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Newbie, Noob or Geek: Getting to know the Linux user November 20, 2006

Posted by NAyK in Definitions, Discussions-Conclusions-Hopes, Linux.

There are many versions of what Newbie/Noob/Geek “ACTUALLY” mean… I prefer to give my own subjective rendering of what I think it means. This is not to be taken too seriously obviously.


The Newbie comprises of a huge range of people using Linux at the beginners level. They are first timers or even people who hae used Linux for a year. What makes them newbies is that they learn to do the basics of linux; they can install, uninstall distros and software. They do not work exclusively on Linux. They probably have a dual boot partition, with Windows XP as default. Certainly they use Linux for fun stuff, like internet, email, even watching movies etc. but for their poweruser requirements (perhaps they need Photoshop, or some specialized Windows based package), they return to Windows. Linux therefore is a hobby, and they enjoy it. Interestingly, Newbies are quite computer literate (for instance see this article which argues that new Linux users are PowerPC users) and would laugh at people who call up a Call Centre to say that their cupholder (read CD tray) on their computer has broken!


The Linux enthusiasts are the Noobs. They have used Linux for a sufficient amount of time to know which Linux options are better than others, even at the programmes level. They know what each Kernel number is, they know what is to come. They keep abrest with both software and code information (though they may not be as proficient in coding as they would like to be). Most of all, they use Linux for most of their work. Of all the user groups, they are probably the most helpful. You will be able to find them in forums, helping many people with basic-to-intermediate linux-based problems.


From enthusiasts to proficient users and above are the Geeks. Geek is a good thing, something like a Linux demi-God. They not only do ALL of their work on Linux based systems, but they also create, compile, develop, push Linux beyond our expectations. The stereotype is that they are disconnected with the common user, and even the world. I’m pretty sure that is not true. Sometimes Geeks (as well as newbies and noobs) are disconnected with the common user, some are not. Basically, they work really hard, without much hope of glory, fame, power, money that usually goes along with creating a great programme.

The Linux-gods … are Linus Trovald etc. You get the picture. Inversely… the Linux-satans… are Bill Gates etc. OK that WAS a joke. But sometimes Windows is demonised by Linux users (and many Windows users do the same with Linux users as well). Who am I? Well, I’m a writer who would love to be a noob, but has no time to become one. Hence I’m still a newbie (boo hoo, sniff sniff). At least I’m opinionated!

Linux Growing up



1. Taking a break (=temporary voluntary retirement): from (linux)-blogging « Tryst with Linux and other Alternatives - January 28, 2007

[…] Being a (man) who revels in challenges, I have enjoyed my tryst with Linux, because I feel I have succeeded. I have used Linux primarily for over a month now, and though I have used Windows XP now and then, it has only been to access software that is currently available only in Windows (I don’t have a Mac) versions, mamely; InDesign, Dreamweaver and Photoshop. The rest of my work… mainly word-processing, browsing, listening to music, and even watching VCD/DVDs has been primarily on Linux. That, for a newbie like me, is a big achievement and I can safely declare… to myself… that I have graduated from newbie stage to become a noob (my definitions of the difference between noob/newbie are here). […]

2. Rea Maor Doesn't Get It - Why Microsoft IS NOT Doomed - September 3, 2007

[…] Credits to Tryst with Linux and Other Alternatives. […]

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