Quick Advice

I just want to give out a little advice to everyone out there. Recently I’ve been helping lots of people with Linux through the Qunu service. I’ve noticed a recent trend of people causing their own problems. So I wanted to give a short list of generic advice for anyone who is new to Ubuntu or Linux in general.

First off, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. One guy was having a problem because he was following some guide about how to setup the perfect Ubuntu install. He didn’t have a specific problem he was trying to fix or anything. He was just following some guide that claimed to provide directions to a perfect install. Luckily I was able to convince him that there was nothing wrong with his Ubuntu as it was, and none of that stuff was necessary.

Rule number two, don’t tweak things for the sake of tweaking things. Some people enjoy uselessly twiddling widgets on their computer for no reason. They like to do things they think increase performance just for fun. Not only do some of those tweaks not actually increase performance, but these people only use their computers as boxes of tweaking. If any performance is ever gained it is never used outside of a benchmark. Trying to uselessly tweak bits in your software without a reason is going to get you into trouble. Don’t be that guy. If you want to be that guy, get an old PC and install Gentoo on it.

Perhaps the most important rule is that you shouldn’t do anything unless you understand what it is you are doing. Far too many people find a howto guide and simply type all the commands in order. They don’t understand what any of the commands do. They don’t read the output from those commands. And even if they did read the output, they wouldn’t understand what it means. I put part of the blame on howto writers for not explaining what commands do, but simply giving direct instructions. However, users are not without blame. They blindly follow the instructions on random websites without even trying to understand what they are doing.

If you are planning on using Linux as your desktop operating system, and you care to actually get real use out of it, then follow my instructions. Do not fix what is not broken. Do not tweak or change anything unecessarily. Do not do something unless you completely understand what it is you are doing. If you follow these three rules, you will have a much better experience.

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