Stop Telling Beginning Linux Users These Things
Linux is something that takes time to become accustomed to. Many advanced Linux users have strong opinions about certain things. There are certain things that we just should not be telling beginning Linux users. Most beginning Linux users don’t care about certain things, and they’re barely sold on ditching Windows. In this article, I will provide a list of things to stop telling beginning Linux users, as it will send them back to Windows. Later on, you can tell them these, but wait and give them a little time to get settled on the system they are using now.
1) Stop Telling Beginning Linux Users to Use Arch or ANYTHING Arch-Based
A person just starting to use Linux likely has zero experience with the terminal. Arch says themselves that they are “targeted at the proficient GNU/Linux user” (https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Arch_Linux#User_centrality). Distributions that are based on Arch such as Manjaro are often prone to heavy breaking. Although they might be easy to use, they break frequently. If your beginning Linux user has their Operating System break, they are 95% of the time going to go back to Windows.
I HIGHLY recommend Pop!_OS for beginning Linux users. A Review of Pop! OS
2) Do not Switch Beginning Linux Users to Linux Alternatives Such as BSD
While BSD is certainly more stable and less prone to breaking before the user’s very eyes than a Linux distribution such as Arch, BSDs are incredibly complex. New Linux users do not know how to operate these extremely complex and rugged systems. In addition, the vast majority of BSDs are aimed at the server market. Using them on the desktop oftentimes simply doesn’t work out, even for the more advanced users.
NOTE: BSD is an excellent Linux alternative for advanced users, see here: FreeBSD: Linux’s Linux)
3) Don’t Tell Them About WINE
This one may seem like a controversial one, after all, many people such as Linus Tech Tips mention WINE all the time. (https://youtu.be/_Ua-d9OeUOg?t=494) The unfortunate truth is though, WINE only works about 30% of the time, and when it doesn’t, the user may opt to go back to Windows and never go back to Linux. In addition, winehq (https://www.winehq.org) is prone to lying, so don’t trust it as a source. I HIGHLY recommend showing the user alternatives to the application and stopping telling beginning Linux users to use WINE. If that is not possible, show them how to dual boot. And yes, this applies to Proton too.
4) Stop Telling Beginning Linux Users How to Use Tools like Vim
Vim is an amazing program. I prefer it to nano tenfold, but it’s not user-friendly. It requires extensive knowledge, and even some extremely smart people I know never bothered to learn vim. I recommend learning vim if you don’t know how: How to Write in Vim on Linux or other OSes (Tutorial), but it’s not for beginners. Don’t try to shove information like how to use vim or how to do all sorts of insane terminal commands down their throats. If they’re smart enough, they’ll figure it out for themselves.
I agree that you shouldn’t tell new users to use Arch, but not for the same reason. Arch doesn’t require heavy maintenance, but it requires you to update your system every few days and most people are going to forget to do that and they’ll end up breaking their system.
It requires heavy maintenance if you don’t update your system every few days, which is a given when it comes to new users.
The biggest problem with arch linux for normies is the install process and installing new packages. Manjaro simplifies the process of both. It has a gui installer and package manager making both processes extremely simple.
That brings up a pretty major problem with Manjaro. There are 4 different package managers or package-manager-like programs installed by default. That easily creates just a huge ugly clusterf**k so I would never recommend Manjaro to a beginner. They can install Arch later if they want, but till then just start ’em off with Pop!_OS or something more simple and then they can refine themselves later on with their own personal choices. You should give beginning users the software that is least likely to drive users away and then once they’ve been sold on Linux and understand it more, they can make their own choices on their personal favorite distributions without your help.