Itsfoss newsletter contains irrelevant articles for beginners

According to the about page of the website itsfoss is about:

It’s FOSS specifically focuses on beginners to the Linux world. Its motto is to make your desktop Linux experience better. The goal of It’s FOSS is to increase the number of Linux desktop users, which is achieved by helping them solve various issues one might encounter. Tutorials are written keeping beginners in mind with screenshots and proper steps.

Yet, there are tutorials on programming, scripting, virtual machine stuff, and other things only of interest to advanced users to be found in the newsletter and on the website.

If something is a surefire way to alienate the newcomer, this is it. Beginners are not interested in programming or VM topics, they’re interested in how they most effectively can get their tasks done. Informing them about programming and scripting is a surefire way to make them think “Oh, I need all this advanced stuff to be able to use Linux”.

What does this mean? Itsfoss would need to return to its mission. Currently, it most certainly it’s not in alignment with that.

Things like:

  • Tutorials on theming for the various desktop environments (not just how to install and use new ones, but also on how to create them) could be useful. I’ve noticed one for i3, but how about one for GNOME, Cinnamon, or KDE/Plasma?
  • Tutorials on LibreOffice. Especially on things which are not easily to be found/used, or don’t appear to be immediately useful. An example of this would be usage of the styles sidebar in Writer.
  • Tutorials on GIMP, Inkscape, and Scribus.
  • Audio tutorials (this is desktop Linux’ Achiles heel, I know).
  • Tutorials on PDF creation on Linux using GUI tools.
  • News which actually matters to people. Such as DESKTOP distributions which are in trouble, or getting back on their feet again. An example of this might be the situation with Solus. Which beginner cares about Red Hat’s source code situation?
  • An in-depth review of the various browsers on Linux.

Things like that matter to desktop users. Programming, scripting, and the CLI they do not care about. Nor do they care about VMs, or GRUB.

Yes, programming, scripting, and the CLI might eventually become interesting to the user. However, at such a point they ascended beyond beginner level.

Anyone arriving from another OS in Linux should, in my opinion, not be confronted with the CLI. Yes, I know it’s efficient. They will not understand. They will think: “oh, so now I need all this expert stuff in order to use Linux.” They don’t want to learn to script, they want to get things done, and in their eyes scripting and programming is a huge obstacle to that. Any obstacles will make the likelihood of the beginner leaving higher.

I hope this was helpful.


Agree on programming and scripting.
I think every user needs to know elementary use of the CLI in order to use Linux at all.
Living in the gui is avoiding Linux completely, and is very limiting.


I might be in the minority, but when I switched to Linux a few years back, the thing that most amazed and intrigued me was CLI. It was like, “DOS” all over again–different language, but being able to use CLI was key for me. But I love to learn and I love a challenge. I have previously stated how much ItsFOSS has helped me in my journey to master Linux and if it were not for Abhishek’s articles (which I devoured as a newbie) I doubt i could have made such great choices in not only desktops but multiple apps for productivity along the way. Just my two cents.

Sheila Flanagan


Thanks for confirming my point about CLI.

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Respectfully, I don’t think I agree. I would say I am a Linux beginner (considering other than using it for school a few years ago, I just started using it seriously in January). But this website has the exact kind of stuff I want on it. I want to learn how to do more with Bash and Scripting, so a little article that tells me how to use Bash commands is great. I am not really looking into learning more programming at the moment, but I will in the future and I program everyday at my job, so its not a problem that articles are written about it.

I want to understand how to use Linux completely, so even the articles that talk about little bits of Linux like GRUB is great. Are there people out there that don’t care about those things, and are they the majority? Maybe, but either they should only look for the articles that pertain to them, or maybe the beginners that It’s Foss appeals to are the beginners more like myself.


Thanks for the detailed feedback.

Actually, I felt the same and I also mentioned this in FOSS Weekly 23.28 (last week).

Here’s my side of covering different topics:

While our focus is on the beginners, those beginners grow to intermediate and advanced level and then they suggest covering more advanced topics.

The CLI and programming related topics are more for students. Bash could be part of their curriculum and they might be interested in learning about Git/GitHub, Rust etc. While they might not be using Linux on their personal systems, some of them may eventually start using it as they follow It’s FOSS regularly.

Also, a little primer on the command line and bash knowledge helps beginners go into the intermediate level. That’s why the Terminal Basics and Bash Basics series was created and that’s why we are also covering various command examples.

Basically, we are trying to give something to a wider Linux population, in a more streamlined manner (read tutorial series).

However, the problem is that all this is happening simultaneously. So most of the recent articles being published seem to be focused more on the terminal than the regular desktop stuff.

What should have been a balance between various kinds/levels of articles is missing here. I have felt that too.

While we will (try) continuing covering a Linux command each week, there will be a new ‘virtual box’ series after the Bash Basics ends. This will be followed by a ‘how to get started with open source and Git’ kind fo series (for students).

Now to answer some of your points.

Actually, we have had a decent amount of GIMP tutorials in the past and a few on LibreOffice. They are just buried in the pile of 2,000+ articles.

There are decent amount of tutorials on GNOME, KDE and CInnamon too. But they too are buried under the pile of articles.

Apart from that, I’ll take your suggestion on more tutorials on PDF, GIMP and Inkscape and LO. Pulseaudio has been pending on my list for some time (I need to experiment first).

The newsletter should at least re-share those articles and put them in front of the readers. That’s on me and I should take care of that. The problem is that since those articles are a couple of years old, I want to re-visit them and improve them so that they are relevant when I re-share them. Otherwise, it may happen that the shared old tutorial doesn’t work. It happened when I re-shared an article about streaming Netflix in full HD on Firefox. The plugin mentioned in the tutorial was removed from Firefox just a month ago and I wasn’t aware of it.

The ‘quality check’ is important.

We did cover about what’s happening with Solus and I guess we were among the first to cover that (taking the story from a Twitter conversation). Red Hat issue is equally important even if you disagree. An average desktop Linux user may want to know about the corporate greed destroying the world’s biggest open source company. It may not directly be of interest, but it’s something to be aware of.

And, I would also say that not all the materials of the newsletter (or the website) will be relevant for each individual reader. That’s why I try to keep it diverse so that there is something for everyone.

Also, I would suggest readers like you to take advantage of the platform and suggest the kind of tutorial you would like to see in the Topic Ideas. Like you suggested about covering styles sidebar in LO.

Some readers ask questions and give suggestions via email. It’s difficult to keep track of email conversations for me. The forum is easier for me to track. The suggested ideas in the specified category can be easily re-visited.


  • I agree that we have been covering too many CLI stuff lately so I’ll try to keep a balance between CLI and GUI.
  • Newsletter caters to a wide audience and contains some material for everyone.
  • Readers should actively suggest topics (in as much detail as possible) through the Topic Ideas category in the Community.
  • Interesting articles of the past should be properly highlighted and re-shared so that newer readersget to discover them easily.

That is @abhishek 's problem, in deciding who an article targets.
There are several grades of beginners.

How do you propose to do that?
Maybe an index ? We do have a search, and I use it often.

Have a browse of the balance and scope of articles in Linux Magazine.
It has less for real beginners than itsFOSS. It goes deeper into kernel issues, and programming. It has a lot of articles on specific apps like Gimp. It has browse features that survey what is available… different focus altogether.
I think the beginner focus is very important for itsFOSS. Develop it, dont lose it.

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LOL … 30 years in the IT field, 25 years of home PC use.
I was a beginner of Linux 4 years ago.


Read the suggestion and thought YES there is a market missing out, too many are put off Linux because the general idea is it’s hard to learn and is a collection of commands.
Perhaps the idea on the web site with links in the newsletter revisit items for the beginner on different variations of Linux and it’s tools, like the idea of guide on some tools not often used such as scribus but gimp could be difficult to cover. Music and sound with VLC or audicity
A guide to mail merge or functions, lookup tables, or table of contents… In libre office.
How to use timeshift, link 2 computers using warpinator.
Just ideas of questions I have been asked when teaching computing.
You cannot please any of the people any of the time but a move in direction perhaps


With the sound stuff I was meaning music/sound effect creation, NOT how to handle pulseaudio. If I was talking in that regard, I would be more interested in configuring ALSA properly (which is badly documented). However, both are of no interest to newcomers.

Programs for creating music or sound effects would be interesting. Reviews, how to use them, deal with any issues that crop up (lag, for example). The amount of attention I’ve seen for audio creation in Linux magazines/newsletters is exactly zero, so it would be interesting to see what can be done with this.

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It was my understanding that creating FOSSverse would have everything in one place. Maybe I just don’t know how, but I can search on the forum here, but where do I find all the articles? I have to open a new tab and search or go to my saved emails from the newsletter. Maybe adding to the search here we can also include searching for articles not just posts on the forums.

I am learning so much here and want that to continue and as I said before, I don’t need multiple apps/sites to have to check and search. So anything we can do to make this the one-stop for both beginners and pros and everyone in between makes it greater than it already is. I do not care that you include topics in newsletters that may not pertain to me now, but many times I have remembered those article topics when I later needed that info.

Keep up the great work and implement changes for the better as needed. Cater to all users knowing Linux users evolve and grow into the harder stuff.

Thanks @abhishek for all you do.
Sheila Flanagan

The resources section can be utilized for that. Like the Manjaro, Fedora and Nix, I could add more pages that contain link to article on the same topic.

Apart from that In case you missed it section on the homepage and the featured articles section in the sidebar section can be utilized more frequently to highlight useful articles on a weekly basis.

This is additional work but I think it’s worth it.


That’s a good suggestion. Let me see if that’s technically feasible.

You may also revisit any newsletter from the archive page here:

Thank you :slight_smile:

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Thanks @abhishek . I guess I will pin that tab next to this one for ease of use. I just searched on that link and found something I missed. Great resource which I did not know to use as I see you can get here from there, but since this is the most used pinned tab…lol, it is always front and center.

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Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll be honest. I have no experience with music and sound creation. That’s one of the reason why you don’t see those kind of contents :wink:

But this is something I could think over and see if I can come up with some tutorials.

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would a tutorial on Audacity be of any help?



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I cant see any Resources section?.. I can see Categories in forum? I can see Docs in forum?