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Old 04-02-2006, 04:47 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Mar 2006
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finding linux hard to get around

i instaled linux resently and it looked realy cool. it still dose. but i get very confused when i have to install some apps. looked for help and there are all these commands and it is realy confusing. i dont even know where to write those commands. wher can i find some real beginners hand book or link. i am losing fate here...linux fate i mean
apps i want to install:
fx flash or other

msn mesenger
dvd shrink
Old 04-02-2006, 05:32 AM   #2
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Registered: Mar 2006
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Firstly, which distro (or "make") of Linux are you using? The reason I'm asking is that some distros have really helpful and user friendly methods of installing software.

As far as useful books for beginners, try looking on Amazon for your distro's "Bible". I have the Debian Bible and the Fedora Bible, both of which are newbie-friendly.

In my humble opinion, the most accessible distros for beginners are Fedora and SuSE. In particular, SuSE is especially easy due to its YAST, which can be used to install and remove software, amongst other things, and it's all do-able from a GUI, rather than typing in loads of arcane commands.

The commands are typed into something known as the shell. Look for something that says Konsole if you're running the KDE desktop, which is my preferred GUI desktop environment. The other main one is Gnome. On many distros the shell has an icon represented by what looks like a monitor screen.

Finally, don't forget "saint" Google. Try searching for something like "linux tar newbie" but without the quotes. Tar is the command line utility associated with installing software.
Old 04-02-2006, 05:40 AM   #3
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Distribution: Raspbian, Debian, Slackware, OS X
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I think you mean you're losing Faith. not fate.

The two links in my signature are great resources for finding information.
you write the commands in a terminal such as Konsole or gnome-terminal or xterm
or if you are running straight CLI.... well I guess I wouldn't have to tell you then....

Installation documentation is usually fairly straight forward when it's packaged with the program you're trying to install (One way compiling from source was WAY easier for me when I first moved to Linux.... I had no clue what an .rpm was, but I knew how to read a text file named README)

Last edited by truthfatal; 04-02-2006 at 05:43 AM. Reason: added "for me"
Old 04-02-2006, 06:06 AM   #4
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Location: Fargo, ND
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I would add Mandriva and maybe Ubuntu to the list of Newbie friendly distributions. Also, read the documentation for you system. It will clear up a great many questions.
Old 04-02-2006, 08:44 AM   #5
Registered: Nov 2005
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for basic introductions

for networking intro

and don't worry too much about commands, once you get familiar with linux, you cant help learning the dozens of commands and the myriad of options

and also get a good book, not a book for newbies (because you won't be a newbie for long ). a bible *might* help, but look around for a better one
Old 04-02-2006, 09:04 AM   #6
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One step at a time....

The first thing to do is to get comfortable with where things are. Try different programs that came with the distribution (distro) which you installed. Use the file manager to explore the file system and start to get the feel of where things are kept.

Learn the basics of entering commands in the terminal. (You will find this in your menus--called "terminal", "console", or somthing like that.) While it is possible to a lot in the GUI, you will soon discover that MANY things are easier using typed commands.

For installing software, first get to know your package manager.

As others have said, tell us which Linux you are using so we can give more specific advice.
Old 04-03-2006, 12:50 AM   #7
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sorry every one i forgot to mention the sistem i am running. its suse 9.1.
it has yast and terminal. ill look for the bible now and let you know how i go.
one more thing is i have root and 4 more users on pc but that part i undrstand ok. like if i want to instal the app for everyone i do it in root or i could do it just for one user. ill go read now
Old 04-03-2006, 01:32 AM   #8
Registered: Nov 2005
Posts: 123

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No one is denying it: Linux can be a pain when you are new at it. But stick to it, and in time, you will feel comfortable with it and start to realize its benefits. is an excellent resource. You should read through of all of its extensive resources and documentation. If you still get stuck, post here all we will try our best to help you out. Remember to always supply the appropriate information when you have a problem.

Also, Google is a great resource. Simply submit your error message(s) as the quary and you're bound to get helpful results.
Old 04-03-2006, 07:18 AM   #9
Registered: May 2005
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Distribution: mostly mepis
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Originally Posted by smajser
apps i want to install:
fx flash or other

msn mesenger
dvd shrink
For Bittorrent there are a number of choices. I use azureus.
msn messenger? Use a linux equivalent. Google "linux equivalents windows"
Some windows apps can be run with "wine". dvd shrink is one app many users are running this way. IMO doing things this way should be the last resort, but many users love wine.
Old 04-03-2006, 04:04 PM   #10
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Reading, UK
Distribution: SUSE 9.1, SUSE 9.2, SUSE 9.3, Knoppix 3.8, Gentoo 2005.0, cygwn, colinux
Posts: 100

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You can use aMSN, gAIM or Kopete for msn messenger (as well as many others). Personally I use aMSN because it has the same look and feel as MSN Messenger.

There are DVD Shrink equivalents for Linux, but atm they are not particularly newbie-friendly so perhaps try and learn the basics first.

Well done for trying Linux - it's really important to persevere with it.

Old 04-03-2006, 05:11 PM   #11
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Lancashire (United Kingdom)
Distribution: Debian Etch, on 686 machine.
Posts: 509

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k9copy is supposed to be quite a good dvdshrink type application. It cant do all the whizz band features of dvdshrink but its does the essentials. I havet got a dvd writer so I havent had chance to proerly hasve a look but apparently it will shrink the dvd and also carry out the burning and thing sjust like dvdshrink does if you have nero installed
Old 04-03-2006, 11:21 PM   #12
Registered: Jan 2006
Distribution: Debian Sarge
Posts: 265

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Also, it's important to not be afraid to just try things. I learn alot just by starting to look around, and try to figure out how to use commands. Sure, I have had to reinstall a couple(about 5 or 6) times because of mistakes, but that's what backups are for .


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