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Old 03-05-2006, 08:06 AM   #1
ArchW
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Stupid Linux questions from a XP/Server 2003


Y'all answered my previous question about remote access. I have a few more very basic questions that y'all will probably find dumber than dirt but here goes (I am a network admin for XP and Server 2003 and now zippo about Linux but I installed a copy of Fedora 4 to see what all the talk is about):

1. How do you install software? I downloaded what I call a package called rdesktop-1.4.1.tar.gz. It saved to a default location. I have no idea what to do next.

2. How do you figure out your ipaddress (I can see what address it got from one of our Windows servers because it pulled it from our DHCP). In windows you open a command prompt and then type "ipconfig". Is there something like that in Linux?

3. Speaking of command prompt, how do you open one in Linux?

4. What graphical shell am I using? When I installed it I picked each option. Is one better than another? It seems like there were options for something like KDC, Gnome and others. Is one better than another?

5. I saw a sort of file manager and opened it.....I see very few files in the system....where are they?

Thanks,

Arch
 
Old 03-05-2006, 09:43 AM   #2
Hangdog42
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Quote:
1. How do you install software? I downloaded what I call a package called rdesktop-1.4.1.tar.gz. It saved to a default location. I have no idea what to do next.
Most likely what you have there is likely a tarball of the source code (like a .zip file in the Windows world). Binary packages for Fedora end in .rpm. If you do want to compile from source, you unpack that tarball with the tar command:

tar zxvf rdesktop-1.4.1.tar.gz

See man tar for more options on what tar can do (its a useful one to know).
Quote:
2. How do you figure out your ipaddress (I can see what address it got from one of our Windows servers because it pulled it from our DHCP). In windows you open a command prompt and then type "ipconfig". Is there something like that in Linux?
You just need a 1 letter change. In Linux it is ifconfig.

Quote:
3. Speaking of command prompt, how do you open one in Linux?
If you are in an X environment, there should either be a icon that looks like a terminal, or in the menu system there should be a way to start a console. Look for words like "console", "term" or "terminal"
Quote:
4. What graphical shell am I using? When I installed it I picked each option. Is one better than another? It seems like there were options for something like KDC, Gnome and others. Is one better than another?
I think Fedora defaults to Gnome. KDE is another popular one. These two are the major full-featured desktops (and probably the most like Windows). Besides these there are lots of lighter weight window managers like Fluxbox, Blackbox, etc (have a look in the Awards forum for a good list). The windows managers tend to not do much more than display windows, but for speed, they can't be beat. There really isn't a "better" choice here as it all boils down to personal taste. This is one area where it is worth some time exploring, because there is a lot to choose from.

Quote:
5. I saw a sort of file manager and opened it.....I see very few files in the system....where are they?
They are kind of spread around a bit. Most are in /etc or /usr, but the kernel is almost always found in /boot. Some programs like to install to /opt, like KDE.
 
Old 03-05-2006, 09:51 AM   #3
Artanicus
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1.
the example package has a dual file extension so it actually is a tar archive that has been compressed with gzip. So, to unpack it you would either open it in konqueror (the KDE filemanager) or something similar, a full blown archive manager like Ark, or the fastest way: unpack it on the CLI (command line interface) with the command:
Code:
tar xzvf rdesktop-1.4.1.tar.gz
A quick walkthru on the syntax there: tar is the program for manipulatiug tar archives, the x param tells it to extract, z tells it to uncompress a gzip packaging first, v is for verbose mode, it will print the files extracted, and f for specifying the file to be manipulated, and finally the file.

It will probably give you a directory full of sourcecode. Most likely it will also have a README you can read with less on the cli, or any other text editor of your choosing.

2. The command would be
Code:
ifconfig
There amongst the output will be the ip address for the machine. The command is under sbin that is usually meant only for the root user so you might want to 'su' before attempting the command, or just type instead '/sbin/ifconfig' .. A normal user can see the info, just not modify it.. (:

3. There are several ways, heres the quick showdown: Back in the old days on UNIX you used a thing called a console to connect to the central server. Nowadays thats a thing of the past but thats where comes the name "virtual consoles", VC. You usually have 6 VC:s at your disposal. You can access them by pressing alt+ctrl+F1 thru F6. F7 is reserved for the X windowsystem (The GUI server on which KDE, Gnome, fluxbox and their ilk run)

Those are the basic terminals at your disposal, you also have X terminals that run in the GUI mode and are alot fancier. xterm is a basic one, Eterm and aterm are pretty good, KDE has konsole thats very good, Gnome has gnome-terminal, but they work totally cross.desktop, so you can be running KDE and use the gnome-terminal if you just have the correct libraries installed. (just like in windows you need the right dll's)

So the question realy comes down to how you want to open a command prompt as there are several ways. Most easily you'll probably find it from the GUI menus, look for something called a shell, console or terminal.. those are the keywords in the right direction (:

4. Just take a look at the bottom left corner of your screen. IF you see a capitol K button there, then youre using KDE. IF on the other hand the upper part of the screen has a foot picture, Actions menu or similar, then youre running Gnome. I think Fedora Core uses Gnome by default, im more of a KDE user since it has more functionability where as Gnome has focused on usability so much that theyre starting to miss functionality.. (:

The desktop environment wars are an ongoing battle, so one cannot be realy be said to be better than the other. The best way realy is to try out different ones and to use the one you like. (:

5.
If your using Gnome, then that was probably Nautilus. It probably first showed you your home directory (/home/username) which at the start doesn't contain that much files. Thats the place you should keep your documents and such, its your working diectory for things. It also contains the settings for all the programs youve used / customized but their filenames are prefixed with a dot so they are not visible unless you put on some setting to show hidden files. (:
IF you go up the directory structure youll find thousands of system files. The basic structure is something like this:

/ # this is the root directory, its the top of the structure
/usr # most installed programs reside under here
/usr/bin # most binaries are here
/bin # essential system binaries
/home # all users have their own home directory
/home/youruser # your own
/tmp # well, its the temp (;

There are many others but about those youll find more about by googling around and searching here.. (:

I'd like to welcome you to the wonderland of Linux, have a pleasant and educating stay (:
 
Old 03-13-2006, 08:13 PM   #4
ArchW
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Thanks!

Arch
 
  


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