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I'm soon going to be starting a full time course studying programming in java, and as of yet have never used unix, nor have any knowledge of it whatsoever. The place where I'll be studying uses unix and so I would like to be prepared before I start.
I purchased Septembers LinuxFormat mag which includes a CD-Rom containing ZipSlack 8; would this be a good starting point for installing unix onto my pc or is there a better alternative.
From reading earlier posts it would seem that as far as reading material is concerned, I would be better looking for books from O'Reilly's?
All i can say from experience and people posting here, STAY AWAY FROM THE DISTRO's IN MAG's... they are evil and hardly ever work.
Well, its a little more tough to start out with but I would suggest getting a copy of Slackware, its the most Unix like of Linux OS's, or if you need something with ease to start off with and learn gradually, start maybe with Mandrake, very user friendly or maybe RedHat.
i would like to repeat that wisdom, just to make sure it sinks in:
do NOT use a distro from a magazine!!!
i seriously think those things are distributed by microsoft to sully linux's reputation. there are many good distro's out there for about $30 (the personal versions, not the professional), which is well worth the pain they will save you on the install and configuration.
also, kudos on taking the time to learn linux and unix... but just so you know, java is supposed to be a platform-independant language. you SHOULD be able to transfer progs from a windows enviroment to a linux/unix enviroment without problem, but microsoft keep trying to change java to prevent that.