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  • The Linux equivalent of MicrosoftWindows' ipconfig command is ifconfig(8).
  • Your initial WindowManager settings are (generally) stored in the .xinitrc or .xsession file in your home.
  • Global system configuration files are in the /etc directory.
  • Install RPM Packages using rpm -Uvh filename. See rpm(8). However, investigate a better PackageManagementTool urgently. On FedoraCore, that would be AptForRpm or Yum.
  • Use tar xzvf filename to decompress a .tar.gz or .tgz file, otherwise known as a TarBall. 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 is the suggested 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 -a 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 graphical environment (the XServer, in technical terms) and drop you to the Shell (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 MicrosoftWindows.
  • 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)
  • sudo(1) will let you execute a command with SuperUser (or any other) privileges; it may need to be configured, in that case, see SudoHowto. If you really need a root shell, you can use su(1): execute su - and type the root password. You should never log in as root (except if you managed to get the system so shot up that you can't log in as a user).
  • 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
    sudo 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 -- which you need to indicate by saying ./configure --prefix=$HOME on the relevant step. You can also pass many more options, to configure, most of which needn't concern you, except for the (usually few) --enable-foo/--disable-foo and --with-bar/--without-bar which let you hand-pick features to include or omit from the resultant build of the software.

  • 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