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Old 05-24-2006, 01:52 PM   #1
Adamant1988
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What should I do to learn?


Hi, I'm currently VERY new to linux... I've been reading about it and playing with the idea of installing it on my computer (which I finally did last night) for quite some times.

however, I would like to become a highly competant linux user as I'm hoping to get a degree in computer science. (I want to program software, and maybe even work on linux myself)

My first experience with linux was "Pink tie" (Red Hat) linux 7.3 when I was 14. I wasn't able to play much with it because I didn't comprehend it all. Since then I've been complacent and just used windows without a second thought. I haven't done any basic script writing or anything of the sort since I was about 14 but I'd like to start again.

So basically I want to know where the best places to start are... I need the crash course if you will. I have a spare laptop that I can install distrobutions of linux on without fear or worry of damaging anything... I'm looking at maybe getting my hands on Arch Linux or SlackWare 10.2 as a learning situation.. (I have suse 10.1 on my desktop currently dual booting with windows).

If there are any good books that can help me get back into the groove of things, articles I should read, chat rooms I should visit, etc. Let me know please. I really want to learn So maybe one day I'll be working on a distro myself.
 
Old 05-24-2006, 02:14 PM   #2
rickh
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To start with, I would say just commit to using Linux for everything you now use Windows to do. If you find something that you can't duplicate or work-around from Windows, figure it out (No emulators). As far as programming is concerned, I'd start with bash scripting. There are tons of tutorials as close as Google.

You get to Guruville the same way you get to Carnegie Hall.

Last edited by rickh; 05-24-2006 at 02:16 PM.
 
Old 05-24-2006, 02:26 PM   #3
linmix
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Sound advice from rickh. Just start "messing about" like you probably did when you first started with windows, and get the feel of the basics.
Most PC users never get past the stage of using the same few basic programs they have installed anyway. If you want to learn more, then have a look at RUTE (there's a link in my signature) which is a great guide to linux and is available for free online, although I finally ought the book because I use it regularly and I find it easier to look things up and make my own personal notes.
 
Old 05-24-2006, 02:27 PM   #4
dubz_444
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i started on redhat 5.2 and the only reason i am where i am now is cos i formatted my vfat/fat partition(whatever it was) and forced myself to use linux (which i am grateful to myself for).

As for programming Bash is great to start with ,but also look at other languages like python and perl which can help nicely with sysadmin as well as make larger projects.
 
Old 05-24-2006, 02:31 PM   #5
Adamant1988
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yeah, I tried centering my desktop experience around SUSE but it's been really buggy for me... I need to communicate with my external harddrive as it holds all my documents and ISO and downloads for me. Suse give me something like
"/dev/sdb1 found in /etc/fstab" I'm thinking I may have to use a different distro... like I said I'm looking at using arch linux or Slackware because the put you in an enviroment where you're forced to learn how to do things.
 
Old 05-24-2006, 02:36 PM   #6
dubz_444
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exactly....
you are what your environment makes you.


and that quote is not stolen friends
YEAH
 
Old 05-24-2006, 02:41 PM   #7
rickh
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Quote:
SUSE ... it's been really buggy for me... I need to communicate with my external harddrive ... Suse give me something like "/dev/sdb1 found in /etc/fstab"
It's probably only 'buggy' because you don't know how to use it yet. There are good reasons to change distros, but, "This one gives me error messages," is not one of them. Arch and Slackware are good distros, but a newbie should get comfortable in the Linux environment before tackling them.
 
Old 05-24-2006, 02:42 PM   #8
Adamant1988
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Ok, so I can put myself in an enviroment where I can learn... but I'm having a bit of seperation anxiety with my desktop. I'm not attached to windows, I'm attached to being on the internet, chatting with my friends, and reading things... and listening to mp3s. My computer stores the bulk of my life, and I really can't afford to lose that functionality for even long periods of time.

So what I'm saying is that I need a 'newbie' distro that'll sit well with my desktop and I want to put slackware or arch linux on my laptop and use that as my learning enviroment... using my desktop only when I run into walls that I can't get around with my own wits...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickh
It's probably only 'buggy' because you don't know how to use it yet. There are good reasons to change distros, but, "This one gives me error messages," is not one of them. Arch and Slackware are good distros, but a newbie should get comfortable in the Linux environment before tackling them.
Actually the SUSE YAST2 and Sofware updater are broken... I'm not the first of even part of a minority to experience that.
As for the hard drive thing.. I'm still working on a work around... I tried googling but that did me no good. I recieve that message every time I attempt to read the drive.
I was thinking Fedora Core 5, but I'm not sure... the mass of distros has me confused... Also my hardware doesn't agree with a lot of distros (ATI radeon x600) so I sometimes have problems starting X on live CD's.

Last edited by Adamant1988; 05-24-2006 at 02:43 PM.
 
Old 05-24-2006, 03:06 PM   #9
jeelliso
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamant1988
I'm not attached to windows, I'm attached to being on the internet, chatting with my friends, and reading things... and listening to mp3s. My computer stores the bulk of my life, and I really can't afford to lose that functionality for even long periods of time.
If you choose one of the major distros, all of this stuff will most likely be automatically configured, especially internet, chatting, and reading things (mp3s may require a little input on your part). I would recommend taking a look at the reviews for Linux distros here at LQ. It seems that most of the reviews are written by Linux newcommers, so they would probably be helpful for you.

I have used a bunch of different distros in the past and for the newbie Fedora Core seems to offer the best experience, especially installation. It just seems to have the most stuff automatically available (and by automatic, I mean you don't have to manually edit config files).

Whatever you do, just make sure you don't give up too easy. There is a lot of documentation available and pleanty of knoxledgable people ready and willing to help.

Good Luck,
~Justin
 
Old 05-24-2006, 03:21 PM   #10
Adamant1988
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I read them lol That's what led me to suse. I love suse save for the package manager and updater problem... but I need to be able to read from my external hard drive... I put EVERYTHING on it... I go in between lots of computers (My laptop when I get it working with a linux distro, my windows partition, my suse partition(hopefully) and my fathers computer). I store EVERYTHING on it... school work, downloads, ISO files, e books, music, you name it.

But yes SUSE has worked for me in terms of auto configuring my hardware (except for my graphics card... I'm going to try to fix that though, I want to use XGL)
I just need a work around for this hard drive thing... although I think I know what caused it... I left the hard drive plugged when I installed SUSE and it detected it... I don't know why that would cause a problem but that's the only thing I can think of =\
 
Old 05-24-2006, 05:27 PM   #11
RichEBTC
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I am currently doing just about the same thing as you. But with different distro's. What it sounds like is once you get it to where you can read from your external drive, and go on the net you will stick with that. which is great cause then you will want to use the linux instead of windows. and that will in turn make you start to configure it to be your only operating system.

what counld be explained which may help some people here help you is, what kind of drive you are connecting, how are you connecting it (usb?)? are you using the gui or command line?.
 
Old 05-24-2006, 05:30 PM   #12
sundialsvcs
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"You're already here."

This web-site is one of the best places.

As for learning... I guess it comes gradually and really can't be rushed. At least I don't think it can. The best place to start learning is to recognize that you are learning a craft and that most of the learning is by doing.

Having said that... buy or resuscitate a spare computer. Leave your existing Windows machine(s) completely alone. The machine should have a network card and a CD/DVD ROM drive. Preferably, it should have two hard drives.

Presto... now you have a computer you can trash, and not hurt anything "important." No dual-booting, no risks. And now, that's exactly what you proceed to do.... trash it. When you've got it running, tear it all apart and build it again. Wanna try six different distros? Go for it!

Now.... keep a diary. Write down each day what you've done and, each time you have a question, write it down. Once you've done that, you won't forget it, so you can let go of it until you're ready to pursue it. I actually use a loose-leaf notebook and a number-two pencil.

For each change, each thing you propose to do, think about it first. How do you intend to do it? (Make a punch-list.) How will you get out if .. when .. "it" happens? Then, when you actually do it, how'd it go? And so on.
 
Old 05-24-2006, 07:12 PM   #13
Adamant1988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs
"You're already here."

This web-site is one of the best places.

As for learning... I guess it comes gradually and really can't be rushed. At least I don't think it can. The best place to start learning is to recognize that you are learning a craft and that most of the learning is by doing.

Having said that... buy or resuscitate a spare computer. Leave your existing Windows machine(s) completely alone. The machine should have a network card and a CD/DVD ROM drive. Preferably, it should have two hard drives.

Presto... now you have a computer you can trash, and not hurt anything "important." No dual-booting, no risks. And now, that's exactly what you proceed to do.... trash it. When you've got it running, tear it all apart and build it again. Wanna try six different distros? Go for it!

Now.... keep a diary. Write down each day what you've done and, each time you have a question, write it down. Once you've done that, you won't forget it, so you can let go of it until you're ready to pursue it. I actually use a loose-leaf notebook and a number-two pencil.

For each change, each thing you propose to do, think about it first. How do you intend to do it? (Make a punch-list.) How will you get out if .. when .. "it" happens? Then, when you actually do it, how'd it go? And so on.
That's what I'm doing with my laptop . I have SUSE 10.1 dual booting on my desktop next to windows though. I'm looking at Arch Linux or Slackware to install on the laptop... the real learning distros where you configure everything yourself...
 
Old 05-24-2006, 10:52 PM   #14
broknindarkagain
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IM also a noob, I have been using windows all my life. I actually work in a computer shop, i build custom servers for random companys.

Linux is quite different. It definatly helps if you have basic knowledge of the guts of windows. That seemed to help me out some, but again, nothing is the same....some things are just "simular"

They way Im learning, is posting a lot on here and getting answers. I also use Linux for EVERYTHING I do, I wont let myself touch a Windows computer. I just sit around and figure it out
 
Old 05-24-2006, 11:52 PM   #15
PipeDreams
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Quote:
If you choose one of the major distros, all of this stuff will most likely be automatically configured, especially internet, chatting, and reading things (mp3s may require a little input on your part).
My setup sounds similar.I use Mandriva 2006.When I installed it I had my usb seagate hd plugged in and turned on and its accessible in the devices folder on the desktop.This is where I have my mp3's stored .I Play them all the time using amarok.All of my other hardware was found and configured as well.Phew.
Mandrivas package manager is a breeze.Setting up the urpmi sources is easy as copy and paste but are time consuming(depending on your d/l speed).
I am going to go back to the x86 version and not the 64 bit.
64 doesnt have the bibletime package available and I cant find a flashplayer that works in 64.

Quote:
"You're already here."

This web-site is one of the best places.
I'll second that!

Quote:
Now.... keep a diary. Write down each day what you've done and, each time you have a question, write it down. Once you've done that, you won't forget it, so you can let go of it until you're ready to pursue it. I actually use a loose-leaf notebook and a number-two pencil.
Thats so funny.I wish I could post a pic.You'd see piles of yellow legal pads and dead ink pens.It REALLY does help if you write it down.....If I could just find it again

Hope this helps
 
  


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