More and more people are migrating to Ubuntu Linux on an unprecedented scale. However, most if not all, of these new users are people who have no prior knowledge of Linux whatsoever. The road to being a power Ubuntu Linux user can be summed up in five simple steps that every new user in whatever category will find easy and fun to implement.Using Ubuntu is more than just running an OS, it is about joining an ideological movement of freedom that in my view is symbolized by the Statue of Liberty in the US. Read on to become the next Mark Shuttleworth.
Step 1- Join the Ubuntu Forums.
The first thing you should do as a new user of Ubuntu is to join the Ubuntu Forums. It is a very helpful place where you can get to introduce yourself, make friends with newbies like you and more experienced geeks, ask any question you have about Ubuntu or Open Source in general, join any ongoing conversation and more. I also advice that you take time everyday to visit. Be an active participant. If you like, you can even subscribe to the feeds of the Forums. But whatever the case, please make it a note to join the Ubuntu Forums and you will be amazed at how much you get to learn for free..
Step 2- Get your own personal reference manuals.
It is highly recommended to get your own reference manuals about Ubuntu and Linux in general. Linux is more of a subject to be learned than something to just use. With Ubuntu Linux, you always have something to learn and it is very much worth the effort given the fact that Linux is poised to be the future of computing. You also improve your computing skills when you get to learn as much as you can about Linux. You will also be surprised at the kind of exhilaration that you experience when you successfully troubleshoot your own system the very frist time without the help of anybody.
Step 3- Ask, ask, ask.
Whatever problem you might be facing in using Ubuntu Linux, be sure to know that someone out there has encountered that problem before and all you need to do to get it solved will be to ask. This brings us to the first step of joining the forums. You should also be using Google a lot. Just Google your question and get millions of suggested results in seconds. Do not shut your mouth when you have a problem and run back to Windows simply because you had a problem with Ubuntu Linux. You must ask to get help. To even get more specific suggestions on the forums, you should make it clear that you are a newbie. Most people are willing to help more newbies than others. Don’t let your Windows friends tease you with the age old phrase of ” that’s Linux for you” just because you did not ask. The solution to every single Ubuntu Linux problem is as simple as asking at the right place.
Step 4- Experiment with your system.
The only sure fire way to be a Linux geek is to practice, and what better practice is there than to experiment with your own system. Always have a backup of your system and experiment with other ways of using Ubuntu. Do not just settle for the default setup of your installation. Apply the skills and tips you learn in the above books as much as you can, read about other methods of getting things done and apply them. Read wide and apply more. Be sure to always backup your system though. Try using other utilities like Compiz and a host of others. Experiment with how to make your system unique and you will be surprised at how much you get to learn by doing.
Step 5- Help others out
This is the most important step of all the five. Ubuntu Linux users are a worldwide community of people that believe in “humanity to others” and as such, you should endeavor to help others out as much as you can. If all you know is how to run a LiveCD, share that knowledge with someone. Anytime you visit the Ubuntu Forums, be sure to seek out new users like you and share your little experience with them. Help as much as you can. Go out of your way to be very helpful to new users with every single bit of knowledge you have. Over ten million people are using and benefiting from a very powerful, reliable and secure OS because one man believed in giving back to others. The least you can also do is to share your experience with those in need. You will be amazed at the level of knowledge you gain sharing yours with others.
Practice these simple but powerful points and in no time you will be on your way to being a geek that others will look up to for help and support.
What other ways do you think new users can use to get a grounding in the world of Ubuntu Linux? Share your thoughts in your comments. Talk back!