Baby Steps for Linux Distribution Installation

There are many of us who try switching to Linux Distribution after a healthy and comfortable experience with Windows. But then we fail miserably. The main reason — too much spoon-feeding by Windows!

We all agree Windows is more convinient at first, offering us millions of services and features. But so does any other Linux Distribution! For most part of this story, I am going to stick to Ubuntu as an example.

Ubuntu Logo

Well, Ubuntu has almost all the features that Windows offers. Apart from the added security advantages that Ubuntu offers, it also speeds up your PC. Well, that’s because unlike Windows, Ubuntu allows you to decide which applications must run constantly on your PC.

If you are new to Linux based Operating System, I suggest you go for Ubuntu as it blurs the thin line between Windows and Linux Distros. It provides a convinient landing so that you can get all comfortable with the basics of Linux commands and methods of use.

For those of you who already have Ubuntu and are looking for some tips, you may skip this section.

I would also suggest you install Ubuntu alongside Windows as a ‘Dual-Boot’, so that you are not isolated and don’t feel helpless later. For Dual Boot Installation, create a flash drive with Ubuntu ISO burned on a standard 8 Gigs USB using Rufus.

Boot up your USB and install Ubuntu on an ext2 File System. I recommend creating a 75 GB Partition for it. Now wait, and I mean it seriously, wait. If you’ve got a really great Internet connection, then I suggest you also install third party drivers and utility softwares that can make your transition go even smoother.

For more information, I suggest you head over here.

After Installing Ubuntu, first things first. You need to understand that even though Ubuntu has an interactive GUI, you need to know some basic commands and terminologies so that you may not falter in any situation.

Head over to this documentation for learning all the basic commands.

In Ubuntu, even if you are the owner of the PC, you are not granted root or “Administrator” access directly. For administrator access, you need to use a certain command — ‘sudo’. It stands for ‘SuperUser Do’. As the name suggests, this keyword enables Superuser actions and root access.

Basically, use it only for certain important functions such as installing or removing applications.

With great power comes great responsibility!

Don’t use ‘sudo’ to modify any support libraries or files of Ubuntu OS. It may result in a malfunction!

Now comes the ‘Tasks’ part.

There’s something called GRUB — GRand Unified Bootloader. It’s your Bootloader companion that allows you to choose your desired OS at the start of your PC. Don’t worry, you can always boot into Windows or Ubuntu any time. But GRUB is really quirky. It may not detect Windows at all and so you can’t boot into Windows! Now what?

You need to update your GRUB so that it detects Windows as an option at the start of your PC. Many users face this problem that they are not able to boot into Windows after installing Ubuntu. Well, that’s purely because GRUB failed to detect Windows in another Filesystem.

Head over to Ubuntu, open terminal and type in the following command:

sudo update-grub

This command updates GRUB — it then searches all the existing Operating Systems in all drives. Remember, you need root access for the command.

After this, I suggest you update all your applications. Now, Ubuntu has this software called ‘APT’ — Advanced Package Tool. Every program in Ubuntu is in form of a Package and this tool, handles them all. So for updating all the exisiting programs, use the following command:

sudo apt-get upgrade

This upgrades the existing programs and does not install any unknown programs.

Ubuntu also has many distinct keyboard shortcuts. Many of them don’t match with Windows shortcuts. So I suggest you head over here for refering certain popularly used shortcuts. Also, you can always go to Settings by right clicking on the desktop and head over to Keyboard Section column in the Settings to get to know some of them.

Keyboard Shortcuts in Ubuntu

Now, there’s something strange which I noticed first when transitioning from Windows to Ubuntu OS.

CTRL + ALT + DEL doesn’t open Task Manager in Ubuntu!

Well, that was a shock! But then in Ubuntu, anything is possible! This shortcut is assigned to Log Out function. So I changed it to CTRL + SHIFT + ALT + DEL.

And I made a custom shortcut where the short cut keys are CTRL + ALT + DEL and the command to be run on press of this combination is:

gnome-system-monitor

Just check out the below screenshot:

Creating Task Manager Shortcut

Well, isn’t this convinient!

Ubuntu may have a fancy screen, but the Navigation for Ubuntu is always on the left side. You may switch it to bottom just like in Windows so that you may find it convinient. Head over to Appearence in Settings and change the Dock Position on Screen to Bottom, as shown in the following picture:

Also, you may see that you are allowed to switch to Dark GUI in the above setting! Cool, isn’t it?

Now, I leave it you to explore the other aspects of settings in Ubuntu! Make it even more convinient for yourself so that you may not need the comfort of Windows everytime, as a PC user.

Now, let’s come over to this section for some applications that are a must in Ubuntu.

If you still haven’t located Terminal on Ubuntu, well, don’t worry, just click on the 9 dots in your Navigation/Task Bar and search for Terminal, you may add it to to your Taskbar by clicking ‘Add to Favourites’ by right clicking on it or you may remember the keyboard shortcut CTRL + ALT + T !

Ubuntu has it’s own Software Center where you can download cool new applications.

Even if there isn’t a Software Center in any other Linux Distributions, there’s always a tool ‘APT’ or ‘YUM’ that can be used to download certain other softwares. The Web is full of them!

Some of the applications that I downloaded in the first go are:

Visual Studio Code

Well, I am a bit of a programmer and no, we are not nerdy all the time! And my favourite IDE — ofcourse, VS Code! For Ubuntu, I headed over to the Software Center > Development > VSCode for installing it but then you can even install it using the following Command:

sudo snap install --classic code

VLC Media Player

There is a default Media Player in Linux but I was suited to using VLC much more. You can use this command in the terminal for installing it:

sudo snap install vlc

Microsoft Teams

During the Lockdown in 2020, I had to attend my College lectures on MS Teams and fortunately they have a Linux Version. Head over here to download the debian package for Microsoft Teams.

In Ubuntu you get .deb files that need to be installed as apps. For installing such packages, open your terminal in the folder that you placed your .deb file and use the following command:

sudo apt install ./<YOURFILENAME>.deb

Replace the Tag <YOURFILENAME> with the name of your .deb File.

Spotify

Who doesn’t like music while coding or gaming? Well, I installed spotify from the Software Center but you can also use the following command:

sudo snap install spotify

Git

Git is a version control system tool that allows you to maintain versioning of your code in a secure and convinient way. Remember, Git and GitHub are different! Github is a platform where your Git repositories can be regulated. Git, on the otherhand, is a VCS tool. Read more about it here.

You may use this command to install it:

sudo apt install git

Steam

Apart from coding, I also play video games, particularly Dota 2 and CSGO. I am really lucky that Steam has it’s own Linux Client. If you are looking for some gaming stuff, I suggest you get Steam by using the following command:

sudo apt install steam-installer

Now, if you had a Steam Library that was previously up and running in Windows, you may need to add it to Downloads Folder in Steam.

For that, let’s make something clear. In Ubuntu, different drives are mounted into different folders in the Ubuntu base drive, unlike in Windows, where different drives are mounted as different base folders.

Now, you may need to find the folder where your drive is mounted. Open Disks from the Application Menu ( the 9 dots on the Taskbar I talked about earlier). If you don’t find it on the screen, just search for “Disks”. It looks like this:

Disks in Ubuntu

Now, you may find that my 3rd partition is mounted at the given location in the screenshot. For accessing everything that is present in the partition, I need to head over to that location only!

Now, for adding my SteamLibrary that is present in this drive, I need to go to Settings > Downloads > Steam Library Folders inside Steam. For me, the SteamLibrary folder was inside this drive so I added /media/krhero/0FBB12900FB81290/SteamLibrary to the list as shown here:

With this, you’ ll be good to go with your gaming and stuff.

GIMP

I don’t know how many of you are into designing artworks and images, but if you want an interactive program that helps you with this, I suggest you get GIMP. It’s a really great tool that is the closest thing in Linux to Illustrator and Photoshop, according to me.

You can download it from here. Or just head over to Software Center in Ubuntu where you’ll find most of these stuffs. GIMP distributes its software using flatpak, which is similar to snap. Read more about flatpak here.

Apart from these tools, I even got Discord, zsh, Chrome, Android Studio, Web Server and many other cool softwares.

But this is just a tip of an iceberg submerged into the vast ocean. I recommend you scribble more into its surface to unlock the truth within.

Hope you have a good day ahead.

Thanks for giving it a read :)

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store