EzeeLinux has received thousands of inquiries over the years. This page contains some of the most often asked questions and concise answers. A quick read through here just may save both of us some time.
– Joe Collins
Q: I’m new to Linux. What Linux distribution should I start out with?
A: I most often recommend Linux Mint with the Cinnamon desktop to new Linux users. Linux Mint is super easy to install and it comes fully configured with all the basic software you need to start using it right away. Linux Mint is very well documented and it works on a wide variety of hardware. Users who are more computer savvy or want to have a more customized experience might want to start out with Ubuntu MATE. This flavor of Ubuntu is loaded with tools that make it super easy to configure it exactly the way you want. It also works very well on older, low resource hardware.
Q: What hardware should I buy to run Linux.
A: Linux will run on most X86 PC’s that normally run Windows. It’s especially good for bringing new life to older hardware. You can also buy new machines that come pre-loaded with Linux from companies like Dell and System76 in the US and Entroware in Europe. You can Google search for your machine’s make and model along with “install Linux” to find out how easy it will be to get Linux going. Do this for a machine you already own or one you’re thinking of buying. It can save you a lot of hassle.
Q: Will Linux let me do all the things I do with Windows or Mac now?
A: Yes. Linux has thousands of free applications that let you do just about anything you’d need to do with a computer. It takes some time to figure out which ones will work for you, though. If you’re counting on being able to run Winnows applications on Linux you may be disappointed. WINE is a program that let’s you run Windows software on Linux. It doesn’t work with all Windows software and it can be a security risk so I don’t recommend relying on it. My advice is to keep Windows around on its own machine while you are learning Linux on another. Figuring out how you can accomplish what you need to get done with Linux native software is a big part of the migration process and you should take your time to avoid frustration.
Q: Will I have to learn how to work in a terminal to use Linux?
A: No. New user friendly distributions like Linux Mint and Ubuntu MATE can be installed and configured just by clicking a mouse. BASH, the shell program that runs in the terminal, is a big part of the Linux experience, though. New users should take some time to get acquainted with navigating the shell simply because they’re probably going to have to interact with it sooner or later. Some very powerful programs are written to run in ate terminal. You can also learn to write your own scripts to automate complex tasks. The terminal is the place to go when you need to run some commands to fix a problem or gather information to send to someone who is trying to help you.
Q: Will you help me install Linux for a fee?
A: No. I used to do one-on-one support for a gratuity but I no longer do that. I simply don’t have the time to give to supporting anyone on an individual basis anymore. Everything I know is in the YouTube videos. You can also join EzeeTalk and be a part of the forums there. You’ll find many folks who volunteer their time to answer your questions.
Q.: Will you help me setup a dual boot with Windows?
A: No. I do not support nor do I recommend dual booting Linux with Windows.
Q: Can you help me setup a VPN?
A: No. Each VPN is different and you should direct your questions to the VPN provider.
Q: Can you help me if my hardware isn’t working with Linux?
A: Maybe. I can usually answer generic questions but very often I can’t help with specific hardware. For example, not all printers have Linux support and you may find that you can’t use the one you already have or it may not work properly. The best thing to do is to run a Google search with the make and model of your printer along with the Linux distribution you’re using. Something like: “Setup HP Envy 5530 on Linux Mint.” You’ll find out in just a few clicks if your printer works with Linux and if it does what you need to do to get it going.
Q: Can you help me with WINE?
A: No, I don’t use or recommend WINE because it supports Windows software and it presents a security risk. WINE can make a Linux machine susceptible to the same threats as Windows. I recommend that you setup a VirtualBox virtual machine with Windows running in it if you absolutely have to run Windows software on your Linux computer. It’s much simpler and safer than using WINE.
Q: Do I need to install Antivirus software on Linux?
A: No! While no operating system is completely immune to attack, Linux is still the safest option for desktop users. You do not need to install any extra software to be safe because threats are addressed by the distribution maintainers, usually before you even hear about them. Vulnerability fixes come with updates so you must keep your machine updated at all times.
Q: Is it safe for me to pay my bills or do taxes on Linux?
A: Absolutely. Linux is the most secure operating system available for desktops. You don’t have to worry about anyone stealing your data as long as you keep things up to date and practice safe browsing methods. Most experienced Linux users will tell you that they will never do anything involving sensitive data on anything but Linux.