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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.
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I've tried Knoppix, and it was magic. Instant surfing. Even the kids (3,5) can use it. Very satisfied that Linux can replace Windows for most people in the world. Even the what's-a-mouse people.
So now what I want to do is build a Linux to my specifications in bits. What I need is a basic os that's really expandable. No GUI's or anything, I just want to Learn to do it all from scratch. It drives me nuts that I use the thing every day and I don't know what it's doing half the time.
Can anyone recommend a download like that? I tried Debian but got totally stuck and annoyed. What I would like to do is learn the whole thing bottom up instead of letting a package do all the magic for me. Then I can learn to add things like that myself and give myself power over my own machine.
I'm not worried about security at the moment but do want it connected to the internet and all that in the end. I have no interest in dual boots or anything; it's a clean hard drive (only 4.6Gig but good enough for me).
I have no qualms about using a text os as I did a bit of multi-user Unix in college years and years ago, and it seems similar.
So if anyone has any ideas where I can start I'd be really grateful.
Well, not sure how basic version you want. If you want to configure really everything try LFS (Linux from Scratch, but it requires another running Linux version to start building it) or Gentoo. But first read their docs to see what they are
I don't know that you really would be interested in LFS, it's so much work to get going and it's not like the results are that spectacular unless you really know what you're doing.
If you just want a base install with a good way to expand as you need then Gentoo would be a good choice or I'd suggest Arch Linux. I used to use Gentoo and thought it was pretty awesome but Arch is better After the base install (which is what they recommend) you boot to a command line with not a lot at all. Then you use pacman which is the package manager to install what you need as you need it.
Slackware Linux, created by Patrick Volkerding in 1992, is the oldest surviving Linux distribution. It offers no bells and whistles, sticking with a text-based installer and no graphical configuration tools. Where other distributions tried hard to develop easy-to-use front ends for many common utilities, Slackware offers no hand-holding and everything is still done through configuration files. Because of this, Slackware is only recommended to those novice users who intend to spend some time on learning about Linux.
Nevertheless, Slackware has a magic appeal to many users. It is extremely stable and secure - very suitable for server deployment. Experienced Linux administrators find that the distribution is less buggy as it uses most packages in their pristine forms and without too many in-house enhancements which have a potential to introduce new bugs. Releases are infrequent (about once a year), although up-to-date packages are always available for download after the official release. Slackware is a fine distribution for those who are interested in deeper knowledge of Linux internals.
Perhaps the best characteristic of this distribution I have heard is this: if you need help with your Linux box, find a Slackware user. A Slackware user is more likely to fix the problem than a user familiar with any other distribution.
Pros: Highly stable and bug-free, strong adherence to UNIX principles.
Cons: All configuration is done by editing text files, limited hardware auto-detection.
Software package management: Slackware Package Management (TGZ)
Free download: Yes