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Old 10-29-2006, 01:05 PM   #1
DIGITAL39
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Question What aspects are the most important


I am a newbie, I can install things, move around, work in X, copy commands readmes tell me and break things. That about sums up my skills in Linux.

I want to learn to be as proficient with linux as I am with windows and I was hoping some of the seasoned and unseasoned linux users could tell me what were the most important things to learn in the begining. There are a ton of tutorials and guides, etc that are out there, but I have never seen one that told you what things were most important to learn first.

I have been trying to do as much as I can in bash so I force myself to learn it instead of letting my mouse to the work.

Thanks

Pete
 
Old 10-29-2006, 01:54 PM   #2
David the H.
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This is a good question. Here's my opinion.

1. Learn bash. The CLI is THE tool to use in *nix. Also learn something about bash scripting. A pretty good rule would be to never do anything in GUI that you haven't learned how to do in a console first. I recommend LinuxCommand.org as a good beginner's tutorial.

(You seem to have already figured this one out.)

2. Learn the file structure. You have to know where everything is and what it does. What do all the config files in /etc do, for example? Where do you look when you're having a problem with X? What can you tweak and what should you leave alone?

3. Learn file permissions. These can be a bit complicated. Heck, I've been at this for 4 years now and I still don't know enough. But you should know how to change permissions on files and directories, and what will happen when you do.

4. Learn how to use a console text editor. Vi/Vim would probably be best, but at the very least, you should know how to edit the config file when X refuses to run.

5. Learn how to compile programs from scratch. The package systems are great, but occasionally you'll find you want to install something that doesn't come in a nice .rpm or .deb. Most of the time compiling from source isn't difficult, but when you do have problems, they tend to be hair-pullingly frustrating (I'm currently suffering through one of these now). Learn what to do.

6. Ditch the newbie-friendly distro. Ok, maybe not the first thing you should do, but something you shouldn't hold off on for long. "Easy" distros are nice for getting your feet wet, but they hold your hand too much. Get something like Debian, Gentoo, or Slack instead. When I first started out I went with Mandrake, which I had heard was one of the easiest for beginners to work with. But when, after a year, I still didn't really know what I was doing, I switched over to Debian and I was suddenly really learning Linux. There's nothing like being forced to deal with a problem yourself to really teach you what's what.

(Yet another one you seem to have already figured out. But I put this one up for anyone else who might read this in the future.)

Of course, there's an endless stream of stuff to learn, but I think these six will put anyone on the fast track to competency.
 
Old 10-29-2006, 02:10 PM   #3
DIGITAL39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David the H.
This is a good question. Here's my opinion.

1. Learn bash. The CLI is THE tool to use in *nix. Also learn something about bash scripting. A pretty good rule would be to never do anything in GUI that you haven't learned how to do in a console first. I recommend LinuxCommand.org as a good beginner's tutorial.

(You seem to have already figured this one out.)

2. Learn the file structure. You have to know where everything is and what it does. What do all the config files in /etc do, for example? Where do you look when you're having a problem with X? What can you tweak and what should you leave alone?

3. Learn file permissions. These can be a bit complicated. Heck, I've been at this for 4 years now and I still don't know enough. But you should know how to change permissions on files and directories, and what will happen when you do.

4. Learn how to use a console text editor. Vi/Vim would probably be best, but at the very least, you should know how to edit the config file when X refuses to run.

5. Learn how to compile programs from scratch. The package systems are great, but occasionally you'll find you want to install something that doesn't come in a nice .rpm or .deb. Most of the time compiling from source isn't difficult, but when you do have problems, they tend to be hair-pullingly frustrating (I'm currently suffering through one of these now). Learn what to do.

6. Ditch the newbie-friendly distro. Ok, maybe not the first thing you should do, but something you shouldn't hold off on for long. "Easy" distros are nice for getting your feet wet, but they hold your hand too much. Get something like Debian, Gentoo, or Slack instead. When I first started out I went with Mandrake, which I had heard was one of the easiest for beginners to work with. But when, after a year, I still didn't really know what I was doing, I switched over to Debian and I was suddenly really learning Linux. There's nothing like being forced to deal with a problem yourself to really teach you what's what.

(Yet another one you seem to have already figured out. But I put this one up for anyone else who might read this in the future.)

Of course, there's an endless stream of stuff to learn, but I think these six will put anyone on the fast track to competency.
Thanks David, very good information. I have kind of learned a little of each so I guess I was headed in the right direction. #6 I totally agree on, the first distro I ever loaded was slack and there is just something about it I love. I tried a couple "Easy" distros and they were just a pain in the ass. Maybe I didn't spend enough time but when I tried Ubuntu I couldnt find half the stuff I told it to install. I am going to try Fedora next week on another machine just to see how it is, I heard it is good.

Any suggestions on order in which to learn operations (I guess the right word) security, networking, specific applications, etc?

Thanks again
 
Old 10-30-2006, 12:35 AM   #4
chrism01
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It's really up to you. There are many shelves worth of things you could learn.
It helps to have a specific goal to aim at, or a specific area you find interesting.
I'd say learing bash / shell scripting is worth getting competent at, because in order to learn the other stuff, you'll need to be comepotent at CLI stuff.
I second the learning of vi/vim. vi in particular is pretty much the default installed editor on just about any *nix type OS.
Will (probably) work even when everything else is broken.
 
  


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