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Old 03-11-2008, 10:07 AM   #1
Stray Dawg71
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Best and easiest way to learn Linux


I've got two boys 11 and 12 they are both extremely smart and I want them to start learning and using Linux. I plan to wipe their computers and give them a copy of Linux and a how to book. If they want back on the internet they have to get there. My question is which version of Linux would work best and which how to book?

Lance
 
Old 03-11-2008, 10:22 AM   #2
johnsfine
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What does "best" mean?

I think Mepis would be easiest. It is usually pretty trivial to get from a blank computer and almost any Linux distribution liveCD to installed on the hard drive and using firefox for internet access. If there are some issues with display compatibility or resolution, they might be a little easier in Mepis than other distributions. Other aspects of system administration (setting up user accounts, connecting to windows computers on your home network, installing software packages) are a little easier in Mepis than in typical distributions, but the differences usually aren't large.

The biggest difference I find with Mepis (vs. other Linux distributions) is the online documentation is more beginner friendly.

I don't think a book is appropriate. It certainly isn't necessary. Most of what you need to know is easily available in the Mepis online documentation (even if you choose one of several other debian/kde distributions instead of Mepis, the Mepis documentation is a good resource). If you can't find the answer in the Mepis documentation, with just a bit more effort you can almost always find it in google.

As for "learning Linux", an easy distribution like Mepis won't make that happen. It lets you use Linux without learning much of anything. I've seen a lot of advice in forums favoring harder distributions because they make you learn more about Linux in order to just use Linux. Personally I think that approach more often teaches someone to hate Linux rather than teaching them Linux. (It is similar to the way the public school my sons attend taught them and many other students to hate Linux and the way most schools teach most students to hate math).

I think the way to learn Linux is to pick an easy distribution so you can use Linux before you learn Linux, then select some harder tasks that require learning more advanced aspects of Linux one at a time.

Last edited by johnsfine; 03-11-2008 at 10:35 AM.
 
Old 03-11-2008, 10:23 AM   #3
MS3FGX
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Ubuntu is probably a safe bet, it is certainly easy enough to use and install. My wife has been using it for quite some time and her technical knowledge is nearly zero.

As for the book, Ubuntu has a number of books dedicated to it which you can get at Barnes and Noble or any other large book retailer. They have "The Official Ubuntu Book" which should prove helpful, and I know they have "Beginning Ubuntu Linux" too.
 
Old 03-11-2008, 11:23 AM   #4
2damncommon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stray Dawg71 View Post
I've got two boys 11 and 12 they are both extremely smart and I want them to start learning and using Linux. I plan to wipe their computers and give them a copy of Linux and a how to book. If they want back on the internet they have to get there. My question is which version of Linux would work best and which how to book?
First they should experiment with a few different distributions on Live CD/DVD.
Then they should decide what version they wish to load on their computer.
 
Old 03-11-2008, 11:28 AM   #5
Suicidal9090
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If your looking for a good book to learn the basic's, id go with "Fundamentals of Unix" it teaches you commands and was 100x better at explaining to me what I was doing then my teacher in college was. Also do what the other guys were saying above - just download a LiveCD and run it off there and you can learn that way.
 
Old 03-11-2008, 02:54 PM   #6
H_TeXMeX_H
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If you want to 'test their might' give em Slackware. They will learn a whole lot, because they have to, unlike Ubuntu where you don't have to learn anything at all. As for books, check the Slackware Links in my sig, there are many online resources, and the Slackware forum here, all will be useful. Oh, and it is not hard, heck even normal people can use it, much less 'extremely smart' people

You can also try 'Linux from Scratch', building your own personal Linux system with maximum customization, because you do it all. Note: You need patience and time for this one, but surely you will learn a lot.

Last edited by H_TeXMeX_H; 03-11-2008 at 03:00 PM.
 
Old 03-11-2008, 09:03 PM   #7
chrism01
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A very good (online) tutorial/ref: http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz
This might be worth a quick read too (for comparison): http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm (Linux is Not Windows)
 
Old 03-11-2008, 09:14 PM   #8
dxqcanada
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Gentoo + Gentoo Handbook

If you do not understand Linux after installing Gentoo ... then you probably do not have a bootable system.
 
  


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