization options. Yet, these complex customizations need to be made with a clear understanding of the system. In many instances, making complex customizations can lead to system instability or other unintended consequences.

The best way to start customizing your Linux system is with small steps. Start with simpler customizations. You can then gradually explore more advanced configurations as you familiarize yourself with your new system.

8. Not Utilizing Community Support

Although Linux is user-friendly, there are many instances for newcomers when they face odds in regard to troubleshooting issues or other challenges. This is where the Linux community support can help.

Online forums, documentation, or user groups are dedicated to providing new Linux comers with vital data and helping them better understand the system. Not using this guidance and assistance is a common mistake many new Linux users make, as they might not be aware of how efficient and dedicated the Linux community support truly is.

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i love Linux and Unix
i love Linux and Unix
2 months ago

Thank you, Synaptic is the best tool for a novice user, it is available in most Debian and Ubuntu versions.

Other distributions that include Synaptic out of the box are ALT and Vine Linux.