A Simple Guide to (GNU)/Linux & How To Get Started
Welcome to the first post of my blog, the HyperSphere! If you read the description, you'll know that this blog will mainly focus on tutorials and articles relating to privacy/security on Linux. I'll try and keep every article as brief as possible with the minimal amount of required prior knowledge.
Without further ado, let's get right into the first tutorial! Because I'll be writing mainly about doing stuff on Linux, I better teach you how to install and use it.
You've probably heard of Linux before, whether it was from your computer-addicted friend, or your boomer dad, Linux is everywhere and is the backbone of almost every service that you touch and use. Linux powers some of the world's most important servers and companies, and best of all, it's completely open source and is free of telemetry and spyware (I'm looking at you Windows 10...). Now keep in mind I am referring to the Linux kernel being free of spyware, not the distribution (distro) itself, so that is up to your preference. If you're one of those people that refer to Linux as GNU/Linux, you're probably cringing right now at this article, but that's how I call it and you're gonna have to live with it.
Now time for the distribution that I'll be teaching you how to install:
WAIT DON'T LEAVE YET!!!!
I swear there's a really good reason as to why I recommend Arch Linux as a beginner's first distribution: the AUR.
The Arch User Repository, also known as the AUR, is a community repository of software that is made by Arch users, for Arch users. It extremely simplifies the installation of software because almost all well known software, and even some of the niche ones can be found on the AUR, which eliminates having to build the software from source, which is something a Linux newbie shouldn't have to deal with. Pacman is also an extremely robust package manager, and the Arch Wiki is so extensive and full of knowledge that it applies to other distributions as well, but Arch is the main focus.
Now if you don't want to go through the installation process of Arch Linux, which is probably the only “difficult” thing about Arch, you can choose from a wide selection of Arch-based distros that have a GUI installer and also supports the AUR. My personal favorite used to be Antergos, but that distro was discontinued a few months back but luckily a new one has appeared and it seems to be extremely promising:
Now Manjaro is an extremely popular distro that is also based off of Arch, but it uses it's own repository and often comes with a lot of programs, which for some might qualify as bloat. So Endeavour in my opinion gives the most pure and pristine Arch Linux experience without the tedious install process.
Steps to install Endeavour OS:
- Go to the official Endeavour website and grab the latest ISO from downloads.
- Make a bootable USB device using Rufus, choose your USB from the device list, and choose your ISO for the boot selection. If you run UEFI that supports GPT, then select GPT for Partition Scheme, otherwise use MBR.
- Now that you have a bootable USB drive, plug it in and restart your PC. You need to bring up the boot device selection screen before your operating system starts, the key differs between motherboard manufacturers and laptops, so do some research. For me personally on a HP Laptop, F9 brings up the boot selection screen. Pressing Escape during booting might pause the booting and give you a list of options too.
- Now that you have booted into the USB, you should hopefully see a screen that says Endeavour OS with a list of boot options, just choose the first option, or the second if you're not running 64-bit. Now you should be inside a fully working live environment running Endeavour OS.
- An installation prompt should've popped up the moment you logged into the environment, and because we're assuming that you're not dual-booting, we're going to let the installer do all the partitioning for us. Click on the second tab of the prompt, and click “Install Endeavour OS to disk.”
- The installation process should be fairly straightforward, for the partitions part of the install, just choose erase disk, and set swap to whatever you want, but normally swap isn't needed; 2-4 GB should be a safe bet. For the users portion, you can use the same password for both your user account and administrator (root) account, just make sure your password is long and secure! Search up “diceware.”
- Continue with the install, and wait for the installation process to finish. Go grab a coffee while you wait. Once the install is done, check “restart now” and click done.
- Once the computer boots back up, congratulations! You have now successfully installed a Linux distribution that will most likely be the easiest and most enjoyable distribution you'll ever try.
Now I don't expect you to not meet some hurdles while following this tutorial, and that's good! Meeting obstacles is a fantastic way to learn, and you're gonna meet a lot more the more you go into this vast horizon. The only advice that I can give to you is don't give up, and search engines are your best friend; just don't use Google. Duckduckgo should be good for just about everything.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via ways listed on the “contact” blog post.
Next post I'll go into details about how to use Arch and Arch-based distros. I'll talk about the package manager, the AUR, software, and various other things that should be useful.