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Old 07-01-2012, 02:18 PM   #1
Allie-23
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Best book to buy to teach yourself Linux


Hi! I am starting out in the fall semester as a computer science major at Purdue University and I wanted to teach myself Linux before I went to school. I was wondering what teach-yourself book would be the best to get to assist my learning and also which version (distro? not sure on the lingo here) of Linux I should begin with. My goal is to get the general idea so I am comfortable with it before going to college.
 
Old 07-01-2012, 02:34 PM   #2
rokytnji
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If you have time. My signature has free online courses.

For a free pdf magazine. I subscribe to

http://fullcirclemagazine.org/

As far as a distro to learn goes and books go. I am sure the slackware users here will chime in on this thread in a few.
 
Old 07-01-2012, 02:45 PM   #3
sycamorex
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I wouldn't buy anything. Printed books are expensive and tend to go out of date relatively quickly (at ;east parts of them).

Check some extensive tutorials:
http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz
http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Bash-Prog-Intro-HOWTO.html

You'll probably want to make yourself familiar with the distro they use at the university (eg. CentOS, Debian, etc.)

Have fun.
 
Old 07-01-2012, 04:48 PM   #4
RockDoctor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
You'll probably want to make yourself familiar with the distro they use at the university (eg. CentOS, Debian, etc.)

Have fun.
+1

Having fun is especially important
 
Old 07-01-2012, 04:54 PM   #5
SaintDanBert
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I like paper books, too, because I can make notes in the margins and highlight things.
Electronic books have not quite mastered these features. That said, A huge amount of Linux HOWTO is available online as TXT or PDF or HTML without any cost beyond download time.

My real question becomes, "What do you mean by 'learn linux' ? "
There is a huge body of knowledge covered by the one word, "Linux".

If you have a distro loaded to a computer and want to learn how to use it, most likely you will want desktop environment (D/E) information for whatever you decided to install. There are a half dozen front running D/E's and maybe a dozen or more others. Can you tell us which you care about?

From your chosen desktop, you will use various applications and utilities. You will likely want to learn how to make effective use of those applications. Some will help you do whatever work you want to accomplish with your computer. Others will help you manage and keep your computer running and its data safe. Again, there are hundreds so a general "learn Linux" offers little direction for interested helpers.

Eventually you will get to the command line either in a "console" or a "terminal window".
Most likely, you will see the BASH shell. Again, there is a ton of details about "shell scripting" available online and using the command man bash or man {someCommand} at the shell prompt.

If you want to learn programming in the Linux world, remember that Linux was born as a clone of Unix™ from times past. Unix programming and C-language programming (today also C++) are joined at the hip. You will want to get there eventually. There are multiple other options as you learn programming as a general subject and build skills with languages. There are hundreds of "programming languages" so we can worry about this in a later posting.

Does this give you information to ask more questions?
~~~ 0;-Dan

Last edited by SaintDanBert; 07-01-2012 at 04:58 PM.
 
Old 07-01-2012, 05:12 PM   #6
Allie-23
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by "learn linux" i mean that I have relatively no knowledge of what it is or how it can be used, so I would like to get a better understanding and basic knowledge of it, and be able to use some parts of it to a basic level. I don't even know what that various capabilities of linux are, so I can't tell you more specifically.
 
Old 07-01-2012, 05:27 PM   #7
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allie-23 View Post
by "learn linux" i mean that I have relatively no knowledge of what it is or how it can be used, so I would like to get a better understanding and basic knowledge of it, and be able to use some parts of it to a basic level. I don't even know what that various capabilities of linux are, so I can't tell you more specifically.
Consider the fundamentals of any modern operating system---partial list:
file management
storage management---including internal and external hard drives
peripheral management--eg scanners and printers
display
user input--eg keyboard and mouse
internet access--networking

Now, add all the normal applications:
e-mail
web browser
word processing
drawing
and much more

Linux does all of this. In fact, I doubt that you will find very many basic functions that Linux does not do---to be sure, there are a few applications that are not as powerful on Linux as on other OSes, but there is probably a much wider range of choices on Linux----and, of course, most Linux applications are free.

So---the simplified answer to your question is: "Linux does everything---what is it that you want it to do for you."
 
Old 07-01-2012, 05:35 PM   #8
serafean
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Hi,

Depending on whether you want to learn about linux (as in your distribution) as a user, basic linux as an administrator (meaning apache configuration etc) or basic console usage (applicable to mos UNIXes out there).

The first option I learned on the fly...
The second as needed (for now only administering a home server, so not much)
For the third, which was very useful for my course, I found invaluable help in Unix Power Tools. It's great for jumping around different topics learning and then combining... I really loved it.

Serafean
 
Old 07-01-2012, 05:53 PM   #9
Allie-23
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I am interested for now in learning to use linux as a user. What is the best version to do that on. It seems like there are so many options and I don't understand what the differences are between them.
 
Old 07-01-2012, 06:10 PM   #10
chrism01
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1. go to www.distrowatch.com and try any/all of the top 10 there (not arch or LFS or Gentoo though)

2. If you want a desktop system oriented towards MS-Win type experience, try Mint or Ubuntu or Kubuntu initially.
Note that they are all free, so as above, it just costs you download time. Some have a LiveCD option which will run just from your CD/DVD drive, without affecting your hard disk. Saves installing time.

3. If the Uni has/supports a particular distro, get that that one

4. post #3 has some good (cmd line oriented) tutorials. Each distro has its its own home web page with a fair amt (in most cases) of free docs.
See also www.linuxtopia for a load of free to read docs/manuals/books.

5. as above,there are roughly 3 main areas you may be interested in

a) desktop user eg email, web etc
b) system admin
c) programming

If you have a preference for one of those, tell us as we can tailor our advice more accurately.

HTH & Welcome to LQ
 
Old 07-01-2012, 07:06 PM   #11
Allie-23
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desktop user for now. Hopefully as I learn more I can dive into b and c a little more. Also if it helps I am using a mac. I don't know if that makes any sort of difference.
 
Old 07-01-2012, 07:13 PM   #12
Terminal_Cowboy
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I learn linux from online tutorials to offline mediums. My favorite publisher is O'Reily. They cover many subjects of linux from desktop usage, servers and programming and maybe more.

They real way to learn linux is to take small steps and apply what you read.

Last edited by Terminal_Cowboy; 07-01-2012 at 07:15 PM.
 
Old 07-01-2012, 07:55 PM   #13
chrism01
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In that case, grab a few distros, take default install (or try LiveCd) and just play with them...
NB: The former assumes you are using a computer that will only run Linux!
Dual boot is more complex.
Incidentally, Ubuntu also offers something known as 'wubi', which basically installs Linux as an 'app' under MS-Windows...
 
Old 07-01-2012, 08:45 PM   #14
frankbell
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I have several *.pdfs from The Linux Documentation Project that I have printed out and stuck in binders because, well, sometimes nothing beats a book, for reasons SaintDanBert described very well, plus it is sometimes much easier to have both a book and the computer going and switch your eyes back and forth between them than it is to switch between windows on a computer.

I would recommend for starts Garrels's Introduction to Linux, which is on the tldp "Guides" page. If you want to know how Linux works, not just how to use Linux to get things done, it's an excellent starting point.
 
Old 07-01-2012, 09:12 PM   #15
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The Linux Bible (Most recent edition you can find, probably 2012 is out by now!)
 
  


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