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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
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All of them! The basics of Linux are pretty much the same across the board - they all use a kernel. most of the commands and file locations are the same and they are very stable. If you are very new, you may want to try out Ubuntu (or a variant) or Mepis or PCLinuxOS as they are geared more towards the beginner end of the market - simply because of ease of install and lots of wizards, rather than because there are bits missing.
Anyway, you are about to get inundated with a large list of suggestions, so welcome to LQ
I have little to no knowledge of Linux and would like to learn. Which version is suited to working with a basic server like apache.
Any of them work fine with Apache. Are you wanting to learn Linux, or web-programming/hosting? A system like Ubuntu is good for someone just starting out to learn on, and has plenty of support forums and articles for folks who are just starting out. It can also run Apache, and do other 'heavy-duty-server-stuff'.
There are lots of books available for Linux, and they are very much worth checking out. Documentation for all the commands is available when the system comes up, to help you along, but the book(s) will help you to learn WHICH commands you need to look up.
Welcome to linuxquestions.org!!! I would recommend OpenSuse 11.0 and the KDE 3.5 desktop www.opensuse.org but what distro to use is a personal option. As suggested above check www.distrowatch.com also, you could download and burn a whole bunch of live cds and see which one fits your needs better.
Regarding the books, I like the "bible editions" such as OpenSuse bible, Linux bible, etc. I purchased a linux commands pocket guide from Oreilly which comes very handy when I can't remember some commands.
This author also has a list of commands on his web http://www.oreillynet.com/linux/cmd/
Check it out!
Linux is fun!!! wish you luck on finding the perfect Distro for you!!!
Also, NEVER EVER NEVER run your linux box using the root user... (I used to do that but in this forum they fixed me!)
There are times that you must be 'root' to perform maintenance or make system changes. Recovery from problems that a user might create will require you to become 'root' in order correct the situation. So your 'NEVER EVER NEVER run your linux box using the root user...' is not correct.
Maybe you should state that to use caution or to be careful when running as a 'root' or 'superuser' on a UNIX/Linux OS.