Linux - NewbieThis Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question?
If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!
Welcome to LinuxQuestions.org, a friendly and active Linux Community.
You are currently viewing LQ as a guest. By joining our community you will have the ability to post topics, receive our newsletter, use the advanced search, subscribe to threads and access many other special features. Registration is quick, simple and absolutely free. Join our community today!
Note that registered members see fewer ads, and ContentLink is completely disabled once you log in.
If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you need to reset your password, click here.
Having a problem logging in? Please visit this page to clear all LQ-related cookies.
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.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
Click Here to receive this Complete Guide absolutely free.
I would advise anyone who really wants or needs to explore Linux fully to target Debian. That said, if you are a new user (less than two years, unless you are a SYSADM already) that you might want to stay with a distro with fewer options.
The reason Ubuntu ( and dozens of other distros) are Debian based is that Debian has nearly EVERYTHING! The options, and trying to pin down ONLY what you need, from that huge range of options can be daunting. Something like kubuntu or mint is still Debian based, but offers a smaller selection of packages KNOWN to work with that desktop environment as configured by those maintainers.
Also, while it can be made to work (I managed) there are very many ways to get in trouble attempting an install on a laptop. Machines with WiFi only networking are particularly problematic. For such platforms I would stay with a distribution known for working well with that hardware.
There are so MANY distributions to choose from, there is no reason to struggle for long if one is not working for you. In the long run, you do learn how to resolve the problems if you fight through them, but you have to decide if that is worth your time right NOW: and that depends upon your objectives, training, and how patient you are!
Multi-booting is good. I would also recommend running any distro first in a virtual machine (and VirtualBox is all open source ... except for USB support). Play with it in a vm until you understand the install process and the package management system.
What you won't find out in a vm is how it handles your hardware, especially graphics, networking and power management, and how it performs natively (particularly graphics performance; CPU and I/O performance is not really affected). For that you need the multi-boot. (But in a vm, of course, you can avoid worrying about those problems initially.)
If you're thinking of moving, the question is why, and the answer will tell you what to move to.
If you want something more stable that doesn't change every 6 months: Debian stable version or Mepis
If you want something that is constantly updated: Mint rolling-release versions
If you don't like Ubuntu's Unity desktop: Debian or Mint
If you're just curious, create a small "guest partition" on you HD (mine's 7GB) and you can install whatever you like there without altering your main system. For something not Debian-based, look at Salix, Fuduntu, Vector, Sabayon ...
I used crunchbang to ween myself off of ubuntu, also because I was using computers that were older and crunchbang is lighter. Most of the Ubuntu commands will work because like Ubuntu, Crunchbang is based on Debian. I personally love Arch Linux, because it forces the learning curve during the install process and once configured it runs extremely fast on my dated craptops. At work we use Centos and Fedora/Red Hat. They are great in their own ways as well. If you plan on working with Linux professionally its a good Idea to familiarize yourself with them. Have fun!
My reason for trying various distros is curiosity. That's why I keep a spare partition or two on my hard drive for installing distros I'd like to try. Although a VM is certainly an option, I generally don't go that route because I want to see how these other distros work with my hardware. I generally start with the live CD; my CDRWs get a good workout.