Michaelocalypse; Hi ! Welcome to the forum.
This ain't no step for a stepper. Once you get some acclimation to the system ...you will find it is quite intuitive and it only gets as deep as you want it to get . -> you can do anything with it that you can imagine !
What version and distribution are you presently using ? Be aware that there exist a number of different desk top environments that fit right on top of whatever you have installed, in the event you find you do not like what you have now.
We will work with you to get you productive and happy. Is there something presently that troubling you ? Getting comfortable with a new operating system takes time and as this is your first encounter with linux, there is a learning curve once you are past the point -of point and click. An overabundance of documentation abounds and the sheer weight can be intimitating but time will allow you to sift through it. In the meantime we are here to help in any means we can.
Root access ....not something that is done except in those extreme cases, and then be very sure of what you want it for and what you are doing it for... not discussed on this forum. For activities requiring administrative authority "sudo" is generally used.
From the desk top key combo ctl+alt+t will yield a terminal interface (CLI), in this terminal:
Is a great way to introduce you to the complexities that are linux and to the manual of all commands in general.
Have a read and we are open for discussion and explanation.
ubuntu, my operating system of choice