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Linux Mint is the 4th most popular OS in the world behind Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu. It is based on Ubuntu but has kind of went it's own path. I personally like the KDE Plasma shell, so I chose the 64b installer from here (http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php). Feel free to download whichever one you plan to use.
Key Notes: Edit
1. When you install, you can choose between KDE and GNOME setups. I advice you check out which one you like better by visiting their links. KDE = "http://www.kde.org/" and GNOME "http://www.gnome.org/".
2. Common downloads are called “DEB Packages” (Debian Packages) see here (https://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/debian-faq/ch-pkg_basics.en.html). You may also find "Tarballs" which are the equivalent to zip file downloads.
3. You should use the "Software Updater" to update packages but from CLI, it uses "sudo apt-get update" or "sudo apt-get upgrade"
4. You use “Wine” to run Windows applications: Follow this (http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Wine-on-Linux) article.
Keyboard Shortcuts: == Note that since Linux is highly customizable, you should go to Start – Applications – Configure Desktop to setup your own keyboard shortcuts that fit you best. Here are some common ones:
Start menu shortcut: Alt+F1 (Changed to Win +E or “Meta” E) Under the "Plasma Desktop Shell"
Task manager: Ctrl+Esc
Virtual desktop manager: Ctrl+F8/9
Switch between windows: Alt+Tab
Open command line: Ctrl+Alt+F1
To leave command line: Ctrl+Alt+F7
Run: Alt+F2 (Changed to Win+R) Under the "Run Command Interface" section
Close a window: Atl+F4
Minimize a window: (Default: Blank) (Changed to Win+M) Under the "Kwin" section
CLI (Command Line Interface): Common Commands Edit
NOTE: Some commands have to be ran from the root user! To do this, you type "sudo" before the command. Alternatively, you can place "Konsole" on your desktop with root access granted, you will have to enter your password to launch it though.
Display man pages containing keyword: man -k keyword
Show the manual for command: man command
Make a pdf of a manual page: man -t man | ps2pdf - > man.pdf
Show possible locations of app: whereis app
List manual pages for subject: apropos subject
System Info Commands:
Show the current date and time date: date
Show kernel information: uname -a
Show memory and swap usage: free
Show disk usage: df -h
Running Processes/ Press “q” to exit: top
For an extensive list, click here (http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/244).