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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
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My brother would like to learn linux at the command level. I suggested he try a Linux From Scratch approach first, to get a feel for the systems structure. When its go time, I informed him a lot of people I know who setup minimal server systems at the command level use FreeBSD and swear by its stability and up time. What do you think?
If he's wanting to become proficient at the command line, he should consider installing something like Slackware, Debian, Gentoo, or hell, even an Ubuntu minimal netinstall, with no X, no GUI. And then use cli only for at least a month, if not longer. FreeBSD would be fine, too. Building from scratch with LFS is OK, I guess, but not necessary, or at least not yet.
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.4,DD-WRT micro plus ssh,lfs-6.6,Fedora 15,Fedora 16
i agree with jwjones, lfs is a bit of a stretch and to add on that imho should probably not be attempted UNLESS he is proficient with the command line, perhaps he could do an LFS install as a test of his proficience with the cli
as for how to become familiar with the command line, i would as jwjones suggested, do a cli only installation of linux and start there, another thing i would do is look at the contents of /bin /sbin /usr/sbin to get a list of programs installed, pick a program and run man 'program' to read the manual pages for said program.
First of all, it is not necessary to install a new distro - if he already has a Linux box, then obviously *the command line works just fine in that distro*.
Secondly, learning to use the command line has a number of different aspects, with different goals and therefore learning requirements. For example, does your brother wish to :-
Learn shell scripting?
Want to learn about the file system hierarchy, navigation and management?
Perform some day-to-day tasks through the CLI?
Wish to learn more about system housekeeping and administrative tasks?
Become used to using the command line for tasks in general?
My brothers background is MIS but was doing a lot of mainframe programming for banks till the BIG layoff of 2008. Heś been doing Windows maintenance/ trouble shooting part time for the past 5 years (windows is everywhere) but feels the need to move into the linux server area. He is not a complete newbie. But lives alone, has the time to learn with NO distractions at this time so...I figured if your gonna do the burn to learn, get your self involved all the way. The LFS was a way for him to go at it full bore till he got the system working (learning nuts and bolts along the way). I can see Gentoo as way also. (I once saw a newbie take Gentoo on for a full week circa 2004. I leant him a computer to do it. He called me 5 years later to thank me. Because of that experience, he now has a career in linux as computer science graduate. Go figure.)
I will pass on all the information provided here at the forum to him. You have all been very helpful and I really thank you for your time and consideration. Excellent responses, pure quality. Thank you.
I would also recommend watching some video tutorials first just to get an idea what is ahead. I have some Linux command line video tutorial on my YouTube channel that might help. I also did some AS400 for banks, and DOS batch programming, so I would say that it will be easy for him to learn Linux CLI easily.
What to get good at the command line? "sudo rm -rf /etc/X11" and then reboot. That should do it!
LFS is a bit over the top. "Being good at the command line" does not necessarily equate to "compile every little thing from scratch". You better ALREADY be good at the command line before you even thing about LFS!
Regarding LFS, you have to be familiar with the command line before you can deal with LFS. It starts from the command line with some really complicated commands. I'm working with it right now and one of the commands in the early part of the build is 550 characters long.
Also, the LFS book gives you the commands to use, but does not really explain the command line per se, though it does explain some of the arguments it tells you to use with the longer commands.
I would recommend Machtelt Garrels's Intro to Linux as a good place to start. It's detailed and thorough; it was invaluable to me when I started using Linux.
The above links and others can be found at 'Slackware-Links'. More than just Slackware® links!
LDP above will provide more than enough information on a wide variety of topics for everyone. Rute is a great place to start as a tutorial. The rest of the links will help other areas for 'cli' aka 'command line'.
Personally, I feel LFS can provide the means to learn your way around a Gnu/Linux but if you do not under commands and the syntax you can get lost fast. LFS is nothing more than a cookbook. Do not forget locally or online 'man command' can help you to learn the command along with options & syntax. I like to use local 'man command' where 'command is the operation/script in question, i.e.;
from 'man bash';
bash - GNU Bourne-Again SHell
bash [options] [file]
Bash is Copyright (C) 1989-2011 by the Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Bash is an sh-compatible command language interpreter that executes commands read from the standard input or from a file. Bash also incorporates
useful features from the Korn and C shells (ksh and csh).
Bash is intended to be a conformant implementation of the Shell and Utilities portion of the IEEE POSIX specification (IEEE Standard 1003.1). Bash
can be configured to be POSIX-conformant by default.