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Thread: Help, just started using linux and I'm confused

  1. #1
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    Question Help, just started using linux and I'm confused

    I am trying to download software and can't make it work. I opened Bash ctl+alt+T...that worked. but then tried to change to my download directory. I entered "cd /home", that worked. I entered "ls" to get a list of directories and there is one in the home directory "dakingsella", I expeced that, it would be my user directory. I entered cd "cd /kingsella" and got an error message "bash: cd: /dakingsella: No such file or directory" I think it is a security issue as I think I am logged in as root, if that makes sense.

    Here is the complete log:

    To run a command as administrator (user "root"), use "sudo <command>".
    See "man sudo_root" for details.

    Code:
    dakingsella@dakingsella-870-241:~$ cd /home/downloads
    bash: cd: /home/downloads: No such file or directory
    dakingsella@dakingsella-870-241:~$ cd /home
    dakingsella@dakingsella-870-241:/home$ ls
    dakingsella
    dakingsella@dakingsella-870-241:/home$ cd /dakingsella
    bash: cd: /dakingsella: No such file or directory
    dakingsella@dakingsella-870-241:/home$
    What am I doing wrong?

    Dave
    Last edited by slickymaster; June 2nd, 2021 at 11:34 AM. Reason: code tags

  2. #2
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    Re: Help, just started using linux and I'm confused

    We were all beginners at one time, just as confused and bewildered as you. Hang in there.

    Entering cd from the terminal will get you into your home directory.
    pwd will show your working directory
    In your case, it would look like this, /home/dakingsella-870-241

    Check out the link in my signature.
    Cheers,


    The Linux Command Line at http://linuxcommand.org/

  3. #3
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    Re: Help, just started using linux and I'm confused

    Hello.

    What software are you trying to download? Typically, you should not be trying to download software. Most Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, have repositories that make installing software a matter of clicking once or twice. Downloading random software is unnecessary and extremely dangerous in most cases.

    "downloads" does not exist. It's "Downloads". Proper casing is required in Linux.
    Last edited by QIII; June 2nd, 2021 at 03:01 AM.
    Please read The Forum Rules and The Forum Posting Guidelines

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  4. #4
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    Re: Help, just started using linux and I'm confused

    When in a directory, you do not use the leading / as that is then looking for that folder in / (root), not a lower level from where you are.

    Normally when you open a terminal you are at ~ which is a shortcut for /home/$USER

    Code:
    fred@z170-focal-k:~$ cd /home 
    fred@z170-focal-k:/home$ ll 
    total 12 
    drwxr-xr-x  3 root root 4096 Oct 14  2020 ./ 
    drwxr-xr-x 19 root root 4096 Oct 24  2020 ../ 
    lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   44 Oct 14  2020 .directory -> /etc/kubuntu-default-settings/directory-home 
    drwxr-xr-x 18 fred fred 4096 Jun  1 12:24 fred/ 
    fred@z170-focal-k:/home$ cd /fred 
    bash: cd: /fred: No such file or directory 
    fred@z170-focal-k:/home$ cd /home/fred 
    fred@z170-focal-k:~$ echo $USER 
    fred
    
    
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    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  5. #5
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    Re: Help, just started using linux and I'm confused

    Capitalize "Downloads"

  6. #6
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    Re: Help, just started using linux and I'm confused

    Just in case it's not clear from the above posts, the leading "/" makes a big difference. A leading "/" means starting "from the top", and just "cd /" will take you to the top of the tree.

    If you don't use a leading "/", then you are naming a directory or file in (or below) your current directory.

    The directory "/home" contains all the user's individual home directories (except root's), and on your system there is just one: dakingsella.

    From anywhere you could change straight to your home directory with "cd /home/dakingsella". Just "cd" without naming a directory will take you home as well, which is a convenience. Also, "~" means your home directory, and this can be used with trailing subdirectory names. So to get to your Downloads folder, you could use any of these:
    Code:
    cd   # (takes you to /home/dakingsella)
    cd Downloads
    ---
    cd /home/dakingsella/Downloads
    ---
    cd ~/Downloads
    So it looks to me like the only things you were doing wrong were:
    1) Not realising that the leading / always means "starting from the top", and
    2) Not realising that Linux is case sensitive, so "downloads" and "Downloads" are different names.

    Incidentally, the leading slash rule applies to Windows too, although on Windows, people mostly tend to use backslash instead (rule still applies). The thing that catches Windows users out for a while is getting used to case sensitivity in Linux.

    And I agree that you should probably not be downloading software from the internet at this stage - look in the Ubuntu repositories first. Lots of software is there, and much easier (and safer) to install.
    Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Re: Help, just started using linux and I'm confused

    Linux is incredibly case sensitive. What are you trying to install please?

  8. #8
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    Re: Help, just started using linux and I'm confused

    Quote Originally Posted by dakingsella View Post
    I entered cd "cd /kingsella" and got an error message "bash: cd: /dakingsella: No such file or directory"
    Slash matters. You tried to access a directory that does not exist: "/dakingsella" <== the position of the slash matters!! The error message is thus correct.

    You should familiarize yourself how the directory structure works here. E.g. "/" is the top-most directory that can exist. Think of it as being analoguous to the "This Computer" location in Windows if you will. Everything else on the system is attached to this "/" location, e.g.

    /boot = everything needed to boot the system
    /usr = user-accessible binaries
    /home = all home directories

    So if you access e.g. "/home/dakingsella" then this should work: the subdirectory "dakingsella" is underneath "/home", and "/home" is underneath "/", so the path should be correct.

    If you try to access "/dakingsella" then this should not work: There is no such location directly attached underneath "/". You can check:
    Code:
    ls -al /
    Also: The super-user "root" does NOT have "security issues" apart from using it being a serious security issue in itself. "root" is simply allowed to do EVERYTHING without being asked stupid questions by the system. AND THIS IS DANGEROUS. In most cases there will be NO question like "Are you sure?" and whatever stupid command you typed in will very likely be executed right away, even if it is destructive.

    Therefore please DO NOT USE "root" unless you are 100% required to do so (e.g. because you really are doing administrative tasks that require his powers). Back in 1996 I was given the same warning and I didn't listen. Didn't even take me 1 hour and I hosed my system... I learned the hard way.

  9. #9
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    Re: Help, just started using linux and I'm confused

    Quote Originally Posted by dakingsella View Post
    I am trying to download software and can't make it work.
    Also: Linux is not Windows. We usually don't download software from the Internet. That's totally unsafe and one of the reasons why Windows has all kinds of viruses, malware and what not. Here on Linux we have Package Repositories and Packet Managers ... so on Linux you practically never ever download any software by hand. At all. You tell your system what software you want and it goes and fetches it from curated, well protected software repositories for you. And taddaaa, you get a new icon and the software you wanted is simply there.

    There are a few exceptions to this but if you are a new user and unless you're doing something really really exotic then 99.99% of all software you as a desktop user might ever need is already accessible to you. You just need to tell the "Software" app what you want.

  10. #10
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    Re: Help, just started using linux and I'm confused

    Hi all.I agree with all you said except for :
    The OP didn't say the software he was trying to download was for Linux.
    Happy user of Ubuntu-20.04 on a Beelink BT3pro mini PC

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