This chapter is somewhat unlike the others in this book, as it is more focused on the regular desktop user. Linux geeks are normally happy to talk about the advantages of open source software. However, describing those advantages to a non-geeky user who is just converting from Microsoft Windows can be difficult—and to the extent that Linux requires extra steps or does things differently, the need to describe them becomes an annoyance all its own. Regular users have a different level of expectations. Very few regular users work from the command line; most expect a fully configured GUI.
Even with the advances in Linux GUI-based tools, command-line utilities almost always have more features. However, if the GUI tools are good enough, it will be easier to explain how to use them, and the results will be more likely to satisfy your users.
In several cases, the tools described in this chapter are beyond the capabilities of the ordinary desktop user. Here, you'll have to take charge as a Linux geek and assure your users that you'll do the tasks yourself, based in part on the annoyances in this chapter. For those tools, I describe solutions appropriate to you, the Linux geek.
Backups are fundamental in the life of any Linux geek. You need to know at least how to back up the files on your home directory. And if you administer systems, you need to know how to keep the data on those systems backed up. In many cases, you'll need ...