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Concepts

tagline: From openSUSE

This series of articles provides some openSUSE basic concepts and references some basic applications. It is intended for new Linux users who are using openSUSE. It is also assumed the new Linux user already has some computer experience.

First things to do with one's new openSUSE

Typically, the first thing a new openSUSE user wants to do is start working on one of their pet projects, as soon as their openSUSE is installed. But before one does, it is useful to learn some basics, about how Linux works, to avoid wasting time later. Linux works in a different manner than the MacOS or the MS-Windows Operating System (OS) versions, and to save time, these differences should be understood.

Warning Just as with other operating systems, running a desktop session as administrator (traditionally called root) is not wise and strongly discouraged.

There are 2 main differences

The most immediate difference is the user interface:
The Graphical User Interface (GUI) is slightly different in openSUSE than in Windows or MacOS, but the differences are largely cosmetic. KDE's Plasma Desktop (KDE) (as opposed to GNOME, an alternative desktop environment) is especially similar to other user interfaces: most of the basics are the same, windows are windows and they have a frame, title bar, a window settings button on the left side of title bar, and the common minimize, maximize and close buttons on right side of a title bar. These default settings can be easily changed if the user decides to use a different theme, but the defaults are designed to make new users feel at home in Linux.

Second type are differences under the hood:
They are large. One of the first differences that any new user will find very fast is that programs designed for Windows need a special compatibility layer provided by program Wine (W Is Not an Emulator) that works for many, but not all windows programs. The file system architecture in Linux is also significantly different from both Windows and MacOS. Linux is somewhat easier to administer without running the desktop as root. Another important difference is the way in which software is both installed and maintained is significantly different from Windows/MacOS. The list is longer and it will be explained in more detail later, but these 4 examples should point out that advanced users (not used to Linux) will have to adjust their computer operations habits for Linux. Why only advanced users? Simple, they will reach for the Windows equivalent configuration options under the surface and they will encounter differences between Windows and Linux. Advanced users often need to dig under the hood to understand and/or configure advanced details when using a computer and Linux is not any different in that such understanding/configuring is also needed.


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