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Old 06-16-2004, 11:49 PM   #1
gbrewste
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Question Help for an ultra Newbie


Hello all,

I finally took the plunge yesterday and installed Mandrake 10, dual booting it with Windows XP. Everything seems to be working well, but I am having a difficult time taking the next step. I think I am still suffering from a Windows brain haze.

I don't think I understand the basic set up of the Linux system (if such a thing exists). I have spent hours searching the web; reading manuals that I have downloaded, and perusing the posts on this board. I think I am getting overwhelmed by the amount of information, and I don't understand most of what I read here.

I am not a computer Newbie; I learned how to run DOS before Windows became popular, but Linux seems be a completely different animal.

I think I need to take a step back and do some background research on the Linux system so that what I am reading will make more sense. So, if you know of any web resources, books, or think you can explain some of the basics of the Linux system I would greatly appreciate it.

I don't really know how to even ask a more specific question; I just think I need to understand how this OS works before I can go much further and get over whatever brain block I have at the moment. I am determined to learn, and I am willing to put in the time; I just need some help taking the first few steps.

Thanks to all; you all seem like a wonderful group of people.

Geoff
 
Old 06-17-2004, 12:16 AM   #2
bigjohn
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I suppose it depend's on what you actually mean by understanding "how" the OS work's Geoff.

Personally, I've just got thing's installed and then looked into how I can accomplish a specific task.

But as I'm not a linux obsessive, I'm quite prepared to use a window's app if it appear's to be the best one for the job i.e. I'm trying to locate a a "cheap" copy of studio MX 2004, because when it comes to website building, I'm too impatient to sit back and learn the hand coding stuff (though it's fair to say that lacking spare time plays a big factor). The only downside, as I see it, is that I probably won't be able to get it working under crossover (though I've got MS office 2000pro running reasonably well), and it's pretty hard to deny that MS office is just about the best office suite available (if somewhat over priced/ubiquitous!).

I suppose that if I could afford it, I'd go the "vmware" route, that way there's no family conflict's (my partner's a teacher and her school only has windows so she refuses to learn linux) and I'd just have to show her how to start ms app's.

As for link's, well my sig has a couple. The "how to read man pages" is probably the best value, because you probably installed them by default, and while there's absolutely shitload's of info in them, I for one, have always struggled to decypher them - probably because I'm a "non-techie" and more of an "able user" rather than an IT enthusiast.

I suppose it would be honest to admit, that I only started using linux because I have quite ingrained ideological dislike for the way that M$ operate's as a company. They could do so much more to improve their product's, while still slashing their prices by as much as 2 third's and still be exceptionately wealthy - but no, the greed factor seems to be just too deep.

Afterall, at what point does one say "i've got enough", enough is a hard word to define (a bit like defining "quality" in the way it's defined/attempted to define in Robert M Pirsigs' "Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintainence").

The "rute user" link in my sig also seem's to be considered by some to be an excellent resource as well. Check it out, afterall, only you can decide what you think is useful.

regards

John
 
Old 06-17-2004, 12:23 AM   #3
darthtux
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O'Reilly's CD bookshelf
Introduction to Linux A Hands on Guide
The Linux Cookbook - Tips and Techniques for Everyday Use
Rute User's Tutorial and Exposition
Linux Newbie Administrator Guide

In addition the Big Techical Library has many books available online.
 
Old 06-17-2004, 12:28 AM   #4
paeng16
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Registered: May 2004
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Talking

Hi,

First of all I'd like to WELCOME you to the world of LINUX and congratulate you on your successful installation of Linux!

Anyway, I can relate to your situation because I too experienced the same thing. I would suggest that you first master the different installation options (eg. boot loaders) and what are the use of the defualt directories (eg. /home, /etc, /var, /root).Then, learn the basic commands and compare them with DOS or windows commands (eg. md = mkdir, dir = ls, type = cat). And lastly, learn the basic admin commands (eg. adduser, chmod,chown).

When in doubt, use man command (eg. man ls, man last, man cat). man is our friend my friend!









 
Old 06-17-2004, 12:32 AM   #5
Genesee
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great sources -- read them, more than once

and visit LQ often, of course
 
Old 06-17-2004, 06:58 AM   #6
bigjohn
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Hey darthtux,

I pinched a couple of the link's you posted to add to my sig, I suppose a case of "the more, the merrier!".

Still, thanks for the one's I hadn't already picked up on.

regards

John
 
Old 06-17-2004, 01:33 PM   #7
darthtux
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Quote:
Originally posted by bigjohn
Hey darthtux,

I pinched a couple of the link's you posted to add to my sig, I suppose a case of "the more, the merrier!".

Still, thanks for the one's I hadn't already picked up on.

regards

John
That's what the links are for. To help people learn Linux. So it's good if they're on more than one signature. The more the merrier. In fact, it appears I need to add them to mine
 
Old 06-17-2004, 02:03 PM   #8
stuart
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Re: Help for an ultra Newbie

Quote:
Originally posted by gbrewste
Hello all,

I finally took the plunge yesterday and installed Mandrake 10, dual booting it with Windows XP. Everything seems to be working well, but I am having a difficult time taking the next step. I think I am still suffering from a Windows brain haze.

I don't think I understand the basic set up of the Linux system (if such a thing exists). I have spent hours searching the web; reading manuals that I have downloaded, and perusing the posts on this board. I think I am getting overwhelmed by the amount of information, and I don't understand most of what I read here.

I am not a computer Newbie; I learned how to run DOS before Windows became popular, but Linux seems be a completely different animal.

I think I need to take a step back and do some background research on the Linux system so that what I am reading will make more sense. So, if you know of any web resources, books, or think you can explain some of the basics of the Linux system I would greatly appreciate it.

I don't really know how to even ask a more specific question; I just think I need to understand how this OS works before I can go much further and get over whatever brain block I have at the moment. I am determined to learn, and I am willing to put in the time; I just need some help taking the first few steps.

Thanks to all; you all seem like a wonderful group of people.

Geoff

hey guys, i am in exactly the same situation as you are gbrewste......i spent about a week playing around downloading different distros as ive decided to try and ditch windows for no other reason than im bored with it I really like the sound of gentoo and the way it works and was pondering installing it but i just dont think im ready yet so i installed mandrake. Im very quickly learning about program dependancies wow they are frustrating sometimes. But overall im enjoying it. Ive been reading the forums for about a week and only just registered as ive taken the plunge and taken windows off my computer now.....expect to hear more from me
 
Old 06-17-2004, 02:06 PM   #9
Genesee
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Re: Re: Help for an ultra Newbie

Quote:
Originally posted by stuart
.....expect to hear more from me
welcome to LQ, and good luck stuart

 
Old 06-17-2004, 11:49 PM   #10
bigjohn
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A quick suggestion stuart,

With mandrake, if you always use "mandrakised rpm's" then you shouldn't get any dependency problems.

If you try others (fedora, SuSE, etc etc) then there's the potential for a visit to "rpm hell"!

If you have a quick visit here and pick mirror's for everything (i.e. main, contrib, updates and plf), then you'll have info for pretty much most of the available "mandrakised rpm's" available for the version you've got installed.

Yes it's the easy way out, but IMO, it gives you a better "linux experience" to start with.

Oh, and as for gentoo, yes it's very good, yes it takes a bit of prior knowledge (even a stage 3 + GRP install), yes it's easy to manage and yes, unless you read as much of the gentoo documentation as possible, it's very easy to screw up (personal experience, that's why I've come back to mandrake, I'm comfortable with it).

Some light reading from gentoo, well I'd suggest the installation guide/handbook, the desktop setup guide, printing guide, the portage guide (portage is the package manager that makes it easy to manage and even easier to bugger it up!), use flag's. Yup I reckon that should get you going to start with. Oh and also have a look here

regards

John
 
Old 06-18-2004, 07:21 AM   #11
stuart
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thanks for the info, yep i already found the gentoo big install and usage guide, and the forums....they have great forums over there(much like here of course) im getting the mandrake 10 official cd's now then im gonna reinstall and see how i go, i dont mind about the dependancies being an issue, its just when i go get all the packages i need then i cant get them to work but i'll try what you said, thanks
 
Old 06-18-2004, 10:54 PM   #12
bigjohn
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small suggestion.

If you haven't already ordered the mandrake CD's, I would like to suggest the boxed set powerpack either cd's or dvd (if your drive can handle it).

Only because it has a few commercial bit's pre-configured that make the initial "experience" so much easier - that's not to say it's difficult, but it could save you a few hour's of reading and possibly frustrtation.

I usually go for "official" official boxed set ones from mandrake themselves, rather than "cheap" cd's, which are usually download version pre-burned.

If you got them from mandrake, then you are supporting them (one of the reason's that I "took the plunge"). I've had no snag's following this route, it's probably a little more expensive, but IMO it's worth it, as the mandrake distro, as a desktop system is an excellent place to start.

Once you've got your head round it, then it shouldn't matter too much (unless you're like me, lazy!).

Just a thought.

regards

John
 
Old 06-19-2004, 02:55 AM   #13
digitalhead
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I too was heavily dependent on MS products and rather proficient at them and I am now making the transition to freedom. Personally, the way I have learned more about linux is be reading the original documentation several times over until it started making sense to me (if you do not have it, it can most likely be downloaded or viewed at the official web site for your distro), looking at forums (which linuxquestions.org is by far the best I have seen), and by trial and error. The trial and error means that I have had to re-install linux several times due to sever screw ups, but that hasn't been a problem since I haven't really put anything on here that can't be replaced by either transferring the install packages from MS Win or by selecting packages from the RH CDs.

Over time, I have found trial and error to be the best way for me learn more... if at first you don't succeed, and all that fun stuff. There are several places on the net that are willing to help you on your way to learn linux, and most often, you can find help for your specific distro.

I do not have exact web addresses to supply as I have not imported my bookmarks from MS Win yet, but you can use your favorite search engine to find answers, but my new favorite resource is linuxquestions.org.

With all of my rambling been said, the learning process depends entirely on how you learn best. The best advice I have been able to give anybody is to take your time and not be overwhelmed by anything in Linux. If it gets messed up severely, you can always run the Linux install again to start clean.

Oh, and one more thing, I am not sure how Mandrake does it, but with RedHat, sometimes resorting to the help files on their site just leads you to the original documentation that could use a little more detail for beginners

I hope my rambling has some benefit to somebody.

Josh
 
Old 06-19-2004, 10:52 AM   #14
gbrewste
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Location: Illinois
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Thanks for all the tips and moral support. I have settled down sufficiently now and have started reading more. While it is still a little fuzzy, the Linux world is starting to make more sense.

I will be back here frequently to peruse and ask questions when I get stumped.

Best,
Geoff
 
  


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