Open Source for Beginners: Basic Terms, Choosing Operating System and Programs

How long have you wanted to change operating systems and go Open Source? I’ve put it off for years because I had filled every waking hour with work to accomplish and just did not have time to research all the options. There was no time to dedicate to the steep learning curve that is required when you change EVERYTHING you know how to use. What if there were one site where you could easily find a path to the answers we need?

I have now cleared my schedule and am devoted to figuring this all out and – more importantly for us all – documenting what I find out. I will post everything from which operating systems, programs, and applications I decided to go with to how to do practical everyday tasks.

I hope you’ll take this journey with me. Thanks in advance to the many who have already posted the information I’ll find in my research and to those willing to provide additional answers that will benefit us all. I decided that Ubuntu was the best operating system for new computer users and those who are switching from Windows or Mac. It is certainly not the only option but it will be the only one I’ll be able to teach here.

See our Open Source Software page [coming soon] that contains current recommendations on the best Open Source applications and software programs to use when running Ubuntu. In the meantime, if you don’t have a clear understanding of basic computer terminology and especially Linux and Ubuntu see Understanding Computer Basics: Hardware, Software, Operating Systems, Linux and Ubuntu.

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Gail Gardner

Small Business Marketing Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.


  1. This post is very useful for the beginners. This will serve as their data for them to best operating system for new computer users and those who are switching from Windows or Mac.
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  2. erp integration says:

    I agree. Ubuntu is one of the best open source operating systems. It really user friendly, and if you’re switching from Windows to Linux – it will make your life much more easier.

  3. This is a geat article on open source software. Its always a great place to start if you want to learn or experiment with new software.
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  4. Great post. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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