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  • The Linux equivalent of Windows' ipconfig command is ifconfig(8).
  • Your initial windowmanager settings are (generally) stored in the .xinitrc file.
  • Global system configuration files are in the /etc directory.
  • Use rpm -Uvh filename to install a .rpm file. See rpm(8)
  • Use tar -xzvf filename to decompress a .tar.gz or .tgz file. See tar(1)
  • Don't get involved in emacs(1) vs. vi(1) arguments. Use nano(1), pico(1), joe(1), or jed(1) for your initial editing needs. Once you have gotten a little more comfortable with the system, however, be sure to revisit emacs(1) and vi(1) as they offer tons of power you will never get with the simple minded editors. For the latter, vim(1) is the proposed clone, which comes with a vimtutor program that should get your over the initial hurdles quickly. Does any equivalent for emacs(1) exist?
  • The cp(1) command copies files. The -R switch is for copying directories.
  • Before you ask for help online, be sure to read the documentation first. It is sometimes difficult to understand so don't feel bad if you don't get it, just make the attempt. It will either make any explanation you get from someone else clearer, or the explanation will help you understand the documentation. Next time you look at it, the documentation will be less puzzling. If you repeat this a couple times, then you'll soon be cruising along with the docs just fine.
  • If your desktop locks up, Ctrl-Alt-Backspace will kill the GUI and drop you to the command line (or your display manager) without having to reboot the system.
  • You don't have to worry about defragmenting your disks.
  • You don't have to worry about defragmenting your memory.
  • You don't have to worry about mail worms.
  • Linux will crash on you at some point. It happens, no matter what anybody says. However, it won't happen nearly as much as it does on Windows.
  • You don't have to shut down or restart every day. It's ok to leave a Linux system running for a week or more (some users have their system running for months at a time). You should still conserve electricity, tho.
  • There is no way to undelete a file in Linux. You deleted it, it's gone. See rm(1)
  • The command su - lets you assume root user powers (if you have the password). See su(1)
  • Installing a program from source is easier than you think. The sequence is usually along the lines of

    tar xvzf filename-version.tar.gz
    cd filename-version
    ./configure && make && make install

    Note you have to be root for the make install step if you are installing into system wide directories. You can always install to your home directory, of course.
  • Make sure you are working on the correct drive when doing any filesystem level work - nuking the wrong partition or disk is annoying to say the least.
  • Learn how to use redirection "<" / ">" and pipes "|" in the shell. See bash(1)

See also AdvancedUserTips and HowToTipsHOWTO?