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Top 5 Mistakes Made by Linux First-Timers

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If you're among the legions of new Linux users out there, congratulations on making a smart move! Now that you're on your way to a lifetime of freedom from high costs, vendor lock-in, constant malware attacks, and the many other disadvantages associated with Windows and Mac OS X, you should be aware of some of the classic mistakes Linux newcomers sometimes make.

None of these should be deal-breakers, by any means. Nevertheless, an early heads-up can help prevent unnecessary frustration. Without further ado, here are five key things you should avoid when starting out with desktop Linux.

1. Expecting Windows

Humans are creatures of habit, so after years of using Windows--or Mac, if that's the case--it's hard not to expect what you're used to every time you use a computer.

Ubuntu and recent Linux distributions have incorporated many user-friendliness features from their Windows and Mac competitors in recent years, so there is actually going to be quite a bit of similarity these days--much more than there used to be. When it comes right down to it, though, even consumer-ready Maverick Meerkat isn't Windows, and you shouldn't expect it to be.

This is not--I repeat, NOT--to say that things are harder. Linux is not more difficult to use, especially if you're on a modern distro like Ubuntu. It is, however, different. It might take you a little bit of time to get used to its slightly different way of doing things. Don't let that put you off--a small learning curve will gain you a lifetime of advantages.

2. Running as Root Unnecessarily

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