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Old 03-14-2011, 04:44 PM   #1
leoio2
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most difficult beneficial Linux distro/guide


Hello all,

I am a student here and I want to learn 100% all aspects of computers. Modems, IC components, kernels, HDDs, etc. etc. and I currently use a Thinkpad Z60m laptop with windows pro sp3. But I have an old Mac powerbook g4 and an old compaq presario SR1910NX desktop.

I have been inquiring on a couple of other forums in regards to out of all the OS systems in existence that I can install on the Compaq that I have, which operating system will hands down definitively be the most difficult operating system to install AND use but at the same time will teach me every single thing about computers there is to know. And I do mean everything. The response I received was surprisingly pretty much the same. They told me to erase everything off of my Compaq and install Debian on it and do not use GUI. They said get that up and running and then get comfortable with that set up. They suggested I post on a Linux forum to ascertain if I'm really comfortable with the system and then after I am, the next step is to set up LFS (Linux from scratch) since it is I guess harder than DFS (Debian from scratch).

After I have done these two things, then I should be "good to go". I plan to follow the above course of action but my question for you all is:
1. Is what I'm doing the best way to achieve my goal?
2. What's the best free online resource to learn Linux? Currently, I am using this:
http://www.linuxtopia.org/online_boo...nux/index.html

Thank you and I am super excited to start learning asap!
 
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Old 03-14-2011, 04:57 PM   #2
corp769
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As far as a distro "guide," you can head over to distrowatch.com for an intensive list of all linux distributions. One of my favorite sites
 
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:58 PM   #3
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leoio2 View Post
.... will teach me every single thing about computers there is to know. And I do mean everything.
I am not sure that this is a possible goal. Everything is just setting the bar too high. however, if that is what motivates you, don't let me stop you from trying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leoio2 View Post
The response I received was surprisingly pretty much the same. They told me to erase everything off of my Compaq and install Debian on it and do not use GUI.
That would be a really good start on using the CLI under Debian (...and a number of Slackware users will probably turn up and tell you that it should be Slackware, but, to be honest, I don't care...) but that is not everything.

Quote:
...the next step is to set up LFS (Linux from scratch)
The idea of going through the LFS manual, page by page and line by line is definitely a good one. It is excellent, and you'll learn stuff. Whether you want then to go on and do the whole LFS thing is another matter. just bear in mind that nothing you have mentioned will teach you much about embedded, about real time, about applications, about databases, about security, about the Border Gateway Protocol, about GUIs, about instruction set design, about algorithms, about interrupts and context switches, about signal termination and buses, about process scaling and yield economics.

And then there are other operating systems; you'd obviously not want to ignore the BSDs, but you'll also want to know all about VMS, OSX, integrity, eCOS and all of the simpler real time/embedded stuff. mobile.

That's quite a lot, and by the time that you've got anywhere close, there will be a whole list of new stuff.
 
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:03 PM   #4
Slackyman
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First of all I suggest you to take your time: learning requires a lot of time since experience cannot be learned without time!
Secondly I reccomend you to make a choise. I'm not saying you cannot learn 100% of computer science, but often it's better to discern what is good for you and what is not.
Maybe during your steps you'll find you fascinating by something exciting you, some other times you can feel bored or tired: "feel" your path to knowledge.
Someone told you to use Debian right?
And it seems you want to do hard things since the simple, agile path is not enough to you so I suggest to use Slackware or Gentoo or Arch Linux.
Slackware, obviously (read my nick?), is my preferred: its init it's quite the System V one and it's the more Unix-like Linux distro.
Most of time you have to recompile sources to get what you exactly want - yes, difficult but effective!
The real trick to learn more about this world is hacking and with this word I mean Go-Beyond-Whatever, squeeze the potential of a machine, go straight to the nucleus, the "core" of a matter and dissect it!

Good learning!
 
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:40 PM   #5
leoio2
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@corp769: I went to that distrowatch site you mentioned and I am going to add another final third step to my list after completing LFS. It is 3. build Linux from source code
http://www.itworld.com/operating-sys...undamentalists

Now, that doesn't address the great point that Salasi made but nevertheless I just want to take things one step at a time. I will tackle the other areas Salasi mentioned after I am proficient in the three tasks I have set for myself currently.

I'm going to go ahead and change my choice from Debian to Gentoo. (thanks slacky) I looked into the archives of some old threads here and it convinced me:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...ckware-207298/

Also, I choose to do things in the most difficult way possible because that means I have to do every single thing myself. And this is exactly what I want. I want to have the knowledge to do it all on my own and this is why I switched to Gentoo. Because according to my research, in order of difficulty, it should equate to -> 1. Gentoo (a.hard b.minimum starting point for foundational knowledge needed to advance to #2 & #3) 2. LFS (harder) 3. build Linux from source code (hardest of anything available in existence)

And I would like skip everything and do directly number three building from the source code but (correct me if I'm wrong) there is no guide out there in existence that explains how to build Linux from the source code in terms that absolute newbies can not mess up. I am not sure if such a manual exists for number two and number one also. All the guides I see that are listed for newbies always always assume prior knowledge of some other area of computer science. This defeats the purpose in my opinion but that's what this forum is for. But anyway, that's where I'm at so far. NOTE: If I am wrong and there is a guide that a beginner can NOT screw up for any of the steps above please list it. Otherwise, for now, I am in the process of formatting my Compaq desktop and I am setting up that desktop with Gentoo using this guide:
http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handboo...l=1#book_part1

If there's a definitive guide, please post it. Otherwise, I'm getting to work! (I'll start a different thread to document my progress and post any questions/issues/etc. that I encounter.)

Last edited by leoio2; 03-14-2011 at 06:58 PM.
 
Old 03-15-2011, 03:07 AM   #6
Slackyman
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LFS is a real guide to build linux from scratch and, yes, from source code too!
I think you should start from there.
I'm glad you chose Gentoo: is a very stable, "hacking-style", advanced Linux distro.
 
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:15 AM   #7
corp769
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slackyman View Post
LFS is a real guide to build linux from scratch and, yes, from source code too!
I think you should start from there.
I'm glad you chose Gentoo: is a very stable, "hacking-style", advanced Linux distro.
Reading that for some reason made me think of Xandros
 
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:25 AM   #8
leoio2
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Quote:
LFS is a real guide to build linux from scratch and, yes, from source code too!
I think you should start from there.
You feel that LFS is ok for me to start from even though I have no other computer experience whatsoever? Using the guide and posting any questions/points of confusion I encounter here will suffice?
http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/...equisites.html <- (Just found this reading list! Great!)
Quote:
I'm glad you chose Gentoo: is a very stable, "hacking-style", advanced Linux distro.
I'm sure what you mean... I was under the impression that I can't start from LFS but maybe I can. So, if I can do LFS and then BLFS after that, where would Gentoo come into the scenario?

Edit: I think you mean that I will be using Gentoo on my spare computer since in order to go through LFS I have to already have an existing Linux distro. And that would be Gentoo. Correct?

Last edited by leoio2; 03-15-2011 at 03:57 AM.
 
Old 03-15-2011, 03:47 AM   #9
EDDY1
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If these are the specs of the machine you have get a stable OS and install Virtualbox, and learn and not have to reinstall the main OS, just erase Virtual disk.
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport...reg_R1002_USEN
 
Old 03-15-2011, 03:51 AM   #10
leoio2
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EDDY1: Yes, that is my machine. But I don't think it's a problem formatting it since I don't really use it that much at all since I have my Thinkpad.
 
Old 03-15-2011, 03:57 AM   #11
EDDY1
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Just another option, but good luck.
 
Old 03-16-2011, 02:38 AM   #12
Slackyman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leoio2 View Post
EDDY1: Yes, that is my machine. But I don't think it's a problem formatting it since I don't really use it that much at all since I have my Thinkpad.
I think it's not a matter of "having problem formatting", but a matter of speed and practicality: with a virtual machine you can work faster since operations like cloing virtual drives are faster than with the real ones.
 
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Old 03-16-2011, 04:04 AM   #13
leoio2
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slacky: Ah, ok then that makes sense. Thank you! I will do it that way then.

So, I just install VirtualBox on the Compaq, install Gentoo on it, and then proceed with LFS. Correct? Currently, I am going through the "essential reading list" listed in the online LFS book. It looks like it will take me about three weeks to finish reading it all. I am also doing this online Python course as well since Gentoo is written in Python.
http://openbookproject.net/thinkcs/p.../genindex.html
 
Old 03-16-2011, 07:07 AM   #14
Soadyheid
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I found Gentoo to be a great Distro for learning about Linux. I don't know about it being hard but you have to configure your kernel and ensure you've got all your hardware covered before it compiles. Go and have a look and download the Gentoo handbook for your processor type and see if it's the sort of Distro you're looking for. (I was installing it on a Sun Sparc Ultra 2)
 
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Old 03-17-2011, 03:36 AM   #15
Slackyman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leoio2 View Post
slacky: Ah, ok then that makes sense. Thank you! I will do it that way then.

So, I just install VirtualBox on the Compaq, install Gentoo on it, and then proceed with LFS. Correct? Currently, I am going through the "essential reading list" listed in the online LFS book. It looks like it will take me about three weeks to finish reading it all. I am also doing this online Python course as well since Gentoo is written in Python.
http://openbookproject.net/thinkcs/p.../genindex.html
I don't want to slow you down, but I think you first have to learn something about Gentoo, its hardware support, its working model, python "thinking", python developing style and -yes - basic Linux knowledge.
Once you master this informations you have enough of the know-how to start LFS.
And don't forget the LSB!
 
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