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Old 06-23-2003, 03:42 PM   #1
len
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Question simplified linux teaching distro???


i would imagine that this distro would be very small, but essential. tutorials/ documentation should be right at hand. it doesn't have to look like windows to learn linux- much rather it be true to linux. from what i here, slackware is not for the noob (something about ata controller cards not working w/ it?). i want something quite simplified. perhaps this is in the area of gentoo, or lfs? it should give some insight into assembly language, and machine code, mount points, hardware, commands, ect... perhaps even include a bunch of tutorials in coding/ debugging, compiling/ recompiling kernel.

i know some stuff, but then i'm blown away w/o some guidance. just asking if anyone knows of a simplified way to get a core grasp of linux (basic foundation stuff).

what i find, is that when someone lays out a guide to the shell, where is the hardware, mount points, desktop, lan, ip addresses, ect... when dissecting the beast, i tend to not see things as the whole creature (loss of association/ focus). whole linux/ computer system, dissect to the core components/ associations, then build back to the whole (and no spare parts left over- major erector set stuff i suppose! - shows my age though- god i wish i had built one of those heath kit computers back in the 70's/ early 80's- i think they went under right at that point though?!?!- of course it wasn't cheap, so that's how that went- oh, well).

simplified, very simplified is what i want- not necessarily idiocy, or lack of intelligence (erbage brain cells, man- cerebrally contemplate the associations- wow man- cool!). anyway, i wonder what kind of replies i'll get after this (intelligence first and foremost)? perhaps i can guage the forum by the replies as well. thanks in advance!

Last edited by len; 06-23-2003 at 03:45 PM.
 
Old 06-23-2003, 03:54 PM   #2
Robert0380
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i'd say get a good book. I don't know of a distro that was put together to teach Linux. Some distros are made to help you get the more low level stuff by making you compile everything yourself and install everything yourself and what not (LFS and Gentoo??).

If you need a tutorial, I suggest finding a good book on the distro of your choice. Most people suggest RedHat or Mandrake as distros that are the most newbie friendly when it comes to installing and as you learn more you'll find out what is needed and what is not.

so to just state my point again, there are no distros that i know of that are intended to teach you how to use Linux, but there are distros that will get you up and going without much hassle (or that was the point) and then the rest is up to you to learn. So head to the local bookstore and get a nice book on Linux system Administration or something.

Note: everything you need to know can be found online somewhere too http://google.com/linux
 
Old 06-23-2003, 04:15 PM   #3
fancypiper
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I learned lots installing Gentoo after running Red Hat for 3 years. I think I tripled my knowledge with their install and their init makes sense as well.

They have great documentation.

My suggestions for a basic system stage 1 install with the fluxbox wm:

cd /usr/portage
scripts/bootstrap.sh
emerge sync
emerge system
ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/US/Eastern /etc/localtime
emerge ppp wvdial gentoo-sources gentoo sysklogd dcron reiserfsprogs mc links fluxbox
rc-update add sysklogd default
crontab /etc/crontab
rc-update add dcron default
rc-update add gpm default
cd /usr/src/linux
make menuconfig

After links emerges, you can surf the web while building other stuff you want.

wget -m http://www.icon.co.za/~psheer/book/
wget -m http://www.linuxnewbieguide.com/
 
Old 06-23-2003, 04:24 PM   #4
contrasutra
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I think Slackware is the best learning distro. It IS NOT hard to install, it can usually be installed in 25 minutes with about 10 questions answered. Its generic, so you're learning how all systems work, not Redhat or Mangrake, etc.

Yes, its "harder" than the desktop distros, but you want to learn. LFS and Gentoo make you do a lot of extra stuff that doesnt have much to do with learning, like compiling EVERYTHING. Watching a screen compile doesnt teach you anything, it just makes you wait longer.

But picking any non Redhat, Suse,Mandrake, type of distro should teach you plenty. LFS,Gentoo, Slackware, Debian, are all pretty generic.
 
Old 06-23-2003, 04:27 PM   #5
fancypiper
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Quote:
Originally posted by contrasutra
LFS and Gentoo make you do a lot of extra stuff that doesnt have much to do with learning, like compiling EVERYTHING. Watching a screen compile doesnt teach you anything, it just makes you wait longer.
Or, give you time to the documentation.
 
Old 06-23-2003, 04:42 PM   #6
len
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Quote:
Originally posted by fancypiper
I learned lots installing Gentoo after running Red Hat for 3 years. I think I tripled my knowledge with their install and their init makes sense as well.

They have great documentation.

My suggestions for a basic system stage 1 install with the fluxbox wm:

cd /usr/portage
scripts/bootstrap.sh
emerge sync
emerge system
ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/US/Eastern /etc/localtime
emerge ppp wvdial gentoo-sources gentoo sysklogd dcron reiserfsprogs mc links fluxbox
rc-update add sysklogd default
crontab /etc/crontab
rc-update add dcron default
rc-update add gpm default
cd /usr/src/linux
make menuconfig

After links emerges, you can surf the web while building other stuff you want.

wget -m http://www.icon.co.za/~psheer/book/
wget -m http://www.linuxnewbieguide.com/

fancypiper, great reply!

now gentoo, from what i know is based on BSD. what is lfs based on, and how do they differ? is gentoo more modularized than lsf?

i actually downloaded mandrake 9.1, slackware 9.0, gentoo i586 (or is it i686?), and getoox86. the only md5sum that matched was the gentoox86, which is the essential piece for adding components onto, verses the i586/ precompiled one. perhaps this is a sign of sorts?!?

situation is, i need to learn some of the basic commands
 
Old 06-23-2003, 05:08 PM   #7
len
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Quote:
Originally posted by contrasutra
I think Slackware is the best learning distro. It IS NOT hard to install, it can usually be installed in 25 minutes with about 10 questions answered. Its generic, so you're learning how all systems work, not Redhat or Mangrake, etc.

Yes, its "harder" than the desktop distros, but you want to learn. LFS and Gentoo make you do a lot of extra stuff that doesnt have much to do with learning, like compiling EVERYTHING. Watching a screen compile doesnt teach you anything, it just makes you wait longer.

But picking any non Redhat, Suse,Mandrake, type of distro should teach you plenty. LFS,Gentoo, Slackware, Debian, are all pretty generic.
i've tried to install slackware 8.1, and from what i saw in the install was an explanation of everything being installed. there was even a selection for newbie- confirmation ect... so it could be slowed down and read- which is great. only thing is, i've tried to install it to a comp w/ an ata controller card, and i've seen some mention to lacking ata controller card out of the box- also saw mention that the 2.5 kernel will be helpful in this respect (???). i've gotten as far as logging in, typing startx<enter>, and getting the system to give out a error/ crash message, i've also rebooted and gotten 01's across the screen (actually i believe 3 different # groups so far- but not sure which)- i believe this has to do w/ the controller card issue though. i still have it, and from time to time figured i'd give it another try

i've tried SOT desktop (previous to the latest)- liked the install, and minimalistic, yet essential manner of it. i've tried peanut 9.4, redhat 7.3, and redhat 8.0, mandrake 9.0 (currently one of the few that works, and seems to work ok, except for a couple of noob related issues/ and or bugzilla material w/ non verified rpm packages). i've also played around w/ knoppix3.2, trustix (gui is evil, will compromise security- great, i'm a noob, and finding it tough negotiating w/ unknown man commands?!?), and a bunch of other distros that didn't seem to work (though the md5sums were ok). along the way i've created cd "toasters" until the iso process was figured out, also went through the formatting, and reformatting of hdd's (and how fdisk, won't get rid of linux partitions, fdisk /mbr to remove the boot loader from the mbr, file systems, ect... still, i come up somewhat difficient in the code department. there is a limit to how much about linux i'll learn from the installation/ reinstallation process. i think i've spent most of my time at the install phase of it. learned a bunch about hard drives though. it's the foundation of the computer system, but doesn't help in the command department!

sorry for the book reply though. i think it's somewhat theraputic as a release in a way.

btw, isn't the compiling, and recompiling an essential learning experience to any distro? i've never compiled, or recompiled anything so far, and w/ all the distros that i've toyed w/ so far, lack the command experience. i tend to like the idea of the gentoo, or lsf model, but it's definitely met w/ some trepidation/ questions.


Last edited by len; 06-23-2003 at 05:19 PM.
 
Old 06-23-2003, 05:28 PM   #8
fancypiper
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IIRC, LFS requires a working installation in order to build.

Gentoo is a build from source code distro that can be built on a bare machine. You can also build it from inside a running installation as that is essentially what it does, building from a distro running from the cd.

The first 4 CDs, Gentoo Essentials (3 CD Set) and Gentoo Linux 1.4rc2 Basic x86 listed here should get you started even without an internet connection. Any live CD (knoppix, Unreal Tournament 2003 GameCD, Linux Bootable Business Card, etc) will suffice to install, all you need is the stage one tarball and the source code packages and the portage tree.

Last edited by fancypiper; 06-23-2003 at 05:33 PM.
 
Old 06-23-2003, 05:29 PM   #9
contrasutra
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Well, hardware support is a kernel thing, so all distros can run the same amount of hardware. Its just a matter of whether its auto detected or not. Slackware 9 obviously has better hardware support than 8.1, so try that.

before running "startx" you have to run the "xf86config" command to set up X.

Which brings me to another point, reading. If you want to learn, reading documentation (and the forums) will really help you. Its not the distro holding you back, its your knowledge (no offence).

Yes, learning to compile is important, but Gentoo auto configures the actual compiling, so all your doing is watching it, not very imformative. Though it does give you plenty of time to read.

If you dont know the basic commands yet, read some of the many links on this website, they will give you all the basic knowledge you need. Do this before installing any distro.
 
Old 06-23-2003, 05:41 PM   #10
xoros
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I feel you could use any distro to learn linux. All you need, as stated before is a good book (maybe rute's book?). When you get the book, practice everything at the command line. I believe most all distro's allow access to the command line.
 
Old 06-23-2003, 05:43 PM   #11
len
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Quote:
Originally posted by contrasutra
Well, hardware support is a kernel thing, so all distros can run the same amount of hardware. Its just a matter of whether its auto detected or not. Slackware 9 obviously has better hardware support than 8.1, so try that.

before running "startx" you have to run the "xf86config" command to set up X.

Which brings me to another point, reading. If you want to learn, reading documentation (and the forums) will really help you. Its not the distro holding you back, its your knowledge (no offence).

Yes, learning to compile is important, but Gentoo auto configures the actual compiling, so all your doing is watching it, not very imformative. Though it does give you plenty of time to read.

If you dont know the basic commands yet, read some of the many links on this website, they will give you all the basic knowledge you need. Do this before installing any distro.
great, thanks for the info- no offense taken- i suppose all the same repetitious questions can be maddening, and taking an attitude upon onself as to impress, and teach those lamer noobs through caustics is something i can do w/o. you have taken a different view than the fancy piper, and seem to be somewhat arguementative in that respect. now you come at me, w/ this kind of bs, and this is exactly the type of linux attitude i just can't friggen deal with. my return volley, is be informative, helpful, and make an effort to keep a positive intellectual atmosphere going. keep the caustic crap away from me. i've screwed around w/ linux for almost 2 years, while maintaining mostly windows systems going as my main computers. i'm looking to make a progression away from the mostly windows world that i know, and would like the free knowledge, positive atmsphere while doing it.

Last edited by len; 06-23-2003 at 05:47 PM.
 
Old 06-23-2003, 05:58 PM   #12
xoros
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ok, you say you've messed around with linux for 2 years but yet in your first post you say you want to "get a core grasp of linux (basic foundation stuff)."
well all i see is that people have tried to help you in this post. If after two years, you feel you have not learned the basics, then maybe you should consider taking a course?
 
Old 06-23-2003, 06:05 PM   #13
contrasutra
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You know, there are loads of threads like this, and a bunch of people were NICE enough to even answer you, helpfully. They gave you lots of ideas, and then you get snappy.

If you take offence to me saying that reading documentation is good (I didnt say RTFM or that you havent read a thing), then you are in for a shock.

Im no guru, but I had to go through the same learning experience you want to go through, and I just figured Id give my hard learned experience, but you dont seem to want that.


The reason linux people have "an attitude" is because most know more about computers than Windows users, so have actual advice to give.
 
Old 06-23-2003, 06:12 PM   #14
xoros
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Maybe in reference to this synopsis about rute's user tutorial is more along the lines of what he is looking for??

From Amazon:
The key difference between Microsoft Windows and UNIX is that Windows is meant to be easy to learn, while UNIX is meant to compensate for a steep learning curve by providing extraordinary flexibility to knowledgeable users. Linux: Rute User's Tutorial and Exposition is the best book on the market in terms of flattening that learning curve. The author, Paul Sheer, uses this book as the text for a class he teaches, and its instructional value is unquestionable. Rather than attempt to make analogies for the way things are done in Windows or in Mac OS, or try to satisfy readers' requirements with mere recipes, Sheer tries to inculcate his readers into the Linux way of thinking. The idea is that work gets done differently in Linux, and you have to get a few concepts clear in order to work effectively in the environment.

Take, for example, Sheer's discussion of the /etc/passwd file, which is at the core of user authentication. He provides a listing of a typical /etc/passwd file, then explains what each element on each line is for. This leads smoothly into a discussion of /etc/shadow, the shadow password file, and its capacity for hiding passwords behind a one-way hash algorithm. Sheer's prose is unfailingly clear and detailed, which is good because he's chosen to omit graphics altogether (which means, incidentally, that this book focuses on the command shell--bash, to be precise--and even the chapter on X Windows lacks screen shots). Aside from a few weird typographical choices (a tiny picture of a penguin invariably follows the word "Linux" in body text, for example), this is a faultless book. The CD-ROM contains a comprehensive HTML copy of the paper book--every last paragraph and table appears on the disc. --David Wall

Topics covered: How to be a competent Linux user, familiar with the command line, key utilities like "sed," and important related skills like C programming, shell scripting, and regular expression creation. There's coverage of server software--notably HTTPd, Sendmail, and Exim--and coverage of the PostgreSQL server.

Here is link to the tutorial:
http://www.icon.co.za/~psheer/book/index.html.gz
 
Old 06-23-2003, 06:18 PM   #15
len
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Quote:
Originally posted by xoros
I feel you could use any distro to learn linux. All you need, as stated before is a good book (maybe rute's book?). When you get the book, practice everything at the command line. I believe most all distro's allow access to the command line.
this?:
http://www.icon.co.za/~psheer/rute-home.html

thanks for the input, it's appreciated!

yeah, i've read that the gui needs to be set aside, and the command line is what needs to be emphasized. get this, there is a command line, a shell, a super user shell, terminals, konsoles, ect..., and there are differences as well. so when someone states use the command line, i wonder which one, and what are the differences.

ok- basic question- what language is linux, unix, free bsd, bsd, posix, minix written in. are there any relations to basic, perl, cobol, fortran, c, c++, and others (not to mention assembly language, and machine code)?
 
  


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