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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
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I'm planning to try out Linux on the desktop for the first time, but I am a complete noob at this. Here are my two questions:
1) Could I have Linux installed on a separate hard drive, and basically choose which one to boot up, Windows or Linux? Is choosing what boots up the job of LILO?
2) I am aware of the whole question of choosing a distro etc. Here is my question: should I go with a more difficult distribution first (Slackware and Debian often get mentioned) or start off with an easier one (Mandriva, Ubuntu, and Fedora got mentioned)? What are your recommendations?
2) I think with a little research, you could use any distribution. I think it is somewhat of a myth that Slackware or Debian are harder than other distros. If I had to recommend a distribution for someone new to Linux I would choose Debian.
In the same vein, remember that they all come with unlimited cmd line access eg via xterms, so even if you pick a so-called easy distro eg Fedora, once you learn enough, you can then start doing everything from the cmd line