How to learn Linux

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by hathgar, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. hathgar

    hathgar Lurker

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    I really want to learn to use linux...which version do yall recommend and any good sites/books to assist in learning. Also i have a 64bit processor so i would like a version that can take full advantage of that
     
  2. xheliox

    xheliox It's Good To Be King

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    I think part of "learning Linux" is trying many/all of the distributions. I'm partial to Fedora Core. It's clean, there's a great deal of support available for it, it's generally problem free, and it's easy to install. They also have a decent 64bit version.

    The other options are wide ranging. If you really want to learn the core nuts and bolts of Linux, Gentoo might be the way to go. Gentoo is a source distro and you more or less build it piece by piece from the ground up. By doing this, you get to see the blood and guts, and it's a shy bit faster because you compiled the packages for your CPU exclusively. Gentoo takes awhile to get going, especially on a slower machie and it's not for the faint of heart. It generally requires at least some basic understanding of Linux before you install it.

    Ubuntu, Debian, SuSE, NLD, are all reasonable too.. You'll find zealots for each. ;) But as I said, I'd start with Fedora -- at least that's my opinion.

    As for books, I can't recommend one (that's current). I get almost all of my documentation from man pages, online documentation, forums, and Google. :)
     
  3. col_panic

    col_panic calm like a bomb Moderator

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    the best way to learn is by doing. back in the day you HAD to learn just to install it. now, it is very easy to install several distros, so you need to actually do something with the box to learn. build a dns server; install apache; install an ftp server; configure iptables for your needs. stuff like that.

    try a couple of different window managers, install wine, lots and lots of stuff you can try. and read read read read read

    http://groups.google.com for assistance
     
  4. Shaggy007

    Shaggy007 New Member

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    There' are lots of ways to learn linux, one of the best and the answer you'll get a lot is just use it. Install it on a system and go, ok what do i want to make this computer do. Atleast that's how I learned. Hell don't do an install on your main machine even, slap together a machine from some spare parts and install it on that, you don't need much.

    But there are 2 ways to go with your want for a 64bit distro.
    1 The distros aren't very complete for 64bit (atleast the ones I've tried Suse and Redhat) and thus you'll have a steep learning curve which can be a good thing because you will learn, but might also make you shy away from putting in the effort.

    2 You can stick to a more established normal distro, and just learn how to navigate.

    My advise would be learn how to do first, then learn how to fix.

    I use Ubuntu on my laptop, Debian on a home server, and just finished a Gentoo box to see what all the hub-bub was about.
     
  5. 4W4K3

    4W4K3 New Member

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    I'm going to start using Linux on Redhat 9 (shrike i think it's called) because a friend of mine said it was probably the most user-friendly version available.

    My problem is i have to completely wipe Windows off my HDD to install another OS, that means if i can't get internet or connect to my network within Linux, i am screwed.

    In XP Pro i can't seem to partition my drive like alot of people are telling me i can, so i'm kind of reluctant to do so.
     
  6. danskmacabre

    danskmacabre Guest

    For my first foray into Linux, I first of all partitoned part of my HDD for linux partitions using Partition magic, then used Mandriva linux, which is super easy to install.
    TBH, it was so easy I really didn't learn much about Linux :big grin:.

    The only problem I'm having with Linux ATM is getting my wireless network card working properly, which is a work in progres ATM.
     
  7. Shaggy007

    Shaggy007 New Member

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    You should be able to use the drive partitioner that comes with your distro to repartition the drive and toss the bootloader on to keep both linux and windows.
     
  8. danskmacabre

    danskmacabre Guest

    Here's a link to what looks like a decent linux tutorial site.
    http://www.linux-tutorial.info/

    I'm currently browsing through it, seems pretty thorough.
     
  9. danskmacabre

    danskmacabre Guest


    Yeah, Mandriva (and Debian and a few others I have tried, I guess all modern distros do.) does that, although I chose to set up my partitions manually through windows using Partition magic first.
    But I did get Mandriva to set up my multiboot bootloader, which works fine.
     
  10. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    do not dual boot. The only way to learn linux is to use it -- and to have that as all you use. If you have a familiar alternative available, you will use that, and will not learn linux. Force yourself to work through it -- frustrating, though it may be.
     
  11. danskmacabre

    danskmacabre Guest


    My family use the PC (for various things) that I use to play with Linux, so I have to, anyway, I play some games on my backup PC as well, which only work in Windows, so I'll never get rid of Windows.
    Then there's my main Pc, which only has Windows on it, which I use for games and remote access to work, so that'll never have Linux on it.

    If I was more serious about wanting to learn linux I might dedicate one of my PCs to it, but a multiboot system works fine and it's nice to have access to the web should your Linux install go foom.

    Actually, I recently acquired a 2nd hand pc, which I probably WILL dedicate to windows and use and old KVM switch to switch between it and my backup PC.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2005
  12. keleko

    keleko yes, he is

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    what he said ^^

    i have 9 pc at home, and another 2 dozen + available to me
    yet none of them would have or could possibly run the apps and/or games i want to play, or the hardware to use them so i haven't bothered to do much with *nix which means i'm not learning anything about it too fast

    i think one of mine has lycoris desktopLX installed, but i haven't booted that pc in about 8 months
    it might even have gentoo on it

    i have a 16ghz cluster at work built out of spare parts (that's the 2 dozen +) and it runs clusterlinux, but i haven't figured how to edit the cd (it's a live cd) to make it a DHCP server yet - not that it would matter much as there's no inet connection in that room - so it's just sitting there waiting to rust away
     
  13. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    1) If you just want to use Linux as a desktop there's almost no "learning" needed. Just install Ubuntu, start using it and you're good to go.

    2) If you want to learn how to use the commandline, configure things manually, etc. then a good project is to set up a little file or web server at home. I've been using Linux as my desktop OS for about seven years, but didn't really learn how to set things up manually until I set up a server.
     
  14. hathgar

    hathgar Lurker

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    I want to learn to use the command line because ive been told thats where the true power of linux is. Just using the GUI makes it seem like i should just stay with windows.
     
  15. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    Eh, I use mostly the GUI on the desktop (although not for file management, I like the commandline for that) and I could never use Windows. Windows is ugly, clumsy and annoying.

    But, yeah, learning the commandline is great. It certainly is a powerful tool. Like I said, setting up a little file server or web server for home use is a great way to learn all that stuff. Just install a distro without a GUI (Debian/Ubuntu server install, Gentoo, Slack, etc - most distros can be done GUI-less) and use Google and www.tldp.org a lot.
     
  16. 4W4K3

    4W4K3 New Member

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    if my PC will work with our network and wireless internet, then i won't need Windwos for anything. I'm not too into gaming so i dont care about not being able to play games, and open office and programs like that get rid of the need for Windows for me. i'm just praying RedHat will work with our network.

    Before we had Windows 2003 on our server, it was RedHat Linux...so i think it will work.
     
  17. james99654

    james99654 New Member

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    That's a really good point. Besides, bootloaders are a pain to deal with anyway.

    Just stick with it man! That's what I've been doing and I'm slowly getting better at it but I still have a lot to learn.
     
  18. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    Linux should work fine with your wireless. You may need ndiswrapper if there aren't any Linux drivers, and if you use WPA security, you'll need WPA Supplicant, but with most wireless cards I've dealt with, Ubuntu has worked right out of the box.
     
  19. 4W4K3

    4W4K3 New Member

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    jsut using mac filter, WEP encryption (weak i know), and passowrd. ubuntu is diff than redhat 9 though isn't it?
     
  20. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    Ubuntu is newer and has the best hardware detection I've seen on any OS.
     
  21. Zoomba

    Zoomba New Member

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    Ubuntu is based of Debian (like Knoppix) only it is kept more up to date far more than Debian is. I find that it would be a good distro to use if all you needed was to install it and it worked and you needed minimal applications, just for web and email.

    However, I do some development work and also like to install various programs so I don't have to rely on Windows so much, and this requires that I have GCC and other libraries installed that Ubuntu doesn't have right off the bat. I realize that at some point, no matter what distro you are using, you will have to install extra stuff, but I consider GCC to be one of the essentials that you shouldn't have to install extra.

    It is probably a great distro, but there are a few things about it that I don't like. I just am more comfortable with Slack.
     
  22. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    Eh, not having GCC by default bothered me at first, but I can install nearly everything I need through apt-get anyway (I think I've compiled a total of two apps that I needed by hand on this system). Obviously I need GCC for development and such, but for a desktop system (which is what Ubuntu is supposed to be), it's not neccessary.

    I've never played with slack, I ought to do that sometime :dunno:
     

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