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Old 08-14-2007, 01:31 PM   #1
nappy501
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Registered: Mar 2004
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New Forum suggestion - Back to basics


Hi,

I have a suggestion for a new forum, I don't know if there would be a need. If there is already one like this could someone point me in the right direction.

I originally dual booted my machine and tried Red Hat 9. Then in April 2005, I dual booted with Fedora Core 2 and used that as my working system.

March 2006 tried Suse 10.0, should have been a multiboot with Fedora, but the Fedora got lost.

August 2007 newly installed DVD writer and 160 gb hard drive.

So I can't call myself a newbie anymore. As a newbie I wanted to install get the machine running so I could carry on with my normal life (sending emails, browsing the net). My questions were about getting my modem working, how to partition my harddrive. How to back up my data. I had many sleepless nights worry about security and the fact that I did not have any virus protection. Where was my internet security? Shell/console did my head in, so I found every way I could to do things in GUI.

Just over twos years on I no longer have these questions. In my office where windows rules, if anyone has a computer questions they ask me (God only knows why) and I have just upgraded from Windows 98 to Windows XP. (Keep the windows because my kodak camera does .mov files and for my p2p) So I must be better at computers now than two years ago.

But Linux still gives me a headache and I reread over and over again articles and they do not make sense, it is like reading a different language. I know I can get this though, because I have come so far. Quite often procedures seem simple, until they go wrong. Prime example being the distrasous boot with Fedora and most recently not copying my home directory correctly.

I need to have my machine working with the information safe, I need to beable to get online and discuss problems with the linux community when I am working through stuff. I have to also continue with my normal busy life.

My example is I want to multiboot my machine so I can try out several other distributions. After my distsarous attempt with Fedora and Suse, I really want to know that I understand what I am doing. I have read loads of stuff on multibooting, member Saikee comes to mind. And it is all Greek.

I don't understand, because I really don't have the basics. Like what is a Master Boot Record? What is it's relationship to /boot? What is chainloading? If you use cp -a to copy your home directory to another drive, will you beable to copy it straight back? How does cp compare to tar. When people talk about copying why do they start mentioning /etc/fstab? I read the man pages, but you don't often get examples with working explanations.

I thought I understood disk partitioning (apparently enough to install), but I left a 100 gb of unpartitioned free space on my machine, which I now can't work out how to partition without doing the whole drive. I want to really understand about primary partitions and extended partitions. I want to know what mounting a drive really means.

I think when I have answers to this and other questions and been able to ask WHY, 20 times like a child does. I may actually beable to understand what I am doing when I follow the multiboot instructions. I'll beable to keep my home directory safe during a fresh install and save myself, four days work (not to mention stress due to not being online).

So this forum or sub-forum suggestion, would be the place to discuss cp and tar to the nth degree with examples. Once I understood that, I could then go to the Suse forum and say in YaST there is system backup. How is that different to cp and tar.

To discuss partitions and free space. It would be the place to direct people to good online information sources (quite often if you don't put the right words into google you can't find stuff). It would be okay to come back from those places and discuss it further until you really understood. It might even have a spin off of giving authors feedback on how to make the information more readable/understandable.

If this is not a viable forum idea. Where should I post this and other questions. Would it be newbie or general? Maybe a sub-forum so they don't get lost in all the other questions.

Not sure what you would call it either.

Regards
 
Old 08-15-2007, 02:01 AM   #2
J.W.
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I'm not sure a subforum dedicated to dd or cp would warrant a separate discussion area, but when it comes to Linux basics there is a wealth of info online. Just here at LQ, check out the LinuxAnswers section, the LQ Wiki, and of course the forums. In all cases, doing a basic search on the keywords should turn up a great deal of info, and if not, I'd guess that the Linux-Newbie forum might be the best place to post questions.

With regards to your question, partitioning questions are very common, and there are numerous existing threads that cover that territory. Have you examined those threads?
 
Old 08-15-2007, 05:45 AM   #3
nappy501
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.W. View Post
I'm not sure a subforum dedicated to dd or cp would warrant a separate discussion area,
Hi
Thank you for your response. I was trying to give an example. It would be about any command/process.

Quote:
but when it comes to Linux basics there is a wealth of info online.
I have looked at some of this and it is really good stuff. However there are times when, I know it looks simple, but I still don't get it.

Quote:
Just here at LQ, check out the LinuxAnswers section, the LQ Wiki, and of course the forums.
I have used LinuxAnswer to clarify my thinking and understanding and of course the forums. Sometimes on the forums it is hard to ask the right question (you have to know the right question). I didn't know there was an LQ Wiki, The one I normally come across is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page I didn't realise Linux Questions had it own. I shall go find it.

Quote:
In all cases, doing a basic search on the keywords should turn up a great deal of info, and if not, I'd guess that the Linux-Newbie forum might be the best place to post questions.
I shall continue to post there then, to get clarification about the information I find online.
Quote:
With regards to your question, partitioning questions are very common, and there are numerous existing threads that cover that territory. Have you examined those threads?
Yes, that's where the Greek comes in. I'm not sure, but it feels like the information contradicts each other, or maybe it is just different ways of doing things. It is also knowing which example suits your situation.

Thank you.
Regards
Nappy
 
Old 08-15-2007, 05:48 AM   #4
nappy501
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: UK
Distribution: Redhat 9, then Fedora Core 2, Suse 10.0, 10.2 now 11.3
Posts: 135

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Forgot to say, when I had a car and could get to LUG meetings, I had the opportunity to discuss stuff I had read, get clarification on meaning, get pointers in the right direction.

Although I live in a rural area, I will have to look at public transport again............
 
Old 08-16-2007, 12:56 AM   #5
J.W.
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Registered: Mar 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nappy501 View Post
I have looked at some of this and it is really good stuff. However there are times when, I know it looks simple, but I still don't get it.
No problem. Everyone has been in that same exact spot, where you really want to try to understand something but for whatever reason the information you're reading just isn't quite clear. If that's the case, feel free to post back asking for a clarification and/or further detail. From what I've seen on LQ, the overwhelming number of LQ'ers will go out of their way to try to make it clearer. Regardless of whether you are seeking more info about a common, ordinary task or a really obscure, complex topic, if a particular post isn't all that clear, asking for better detail is almost sure to help.
 
Old 08-16-2007, 06:14 AM   #6
archtoad6
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Speaking for myself, if not many other LQ'ers, a thoughtful Q from someone who is trying to learn is most welcome. If you read a man page & then ask about the parts that aren't clear to you, I think you will get answers.

The forum creation policy here is, I believe, based mostly on volume, less on separation or ease of subscribing or search. Case in point: Samba -- it remains part of networking, yet at one time the LQ search engine would not accept "Samba" as search term, so there was no way to look for just Samba Q's to work on.
 
  


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