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Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

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Old 12-16-2009, 02:10 PM   #1
OldGoat58
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Very basic question from a newbie.


I made a clean break from the Windows OS to Ubuntu 9.10 i386 Karmic Koala OS. I chose NOT to dual boot because I need to learn Linux not lean on Windows crutches when things don't work. After a rough start trying to use the 64 bit version of Karmic I downgraded to the 32 bit and I'm more comfortable and learning well.

To get to my question: Is there a good How-To book for people new to the command line interface that Linux uses? I am hoping for something that will show what terminal commands do / don't do, what is safe to "PLAY" with and what is "NOT" safe to play with.

Thanks for allowing me to post!
Mike
Fairless Hills, PA
 
Old 12-16-2009, 02:18 PM   #2
repo
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Welcome to LQ
There are several
http://www.amazon.com/Linux-Command-.../dp/047025128X
http://www.google.be/search?q=linux+...ient=firefox-a
 
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:06 PM   #3
tredegar
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I had to reinstall linux about three times in the week when I first started: "I can play with this! I can make changes to the OS! Yaaay that's neat!! Ooops, I broke it badly. Time to reinstall (again)".

Linux is supposed to be "played with", you'll soon learn what you should not do. In those days I used to revert to win to be able to post my problems here on LQ. After a few months, I was able to discard my "training wheels" and I have never looked back.

Linux isn't just fun, it works too, but it's quite different from MS windows.

I encourage you to have fun, play with it, install all kinds of stuff (it's free) and test it to the limit, even if that means you "break" it. Playing is learning.

Soon, I hope you will find linux indispensable, and use it all the time. I love it now.

That said, I am still running kubuntu 8.04(LTS) on my workhorse PC. Absolutely no complaints whatsoever. It is good for updates for another few months. The newer stuff is too pretty, and lacks functionality and stability. But Your Mileage May Vary.

Welcome to LQ!
 
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:28 PM   #4
AutoBot
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Double post...sorry.

Last edited by AutoBot; 12-16-2009 at 03:33 PM. Reason: Blackberry timed out, causing a double post.
 
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:32 PM   #5
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Just stay out of root and know what your sudoing and you will be ok, you want to make sure when you have a command prompt open that it doesn't say root but some other username. You want to learn the ins and outs of the coreutils to get the most out of linux the quickest, or you can just piddle around in the GUI and take it nice and slow. Have fun, and when you need help don't be afraid to ask.


Oh and back up your /home/yourusername and /etc directory often as you can. The home/username folder contains everything you do as a non root user, the /etc directory contains most of your important system configuration files....sort of like a human readable windows registry.
 
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:53 PM   #6
OldGoat58
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Thank you for the book references and thank you mostly for encouraging me to play with Linux. I come from a non-technical background and had a little better than basic understanding of Windows before changing to 100% Linux based. I often let myself get bogged down by trying to figure out too much too fast and I need to be reminded that by using, playing, and occasionally BREAKING the OS isn't a bad thing. I am just thrilled to have a system and support as I try to teach myself.

Thanks!
Mike
 
Old 12-16-2009, 06:04 PM   #7
chrism01
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Here's a good tutorial
http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz

you might want to bookmark these for ref
http://tldp.org/LDP/Bash-Beginners-G...tml/index.html
http://www.tldp.org/LDP/abs/html/

As above, you should explore, but you will break and re-install a few times whilst you're doing it; we all have.
Just backup anything you don't want to redo. When you are starting out it's often easier to re-install than try to fix. Some things can't be fixed (without an exorbitant amt of effort).

Welcome to Linux & LQ
 
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:25 PM   #8
MBybee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldGoat58 View Post
Thank you for the book references and thank you mostly for encouraging me to play with Linux. I come from a non-technical background and had a little better than basic understanding of Windows before changing to 100% Linux based. I often let myself get bogged down by trying to figure out too much too fast and I need to be reminded that by using, playing, and occasionally BREAKING the OS isn't a bad thing. I am just thrilled to have a system and support as I try to teach myself.

Thanks!
Mike
If this is the case, you may wish to back up your desktop config (.kde or .gnome) regularly, since there is a LOT you can fiddle with that gets killed on reinstall.

One of the things I tend to do is really customize my desktop environment, and it can take ages to put it back. For someone just learning this could be a large setback
 
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:38 PM   #9
scunning
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More Free and Easy Documentation for Linux

Another source of Free Info is the man pages
All Linux O/S have many manual pages and they are quite informative though brief and to the point. At any prompt just type :

man ls to ee all of the various things you can do with the "simple " List command

man ftp
 
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:42 PM   #10
scunning
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Useful documentation to help you out of a jam

Two great sources :

1. (Free) Nearly every command has a MANual page so form any prompt just type man and the command you will get a brief, concise Manual page or two

eg:

man ls Learn about many tricks inside of the List command

man ftp

man cron Learn about cron

2.
My favorite Go to Book is
"Linux in a Nutshell"

It is an O'Reilly book and Ellen Siever is the first author.
 
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:25 PM   #11
JmaJeremy
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I'm glad you chose not to dual-boot. I'm not a fan of it unless you absolutely need two operating systems for software testing purposes. It just takes up space, and once somebody picks an operating system and customizes their workspace, they aren't likely to be switching back and forth, anyways.

I find a lot of new *nix users complain that they feel somehow restricted from doing what they normally do. They feel trapped because they don't know how to do anything. This is just something people get over in time as they become more familiar with the commands and gui.
 
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Old 12-17-2009, 10:54 AM   #12
Twin Cams
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I fall in the category as the OP so this thread was a good read for me also. Thanks.
 
Old 12-18-2009, 10:21 AM   #13
OldGoat58
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The response was more than I ever expected so I added a poll because of ALL the GREAT information contained in this thread for a person new to the Linux environment. Thank you all for making my Linux experience truly awesome!
 
Old 12-18-2009, 12:04 PM   #14
repo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldGoat58 View Post
The response was more than I ever expected so I added a poll because of ALL the GREAT information contained in this thread for a person new to the Linux environment. Thank you all for making my Linux experience truly awesome!
I don't see the purpose of this poll though
 
Old 12-18-2009, 05:33 PM   #15
jefro
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This is the time to wreck your system. Don't fear play it safe just do and get good at reloads.

It might be that there is little you "need" to do with a terminal in a distro like Ubuntu. It would all be unsafe.

Basically if you do know windows most concepts are similar. The words are different and man pages assume you know the issue and need only pointer. Man pages are difficult to use but if you can find the task in windows/dos that compares then you can figure it out that way.
 
  


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