LinuxQuestions.org
Latest LQ Deal: Linux Power User Bundle
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 08-11-2014, 10:04 PM   #1
OS-Newb
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2014
Location: Near Portland, OR
Distribution: Would like help becoming comfortable with Gentoo, AV Linux, maybe Arch
Posts: 7

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Old computer hacker (but Linux newbie) seeks Linux mentor (ideally in Portland area)


I'd love to get up to speed on Linux and other Open Source stuff, especially things having to do with programming environments. The thing is, most sources of information aimed at newbies endeavor to make the experience of using Linux comfortable for casual users, and because of that, gloss over all the aspects that I care most about.

What would be wonderful for me would be to cross paths with some wise, benevolent, battle-scarred Linux/Open Source person who'd understand my plight, and be like Obi-Wan Kenobie, saying "These simplistic FAQs and intros are not the deep enlightening information sources that you've been looking for." and "Use the real stuff (like Gentoo) and don't fear the simple requirements of knowing how to compile from source code." and "I can see by the titles on your bookshelf (The Design of the Unix Operating System, Analog Circuit Design: Art, Science and Personalities, etc.) that you are not one to confine yourself to a GUI desktop or distros like Ubuntu.

Anybody want to come and hang out in the Columbia River Gorge occasionally, and speak wisdom to help guide me on my path toward GNU/Linux enlightenment, or even just talk by e-mail?

Last edited by OS-Newb; 08-11-2014 at 10:08 PM. Reason: spelling
 
Old 08-11-2014, 10:52 PM   #2
notKlaatu
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2010
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 902

Rep: Reputation: 555Reputation: 555Reputation: 555Reputation: 555Reputation: 555Reputation: 555
I am no where near Portland, but here is my take on using the shell as an everyday environment (what better way to dive head first into hardcore Linux? http://straightedgelinux.com/shell/
(that's a work-in-progress, but it's a start)

and I believe that Slackware is just the environment you are looking for. Its default install has all kernel headers and "dev" libraries that you could want, and there are hundreds (thousands?) of build scripts that offer a bunch of other wares that you can compile, install, and use for programming or whatever you please.

It has some good docs at docs.slackware.com

It does not boot to a desktop by default, so you can eschew that for as long as you want.

As for finding someone to talk to about Linux..... I think you've just found $(cat /etc/shadow | wc -l) of them, called collectively, linuxquestions.org :^)
 
Old 08-11-2014, 11:04 PM   #3
frankbell
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Virginia, USA
Distribution: Slackware, Debian, Mint, OpenBSD
Posts: 11,361
Blog Entries: 12

Rep: Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751
There appears to be an active LUG in Portland.

http://www.pdxlinux.org/
 
Old 08-12-2014, 02:43 AM   #4
EDDY1
LQ Addict
 
Registered: Mar 2010
Location: Oakland,Ca
Distribution: wins7, Debian wheezy
Posts: 6,838

Rep: Reputation: 649Reputation: 649Reputation: 649Reputation: 649Reputation: 649Reputation: 649
What OS did you decide to install?
When you say a hacker, I take it that you can find your way around the terminal, although the commands are different in linux.
I've been playing with linux for 4 yrs,although it's my main OS & it's only just coming to me now.
I think that you should get started with installing OS & getting to know it, then working out the kinks.
http://www.tldp.org/LDP/Bash-Beginners-Guide/html/
http://wiki.bash-hackers.org/scripting/tutoriallist
 
Old 08-12-2014, 12:59 PM   #5
OS-Newb
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2014
Location: Near Portland, OR
Distribution: Would like help becoming comfortable with Gentoo, AV Linux, maybe Arch
Posts: 7

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Thanks for replying. Here's a little "clarification."

Thanks all, for replying to my post here. It was fairly vague, I'll admit, now that I reread it.

I appreciate your willingness to address it. But I think that I should clarify it a bit. I've been building systems since 1975 when one needed to do things like butcher TV sets, wire-wrap interfaces for keyboards to parallel ports and enter machine language instructions via front-panel switches, in order to emulate a dumb terminal, and still enjoy being a hardware hacker. I've done a fair amount of programming in old languages like Pascal, and 4GL database products, and am currently studying Ruby, Rails, and web design. This describes what I meant by being an old hacker. I spent decades in the computer industry, but mostly doing things like building network systems for clients, using families of products from companies like Novell, Microsoft, etc., and pretty much ignored the world of Unix between the 1980s and now. I did in the late '70s, interact with the campus VAX computer systems at U.C., using Vi, programming languages, etc. So the Linux command line interface isn't completely unfamiliar to me.

@EDDY1: I realize that I can install some Linux distros, and hack away for awhile, to get up to speed (which I am doing, so far with Linux Mint, and Ubuntu Studio). I also realize that I'm not the most typical case of being a newbie who'd like to find an experienced mentor. I suspect that there aren't very many experienced Linux gurus out there who'd even want to bother with helping anybody this way. What I'm hoping for though, is to happen across the path of someone who'll smile at the sheer unlikeliness of my plight, and feel like coming out here for a visit. I strenuously prefer an "Orville & Wilbur" approach, to one where I try to figure things out on my own. For me, it's just a much faster and satisfying way to do things. Anyway, thanks for the URLs, especially the one with the list of online BASH guides. I am working my way through some books on shell scripting, but some of that list looks cool.

I have several spare computer systems available for this, and would love to find out that it's easy to use them remotely (over the LAN) from my office. I'd like to set up say, one Gentoo, one Arch, and one Ubuntu, Debian, or Linux Mint one, and compare them in various ways. I am strongly attracted by Gentoo. The "build completely from source" model suits my temperament and objectives well. But I am such a newbie at this, that I'm guessing that it will be too great a struggle for me to get past the learning curve associated with that, on my own. On the other hand, I will be better than most, at taking advice like "here's what you need to know in order to do such & such..." and hacking away on my own to get comfortable with that, then get the guru's advice on where to go next. Why I'm not farther down the road on this than I am, is because most people's objectives are different from mine. They usually are mostly interested in using Linux the way people use Windows and OS X - as a platform to run applications. I want to control the OS platform itself, be independent of upgrades, packages, etc., and use it to make my own embedded systems.

I realize also that this is asking a lot of the mentor. But depending on who that person is, I might be able to offer substantial compensation in several ways. I have an elaborate electronics lab, a capable media production facility (audio, video, photo/imaging), a wood shop and other things, and am willing to provide services for his or her efforts, in exchange for helping me out with this.

Anyway, again, thanks for your replies. @notKlaatu: I'm going to look at your shell and Slackware stuff now. I hadn't considered Slackware. @frankbell: I am familiar with the Portland Linux User's Group (well, it's existence). But so far, it has never worked out for me to get over there when a meeting is going on. I want to go meet some of the people there, in the hope of finding the mentor I seek. I suspect that hanging out at the beer joint where they go after the meeting may result in my getting referred to somebody.
 
Old 08-12-2014, 03:34 PM   #6
notKlaatu
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2010
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 902

Rep: Reputation: 555Reputation: 555Reputation: 555Reputation: 555Reputation: 555Reputation: 555
You should also definitely try to get yourself over to a Linux conference if you can. They are great for meeting people and learning new things. Closest to you is http://linuxfestnorthwest.org/2015 and http://www.socallinuxexpo.org Well worth the effort of getting there; once there, you're trapped in a hotel with hundreds of geeks and have no choice but to make friends.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 08-12-2014, 03:46 PM   #7
jefro
Moderator
 
Registered: Mar 2008
Posts: 15,398

Rep: Reputation: 2207Reputation: 2207Reputation: 2207Reputation: 2207Reputation: 2207Reputation: 2207Reputation: 2207Reputation: 2207Reputation: 2207Reputation: 2207Reputation: 2207
I can't imagine a different meaning of the word hack.
 
Old 08-12-2014, 04:17 PM   #8
EDDY1
LQ Addict
 
Registered: Mar 2010
Location: Oakland,Ca
Distribution: wins7, Debian wheezy
Posts: 6,838

Rep: Reputation: 649Reputation: 649Reputation: 649Reputation: 649Reputation: 649Reputation: 649
Quote:
I suspect that there aren't very many experienced Linux gurus out there who'd even want to bother with helping anybody this way.
I know that there's an Oakland in Oregon, but I'm in Oakland, Ca. me myself I would love to help you, if you were in my area. Or if I was on a road trip to Seattle, which I used to do every couple of months.
You would probably do a lot better than a friend of mines that I tutor, as, you have the desire to actually learn more than just getting the system to run. Also it would be a good trade off because I would like to learn more about the programming side, bash, awk, sed etc.
 
Old 08-12-2014, 08:59 PM   #9
frankbell
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Virginia, USA
Distribution: Slackware, Debian, Mint, OpenBSD
Posts: 11,361
Blog Entries: 12

Rep: Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751Reputation: 2751
Even if you can't make it to the PLUG meetings, you might consider joining their mailing list or IRC channel. You might make meet someone there who is sympatico.

You can find lots of great resources at Going Linux.

LinuxLugcast is an on-line LUG that meets twice a month via mumble, then publishes podcasts of the meetings.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 08-13-2014, 05:52 AM   #10
AnanthaP
Member
 
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Chennai, India
Distribution: UBUNTU 5.10 since Jul-18,2006 on Intel 820 DC
Posts: 806

Rep: Reputation: 186Reputation: 186
Sure. Most of what you say is available already AND doesn't need you to recompile source code. I mean it's heartening to know that the verified, upto date source code is always available but unless you really, really want to see the code (mostly c, c++ etc) it's probably not feasible if you don't really know these languages.

On the other hand, given that you want to know how linux really works, I'd suggest while you wait for a proper mentor, you could go through the syllabus of the computer science course of any college and do some structured self study in topics that might interest you starting from even basic topics like design and structure of unix file systems, compilers etc.

Also, do consider having a small personal project in mind that you think can be done with just basic linux and scripting commands. This may help keep the focus.

A good book that I use from long back that speaks about the unix way of doing things and key utilities is "The UNIX programming environment" by Kernighan and Pike. It's an old book but - in my view - worth reading and referring to. Both the authors have lots of street cred. Kernighan co-produced awk and the first seminal book on C while Pike has many sole patents in computer science and is presently a senior at google.

All the best and keep us posted.

OK

Last edited by AnanthaP; 08-15-2014 at 01:06 AM.
 
Old 08-13-2014, 06:13 AM   #11
chrism01
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Sydney
Distribution: Centos 6.8, Centos 5.10
Posts: 17,241

Rep: Reputation: 2325Reputation: 2325Reputation: 2325Reputation: 2325Reputation: 2325Reputation: 2325Reputation: 2325Reputation: 2325Reputation: 2325Reputation: 2325Reputation: 2325
Well, this is a really good cli guide http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz, which will give you a good start.
It may well be easier to start with system like eg Centos and drill down.
Starting with eg Gentoo or LFS etc may be a bit over the top, even for you. Once you're a bit more comfortable, then you can have a crack at them.

In any case, here's a large set of free-to-read manuals/howtos, even including kernel guides if you're so inclined www.linuxtopia.org

HTH
 
Old 08-16-2014, 08:24 PM   #12
OS-Newb
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2014
Location: Near Portland, OR
Distribution: Would like help becoming comfortable with Gentoo, AV Linux, maybe Arch
Posts: 7

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Thanks for the well-intentioned responses

@notKlaatu:
That LinuxFestNorthwest thing looks great! I'm going to have to make it to that one. But even there, I suspect that it'll be unlikely that I'll cross paths with that Linux guru/hippie/beat poet whom I seek. It's worth a try though. Thanks for giving me the info on that.

to your earlier comment "As for finding someone to talk to about Linux..... I think you've just found $(cat /etc/shadow | wc -l) of them, called collectively, linuxquestions.org :^," I want somebody to talk to in person, with a few Linux systems under our hands while we speak.

@Jefro:
I feel like I want to respond to your comment about the definition of the word hack. But each time I consider it, it seems to me that it would take way too much verbosity, considering the relative insignificance of it.

@EDDY1:
I wish I could just fly you up here for a few days. By the way, I moved here from Oakland (near Park Blvd & Hwy 13).

@AnanthaP:
I don't think my perspective is coming across to you at all. There isn't anything that I want that is already compiled, thereby removing the need for source code. It is the complilation of the whole OS itself, that is of interest to me. And I don't care about reading all the code. That's not the point either. And there aren't any courses available at any colleges or universities, that would get me down the path I want to travel. I'm heavily steeped in such knowledge, these professors have been asking for my help for decades. Who I want to find is someone who's had his hands dirty inside Gentoo, Arch, Slackware, etc., while for decades, I've been avoiding them in favor of proprietary systems, and doing electronics design. You speak as though you think that I'm a young, computer neophyte. Nothing could be further from the truth. And my bookshelf already has a copy of The Unix Programming Environment, along with titles like The Design of the Unix Operating System, C by K&R, VAX Assembly Language and Architecture, etc. These books are dog-eared and dirty. I've had most of them for decades.

@Chrism01:
As it seems is the case with AnanthaP, my intended meaning (about my background and inclinations) seems to have been unclear to you. In any case, I don't understand why you'd think that starting with CentOS and drilling down would somehow be easier for me. What is it that you think I should get more comfortable about before working with Gentoo? Thanks for the link to Linuxtopia.org and to Rute's (even that might come in handy).

It isn't that I think that I already know all about Linux. But why does it seem so strange that I'd like to ignore distros with precompiled packages that exist to make it easier for people who don't want to compile the source? I specifically WANT to understand the process of compiling from source. That's practically the whole appeal of Linux for me. I want to completely control it. Otherwise, I'd stick to OS X and Windows (where somebody else has to do the work of keeping up with the industry, new hardware, etc).
 
Old 08-21-2014, 12:48 AM   #13
AnanthaP
Member
 
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Chennai, India
Distribution: UBUNTU 5.10 since Jul-18,2006 on Intel 820 DC
Posts: 806

Rep: Reputation: 186Reputation: 186
Quote:
... And there aren't any courses available at any colleges or universities, that would get me down the path I want to travel. I'm heavily steeped in such knowledge, these professors have been asking for my help for decades.
I didn't ask you to take courses. I implied that you could go through the syllabus and cherry pick areas that might interest you. I also said that while waiting for a mentor, you could do this.
Quote:
I'd suggest while you wait for a proper mentor, you could go through the syllabus of the computer science course of any college and do some structured self study in topics that might interest you
Quote:
I specifically WANT to understand the process of compiling from source. That's practically the whole appeal of Linux for me. I want to completely control it. Otherwise, I'd stick to OS X and Windows (where somebody else has to do the work of keeping up with the industry, new hardware, etc).
Great. Keep us posted.

OK
 
Old 08-21-2014, 01:38 AM   #14
sidzen
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2014
Location: Inland PNW
Distribution: slackware & related distros
Posts: 109

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
How close to PDX are you, OP, and in which direction from the SW area?
I'm east and north. Not a guru, however.
__________________________________________
EDIT & FYI: FreeGeek

Last edited by sidzen; 08-21-2014 at 01:43 AM.
 
Old 08-21-2014, 01:40 AM   #15
EDDY1
LQ Addict
 
Registered: Mar 2010
Location: Oakland,Ca
Distribution: wins7, Debian wheezy
Posts: 6,838

Rep: Reputation: 649Reputation: 649Reputation: 649Reputation: 649Reputation: 649Reputation: 649
You may want to "Linux EDX " you can either go for certification or audit the courses for free. It's the same class with or without certification.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
help/mentor Linux newbie bowdy25 Linux - General 12 10-22-2013 08:38 AM
Total Newb Seeks Mentor maddalfred Linux - Hardware 0 09-11-2004 01:23 PM
newbie seeks mentor starlight Linux - General 3 12-02-2001 02:55 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:55 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration