Greetings from a few [hundred] miles up the road...
The best way to "learn Linux" is to start by reading.
You've found one of the best sites on the web (and its companion, "linuxanswers
.com.") There are many areas to this site besides just this forum. The wiki, for example, is an on-line encyclopedia. There are FAQs and in-depth articles.
Next, prepare your computer. Purchase another disk-drive and the mounting-kit, and install it. I presume that you are running Windows now, and the second drive will be strictly used for Linux. In due time you can select that drive to be the one that you boot-from (in the BIOS setup-screen), but you can always
drop back to "what you're used to," having never made any substantial changes to that configuration at any point in time. You don't have to deal with "repartitioning," you don't cut yourself off from access to Windows ... all that you have to remember is that your primary system drive for Linux might be /dev/hdb, c, or d
(And if you don't know what I'm referring to, then that is one of the things that you should make it your business to find out before
you "plunge.") The old Boy Scout "Be Prepared" is still a good motto.
you "dive in," do some more reading. Test the water. Observe what other people
ran into, what a
pickle they found themselves in, and how they
.. or a guru
.. did to help them get back on track. If you observe these experiences of others, ahead of time, then you will be less likely to encounter the same gotchas yourself. (No, you'll find some altogether new and interesting
Then, eventually, you do dive-in. And what you try to do is to plan what you're going to do and
how you might have to get back out. So you carefully tie one end of the rope to the dock, the other to the life-ring, then you check the straps on your life-vest, make sure you've got dry clothes and a strong drink (or cappucino) waiting ... and then
you "plunge in."
When that time comes, and come it must, then you first must be prepared
to do it, and then you must not be afraid
to do it.
I find it very helpful to keep a diary ... a loose-leaf notebook and a number-two pencil. If I have a question, I write it down.
Once I've done that, I'm not going to forget what it was, and I can choose
when and how to address it. These sort of things help "you to control the process" instead of "the process controlling you."
Finally, establish a reasonable set of expectations. Rome wasn't built in a day. You're getting into a world that is, on the one hand, completely different
from what you're used to (for one thing, it's a lot bigger...)
, but on the other hand, also very much the same.
There will be times when you go
!! There will be times when the computer makes a stupid-fool of you. Your forehead might come out somewhat flattened (<slap!> "doh!"
). But that's what learning a new skill is all about. And I daresay that there is not one person among us who does not periodically
have that very same experience, no matter how long they have worked with Linux. I can freely say that there are many times that I wish that I had better observed my own advice,
but so it goes.