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Old 09-07-2012, 01:35 PM   #16
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caravel View Post
there will come a point in the learning process where the "spoon feeding distro" may become a glass ceiling to further learning.
I totally disagree. There is no glass ceiling. Linux is very modular. A distribution may give you an easy way to do something , and that usually implies a way that gives you less precise control over the behavior. But the fact that it gives you an easy way, never locks you into that easy way.

You don't need to drop the whole distribution in order to make a different choice than the maintainers of that distribution made about how much control the user (you) should take in some specific detail of the system. The version that allows your more precise control is probably already there under the hood and you can use it whenever you choose. Otherwise, it is available in some form that you can install.

If your hardware is seriously obsolete, you might choose a lighter weight distribution rather than a beginner friendly distribution. Otherwise, I don't see any reason for a beginner to not select a beginner friendly distribution.

An expert can usually customize any distribution (beginner friendly or not) to get it to exactly where he wants. A beginner friendly distribution might take a little longer for that expert to customize than an expert friendly distribution would.

Last edited by johnsfine; 09-07-2012 at 01:39 PM.
 
Old 09-07-2012, 01:40 PM   #17
TheIndependentAquarius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caravel View Post
You need to name the "spoon feeding distros".
Any distro which doesn't force me to solve problems is a spoon
feeding distro.

openSUSE 11.4.
It took me half an hour to install it. During the install from
the DVD I ticked the packages I needed, and within some minutes
it was up and running. I straightway started working with C++ and
Qt since they were already properly installed.

Today if you tell me to learn administration work on Suse, I
would be lost. I won't know what to practice because nothing
is broken! So what am I supposed to fix there!

Many people point out newbies to Rute's manual and man pages. I
have seen that too, but in today's date I don't know several
options of several commands. The reason is that my job doesn't
require them! So, even if for the sake of learning I mug them up,
I forget them soon, repeatedly, because there is nothing where
I "need to" apply them.

My point is that human brain loves to start off the easy way, and
tends to continue that way till it is "forced" to learn something,
IMO. Forcing is needed, today, or tomorrow, IMO!

Quote:
Originally Posted by caravel View Post
Starting with a more advanced distribution can often lead to a lot of pain and frustration.
Indeed, that happened to me when I tried to install Slackware, 3
times, and failed. I was frustrated. But the reason of frustration
was that this Slackware was preventing me from getting started in
those programming languages! I then realized that my aim is not to
learn Linux, but the languages. So, I installed the "spoon feeding
distro" and focused on my aim.

In the same way, if the "aim" is to learn "Linux", then installing
a spoon feeding distro is only going to delay the learning.
You fail while installing Slack, you figure out the problem,
understand errors, and learn "Linux". Suse doesn't ask you to do that.
It does all the automatic (nice) settings on its own. There isn't
anything broken there, so what will you fix?

The problem IMO is that the brain loves to "procrastinate" - Lets
avoid the situation till we can!

Also, in this 21 century no one can surely say that they don't have
access to the information.

Last edited by TheIndependentAquarius; 09-07-2012 at 10:58 PM.
 
Old 09-07-2012, 02:43 PM   #18
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anisha Kaul View Post
nothing
is broken! So what am I supposed to fix there!
Someone please protect me from distributions like that

But seriously, that is why I come here a lot (LQ) to borrow some trouble.

At work, on rare occasions without warning, I suddenly need to be a Linux expert. But whenever I need to be a Linux expert, I need to focus on the real problem and not on learning the Linux skills related to that problem. When there is no crisis, there is nothing that needs any Linux skills so no problem to use as an intermediate goal for improving those skills.

So at LQ, I sometimes notice a problem that is beyond what I know but within the range of what I ought to be able to figure out. A few google searches later, plus a few tests attempted on one of my Linux systems and I often can post a constructive answer. Along the way, I pick up Linux skills while the crisis (if there is one) isn't my crisis.

Quote:
In the same way, if the "aim" is to learn "Linux", then installing
a spoon feeding distro is only going to delay the learning.
I still strongly disagree. I like things "modular" and that includes learning. When I'm learning X, I want all the tools I use in that process to be easy to use so they don't distract me from X.

When I tried Linux several years ago after several years of absence from Linux, I was lost. Reading documentation was a struggle because I hadn't installed a decent documentation browser. Installing anything was a struggle because I wasn't using a friendly package installer. Anything I wanted to learn was blocked by five other things I didn't know. I was in a critical mass of ignorance within which the ignorance was the obstacle to fixing the ignorance. Then I tried Mepis and all the basics were easy so I quickly learned the rest. (I wish some current distribution were as beginner friendly as Mepis was a few years ago. Last time I checked, Mepis was no longer more beginner friendly than Ubuntu).
 
Old 09-07-2012, 02:58 PM   #19
Myk267
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I can only offer the way that I'm learning Linux. I didn't start off with this way in mind, but it's been the path of least resistance at each level that I've been willing to dig deeper. Linux is built like a big onion, or cake, there's a lot of layers down under the frosting, and you need to peel back each layer on your way to the core.

Start off with a spoon feed distro! I can't speak for a lot of these, but I know that Ubuntu/Xubuntu are just fine. Get to know the Software Center and get installing and removing packages using it. It's all GUI driven, so there shouldn't be any problems. Sooner or later, you'll discover the terminal and apt-get. APT is the back-end or underlying mechanism to the software center, and it will let you see a lot more of what happens when you want something installed. Find something in the Software Center, then find it using the apt-get utility: they're both the same. Get in the habit of learning a new Linux utility by reading the man page and also by looking on Google for ways to use it. There's a lot of tutorials online for almost everything you would ever want done.

Sooner or later, you'll want to see more of what goes on behind the scenes. Enter Arch Linux. Arch lets you start from a minimal command prompt install and build up to a full desktop (and anywhere in between) using their powerful pacman package manager. Pacman will automatically pull in dependencies, just like apt-get or the Software Center, so the whole processed is streamlined, but textually driven. You can spend a lot of time here, because there's a lot to learn, especially from Arch's extensive wiki documentation. Learn to admin and keep your Arch up to date and how to fix it when a new update breaks something.

Again you might want to see what's behind the curtain or maybe pacman ate your system. Install Slackware. Slackware doesn't hold your hand, but at this point you shouldn't need it to. Learn how the package manager works and how the package scripts themselves are put together. There isn't dependency tracking, so you'll have to manually install packages in the right order on your own for third party software. Learn why this is a feature and not a lack thereof. You may want to try upgrading Slackware to the current branch which will further test your admin abilities.

If you're still crazy enough to want more, pick up Linux From Scratch and work through it. It will teach you the most about linux than any of these others, and it will be the most difficult by far. You'll learn how to use a lot of the linux tools out of necessity. What you learn from LFS and where you take it from there is up to you.

I'm not sure how fast this can be done, or if it could be done fast at all. Linux is a big system, and learning all of it takes time. I find that I really have to be ready to learn something before I can do it and even that's hard to judge personally. A lot of how fast it's going to take is how motivated you are to experiment and read and use Linux on a daily basis. Linux doesn't really stop at any point, it's always growing and changing, so come prepared with that idea. Good luck!
 
Old 09-07-2012, 03:02 PM   #20
guyonearth
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What are you trying to learn? Linux for fun, or Linux for business? Or are you confusing bash scripting with "Linux". You can use Linux happily and never open a prompt. You can learn bash and shell scripting without ever running Linux.


...
 
2 members found this post helpful.
Old 09-07-2012, 10:15 PM   #21
Randicus Draco Albus
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Quote:
redfox2807
I would rather suggest to define "learn".
Exactly. How long it takes to learn depends on what one wants to learn. (And of course on aptitude.) Better advice cannot be given without the OP stating his/her desires.

Quote:
guyonearth
What are you trying to learn? Linux for fun, or Linux for business? Or are you confusing bash scripting with "Linux". You can use Linux happily and never open a prompt. You can learn bash and shell scripting without ever running Linux.
Another good response that reflects what I see as a problem with this thread. That being, some respondents assume learning Linux means becoming a computer programmer. There is no need to learn C+, advanced bash commands or anything else of similar nature. The ambitious can try to learn everything if they want to, but it is not necessary.

I did not mention it in my first post, because I did not want to start an argument, but since others have since mentioned it, I can rid myself of reluctance.
Start with Arch or LSF. To kryton777; Learn to walk before trying to fly. Start with the basics, then try a distribution designed for users with advanced knowledge, if you so desire.

Last edited by Randicus Draco Albus; 09-07-2012 at 10:18 PM.
 
Old 09-07-2012, 11:16 PM   #22
TheIndependentAquarius
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsfine View Post
When I tried Linux several years ago after several years of absence from Linux, I was lost. Reading documentation was a struggle because I hadn't installed a decent documentation browser. Installing anything was a struggle because I wasn't using a friendly package installer. Anything I wanted to learn was blocked by five other things I didn't know.
I would NOT have said all that if we were in "2003".
In 2003 (during my BCA), we didn't have internet at college. The internet connection
was setup only on one computer and we were NOT allowed to use that. No one used that
except those "teachers" who wanted to "chat" with someone.

No one knew anything about Linux at that time. People talking about installing Linux were
ridiculed!! Spending an hour in the Cybercafe used to be pretty expensive.

But, now, we are in "2012".
Price of spending 1 hour in Cybercafe is $0.18. Even beggars here have mobile phones.
In today's date, if anyone says that he cannot take a print out of the documentation,
I am NOT going to believe him. Specially in the current case, where the OP is already
in this forum where he can ask, "if there is a way where he can keep Windows along side
Linux? OR can I install Linux inside Windows?"


I think all he needs to do is to stop getting frightened, and stop procrastinating!
Personal opinion of course.
 
Old 09-08-2012, 02:37 AM   #23
hydraMax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kryton777 View Post
What is the best way to Learn Linux fast?
The critical thing is to install a Gnu/Linux distribution on your PC and use it for everything you do. E-mail, Web browser, gaming, spreadsheet, gaming, homework, et cetera. Delete your Windows partitions and get rid of your Mac. You will be forced to learn Gnu/Linux rapidly, and this will get you Basic Linux (101) level skills in about two to three weeks.

Once you are very comfortable handling all your day to day life activities in Gnu/Linux (may take a few months depending on your aptitude), you can get to Intermediate level Gnu/Linux knowledge by switching to a more "hands-on" distribution like Gentoo.

Beyond that, it depends on what you want to be able to do with Gnu/Linux. You can go in the direction of application programming, or system administration, or networking, or server configuration, kernel development, or whatever else you prefer, which each tend to require different skills and approaches to learning.
 
Old 09-13-2012, 02:43 AM   #24
TheIndependentAquarius
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How much I hate hit and run posters!
 
Old 09-13-2012, 07:20 AM   #25
brianL
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I'm learning Linux for fun. Not fast, but at a leisurely pace. The first distro I installed was Slackware 10.0, in early 2005. It was given away on 2 CDs by Linux Format magazine, with an article in the mag giving brief installation and post-installation instructions. I had no idea I was diving in the deep end. As far as I knew, all distros were the same (they may have been then). The only real problem I had was with my broadband connection using a BT Voyager whatever? modem/router, sorted that out by buying a Netgear DG834G. I did a lot of distrohopping, but kept going back to Slack. It suited me then and it suits me now. If you want to try Slackware, clear your mind of preconceived ideas and FUD about it before you do.

Last edited by brianL; 09-13-2012 at 07:54 AM.
 
Old 09-14-2012, 07:12 AM   #26
Johnny Who
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Install gentoo or toy with sabayon....
 
Old 09-14-2012, 08:29 AM   #27
yilez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pan64 View Post
the best way is to use it, solve problems, practicing, but I think first you need a goal (what do you want to achieve at all?)
This.

Without a specific goal, you will struggle because you won't have any drive.

On a similar note, how well do you know your current OS? I was always under the impression that I knew Windows well. Then I got a new job as a tech support engineer and realised I knew squat about 75% of the OS. If you want to know Linux well enough to use as a desktop OS, do what people say and just install (and use) it.
 
  


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