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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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If you are looking for a distro or you got one, Yoou may have choosen the wrong distro!!!!!
Slackeware is personally the best distro that you can get. Its the longest serviving Linux distro By far, and when you hear people going REDHAT is the most popular, Well i must say that they have been fooled by it. cause I was one of those people. and I think that it is because I thought It looked great and also it says user friendly. But I mean you need to know how to use a linux system in order to be able to use REDHAT, So here is the solution.
SLACKWARE, although it is said that it is not for newbies, well they are Wrong, becasue if you use Slackware, not only will you find it powerful and stable, you would also find that you COULD LEARN FROM IT REAL QUICK. And in time you would be able to do all kinds of cool stuff, but if you don't take my advice then you are going to spend alot of time trying to learn how to install things and also configure stuff.
Anotherthing is that Distros like Redhat DONOT have as much support as you do with Slackware, I mean If you don't know how to do this and do that, sure redhat websites and Forum sites tells you how but there ain't as many support as using other distros like Slackware. If you don't believe me Try going into the Slackware Forum, type in a question and find out just how quick it will be before they reply you..
on a more serious note i disagree that Slack should be newbie's first installation. The most obvios reason for that is that newbie does not always want to l33t'ness factor, but one click installation so that that said newbie does not have to hit his head on a wall figuring out why exactly he needs to have at least 2 partitions when all he wants is to see how linux looks like.
Dunno. I should imagine that depends on what the "n00b's" IT experience is in the first place. I for one, don't really care too much about the pro's and con's of "whatever linux".
My interests are by way of "ease of use", followed by NOT Microsoft (yes I do have eckspee available for dualboot, but that's only because "her indoors" won't try and learn anything else - she's a teacher, and they've got MS at work, so that's good enough).
I might have a go at Slack eventually, but not until I know considerably more than I do now. And the one thing that stops me being adventurous with linux? documentation, it doesn't seem to matter who produces a distro, they don't seem to have much of a clue about how to write clear, consice, understandable docs - unless, you are some kind of IT pro/developer. Nah, seriously, the docs thing is just that I would be happy to download (free or paid for) or buy a book, if I could see the standards of the writing. I.E. that it is written in normal everyday language. rather than the book's being for geeks, by geeks.
The point of well written clear, concise, "normal" language is that it is considerably easier to translate for those whose first language isn't english - technospeak is considerably more difficult.
I'd suggest that any of the specific projects should put more emphasis on decent doc's, and that might help the linux cause more than just making clone app's. If "joe user" could follow instructions easily, then they might have greater chance of success, and feel more like looking into linux further. But the cornerstone has to be a usable system, that can replace windows straight away - this could encourage further "exploration" (a bit like, if someone is a "dos monster" then they would feel more at home with slack, whereas if you've only ever used eckspee, then you're gonna feel better off with mandrake).
SweetChris: I hear what you're saying. Every hard bitten Slack user I know will sing the same tune.
Me? Bahh, I'm just dabbling in Linux at the moment. I like some of the things I see. But I'm a DOS/Win user that's too spoiled with "setup.exe" to care about satisfying a bazillion dependencies. I just keep wondering when that aspect of Linux is going to be "fixed" so that it runs as smoothly as Windoze eckspee.
acid_kewpie: Excellent point. Good documentation always welcome.
I feel any newcomer that decides to switch from Windows to Linux can learn from any distro if they choose a desire to learn it.
It doesn't matter, it's just really up to the person and if they don't give up when the first thing that comes up and bites them.
It is a nice discussion but there is a problem that is not in this discussion.
Although I tried Suse 6.3 for some years and later on a version of Red Hat, I actually began a serious relationship with Linux this spring. In my office I still do use windows, but next year that is going to change. Now to the problem.
The biggest problem is, you buy or download a new operating systems and try to install it. But then you seam to have to advanced hardware and you are confronted with three problems:
1 you don't know the OS.
2 your hardware is giving you a hard time.
3 docs are not sufficient.
I tried out Suse and RedHat and these are my experiences:
My first try was Suse 8. I took not the newest machine so it installed without any trouble. But then, (I bought it so there were some nice handbooks with it) the books, were very difficult to read. ( My experiences with computers go back to 1979 (6502- assembler- z80- 8080 CPM etc, I followed some courses and assembled a lot of computers, made changes to the os, used compilers a.s.o). The second problem are the enormous quantity off programs that Suse installs, 5 or 6 different editors, 20 games.... it makes confused.
I didn't want to give up, so I bought RH 9 and some decent handbooks (Red Hat Bible , Unleashed, Adm. guide and some other stuff) With this and some helpful hints from this forum, I gradually get done what I want.
One of the big problems is that not all Linux versions are equal. You have 2 boot loaders (I know there are a lot more, but normally Lilo or Grub are used) Then you have KDE or Gnome. And so on. I know the strong point of Linux is that you can change it as you like it, but it is confusing in the beginning. The file systems are not equal at least 3 different version are used. The utilities are not equal, although you can use some utilities on an other system. Mounting is not equal. RH uses MNT Suse has an other way.
Don't you think this are the problems. Installing from programs or drivers is not equal. (Why not include a script with every driver, so installation becomes a lot easier)
And all those books? Sometimes they help you, but sometimes they send you far away into the dessert...
Every installation of every distro seams to have its own peculiarities.
Lest be honest, you can't expect from a newbie, that the first week he or she is going to recompile the kernel, that is not realistic. So there should be an os that is not to overwhelming, easy to install AND recognizes most hardware. There further should be a reasonable documentation. ( For reverence I downloaded the book from slack, and it gave a lot of information but is not complete). The problem with all docs for computers and programs is, that they are made by programmers, not by users. Give the documentation to a beginner, if he can't work with it, it is not good!
After getting used to Linux, you get 2 types of users, those, who only want to type there letters, make a spreadsheet perhaps play an mp3 or burn a cdr and those who want to do more. As I see it now, the first category is kept away from Linux at this moment and that is a pity. (At this moment there is actually no support for the third category: the players). Sometimes I see denigrating remarks and ask myself : What is the use of that.
I spent all my free time in the last half year to get my systems working, to try things out and to learn. To read in this and other forums, to look in google etc. So yes, sometimes, after I have been seeking for three days, I will ask, and probably it is a piece of cake for you, but didn't you had a learning period?
I think the suggestion of better documentation is one thing, but the big distro's should at least have the same directories. It is complete nonsense to have different ones. There should be more resemblance, for the rest you can do with your distro what you want...... isn't it?
All kernels are equal, so what is in a name............
I used Mandrake to learn.
Took my time and had no problems, not with installation, not with upgrading, not with installing progs.
Documentation is plentifull for a newbie, and there are dozens of forums where you get answers same day.
After learning the basics ? I had a look at SUse and Redhat.
Went back to Mandrake.
I had more trouble, in the few weeks I used RedHat, then in the whole 10 months I've been using Slackware.
Infact when I first tried RedHat, it was so hard, that I actually gave up on the idea I could ever be one of the lucky people using Linux, and went back to Windows.
However, since then I have changed, and I seriously can't be happier with my decision to go Slackware.
I use Slackware and love it, but don't think it would be a very good distro for the raw newbie. I used Mandrake to learn from (I struggled along with 8.0 for a while and then got 9.1, which was great), and then got into Slack (and never looked back). Slack would have been way above my head if I'd tried it straight from Windows - I found there were quite a few conceptual differences between Windows and Linux (eg. the way the files system works) and Mandrake helped smooth the transition from the GUI-driven Windows way to the command line Linux way.