Newborn Newbie - Please help!

Please help! I am a lifelong slave to Windows and trying to break free. I have never used any form of Linux before. Took the suggestion of a computer store employee to go with Manjaro/KDE/Octopi. He said it would be the most user friendly option for me. I have tried looking for tutorials/videos to help me with the most basic things (installing updates, installing printer, installing Libre, etc.) and they are all WAY over my head. I'm willing to learn, but the so called "beginner" guides are so far ahead of where I am that I don't even understand the lingo. Maybe this was a mistake (for me) to take the Linux plunge. Anyway, can anyone direct me to a Manjaro/KDE/Octopi guide for the dummiest of dummies? Thank you so much for any help. I really appreciate it.

Just take some time preparing and don't panic.

  1. Installing updates: KDE will show in its status bar (octopi is installed by default), you can click on it. It will ask for the admin-password. Easy.
  2. If you happen to have an HP printer: open a terminal session (konsole) in it type sudo hp-setup
    you will be asked some options and to select the exact type of printer.
  3. Libreoffice should be installed by default. Open octopi, click on the search magnifying glass. type libreoffice.

Good Luck,


Linux is different from Windows.
The Admin tasks are completely different from Windows.

A good beginner point is the Manjaro wiki or Arch Wiki.

  1. To do updates, open Konsole and type, "sudo pacman -Syyu" without quotes, hit enter and type your admin password. Press enter then hit enter again when it prompts you with "y/n"
  2. To add a printer, open "Printers" and click "add", then under "network printers" select the printer that's yours.
  3. To install LibreOffice, open Konsole and type, "sudo pacman -S libreoffice-fresh" enter your password, hit enter, press enter again, and it will install.

Furthermore, to use the terminal besides that, visit

It has simple instructions on how to use the terminal.

With all respect but the Arch wiki is not a good beginner point. You need to be a professor in Linux to be able to understand those texts.

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  1. Buy a book on using Linux.
  2. Read the User Guide.

If you have a specific issue then open a thread and ask for help about that thing.

"Help me use Linux" is way too wide a topic for a useful thread.

(Analogy time. Question: "I need help driving a car... what should I read?" Answer: take lessons.)


You can also download some Linux books in the internet:

  1. Ubuntu book:
  2. Freebsd book: on the webside of

There are some differences between the Linux distros: the main one the package manager

Don't read books, don't look at tutorials.

Instead install Manjaro Deepin, and assume it just works as Android does.

Manjaro KDE is awesome in many regards, but overwhelming in options to the average user.

That doesn't help you learn how to use Linux - that's just using Linux like a consumer OS, which it most definitely isn't.


I say yes, read, look things up, dont just go crazy ... but ...

Remember the first time you plopped in front of an apple computer? Or windows?

Just use the thing. Look through the menu. Open up the file manager. Fiddle with your desktop.
You'll get the hang of it. Look up things you dont know. Ask questions here if necessary.
I think if you get over - or just accept - that its slightly 'different' you will realize how non-scary it is.


My ethos is that software shall always go for a default, till the user expresses it otherwise. So the user only makes choices they care for.

Since you are starting from absolute zero, "breaking free" will take time and effort. So you must be patient and willing to spend time learning.

Also do not blindly follow people's advice (eg. a computer store employee, or anyone on a forum :slight_smile: ). You first need to understand what Manjaro, KDE, and Octopi are and what alternatives there might be.

A couple suggestions (these are regarding Linux in general and in order of how I would suggest starting out):

  • edX has an official introductory course from the Linux Foundation:
  • Check out VirtualBox. This program will install a virtual operating system (eg. any Linux distribution) inside of your current Windows system. This will give you practice on installing Linux, downloading software and finding what works best for you. If/when you mess up badly, all you need to do is start all over again. There are a lot of videos on YouTube on how to install a Linux system in VirtualBox.

  • How to Ask Questions the Smart Way is a very intense read for a complete newbie but you may as well get it over with :crazy_face: if you are interested in Linux. You are going to have to read it someday. Just take it as general advice and not in regards to technical programming solutions.

  • Some basic knowledge of the command line is useful for using Linux. Ryan Chadwick has a great tutorial that is accessible for beginners.

Maybe you move faster than I do, but I spent a year with these resources (and others) before I installed Linux on bare metal. There's no rush, go at your own speed.


That's all Linux is not about :man_facepalming:

Maybe you need it for work (and work is paying for it)? Anyway the course is free and the certificate is totally optional.

Edit: Also, I believe you can apply for financial assistance with the certificate cost.

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Thanks for all the responses and tips everyone. I appreciate it. I have been tooling around and learning some things. However I'm beginning to suspect that the folks that installed Manjaro for me did not test it out and see that all was working properly. I'm getting a lot of error messages and locking up. In fairness my computer is several years old and just may not be able to handle it. I can't even get the first package of updates to install. It gets so far and locks up. So not only am I dealing with my ignorance of the system, the system is not working properly. Sigh. I'll keep on slogging. Thanks everyone.

Thanks yotties.
When I try to install the updates it goes for a bit then I get some error messages and ultimately it just locks up. Something about checking keys???
Libre office wasn't installed as the tech said it would be. There is another one called Calibre installed? It works fine, but we were actually hoping to install OpenOffice because we already have many files created in it. They may convert to Calibre. Haven't tried it yet.
As for the printer. Same problem as the updates. I can't get anything to install.
I'm getting a message on start up that says "Do you really want to remove Pacman's transaction lock file?" I don't know how to answer that one. Maybe that's the key to all the installation issues?
Thank you for being so kind and encouraging in your response. I appreciate it very much!

Thanks so much. I really think my pc has some issues, or Manjaro was not installed and tested properly (by computer store tech). When I tried this, it accepts the command and then prompts for the password, then freezes. The keyboard won't even respond. So....I think I have more issues than just my ignorance. :fearful:

Calibre is a e-book reader and converting tool. Are you referring to Calligra? That's KDE Office effort and will support OpenOffice formats (ODT).
If you're having key issues search the forum for refreshing pacman keysor something similar. any one of the posts about it should fix that issue.

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Sorry, I meant Calligra. Thanks!

Hi slcresie,

I am sorry to hear your install was not done properly.

  1. The problems with the keyrings should be solved with the nuclear option: [SOLVED] Corrupted gpg.conf & empty keyring

  2. Calibre is an ebook-management program that can also open documents. You will probably want Libreoffice instead of openoffice. Openoffice is not very actively developed anymore, libreoffice was split off but is based on the same code originally.

  3. Remove the transaction lock file. it is certainly related to your probelms. Then refresh the databases in the options.

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