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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
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Just because 9 out of 10 people always say not to try Slackware if you're a newbie, I'll be #10 and say that, while my first install was an ancient problematic rpm-based distro on an ancient and problematic computer, which I wiped after a month or so, I then played with random distros on a couple of old computers until I went through Basic and Vector to Zipslack and finally, to a full Slackware on a modern(ish) computer, where I finally (5-6 months) got down to using Slackware as my primary system and really learning it. So I consider myself someone who 'tried Slackware as a newbie' and actually spent most of my time with *less* 'user-friendly' distros before that. If you have time, patience, a willingness to read, and a desire to learn, I wouldn't be worried about a newbie/Slackware combo. Given that one your followups is with a reading list, that part sounds good.
That said, I can relate to Gethyn's well-stated and non-flamebaitey post. I've been running -current for a long time and I don't use KDE or its apps (just fvwm 2.5.x and mostly-GTK2 apps) which magnifies the maintenance efforts - I've automated the official updates with some scripts which work fine, but compile dozens of packages myself and, while those are also automated with SlackBuilds, it's still not hitting 'uUgg' in aptitude and having the whole system (which I've hand picked from a bare-minimum) updated. I've been happily using Debian for almost 2 months now but will probably switch back when 12 comes out and quit tracking -current and see how that goes. So I doubt I'll be one of the few who "don't go back" but Gethyn's right in that it's an overstatement to say *no one* ever quits using Slack.
What's the best way to get the taste of Slack? I've a PII with 2.5 GB HDD here. Shall I download the first CD of Slackware 11?
yes the first CD of Slackware-11 will do, however if you want TeTex & KDE it is on the second CD, or if you do not need KDE you can get an official TeTex package from a Slackware mirror so you don't have to download the second CD/ISO...
Just to point out that although some distros eg FC come with GUIs, there's absolutely nothing to stop you from opening an xterm and using the cmd line if you want.
eg I use the cmd line on Unix/Linux at work, but there are some things I need to do eg email, that are just easier via a GUI eg T-Bird.
Distribution: RedHat, Slackware, Experimenting with FreeBSD
Originally Posted by imnah
I understand that some people prefer the hands-on approach, but is it really worth the while? I mean if you must update your software regularly for each package, looking over the dependencies all the while, wouldn't it be just a waste of effort?
You can automate the package updating process by using swaret with cron.
This thread is turned out to be very helpful!
I think I'll ask more questions on linuxquestions from now on.
to roughly sum up this thread up to this point..
Slackware keeps things simple and customized so it does what exactly the users needs and does it quickly. Also, using Slackware helps you gain a better understanding of Linux, and this knowledge will help even more when you are studying other sorts of programming.(As for managing packages, it is not as time-consuming as one might think.)
BUT, there is SOME disadvantage in using Slackware, other than requiring more thinking + work. (like being unable to use unsupported new Xorg as mentioned above).