How to use Linux

On the Internet there are many instructions on how to install Linux on a computer how to install it with several other systems, how to configure certain aspects of how to do certain actions, but have no good articles on how to use Linux, what actions and when to execute, why is it necessary and how to do it right.

We’ll talk about system tuning, security updates, cleaning, backups and other such things. I don’t claim to be an expert in this field. I do that in your system, and you propose to do, but that’s just my opinion, you and others can think differently. Article the use of linux targeted at home users, not system administrators and programmers. But I think you can find something useful in this article.

How to use Linux?

The first thing we should understand is why do we need the system. For me the operating system on the computer is a tool to perform certain tasks, work that needs to be done every day. Therefore it is very important to me the stability of my system, easy to set up, to quickly return to normal appearance in case of problems, performance and security.

If the system breaks down – it is very frustrating you can’t do your job, losing data and starting to get nervous. That’s why I choose and recommend beginners to choose the stable distributions.ArchLinux not, who does not know how to behave in the next update, and Ubuntu, Mint, OpenSUSE and other distros like that. For experiments it is possible to install an additional operating system or use a virtual machine, but the basic system should be working. Always. Now go through the points of how to achieve this, in addition, of course, that you will use the stable distribution.

1. System setup

Many users can spend weeks to configure graphical interfaces, configuration, and other parameters of their system. I understand them, I’ve been, to remember the same work with Gentoo when on the first setting to the minimum operating condition with a graphical interface took up to two days with slow Internet, or my attempts to configure the window Manager Awesome. But it takes too much time. And if there is any unexpected situation, you will have to do it all over again or you will feel just a bit uncomfortable from the fact that they work in unfamiliar surroundings.

If you give an example with the whole system, the update can easily break all your achievements, disable one function or replacing it with another, the same transition to Systemd, or if we continue the analogy with the Awesome, will update the developers version of Lua, the language in which you wrote the configuration file, and you will have to rewrite it again.

In short, the farther you go away from default settings, the greater the risk that you will have to spend time keeping your configuration in working condition. No, of course you can change the theme, icons, fonts, or even to tweak a few configuration files, but without fanaticism. For this reason, I choose Gnome instead of KDE, the shell looks quite nice without additional configuration.

2. Update

Update – it is also very important, with them you get new software (sometimes), and most importantly, fix security problems, and possibly problems with the system. But as practice shows, if you upgrade fairly often, very often, the risk to break the system while updating is much lower, especially for the stable distribution. And you don’t want to miss a software update? Therefore, update your system as often as possible, you can even set update Linux utility ucare-systemcore, if you are interested in using a Debian based linux.

3. Software and driver

As you already know, Linux is not such a huge problem with viruses as Windows. Of course, it is desirable to install programs from the official repositories of the distro repositories or third-party developers. But you can search for packages on the Internet. There are several special sites, and all of them you can trust, these sites are described in more detail in the article where to look for Ubuntu. About software it should be noted only that the less your system has all the excess, the better for her security, especially for the services on the computer that is accessible from the Internet. In software are constantly finding vulnerabilities and it is better that the program was not installed and running, if it is not needed.

Regarding drivers, the story is slightly different. All open drivers are already built into the kernel so you don’t need to install them separately. But some hardware manufacturers don’t want to open the source code of their drivers. Such drivers are installed separately. Most of all this applies to the graphics card. I must say that if you don’t play games, you completely stop the open source driver developed by the community. Gone are the days when you could notice the difference when using the system interface.

But for best gaming performance proprietary drivers have to be installed. But then you have to forget about the new kernel. If you are going to install the latest kernel versions from or ppa or other sources, note that with the proprietary drivers they will not work because the driver is not calculated yet on this kernel version. So either one or the other.

4. Cleaning system

From time to time the system needs to be cleaned. Of course, she leans crap like Windows, but over time a growing number of log files, size CSA package Manager, the number of unneeded dependencies, the files that no longer need one program, and so on. For each distribution the process of cleaning is different because there are taking part of the batch Manager and other additional utilities. The main thing you need to do:

  • Clear cache of the package Manager;
  • To remove unnecessary logs;
  • Remove dependencies that are no longer needed;
  • To delete unnecessary files.

If you are interested in cleaning Ubuntu, then this is already a more detailed article. How often you need to clean? Not really. The system gets clogged very slowly, I think one or two times a year would be sufficient if there is sufficient memory on the hard disk.

5. Backup

We want to make the most robust operating system. Only then Linux will be as pleasant as possible. But even in the stable distribution something can go wrong, so it is advisable to do a full backup of the root partition of your system. Then, in case of serious problems, you will not have to reinstall the system and all the programs or spending several days to search the package that caused the problem. You will be able to restore the earlier state of the system.

For backup there are many tools available, but it is best to use a tool, independent from the original system, such as Clonezilla. This is a Live image with graphical interface, which is downloaded separately from the operating system and allows you to do all you need. Very often the copy is also not necessary, I think one copy every few months for a home computer is enough. Another precaution you can write the Grub boot loader on a flash drive, if you are afraid that Windows will overwrite it when you upgrade.


In this article we examined how to use Linux to get the most stable and reliable system. As you can see, not only Windows can give excellent reliability, Linux is much better. The system can work and not break for years, if not to break. We can conclude that linux for home use is quite suitable. I hope this information was useful for you.


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