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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.
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I have had opensuse 11.1 for some time know and must admit that it is a little overwhelming. I have used windows all my life, and a monkey can operate it. For a newbie such as my self, where is a good starting point to learn how to use linux optimally. I understand that i need to start from the ground up and have been reading the intro disk that came with my cd. Any guidance and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Are there any specific flavors that are better for newbies to learn from?
You could use Ubuntu, Fedora, Mepis or Linux Mint, but it'll not make things MUCH easier. You'll still have to learn a lot of new things. Most things that are diffrent from windows are the same across all linux distros so it doesn't matter much which one you use. It's just a matter of personal preference. The most common advice in your situation is to try a few distros until you find one that appeals to you most. There are loads of tutorials on line, but IMHO it's best to just use a distro and ask specific questions when you're stuck with something specific. As bedtime reading, I'd recommend: http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz
I have had opensuse 11.1 for some time know and must admit that it is a little overwhelming. I have used windows all my life, and a monkey can operate it.
Nope, that's not true, it's only your perception. For me, Windows is horribly complicated, and so user-unfriendly it borders on being openly hostile. But that's because I've not touched Windows for over a decade now. It's all in what you know. The first time you drove a car it was a bit much, I'm sure. But after a few years....not so much. The tasks didn't change at all, it was just your familiarity with it.
For a newbie such as my self, where is a good starting point to learn how to use linux optimally. I understand that i need to start from the ground up and have been reading the intro disk that came with my cd. Any guidance and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Are there any specific flavors that are better for newbies to learn from?
The best place to start, would be to identify what you want to do. Start simply, and think of the right questions to ask. Lots of folks start out going "How do I get Microsoft Office working under Linux?", instead of saying "What's a good word processor for Linux, that will let me work with files I created in Word?". Identify the thing you WANT to do, then look at ways to do it.
Just like in Windows, you didn't fire it up the first day, and say "Ok, let me edit registry keys, spoof some IP addresses so I can bypass a firewall, etc., etc.", it's unrealistic to start out the same way in Linux. Get a simple desktop going. Play around, and customize it. Learn how to do simple things first, move on to configuring devices (printers, USB drives, etc.), next. Take it one step at a time, and use the resources here to help you. It's NOT difficult...just different.
The interesting thing is that--if you were to start knowing NOTHING about any OS--Linux, in many ways, would be easier than Windows.
OpenSUSE is a fine starting point---do you have it installed? If not, install it and then post your specific questions.
If you want to try something different, one common advice is to go to http://distrowatch.com and select anything in the top 10 on their "hit list". The only codicil: I do not recommend Arch for beginners. And MEPIS (#11) is also an excellent choice...
Each has their quirks. Each has a learning curve. While linux isn't etched in stone, it doesn't rename most of the administrative tools with each new release. Rename and relocate.
While you may be more familiar with windows. io.sys msdos.sys command.com cmd.exe fdisk autoexec.bat config.sys regedit.exe netsh ............ Linux has much of the same learning curve. Although many installers take care of a lot of that for you these days. Worst case, just run a live CD. Download image, burn image, boot image. From there you have a gui and most hardware drivers. Enough to peruse the docs and get familiar.
SuSE is a fine distro. They were the primary developers of ALSA, so expect at a minimum your soundcard to work out of the box. It does have it's quirks in terms of package manager and admin tools. Most of the TLDP need not apply. Just know the basic names of the admin tools. YaST2, Sax2, (or whatever they go by these days / NOTE: case sensitive / And I probably screwed it up myself).
distrowatch.com if you want to explore other distros.
freshmeat.net if you want to find something exotic that might not be included in your distro.
and many other sites. Most of which you only need if you are having troubles. Or just want to have a clue about what's under the hood. There are many advantages to linux. Like an office suite out of the box. A development suite out of the box. (from a certain pont of view). Lots of games and other time sucks as well. So much to explore, some good, some not so much. But most wont cost you $30 per trial like that other OS. For stuff that may not even work or address the deficiency you were hoping to overcome. If you have the time, linux has the capability, one way or another.
I started here. It gives a lot of useful information quickly in a step by step kind of way, with good explanations. The best way to learn is just by doing. If you still have windows installed try not to use it unless you just have to. You'll be on your feet in no time!
Personally, linux has made my computers FUN again, like when I built my first "shocker". It was called that because it was only partially housed in what used to be a case, and the power button just dangled from it's wires....It would get you 1 in 5 times you had to power it up.....wish that would have been running linux! Less reboots and all. Have fun!