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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.
Click Here to receive this Complete Guide absolutely free.
I gave Linux a try purely because I wanted to learn something (challenge the mind, you know). Fedora Core 1 would not install on an old P133 sitting in my closet (which previously had Win95), so I got my hands on Slackware 10.0 and gave that a shot. The computer has 64 megs of ram and a 2.0GB hard drive. I put pkgtool on "expert" and selected things to install. I was surprised that it installed all of it without complaining.
There were a few hitches, mainly due to my own lack of knowledge (on my first install, I did not install LILO, thinking it was unnecessary, and sat there for a few minutes when Linux wouldn't boot wondering if I should have installed LILO after all). Much like, in my quest to get Slackware to fit in under 2 gigs, I left out everything related to ALSA (then wondered why the sound would not work). There were a few "oh, maybe I DID need that..." moments during those first days of using Linux.
At first I ran KDE, and though it was slow, it wasn't unbearable--it enabled me to poke around for a few days. Change the settings, practice a few basic commands in Konsole that I learned from a book, and so forth.
After surfing the web and seeing screenshots of what was being done with the various window managers, I decided to give Blackbox a whirl, then I moved on to Fluxbox. Then to XFCE then to IceWM then back to Fluxbox again.
Eventually, I decided I liked the screenshots of those transparent terminals, and downloaded the aterm source. Then I compiled aterm, afterwards thinking "holy crap, I compiled something." Compiling things didn't stop there--days later I compiled torsmo, because I thought it looked cool to have that in the corner of the screen. Then I compiled Dope Wars. I don't recall if Slackware .tgz packages are/were available for these applications, but who cares--I compiled something!
If I ever got stuck, I'd come to this site, and do a search. Usually there was someone else with the same problem, and someone helpful had posted a solution.
Well, I've got it all working. I've got sound coming from that old Soundblaster 16 card, pumping out Jimi Hendrix mp3's through xmms. I edited the Fluxbox menu so I can change background images at will. I left the KDE base in so I can play Katomic, Kpoker and run Konqueror. And because I stripped out everything I don't need or that which would be impractical on such a machine (for example, anything related to USB, since there are no USB ports on it), I have about 550mb left on that old hard drive. Yes, anything that uses GTK+ is slow. Yes, it only displays a max of 800x600 resolution at depth 16. But so what--I've learned A LOT and that was the point.
I've still got a lot more to learn, and am going to build a modern system to learn it on. I think Fluxbox is very cool, but I also think KDE is gorgeous, so I'd love to have a peppy system to run it on. Anyway, many thanks to sites like LinuxQuestions.org for helping me along my Linux journey.