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Old 12-01-2013, 02:38 PM   #1
betula
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Learning Linux


Hi,

I've looked for quite a while for a good intro to learning Linux. They seem in short supply. However, I accidentally found some good tutorials on learning Unix.

Now I know that Linux sprang from Unix. So, are the very basics of Unix - starting from files, directories, pathnames, etc - a good thing to learn?

Or would I be largely wasting my time?
 
Old 12-01-2013, 03:11 PM   #2
John VV
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history is good , but not the end of all

history of Microsoft
History of Apple
history of IBM and univ. of California at Berkley
and the law suite that ended with BSD2

and so on


but for
Quote:
I've looked for quite a while for a good intro to learning Linux.
use it
install a distro and USE IT
A computer OS is well just that a operating system
 
Old 12-01-2013, 03:53 PM   #3
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Linux is not Unix. It does share similarities and behaves a lot like it but it was created separately so, to my mind, sould be learned using its own documentation.
The way you learn anything, as John VV says, is to use it and become familiar with it. The file system layout, for example, is supposed to be standardised like this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filesy...archy_Standard
However, the reality is that it mostly is but with the odd change.
Then you get into the different init systems and other things I'll not list.
If you've a powerful enough computer I'd suggest using something like VMWare or VirtualBox and downloading a few Linux distributions (or distro's as they tend to be called) and using them as virtual machines. I would at the very least install the following:
CentOS and/or Scientific Linux
Debian
Slackware
Fedora
Ubuntu
They're all a little different so ought to give you an idea about Linux.
 
Old 12-01-2013, 04:10 PM   #4
m.a.l.'s pa
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When I first started out with Linux, I happened upon a used Unix textbook at a second hand store. It was actually very helpful to me as far as getting a grasp of Unix/Linux filesystem structure and how commands work, etc.

But I agree that the most important thing is digging in, getting your hands dirty, using Linux.

Also, read everything you can find -- documentation that comes with the Linux system (manpages, etc.), stuff at Linux forums, a distro's online documentation, etc.

Get used to doing good web searches. There's tons of info out there!

Here's an old site that was very helpful to me: http://www.brunolinux.com/
 
Old 12-01-2013, 05:41 PM   #5
betula
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Okay guys. I sort of thought that I may not get and enthusiastic response ref Unix. I'll do what you;ve suggested and I'm very grateful for your input.

best wishes
 
Old 12-01-2013, 05:43 PM   #6
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if you want to use UNIX then try a BSD or Open Indiana -- it may be worth it if you want to learn.
 
Old 12-01-2013, 09:06 PM   #7
frankbell
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When I started using Linux, I had a goal--to self-host my webserver. I started with Linux because a friend of mine told me that I could do it with Linux.

I did that, and haven't looked back.

So I would build on what others have said and add, pick something you want to do, no matter what it is, and learn how to do it. Even if it doesn't directly involve the OS (say, for example, using GIMP to edit photos), you will learn stuff along the way. Then pick something else, and so on. Learning is easier when you do it as you try to accomplish something.

The reference I found most useful when I started was this Garrels's Intro to Linux: http://www.tldp.org/LDP/intro-linux/html/ (It's also available in PDF and other formats on the "guides" page). There's also lots of other useful stuff at that site.
 
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:09 PM   #8
m.a.l.'s pa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betula View Post
Okay guys. I sort of thought that I may not get and enthusiastic response ref Unix.
Learning about Unix doesn't hurt; that lays a pretty good foundation. I wouldn't discourage anyone from checking it out.

But I think it's more important to do what others have already said here -- use Linux. Try different things. Read a lot.

One thing that has helped me a lot, installing and running different distros, in multi-boot set-ups and/or on different computers. The old contrast and compare method. You pick up on a lot of different things that way.

By the way: I preferred Linux books at first, but in the end I got more out of online information and documentation. Good web searches - I can't stress that enough!
 
Old 12-02-2013, 07:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betula View Post
Okay guys. I sort of thought that I may not get and enthusiastic response ref Unix. I'll do what you;ve suggested and I'm very grateful for your input.

best wishes
I meant to say that learning Unix might be helpful but it's just not quite the same. When I first started using Linux it helped that I'd used Unix systems some years before (without really knowing what they were) because I at least knew things like "ls", "cd", "mkdir" though some of that was also similar to DOS.
Not that I know much about Linux now really -- I've learned where to find help though and whilst I don't always do it properly I've learned how to ask questions better.
 
Old 12-02-2013, 08:46 PM   #10
berndbausch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betula View Post
Hi,

I've looked for quite a while for a good intro to learning Linux. They seem in short supply. However, I accidentally found some good tutorials on learning Unix.

Now I know that Linux sprang from Unix. So, are the very basics of Unix - starting from files, directories, pathnames, etc - a good thing to learn?

Or would I be largely wasting my time?
Coming from a UNIX server background, my transition to Linux was quite painless. I used the RHCSA/RHCE certification study guide by Jang, as well as Google.

Also, the first steps (logging on, moving around in the filesystem, editing files and the like) are the same on Linux and UNIX, and many system administration concepts are similar or identical. It might even be enjoyable and provide deeper understanding when you discover the subtle or not-so-subtle differences between the OS flavours.

Having said that, there are many Linux books for beginners. I don't believe that good introductions to Linux are "in short supply", as you say.
 
Old 12-02-2013, 11:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betula View Post
Hi,

I've looked for quite a while for a good intro to learning Linux. They seem in short supply. However, I accidentally found some good tutorials on learning Unix.

Now I know that Linux sprang from Unix. So, are the very basics of Unix - starting from files, directories, pathnames, etc - a good thing to learn?

Or would I be largely wasting my time?

No, you would not be wasting your time. Knowing the fundamentals will always help. Now, a question purely for reflection: what do you mean by 'learning linux'? For example, I understand the underlying concepts of a kernel, the file system etc. But do I 'know linux'? No, I do not. I can build and install a new kernel, and can even build a 'Linux From Scratch' system. I understand the rudiments of using sed/grep/awk etc, but easily get lost and must consult my O'Reilly books on them. I can't use GIMP for anything. Why? Because I've never had the need to learn it. I've made use of what I've learned, and always keep learning more.

Back in the mid '90's there was a mailing list for linux newbies. I was just learning about Linux, and read just about every post. That helped me learn a bunch about the 'system' and the various utilities that came with it. I've only recently stumbled upon Linux Questions. I now use it the same way. I read most of the forums, even though I don't setup servers or worry about security etc. Most of the questions folks ask I could not answer because I've never been on the track they are on. Yet, I've found that by reading them I have a basic understanding to fall back on when I do go down that track. An example was getting Slackware to play commerical DVD's. So read everything you can, get a distro or two and learn them. Who knows, you may be the author of a bestseller "How to Learn Linux in 3 Easy Steps" <GRIN>

Coordially,
 
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:14 PM   #12
273
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Well said Spect73.
 
Old 12-03-2013, 01:04 AM   #13
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If you want to do Unix, PC-BSD is very friendly for newbies. Linux isn't UNIX. For example, in Linux Mint you use apt-get to update and install software. In BSD you use pkg_add. In Solaris express, it's pkg-add.

The directory structure is different. Linux doesn't have jails. Linux uses repositories. Unix uses ports. The file systems differ and basically Unix doesn't read Linux file systems well and vice versa. Yes, there is some compatibility, but it ain't great at all.

I say do both!!

Last edited by mdlinuxwolf; 12-03-2013 at 01:07 AM.
 
Old 12-03-2013, 10:08 AM   #14
betula
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Okay guys, you've put me in my place and set me thinking about I actually want to learn. To put it simply, I think that if I knew enough not to have to ask simple questions on this forum, it would satisfy my simple soul.

I'll look again for books on starting. I don't want to spend good money on one that I would find too difficult so I'll look for user reviews. This might put me on the right track.

Thanks again to all.
 
Old 12-03-2013, 10:39 AM   #15
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To paraphrase Chet Ramey...
...there are dark corners in Linux, and people use all of them.

http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz
 
  


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