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Old 06-13-2009, 05:57 AM   #16
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I just want to pick out some important/useful points for you, most of which have already featured to some extent in this thread, but may be in danger of getting lost:

GlennsPref wrote:
Just start, use a live cdrom, or flash-drive...
An excellent idea; have a look at some things and have a play. You'll have some questions and find yourself feeling, as you said earlier, clumsy, but you'll get a good feel for things and be able to ask directed questions (we like those) rather than just going "waaaa, I don't know....waaa".

In the process, if you find the GUI easy enough to get on with, make a mental note of that fact; if you don't also make a note of that. When you come to the select a distro to actually install, assuming that you get there, this info will come in handy.

More often that not, kde is more appealing to ex-windows users than gnome (but there are exceptions), but both of these are heavyweights and you may prefer something lighter and less all-enveloping. Its a bit difficult to make a recomendation at the moment, as the kde4 strand has not really settled down again after a big change, and the kde 3.x one looks a bit 'frumpy' in comparison.

If you do try kde4, try the most up-to-date one that you can, as it is rapidly improving.

I am not sure how much knowledge of the Linux OS, related tools, and documentation I would be expected to know. There is nothing stated in the job description that indicates degree of experience. The job does also require use of MS Windows, and IE, but not to any degree.
That this is related to a job application seems to have become apparent part way through. Some advice:
  • do look at linux as soon as you can
  • in your case, I suspect that the command line will be more significant than it will to the average linux adopter. It would be helpful if you are comfortable with the command line on any OS...OTOH if your reaction is 'I hate the command line, its so 1980s (or 70s or 90s...) would probably not help you to get where you want go
  • and to continue the last point, if your thinking encompasses 'and how can I use scripting to make my life easier' that would be excellent
  • and while you might want to talk up your linux experience to your prospective employer (very slightly), I would not advise lying; something like 'I have just started looking at it and its interesting/helpful/exciting' would be more apropriate

johnsfine wrote
There are many different ways to install software on Linux. Some of them are pretty hard. But there is a very easy way, and if you select the right distribution, almost everything is available that easy way. My opinion of the "right" distribution for that is almost any distribution based on Debian (Ubuntu, Mepis, many others and of course Debian itself). There is a very good GUI front end for "package management" (adding and removing software) called "synaptic".
Probably the most important point: use the package manager. Synaptic is indeed excellent, but I also like SuSE and yast - a bit clunky and 'do-everything' compared to synaptic, but overall the distro is still good.

The problem is that many newbies don't even realise that there is a simpler/easier/more reliable way than doing everything the manual way (and get frustrated with that and usually write a 'linux is rubbish because...' message to a message board and disappear).

Have a look at kubuntu (the kde version of Ubuntu). mepis and OpenSuSE for starters.

GlennsPref, that "Linux Wizard" page is amazing.
And there is a tutorial for more-or-less anything somewhere on the web, (usually good to very good for technical content, but not always brilliantly written) so some search engine or another is your friend.
Old 06-15-2009, 01:32 AM   #17
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I agree with most of the above posts.

1. definitely stick to the 'package mgr' tool of your Linux distribution (aka 'distro) until you know how to go beyond it.

2. here's a couple of good links to read

3. There's lots of help available eg the 'man' cmd shows the manual pages; a bit cryptic, but tells you exactly which option each cmd supports. If you want to be a power user, you'll want to use the CLI a fair bit.

4. most mainstream distros come with a GUI, which you can use for most things, but also have terminal emulators as well.
Try the top 5 or 10 at

Welcome to LQ; enjoy
Old 06-17-2009, 12:59 AM   #18
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So much valuable input everyone. I will definitely come here with any questions that I can't seem to answer.


first, linux, post, windows

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