If you’re on the path toward becoming a full-fledged developer, there’s no way you can get around installing Linux. Knowing your way around this OS is simply a must (even if your teachers try to convince you otherwise).

The thing is, no other OS can substitute what Linux has to offer. It’s highly secure and customizable. It’s designed to use the system resources in the most efficient way possible. It’s renowned for its reliability and stability. And on top of that, Linux distributions allow you to write a variety of bash scripts! 

Of course, getting started with Linux can be quite intimidating at first. And let’s not gloss over the fact that it’ll take time to master it. So, in case you’re too busy to dedicate your full attention to this, you can pay some paper writing services to write my research paper or consider offloading some of your homework to EssayPro to make time. Otherwise, you might make an irreversible mistake that’ll destroy your system by accident!

Don’t know how to get started with Linux? Here are eight tips for you!

1- Try Several Linux Distributions First

Let’s start with the basics. Linux isn’t exactly a single OS. It’s a family of operating systems that are all based on the Linux kernel – think of it as the middleman between the software and hardware.

Just like there are multiple themes for Joomla and WordPress, there are various Linux distributions tailored to particular users’ needs. For example, some distros are created for the education setting. Case in point: Qimo 4 Kids, Edubuntu, and DebianEdu.

As for the best distros for aspiring developers, make sure to check out whether these five work for you:

  • Ubuntu;
  • Debian;
  • OpenSUSE;
  • CentOS;
  • Pop!_OS.

Most distros allow you to test the OS without installing it – that’s what the “Live Mode” is for. You just need to make a bootable USB and select this mode the next time you start your computer. Don’t skip out on this step – you can never know how well a distro fits you until you’ve tried it!

2- Get Comfortable With the Command Line

If you’re an aspiring developer, using Linux as you would use Windows or macOS doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. After all, why install an OS tailored to developers’ needs if you’re not going to use its coder-oriented features?

The terminal is the key feature you should get familiar with. Here are six basic tips that will help you if you’re a beginner:

  • Most distros have a terminal launcher by default. You can also use the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut to open it;
  • Change the working directory with the cd command;
  • Check which directory you’re working with at the moment with the pwd (print working directory) command;
  • Use sudo before a command to run it as the superuser;
  • Press Ctrl+Z to suspend the execution of a command;
  • Add --help at the end of a command to get the help information displayed in the terminal.


3- Avoid Retyping the Same Code

Once you get confident enough with the command line, there’s one thing you should learn to avoid as much as possible: typing the same thing again and again. It’s just counterproductive!

Luckily, there are multiple ways you can reuse some parts of the code you’ve already written. Here are five shortcuts you should keep in mind:

  • Use Tab to autocomplete the command;
  • Press Ctrl+R and type in a search term to find a piece of code you’ve written above;
  • Automatically fill out the argument with the one in the previous command with !$;
  • Type !! to call the entire previous command one more time;
  • Press Ctrl+Shift+C to copy pieces of code and Ctrl+Shift+V to paste them.

4-Run Multiple Commands at Once

Unless you know about this hack, you’ll have to wait for each command to get executed before you can write the next one. That amounts to a lot of waiting time – the time that you lose.

But, of course, there’s an easy way to avoid this cumbersomeness:

  • Use pipe (|) to execute several commands with the same argument at once;
  • Separate several commands with ; to do the same thing;
  • Use the && separator to run one command after another – but only if the previous one was successful.

5- Don’t Use Ctrl+S in the Terminal

This is a minor hack, but if you have no idea about it, you’re bound to have a micro-heart attack when you try to save something in the terminal. That’s because if you press the combination that feels natural, Ctrl+S, it’ll freeze the command line!

To save a file you’re working on in the terminal, use the :w command. It’ll allow you to continue editing it after the save is finished. If you want to quit after saving, use :wq or ZZ instead.

And if you still press Ctrl+S by sheer reflex at some point, don’t worry: it’s not the end of the world. Just press Ctrl+Q to unfreeze the terminal and continue working.

6- Learn to Monitor System Resource Usage

Remember that good-old task manager on Windows? Linux has several commands that you can use to get the same information about how your system is operating at any given moment:

  • top: once you execute it, you’ll see all the processes currently running in your system. You’ll also see how much memory and CPU are consumed by each of the processes;
  • free: running this one allows you to see how much memory is being used;
  • df -h: it shows you how much disk space is already used in megabytes or gigabytes (as opposed to bytes).

7- Don’t Neglect Backing Up

It doesn’t matter whether you’re developing a new WordPress plugin or just want to make sure you won’t lose your files when your hard drive suddenly quits on you. It’s never too early to start backing up!

How do you do that on Linux? Well, you can opt for cloud storage solutions to sync your files:

  • Dropbox has an official application you can install via the terminal or a .deb / .rpm package;
  • Google Drive and OneDrive don’t have a client for Linux yet. But you can use a third-party solution to get that native desktop experience – Insync;
  • To use iCloud, enable snapd that will allow running snaps. Then, install icloud-for-linux.

Alternatively, you can back up your files to an external HDD or SSD – or a location on your dedicated server. For this purpose, you can use a program like rsync. You can also use crontab to schedule automatic backups.

8- Learn to Use SSH Encryption

Since you’re an aspiring coder yourself, you must be aware of how dangerous it is to transfer data without encryption. Your passwords, login credentials, and sensitive files can all be intercepted and then read without any effort at all.

So, it’s a no-brainer: you need to encrypt your data before the transfer to a remote server. And when it comes to Linux, firing up the SSH encryption is a piece of cake once you know how to use the command line.

To set up an SSH-encrypted connection between your machine and another one, type in ssh user_name@host(IP/Domain_name). Then, you’ll need to run the keygen (ssh-keygen) and set the parameters of encryption.

In Conclusion

You can install Linux on your machine and use it the same way you would use Windows or macOS. Or, you can look under the hood and take it as an opportunity to become a better coder. The choice is yours!

There’s one thing you should keep in mind, though: getting started with Linux might be overwhelming at first. But this feeling will quickly die down. And then, you’ll get to tinkering with the command line and fostering the curiosity that’s inherent to all coders.

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Also, check out DevOps Book You should read section.