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Old 11-18-2010, 08:57 PM   #1
alan_ri
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Arrow Introduction to Linux / Newbies Guide


I have this idea for some time and I would like to make it real.

Basically, what I want to do is create good, informative and beginners friendly "Start Up" guide for all those who would like to discover the world of Linux.

To discover it, those beginners here at LQ would need some kind of a starting point. My opinion is that since LQ shows up in Google's search results very often when someone is searching for some Linux answers (that's how I got here in 2007), since it's large community (almost 500 000 members) and for many other reasons I felt over the years that something is missing here at LQ. What's missin', in my opinion is as I said some kind of a guide for Linux newcomers.

My idea is that we, LQ members, create that guide. And what I would like is that guide to be sticky thread in Linux - Newbie forum, simply because "My Blog" here at LQ for example or "Tutorials" are just not right places to put it and after all, it's for newbies. At the moment there is only one thread there which is sticky: Please READ this before posting!. In my opinion that's not good enough.

There are many reasons for that guide, one of them is often repeated questions. I see this guide as short version of many useful info, data and links provided to Linux newcomers, based on our experience and facts, from me and all LQ members who would hopefully be interested in this, well I could say - project.

I have a basic idea how this guide could look:
  • 1. History of Linux/Unix
    2. Linux Today (where, how, who etc.)
    3. Linux Distributions (maybe few major ones only described more in detail)
    4. Common Problems for Newcomers

As I said this is a basic idea and I do not intend to write essays about Linux history but basic info IMO is necessary. Each of this categories could have a sub-category or so. What is important IMO is that this guide should be as short as possible because as I said I would like it to be sticky thread in Linux - Newbie forum and I know people don't like to read long, boring material.

Why this post here?
- I want to be sure that there are interested people here at LQ for this project!
- And because I want to know if LQ will aprove my request for this guide to become sticky thread in mentioned forum - after is checked and tested by LQ mods and Jeremy.

To finish (for now), idea is that we, LQ members work together on this, create a good (basic - starting point) guide for Linux newbies/newcomers which would have it's place in Linux - Newbie forum here at LQ. There are two main reasons for this; it would be based on our experience, so it would be kind of "hands on" guide and it would be a time saver for all the searching around the net, Linux newbies usually have. And that's just the basic concept. All this could, and IMO should be discussed!

OK, it's late here, I'm tired and I'm going to sleep!

So, what do you people think about it?

Cheers!

Last edited by alan_ri; 11-19-2010 at 04:52 PM. Reason: typos
 
Old 11-18-2010, 09:10 PM   #2
mvirtual
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I would suggest basic guide have installation / deployment issues and common use cases like:
- how to setup X services in Ubuntu (I am having trouble)
- Fact that there is sudo and no root in ubuntu etc
- How to add additional modules without going in circles - server installation looks quite a task. Desktop has all GUI components so it's OK. I am not sure how to add specific dev libraries and utils after basic server install....

All the things that a newbie would need.

Stuff like history & distro are drab IMO.
 
Old 11-19-2010, 04:41 PM   #3
alan_ri
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My dear mvirtual newbie, I understand you, but it looks like there's no interest in this here. If things do not change in the next few days, mods may close, or better, delete this thread.
 
Old 11-19-2010, 05:30 PM   #4
aus9
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hi

I can not help sorry no time.

but I have some thoughts on what to add to your ideas.

Explain how a live cd works.....and those that can detect and use a swap partition and a home partition.

Explain how persistence works...........also relates to live cds.

Explain the difference between a "poor man's install" of a live cd to USB versus a true install.

IMHO the new user is likely to be a Microsoft user and very scared of changes......a little hand holding is always good?
 
Old 11-21-2010, 09:25 AM   #5
onebuck
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Hi,

Why not just create a wiki page here at LQ: Linux Wiki

It does take effort & loads of work to get to the goal.

Last edited by onebuck; 11-22-2010 at 06:10 PM.
 
Old 11-22-2010, 10:33 AM   #6
alan_ri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
Hi,

Why not just create a wiki page here at LQ: Linux Wiki
Maybe I'll do that some day. I've been browsing a little through the wiki and one thing is clear - it needs new things.
 
Old 11-22-2010, 11:00 AM   #7
deto86
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Frankly speaking,i m a noob in Linux world and i m using linux(Fedora 14)for two months.As i m learning linux through some video tutorials,they said you can maintain linux server through shell script and perl script along with other commands.

So plz explain what is shell scripting and perl scripting?
And mySQL and DNS server
will be delightful
 
Old 11-22-2010, 06:13 PM   #8
onebuck
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by deto86 View Post
Frankly speaking,i m a noob in Linux world and i m using linux(Fedora 14)for two months.As i m learning linux through some video tutorials,they said you can maintain linux server through shell script and perl script along with other commands.

So plz explain what is shell scripting and perl scripting?
And mySQL and DNS server
will be delightful
Just a few links to aid you to gaining some understanding;


1 Linux Documentation Project
2 Rute Tutorial & Exposition
3 Linux Command Guide
4 Bash Beginners Guide
5 Bash Reference Manual
6 Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide
7 Linux Newbie Admin Guide
8 LinuxSelfHelp
9 Getting Started with Linux

The above links and others can be found at 'Slackware-Links'. More than just Slackware® links!

"Knowledge is of two kinds. We Know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it."- Samuel Johnson
 
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:25 AM   #9
deto86
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Thanks onebuck!!!

I read somewhere that you can learn the linux filesystem by using 'fuse'
What is fuse? And what are the functions of each directory under /;i mean /boot,/lib,/dev,etc.
And what are the languages we have to know to become Linux developer?
Which is the best destro for developers

Thanks in advance
 
Old 11-23-2010, 06:10 AM   #10
alan_ri
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Well deto86, there is one great project called Wikipedia, you can find a lot of Linux related things there. Here's the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard. But understand that not every distro has the same directory structure.

I would say that any distro could be used for development, but the question is what do you want to develop. Of course there are some distros that we could say are more suitable for development, like the one you've said you're using.

Most common languages when we speak about Linux are C, Python and Perl.
Quote:
Interpreted languages:
A significant portion on Linux is made up of interpreted languages such as Perl, Python and Ruby. The same can also be used by you to program Linux. These languages are often dynamic and are less restrictive than the traditional programming languages, while providing the same level of functionality. Hence they became popular in many fields, such as system administration and web programming.

High-level compiled languages:
They are the big boss of Linux development environments. More than 95% of the Linux OS and its applications are built using compiled languages. Linux supports most of the compiled languages – including the most popular, C and C++. Use this route if you want to conqueror the Linux development world the good old traditional way.
I've recently read this; Open source programming for beginners .

And here you can read about FUSE.

And the most important thing, learn to search and research on your own. Just like with any other thing in Linux, there's no guide in this world that will teach you better than when you do things by yourself. That's the essence of hacking, after all.
 
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:43 AM   #11
catkin
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alan_ri's OP is a laudable idea and especially for beginners who do not know enough to know where or how to look for the information they need.

Although it has been attempted many times, no such documentation exists AFAIK. Why not? Perhaps because:
  1. It is impossible to know how deep to go. At the beginning, beginners know little and no prior knowledge can be assumed. Each concept must be explained in non-technical terms. Within a short time such "babying" is useless verbiage and our once-beginner has mastered the basic concepts and terms and wants deeper material.
  2. It is impossible to know what to include. Beginners' interests vary from the recreational (multimedia, browsing ...) to the would-be kernel hacker or university IT student through the power-user and computing hobbyist.
  3. It's a huge project -- so hard to complete.
  4. It would require first hand knowledge of many distros to describe the differences -- so needs multiple authors.
  5. It would require constant revision as the distros change -- so needs multiple authors to keep on working on it.
  6. It would duplicate material already well covered elsewhere -- so little benefit in reinventing the wheel.
Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
Why not just create a wiki page here at LQ: Linux Wiki
That's an interesting idea and addresses most (all?) of the difficulties listed above. A WIKI is great for multiple authors and ongoing revision but I don't recall one with a good Table of Contents (ToC), let alone the multiple auto-generated ToCs required to address points 1 and 2 above. Going through the list:
  1. If it were possible to tag WIKI pages as "Absolute beginner", "Introductory", "Medium" and "Insanely technical", would it be possible to auto-generate a ToC for each?
  2. Similarly, would it be possible to tag pages by topic area(s), for example "Desktop", "Programming", "Multimedia" ... and auto-generate a ToC for each?.
  3. The WIKI would be an ongoing project; it would never be complete and the workload could be spread across multiple authors each doing as much or as little as they want.
  4. Multiple authors could have first-hand knowledge of many distros.
  5. It is easy to revise WIKI content.
  6. Where material is already well covered elsewhere the WIKI could link to it instead of duplicating.
Whenever a question is asked in LQ, anyone interested in evolving our LQ WIKI, rather than providing an answer directly in the thread, could make it a habit to check the WIKI for an answer. If the WIKI has an answer they could post the link. If the WIKI does not have an answer or has an incomplete answer they could update the WIKI and post the link.

Thus the WIKI could evolve to become a rich resource and its contents would reflect the questions that LQ users were asking so the subject matter would be relevant -- in the same way that a FAQ evolves.
 
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:55 AM   #12
catkin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan_ri View Post
Most common languages when we speak about Linux are C, Python and Perl.
What about shell script? 15% of the /usr/bin/* files are shell scripts and the proportion rises to (nearly?) 100% in the boot scripts!

FYI the 15% comes roughly by
Code:
c@CW8:~$ file /usr/bin/* > /tmp/trash
c@CW8:~$ grep -v 'symbolic link' /tmp/trash > /tmp/trash.no_symlinks
c@CW8:~$ grep 'text executable' /tmp/trash.no_symlinks > /tmp/trash.text_executable
c@CW8:~$ ls -l /tmp/trash*
-rw-r--r-- 1 c users 368K Nov 23 17:15 /tmp/trash
-rw-r--r-- 1 c users 327K Nov 23 17:18 /tmp/trash.no_symlinks
-rw-r--r-- 1 c users  51K Nov 23 17:20 /tmp/trash.text_executable
c@CW8:~$ echo $((5100/327))
15
 
Old 11-23-2010, 07:55 AM   #13
onebuck
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Hi,

I like the TOC that is used at 'Slackware®-Links'. Simple!
 
Old 11-23-2010, 08:49 PM   #14
alan_ri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
I like the TOC that is used at 'Slackware®-Links'. Simple!
Yep, that's a nice TOC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by catkin View Post
What about shell script? 15% of the /usr/bin/* files are shell scripts and the proportion rises to (nearly?) 100% in the boot scripts!
Of course that's important, as a matter of fact it's what I'm mostly interested in when it comes to programming in Linux, but;
Quote:
A shell script is a script written for the shell, or command line interpreter, of an operating system. It is often considered a simple domain-specific programming language. Typical operations performed by shell scripts include file manipulation, program execution, and printing text.
So it's clear that it is different from the languages that I've mentioned, but not less important in Linux IMO.

[EDIT]
And yes, post #11 is a great post, catkin. Thanks for the compliment.

Last edited by alan_ri; 11-23-2010 at 08:57 PM.
 
Old 11-23-2010, 10:30 PM   #15
catkin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebuck View Post
I like the TOC that is used at 'Slackware®-Links'. Simple!
So do I -- it's excellent -- but I imagine it's hand crafted so anything similar for an evolved LQ WIKI along the lines of my idea would soon get out of date; the question about auto-generation from tags remains.
 
  


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