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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.
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Ok, I'm pretty new to Linux, but am learning quickly. I do technical support on Servers and support plenty of Micro$oft stuff, but I am seeing more Linux being used. I figure I should jump in and learn it. Heck, hopefully after some time, I'll be a guru myself!
So I started by setting up a Virtual PC on my box here at work, and ended up with RedHat 9 installed on it. Works fine, gets up into Xwindows fine. It's a bit sluggish being a VPC, tho. I also cut a 10gb partition on one of my desktops at home, and installed RH9 on that. Got it working. Got it to mount my NTFS partitions, and mounted my USB harddrive.
I've gotten a few things installed and working, but a few things are making me wonder if RH9 is starting to become outdated. (tried installing a Bit Torrent client, and it required a newer version of Python than RH9 has, so I found the RPMs and installed them, but I think I missed a step, I'll check that later, that's on my machine at home, and I'm at work right now)
So at work, I'm trying to get WINE installed. The VPC I set up also has an XP install on another partition. I can mount that partition fine. I think I mistakenly installed the FC3 WINE RPM instead of the RH version. Now when I try to install WINE, it gives a failed dependency on libglut.so.3. I searched and found Mesa-3.2-1.i386.rpm, but then it conflicts with XFree86-Mesa-libGL-4.3.0-2.90.55.
Anyway... I'm wondering if some of my intentions will be easier to accomplish on a different distro. I gather Fedora Core 3 is more up to date than RH and might be easier to work with.
I'd like to be able to use WINE to run windoze programs from the other OS on my home machine. I need an MP3 player (xmms is crippled in RH9 and I couldn't get it to work)
Anyway, I hope that's enough to go off of for some good recommendations. Please give me good reasons for which to try. TIA!
"I've gotten a few things installed and working, but a few things are making me wonder if RH9 is starting to become outdated. (tried installing a Bit Torrent client, and it required a newer version of Python than RH9 has, so I found the RPMs and installed them, but I think I missed a step, I'll check that later, that's on my machine at home, and I'm at work right now)"
Open Source upgrades are scheduled very differently than commercial software upgrades. The individual Open Source software projects typically have frequent releases with each release rarely being a major upgrade. Commercial distributions like Red Hat upgrade much less frequently, perhaps once every 6 months to a year. A Red Hat release is a snapshot of all of the Open Source projects at a single point in time. Since almost every day some project or other issues a new release any Red Hat version slowly becomes obsolete. Red Hat will provide newly released software with their update service is the new software patches a security hole. Otherwise all of the new releases are accumulated into the next release of Red Hat.
So for the software that is important for you to keep up to date then you sometimes have to do the small upgrades yourself as you are doing with Bit Torrent. That is less convenient than using the Red Hat upgrade program. But it also means that you don't have to install every new version of Red Hat that comes along just to keep your most important software up to date.
I started out with red hat myself. Found it to be slow because it's default configuration is more for a server than a desktop. All services are running by default. It's source code is also heavily modified so it is hard sometimes to compile my own programs.
I then moved to Mandrake. Pretty much the same thing exept the source isn't modified to much so it's easier to compile from source.
Then I moved to FreeBSD. Awesome, Fast and the ports system makes it easy as hell to compile from source. Also I loved the BSD style init scripts used for start up instead of sys V like most distros use. Only problem was finding good quality device drivers for it. My video card didn't have a 3D accelerated driver and my soundblaster drive was not to good.
I then built my own from the LFS (Linux from scratch) handbook. Good learning experience to build a tool chain and then create my own linux. Except package management was a nightmare. I mostly did this to learn.
Then I found slackware and have been using it since. The source code is not modified at all. Some patches of course. I've never had a problem compiling from source. It also is by far the fastest distro I've used to date. It using bsd sytle init scripts which makes adding services easy. However, for a begginer I would not reccomend as it is a very raw distro, which is what makes it fast. None of that BS running everytime I boot up just what I want. Hard for someone who never used linux before to setup and maintain though.
I recommend fedora core or mandrake for a newbie and then when you get used to linux move on to something other distro, until you find one you like.
Fedora Core uses rpm, which i personally don't like. Also, if you can't find the rpm package it may be tough to make your own as the source of Fedora Core is so heavily modified and it seems to break a lot of things. Also, I think of the freely available for download distro's like Red Hat, Suse, Mandrake and a lot of others as a beta testing distro's for the companies PRO or INTERPRISE edition that they charge money for. So they offer a free edition that is really a beta testing for there INTERPRISE editions. Of course they don't call it beta. Stability is questionable.
Actually if you really are a quick learner give slackware a try. Patrick the maintainer of slack is paranoid about stability. There is no ENTERPRISE edition just the one solid as a rock edition. He is still using the 2.4 kernel, wheras most disto's are using 2.6. However, he does offer the 2.6 kernel as a testing package on cd 2. I've used it without any trouble at all. Everything not included on the 2 ios cd's like WINE and Bit Torrent just download the source and build yourself. It's not to difficult.
tar jxvf WINE.tar.bz2
make install DESTDIR=/slackpack
Okay maybe a bit complicated, but you are going to have to get use to building from source sooner or later. It is what makes linux great.