New Linux Users | pitfalls and differences | Win/Linux

Ok Folks, I’m astonished how much feedback I got here and how many points we got together. Thanks a lot for the collaboration.

What first was just a small list got almost a manual. It never was my intention to rewrite something and or substitute a existing manual or quick-doc.

But I was thinking to use this information to maybe create a quick-doc

If someone would like to it feel free to do so. Just let us know afterwards, that we can check it out.

edit for 6
New users will love to do stuff in gui not in command line like files can be made executable by rightclick ->properties and toggle on the option called executable.(gnome) same can be done with kde.

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Thanks everyone for publishing this very useful memo.
After my 30 years in Windows I’m migrating to Fedora, and found out another annoyance that is not listed here. Some Windows users (especially savvy information workers including myself) have obtained a habit to temporarily or permanently prioritize files/folder lists in Windows by adding . or .. or even ... before priority folders as they than would be displayed first, above the rest of the files. I have found out that in Linux they will be considered hidden files and therefore will not be displayed, which is easy to miss.
So I had to go through all the filesystem and rename them (but unfortunately some archives can still contain them which could lead to information loss during file operations if not careful). Worth mentioning in the wiki I think.

I’m wondering if there’s anything else similar to this that those “changing ships” should take care about?

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It is funny tor read about this. I had more look an have choosen the @character in front of it. So I not had the conflict with the dotfiles alias the folders with the ..

You saw that in most file managers you can switch on hidden files right?
Also if you work in terminal you have the ls -a -t arguments?
-a stands for all inkl. hidden files and -t for time what means the newer one are above the older one. And of course the -l to list the output.

Feel free to make a short entry in the top request. If you have enough time with us you have the right to edit it. I made it as a Wiki.


Not sure if this was mentioned, but Linux allows for certain characters in file names (for example, the question mark “?” symbol), that Windows does not. Conversely, Windows treats the “.” at the beginning of a file or folder as a regular character, whereas in Linux, this causes the file or folder to be hidden.


I tried to create a filename with a question-mark. It works but it gets written like this 't?est' , what shows it has made into a text string by adding the single quotes.

To not get in troubles with other file-systems best practice is to avoid:

Illegal Filename Characters

Do not use any of these common illegal characters or symbols in your filenames or folders:

# pound
% percent
& ampersand
{ left curly bracket
} right curly bracket
\ back slash
< left angle bracket
> right angle bracket
* asterisk
? question mark
/ forward slash
  blank spaces
$ dollar sign
! exclamation point
' single quotes
" double quotes
: colon
@ at sign
+ plus sign
` backtick
| pipe
= equal sign

Also, keep these rules in mind.

    Don’t start or end your filename with a space, period, hyphen, or underline.
    Keep your filenames to a reasonable length and be sure they are under 31 characters.
    Most operating systems are case sensitive; always use lowercase.
    Avoid using spaces and underscores; use a hyphen instead. This will also improve your search engine rankings.

With the changes in the shell over time some of those characters may be used in newer systems, but doing so depends upon having all the utilities able to properly handle them. What windows is specially modified to accept is not usually acceptable for a unix type system. Even the case sensitivity of linux is ignored by windows.

Even spaces in file names are not properly handled by the bash shell without special management by the user, so the best advice is to always avoid using special characters in file names.

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