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Old 09-16-2017, 10:38 PM   #1
StevenSmithCIS
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Best resources/links/youTube/etc for gaining full/complete knowledge of Linux?


Greetings!

I'm a full-time windows user turned Linux, and have spent the last 2-3 weeks writing notes, watching videos, googleing, reading, stack overflowing, etc.

As a typical windows user, obviously we know Linux is pretty much the opposite of windows except that they both run on computers and require binary operations in order to do things.

Where I'm confused is not only the different distros of Linux, but also where the baseline LINUX built-in kernel system ends, and where different distros begin. I.e. where is the point where other open-source programmers have the ability to change common commands such as 'pacman' or 'dpkg' or 'rpm'. I understand these are pretty much distro-specific commands for installing programs/features/etc.

I thought I'd make a thread that had a list of resources that really helped explain the entire system of Linux itself (perhaps with some history) and break it down by the base kernel, and then distribution, and perhaps some history and facts about each distribution package (Red Hat, Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, etc) so I can find out which commands work on ALL systems, vs which commands only work on x system.

I'm realizing that Linux is much like the old DOS and early windows era, where everything pretty much depends on how common your hardware is, and/or how well supported it is (i.e. not all manufacturers are writing linux drivers for their hardware). I know it's changed some recently, however if you're on an old computer, like I am, it's a crapshoot to find up-to-date drivers for your hardware that are linux compatible, which brings me to another question: Are there any 'generic' drivers for a specific piece of hardware, failing the ability to find a specific one?

I have two monitors installed (I'm currently using kali linux (please read my original introductory post entry to know why) which I believe is a subsidiary of Debian) and can't get it to recognize the other monitor... which is making me have to learn more about the deep internals of my own system that I never had to worry about in Windows, however it's also a big headache and I end up running commands or installing packages, or doing several different things to get it to work, and then nothing works, and I have no idea how to uninstall or where all those things are. I have to keep track and make a list of my previous commands, but I still have no idea where everything is (does it (I hope) do all the things in ONE directory for each piece of hardware, or is it spread out all over the machine like Windows does?

Ugh. Ok. Hopefully that makes sense. Back to watching videos! Thank you in advance.

-Steven S
 
Old 09-17-2017, 12:38 AM   #2
ondoho
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Linux is only the kernel (with many "drivers", i.e. modules, already built in).
the rest is GNU/Linux (as opposed to e.g. Android).

Your question is understandable, but would take a book to answer.
no ultimate document exists.
start with wikipedia and work your way down the rabbithole as you go.
 
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:22 AM   #3
Keruskerfuerst
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A good book about *Unix: https://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.IS...ook/index.html
 
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Old 09-17-2017, 02:14 AM   #4
Shadow_7
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The linux documentation project. But bear in mind that a lot of documentation is a bit dated. Although mostly still applicable.

http://tldp.org/

Some documentation about gnu things.

http://www.gnu.org/doc/doc.html

The all mighty kernel. Lot's of ./doc/ or ./Documentation/ paths with text and/or html or even .md (markdown) files. The make menuconfig has options and related help for relatively brief descriptions.

https://www.kernel.org/

Various tools like "man" or "info" to get the gist of common things. Other already there in your favorite distro things like the contents of /usr/share/doc/. The wonderful thing about computers is that everything that you need to know about it (software wise) is already on it (if you know how to read it). Fortunately there's more time efficient means to know things beyond reading source code or disassembling machine code.

$ man hier

I bought a couple books in the late 90s, and as far as the unix-isms still pretty applicable. How to use things like awk, sed, less, man, info, and other things. If you don't leave the command line we're still using software that is for the most part the same as it was 20+ years ago.
 
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Old 09-17-2017, 02:20 AM   #5
jsbjsb001
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There's kinda a lot of questions there, so I'll just answer one of them... Windows stores files based on what the file does eg. "Program Files" for, you guessed it - program files that make up your apps, Linux on the other hand stores file based on their type, for example the /dev folder - this folder stores device files/nodes that are basically links to your computer's hardware devices.

Hope this clears up at *some* confusion...
 
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Old 09-17-2017, 03:42 AM   #6
Keruskerfuerst
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Linux gaming:
Steam.
 
Old 09-17-2017, 03:50 AM   #7
pan64
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there is no such thing: full/complete knowledge of Linux. You got already some really good links.
And here is another kind of information: linux is not windows
 
Old 09-17-2017, 03:59 AM   #8
fatmac
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The base of 'Linux' is the kernel (this is the actual Linux), & the Gnu utilities that you find on a basic system, mainly what is in /bin /sbin /usr/bin /usr/sbin.

From there it is software from various sources, that gets compiled by your distro suppliers, who then use a package management system to install them into your system.

What generally makes distros different to the end user is the package manager, there are lots of different ones.

The Linux Documentation Project (tldp) is online, this probably is what you want.

For a reference book of the main commands, I recommend Linux In A Nutshell (O'Reilly).
 
Old 09-17-2017, 04:14 AM   #9
Turbocapitalist
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I read your first post over in the other thread.

One thing to consider is that the different distros have different focuses and thus have more polish in one area or another. With Kali very little is done to try to turn it into a desktop distro, since that is not its main goal, secondary goal, or even a tertiary goal. At the same time, the tools available in Kali are available in other distros and can be added very easily to them from their repositories. So unless you want to learn the underlying technologies involved in supporting monitors, I'd suggest going with a desktop distro like Linux Mint or one of the Ubuntus. Those take care of most of your mundane tasks and allow you to focus on what you are actually interested in like networking and Python. Using one of them as a base you can add in the networking tools.

About the dual booting with the legacy OS, you might see if that can be done in a virtual machine (VM) instead. Both Qemu and VirtualBox are quite good in that regard. A specific setup I am thinking about in your case would be to see if the VM can use your legacy OS's partition instead of a virtual drive. That way you can run your GNU/Linux system most of the time and when you need to, use the legacy system from the VM. Then in rare cases when you boot back to the legacy OS you'd still have your changes because the VM was using the legacy partition. Or if the legacy OS cannot use the disk partition, then at least you have snapshots and can quickly and easily roll back to a last known good image when things go south.
 
Old 09-17-2017, 06:41 AM   #10
Keruskerfuerst
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Searching for the matching distro: http://distrowatch.com/

Quote:
As a typical windows user, obviously we know Linux is pretty much the opposite of windows except that they both run on computers and require binary operations in order to do things.
No. Windows and Linux are constructed very similar.

Last edited by Keruskerfuerst; 09-17-2017 at 06:43 AM.
 
Old 09-17-2017, 08:54 AM   #11
sundialsvcs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
Linux is only the kernel (with many "drivers", i.e. modules, already built in).
the rest is GNU/Linux (as opposed to e.g. Android).
Strictly speaking, Linux® and GNU® are two separate, registered trademarks. The term, "Linux," is colloquially applied to both the kernel and the operating environment which surrounds it. The term, "GNU (GNU's Not Unix ...)" applies to a large suite of open-source software ... mostly tools and commands, but also compilers and such "essential plumbing" ... which actually preceded Linux's use of it. (The Linux kernel is compiled using GNU's gcc compiler suite, and many of the command-line tools originate from the GNU suite, with-or-without Linux-kernel specific adaptations.)

For the purposes of study and discussion, you might find "GNU-slash" at any point, or you might not.

Linux is a distinct operating-system environment which was inspired by Unix® but which shares no source-code with it. It is entirely different from Windows, which drew most of its inspirations from CP/M and Digital VAX/VMS. Thus, you will find the two "doing many of the same things, but in sometimes-similar and sometimes-very-different ways."

You will not become an expert in it overnight, no matter how long you watch TV!

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 09-17-2017 at 08:58 AM.
 
Old 09-17-2017, 08:04 PM   #12
StevenSmithCIS
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Well many thank-you's for the replies!

I'm fairly aware that windows and linux are and aren't similar. At the end of the day, ALL computers are similar in that they process machine code, however the philosophies and methods behind those that write the code can be very different which makes the software different. Had Bill Gates been less of a businessman and more of a purist, we may well all be using the same operating system - so that could be good and bad. I've been into computers since the early 80's when the Commodore 64, and later the 8086 series was coming out. Being a kid, I liked taking things apart, learning them, etc.. then life got in the way and I largely didn't deal much with the details of computing.

Now, at 40 years old, I just got my ATA degree for software development (after getting into an accident and so can't work construction jobs anymore) and was introduced to Linux in school. I wish I'd known more about it earlier! I used to love DOS when it was actual DOS and separate from windows, as it was much faster to do many things. I didn't even start using windows until about win 95 or 98 when I finally figured out that it wasn't going away, and I should probably learn it.

Anyways, thank you for the replies. I'll do some reading of those links provided, though a little too poor to even afford a book at the moment.. but we'll see what happens. Using this OS (Linux) I do feel like I'm going back in time, though it's obviously gotten much fancier! Still not really quite intuitive enough for the average non-geek or "how do I turn it on?" user (IMO), but certainly plenty powerful enough to run much of the Internet. Reminds me of the old UseNET and such back in the early days of the Internet with BBS's and MUD, but with a GUI...

Ok, well.. I did find a bunch of great videos on youTube for grep, awk, cut, and regex.. so I have some practicing to do too, then I'll do some reading. Wash, rinse, repeat. Oh, as far as VM's, I couldn't get VirtualBox to work. I don't know if it's because I'm using an old HP with AMD processor that minimally supports visualization (and couldn't find updated BIOS firmware to flash into it) or what. I'll try that other program and also see if maybe Linux will run it better.. ?? But yeah, so now I have TWO installations of kali, one on my external USB harddrive, and one on my internal harddrive. Ones for using, the other is for experimenting. lol

Gracious.
 
Old 09-17-2017, 10:03 PM   #13
Turbocapitalist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenSmithCIS View Post
Still not really quite intuitive enough for the average non-geek or "how do I turn it on?" user (IMO), but certainly plenty powerful enough to run much of the Internet.
Hey. At 40 you are old enough to have been exposed to the concept of using the right tool for the job and not so young that it is expected to have to remind you of it.

It's not allowed to trot out that tired old canard about "not intuitive" when you yourself are the one choosing to run Kali, μClinux, LFS, or any other hyper-specialized distro. Give Linux Mint or one of the Ubuntus a try. You will find they are far, far easier to install, use, or maintain than the legacy systems that some people claim they are "used to". You can add your networking tools to either through a few clicks.

As for GNU/Linux running much of the Internet, the other parts are pretty much using BSD with FreeBSD being the most common one of those. Again you have a similare choice as with the Linuxes. You could go with raw FreeBSD, which might be a little closer to Slackware in style, or you could go with a polished desktop distro of FreeBSD such as TrueOS, which would be closer to Linux Mint or Ubuntu in style by having a full desktop ready for your average user.
 
Old 09-17-2017, 11:00 PM   #14
StevenSmithCIS
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbocapitalist View Post
Hey. At 40 you are old enough to have been exposed to the concept of using the right tool for the job and not so young that it is expected to have to remind you of it.

It's not allowed to trot out that tired old canard about "not intuitive" when you yourself are the one choosing to run Kali, μClinux, LFS, or any other hyper-specialized distro. Give Linux Mint or one of the Ubuntus a try. You will find they are far, far easier to install, use, or maintain than the legacy systems that some people claim they are "used to". You can add your networking tools to either through a few clicks.

As for GNU/Linux running much of the Internet, the other parts are pretty much using BSD with FreeBSD being the most common one of those. Again you have a similare choice as with the Linuxes. You could go with raw FreeBSD, which might be a little closer to Slackware in style, or you could go with a polished desktop distro of FreeBSD such as TrueOS, which would be closer to Linux Mint or Ubuntu in style by having a full desktop ready for your average user.
Uff da! Well... lol I tried to install Ubuntu on my laptop and now it just beeps at me when I try to turn it on, and the screen/video card won't work so I can't even see what I'm trying to do to fix it, even if I try to boot from a USB. It just so happened that the version we learned in school (Kali) works pretty good on my desktop machine, so I haven't had the urge or desire to attempt anything else yet. This is working just fine to learn Bash scripting, get online, display PCI info, learn the file system and even has tools so I can practice hacking myself.

The right tool for the job? Yep.. seeing as how I'm attempting to get more into the deep details of networking and information security, I suppose I probably am onto the right tool for the job.. and anyone that doesn't give a hoot how their email/web page/daily communication across the web happens, and doesn't care about cryptography, keyloggers, viruses, worms, malware or any other potential threat from either other people OR our own gub-mint then I suppose that Mint or something else would work just fine. If, however, you WERE concerned (or at least curious) about such things, well then 'maybe' learning the tools and how they work might be of interest.

I personally see that information security is going to be the new arms race, so I feel better to at least be somewhat prepared, though I have plenty to learn.
 
Old 09-18-2017, 12:50 AM   #15
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This is a great (& free) ref site www.linuxtopia.org ; lots (& I mean lots!) of manuals / books online free to read..

You might also want http://www.grymoire.com/Unix/Sed.html, http://www.grymoire.com/Unix/Awk.html, but as above, the amt of info is basically infinite.
I am older than you, been doing *nix for longer than I care to remember and still only know (in my head) a small fraction of what's avail.
The trick is to get an overview so that you know where to start looking and then specialise in tools that get your job done.

Hanging out here at LQ and trying to find solns to qns in Newbies (& reading other people's solns) is great way to get some width of knowledge as opposed to depth, but you need to do that first I'd say.

If you want help with setting up your machine, please post a separate qn specifying the HW details and the Distro version.


HTH
 
  


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