Linux for Dummies?

I was looking for an intro to Linux book or online class to get the fundamentals down, so I can play around somewhat safely with my phone. Any suggestions on what course or book would be most relevant to PureOS and this phone?


Debian tutorials should help.

Beg, borrow, steal and old laptop or PC and load a flavour of debian on it like Mint or Ubuntu and go to town. Get comfortable with how it all works, if you mess it up who cares you can just wipe it and then you’re not experimenting on your phone.


This is a good place to start, at least for using the command line:

In the Conclusion section, there’s a link to download a massive free PDF reference manual, too.

Ubuntu and PureOS are both based on Debian, FYI, so the same commands are used on them all.

As for GUI usage, it’s just point-and-click, as with any modern desktop, although many applications, although installable on the Librem 5, might not be usable on the small screen, and might not launch at all, due to the different software architecture (arm-based CPU).

You might like this Tips & Tricks guide (some of which is no longer necessary since the repository* change from PureOS amber to PureOS byzantium) and this, curated list of tested apps as well.

And of course there are several actual Linux for Dummies books out there.

*repository - “store” from where software applications are downloaded

Thanks for the replies. I have a laptop with Mint on it. I played around with that while waiting for the phone.
I’ll definitely check out those links tonight

I might suggest Linux Journey. I’m guessing the ones most relevant to usage of the phone are ‘Getting Started’, ‘Command Line’, and ‘Packages’.

Also, on the Purism blog there are quite a few videos (with transcripts) demonstrating the phone’s operation.

I think they actually did publish one of those yellow and black “dummies” booxs.

But if you’re looking for just fundamentals, suggest getting an old System V unix book. The principles are the same, just add a GUI.

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Apparently, yes. Your post should be marked as “Solution”. :wink:

Personally I dislike that series. You aren’t “dumb” just because you don’t know stuff. We all started knowing nothing!

This. If you break it, it will generally be easier to get it working again than a phone. Having said that, I think everyone should know how to backup (image) and restore (image) their phone … just in case.

Thanks again for all the suggestions. As far as the “Linux for Dummies”, I just wasn’t sure if that book was relevant to the version on the phone.

Just look for a guide to Ubuntu or Debian. Or even Linux Mint, although Mint incorporates some multimedia codecs that I think aren’t in Debian (?).

While there are inevitably differences between distros even in the Debian family, if you are at the “dummies” stage, there is still enough there to learn.

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if you have another pc, you can also just use vmware to make a linux machine with a linux iso (choose one which is like your phone os, for instance if you use mobian then install debian).
then make a copy.
then you can get to know linux, and if you mess up, just restore the copy

That’s a good idea, I never thought of a VM