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Old 04-27-2005, 01:06 AM   #1
Markness
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The best place to start.


I'm proud to proclaim that I am 100% new to the Linux community. After installing Fedora CORE today with a friends help, I figured it would be good to get involved in several Linux Q&A communities for all my nub questions. He suggested this forum simply because he uses it as well. So I guess the usual starter question is where do I begin?

I mainly game. That's my plot in life. I figured, there are so many groups of individuals out there that devote their time to a certain aspect of Linux, I should decide what it is *I* want to get out of Linux. I know, it sounds crazy I installed Linux but I love to game?! The madness. Well, that's partly true. I have my system partitioned so I can still game on windows, and do all my other activities on Linux. I guess the most obvious path for me would be "porting" games and programs over to Linux, that run on windows. Before I even dive into that, I need to learn the basics.

I'm big on learning languages, right now I take French and a little German. When I try to learn a new language, I like to find bridges between the language I'm learning and the language i'm speak natively. So, much like I'm learning about Linux, I'd like to find some bridges that might be able to help me understand better that could relate to windows.

From what I can gather, when I save a file (i tried to save a word processor document), it saves to my home directory which is /home/username. I'm guessing my home dir is sorta like saving something to the C: drive in windows? To view this file in text mode, I brought up my terminal and typed:

$ pwd
/home/username
$ ls
Desktop test.abw

So, to me this looks like a C: drive. If I'm totally off, someone please let me know! To view this file, I can obviously open the word processor, and file>open, but what if I want to view the file from the terminal? OR What if I want to view the file in the word processor, opening it from the terminal? Should I bother doing it one way or another? These document questions bring me to my next volley of questions.

In windows, I have a set way of organizing my files. On my desktop, I have Images, Audio, Video, Programs, and a Gaming folder. Say I want to organize Linux the same way? Should I just create those folders on my desktop and save everything there? Does it work that way? That way, if I want to open a file I just double click the folder and double click the file? Should I create that set of folders in my home dir? I don't want my information jumbled in places in shouldn't be. To me, that seems like taking my program files folder and pretty much anything else on my computer and jamming it all into my C:. I like to keep things clean and cut.

I guess that's it for this post. In a nutshell, if anyone can help me out relating to windows terms to answer these questions, please do! This kinda sucks, its like taking another drug, to help you get off of the one you were on before...but...not :P

Thanks,

Markness
 
Old 04-27-2005, 01:24 AM   #2
__J
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best way (IMO) is to experiment and find what you like to do, and the way you want to do it. Linix ( or any other open source *nix for that matter) will not hold you back too much, so just jump in.

as far as your home directory, I would relate it to My Documents before C: - in a terminal:

cd /
ls

you will see that / is the root directory, which contains more directories ( including /home), so I think this is more analogous to C:
 
Old 04-27-2005, 01:40 AM   #3
Markness
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In my root, I have:

bin
dev
home - My Documents
lib
media
mnt
proc
sbin
srv
tftpboot
usr
boot
etc
initrd
lost+found
misc
opt
root
selinux
sys
tmp
var

Would anyone like to help me classify these different directories and what they do, or point me in the direction to a site that has them listed in detail?

Thanks,

Markness
 
Old 04-27-2005, 01:47 AM   #4
detpenguin
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welcome to LQ and linux!!!

rute is an excellent online tutorial/book/place to start, easy to follow, easy to read, easy to understand....

also this might answer your question

Last edited by detpenguin; 04-27-2005 at 01:56 AM.
 
Old 04-27-2005, 02:30 AM   #5
mrGenixus
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As far as the c: dirve goes, try to forget about it, and realize what you've been using the c: drive for: for storing files. On a linux / unix system user files (your files) are stoed in your home directory which IS analogous to c:\Documents and Settings\username. inside that, you should add a documents folder and add a launcher to your desktop for it. You can also just save files in your home folder, just as you would if you were using a file server in a corporate environment.

DOn't worry about finding something analogous to the C: drive though, there's no point, linux is more free-form than having to care where the files are pre-se. you might find it interesting that disk drives exist inside a folder; /mnt (or /media on debian systems) and that you can use the filesystme to help you stay organized and keep track of files.

YOu may also notice there's not "program files" direcotry in /
the stuff stored in Program Files in windows is split up becuase so many aspects of them are shared. Many applications are designed so they can be run from an installation in ~ (the char that represents your home directory; /home/username). most of the time though, you'll find those applications split between /lib /bin and /sbin, for core OS files, /usr/bin, /usr/sbin/, /usr/lib for linux apps, native ports, and interface applications. likewise /usr/local stores games, third-party apps, and proprietary software.

/boot holds your kernel and boot files, the very basis of the os.

/dev and /sys both help organize devices, this is a very complicated, complete refrence to most bios information, and hardware devices supported and installed in your system, it performs a small portion of that device mangler in windows does. More nformation can be learned about these devices using things like: lspci, cat /proc/partitions .

/proc is filesystem representation of kernel inforation. these files don't actually exist on a disk anywhere, they're variables set in the kernel. Proc functions as a interface to controlling the kernel, multi-tasking, netorking and much more, be carefull about /proc, you probably don't want to try to delete it, it oesn't usualy work very well, on the other hand, I wouldn't worry about it taking up much space on disk.

/var is where you'll find logs, and data, typically shared data, or inforation about the system. this is typically where most web browsers store their data.

/etc is like the windows registry as much as it's like anything else on he system. be careful here, modifying these files can break your system if not done carefully.

some of those other folders aren't quite as important or standard. they do the same things on all systems, but you probably won't ever need to do anything with them, leave them alone for best results.

more information ont he filesystem can be found at:
http://www.pathname.com/fhs/

As far as your question about folders in your home folder, by all means, organize it any way you like: it's for you data.

FYI to give you an example of what MY home folder looks like:
13430-suede-gnome-icon-theme-0.2.5.tar.gz
23321-wallpaper-toes.jpg
79703-1.exe
79703.exe
Background Images
Batman_Net.mov
Bogus Crap for taxes
DMZA03WW.bld
Desktop
Dispatches
My Documents
NLD9-i386-DVD1.iso
ResEditInstall.zip
SLES-9-i386-RC5-CD1.iso
SLES-9-i386-RC5-CD2.iso
SLES-9-i386-RC5-CD3.iso
SLES-9-i386-RC5-CD4.iso
SLES-9-i386-RC5-CD6.iso
SP29361A
Templates
Various
ZDE
Zend.Studio.Client.v4.0.0.for.Linux-FCN
articles
blog
clearlooks.tar.gz
dave bill.doc
download
et-linux-2.60.x86.run
fancylooks.tar.gz
file1
findpid
frozen-bubble-0.9.3-i686-3.tgz
fxlogon.zip
iso
novellserialnumber
nvidia
oes_download_instructions.pdf
pmgr
postech
records
simplelooks.tar.gz
ta.iso
tech docs
themes
torrents
vmware
wifi
wiki
ww
 
Old 04-27-2005, 03:20 AM   #6
Markness
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Quote:
As far as the c: dirve goes, try to forget about it, and realize what you've been using the c: drive for: for storing files. On a linux / unix system user files (your files) are stoed in your home directory which IS analogous to c:\Documents and Settings\username. inside that, you should add a documents folder and add a launcher to your desktop for it. You can also just save files in your home folder, just as you would if you were using a file server in a corporate environment.
So, all my files are stored in my home dir? You said its free-form, so that means I don't have to store them there right? I could make a folder in my root named "fart" and store them all there? I'm guessing its easier to just store in ~ because that's always default on the terminal prompt? Now, for making a launcher on my desktop for a folder I create...how do I do that? :P

Quote:
YOu may also notice there's not "program files" direcotry in /
the stuff stored in Program Files in windows is split up because so many aspects of them are shared. Many applications are designed so they can be run from an installation in ~ (the char that represents your home directory; /home/username). most of the time though, you'll find those applications split between /lib /bin and /sbin, for core OS files, /usr/bin, /usr/sbin/, /usr/lib for linux apps, native ports, and interface applications. likewise /usr/local stores games, third-party apps, and proprietary software.
I'm not understanding this. So if everything is saved to my home dir, say I'd have an exe of mIRC saved in a folder. The exe itself is saved in that folder, but the installed program is saved elsewhere? Is that what your trying to say? Like, I have a program saved in ~, say that program is a game, to run that game I'd have to visit /usr/local to actually run it once its installed?

That brings me to another hazy point. Installing. @_@ You know what, I don't even want to get into it yet. Because I know NOTHING about installing anything to linux systems. It's scary :P

Thanks for the quick replies everyone! I really appreciate it.

Thanks,

Markness.
 
Old 04-27-2005, 03:20 AM   #7
Poetics
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Should make the quick mention -- don't worry too terribly much about the lack of extensions you see (or don't see); in Windows, anything that ends in ".exe" is executable, right? Well, that's what the OS thinks, whether or not that's the case. In linux, any file can end with just about any extension, and not lose any data.

Of course there are some standards (.bak, .tar.gz, et cetera), but for the most part, what you do on your system is your own business!
 
Old 04-27-2005, 03:23 AM   #8
Markness
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Quote:
Originally posted by Poetics
Should make the quick mention -- don't worry too terribly much about the lack of extensions you see (or don't see); in Windows, anything that ends in ".exe" is executable, right? Well, that's what the OS thinks, whether or not that's the case. In linux, any file can end with just about any extension, and not lose any data.

Of course there are some standards (.bak, .tar.gz, et cetera), but for the most part, what you do on your system is your own business!
I'll keep that in mind. So basically, it could end in an .asdkfvh qewf08234 482u and still be executable?

Thanks,

Markness.
 
Old 04-27-2005, 03:36 AM   #9
mrGenixus
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Quote:
I'm not understanding this. So if everything is saved to my home dir, say I'd have an exe of mIRC saved in a folder. The exe itself is saved in that folder, but the installed program is saved elsewhere? Is that what your trying to say? Like, I have a program saved in ~, say that program is a game, to run that game I'd have to visit /usr/local to actually run it once its installed?

That brings me to another hazy point. Installing. @_@ You know what, I don't even want to get into it yet. Because I know NOTHING about installing anything to linux systems. It's scary :P

Thanks for the quick replies everyone! I really appreciate it.

Thanks,

Markness.
as far as the exe, the executable, if it's installed n the system, depending on the type of app, it could exist in your home dir or split into binaries and supporting files throughout the file system. it just depends.

You netioned you could create a dir in / called blah and put your files there. Yes that is possible, just as many create /var/samba or /samba to store files on a windows-compatible liux file server. however, if you're using the machine locally, it's probably best to put your file sin your home directory, so that you cna back up /home, and any of your files will be backed up.
 
Old 04-27-2005, 04:18 AM   #10
Markness
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What are binaries exactly? I've heard of them before.

Thanks,

Markness.
 
Old 04-27-2005, 04:28 AM   #11
scuzzman
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Binaries are compiled or otherwise assembled programs/files.
Basically, anything non-text.

You would very much benefit from a look at the Rute User's Guide.
 
Old 04-27-2005, 04:35 AM   #12
jschiwal
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A binary is mostly used to refer to a compiled executable program. There are also scripts. Scripts are more useful in Linux.

Often, a Linux program will be written in small parts. Each one does one job well. For example, for burning CDs you might use K3B. The actual burning of the CD is done by another program that you could use in a script. Like a previous poster mentioned. When you install a program from a package or by compiling a tar ball, the executable is usually stored in /usr/bin. Not in your home directory, but you might want to create a ~/bin directory to store your personal scripts.
mkdir ~/dir

Then edit your ~/.profile file and add the lines
PATH=$PATH:$HOME/bin
export PATH

This will add the new directory to your path.
One thing you may notice right away is that programs in the current directory are not normally in the path. You need to prepend ./ before the command name. This is for security reasons.

Also keep in mind that Unix was designed from the start as a multiuser system. This is why you normally work in your home directory. On some systems, with many computers, the computers share the system directories on the network, and they are mounted read-only.

One excellent site to start learning about Linux is The Linux Documentation Project web site: www.tldp.org
This site contains man-pages, how-to's, and longer manuals and books.
 
Old 04-27-2005, 01:30 PM   #13
Markness
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Thanks everyone for all your resources and help! I'll get right on to reading all these walkthroughs and how to's

Thanks,

Markness
 
  


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