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Old 09-19-2005, 01:41 PM   #1
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I can't understand the basics of Linux... (newbiest newbie you've ever newbied)

Hey guys. Sorry for the dumb post, but after googling so much, sometimes you just gotta ask the source.

I understand the idea of linux, basic concepts and whatnot, but not sure how to apply that.

It seems that there is a hole in tutorials. There are those that explain what Linux is and how it is different from windows, and then people just start throwing code at me.

So, when someone writes a code to change something on a computer (example: my wifi card doesn't work, so there is some code to fix it) do I simply copy that into the appropriate folder?

Also, how do I run stuff? I am running Fedora Core 4 on a laptop and there are two icons in the main top menu: a "terminal" and a "run application". Which is used for what? And something about "binarys"? What are those?

Thirdly: how do I install a program? I download it, but where does it go? And once it's there, how do I open it?

Sorry for the confusion, but I really want to understand this thing called Linux, but am having a prolem making it over this hurdle.

Last edited by nitroguy; 09-19-2005 at 04:47 PM.
Old 09-19-2005, 02:08 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Philly
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The "Terminal" icon is where you type all that code you have been reading.
The "Run" icon works just like it does in windows.

To download packages you will need to first update your yum.conf file this is a regular text file that should be located in /etc/yum (I think) anyway you can follow this tutorial

peace V
Old 09-19-2005, 02:19 PM   #3
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Moved to Linux - Newbies at user's request.

In the future, please find the "Report this post to a moderator" link in the lower right hand corner of your post (right above the edit/quote buttons) and let us know through that mechanism if you wish to have your post moved. We will be able to tend to the request faster if you do it that way.
Old 09-19-2005, 03:56 PM   #4
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i understand exactly were you are coming from. You might want to look into some of the books that are out there for FC. i personally loved the book by the Wronx group on RH9. it was written in a way that it explained both the GUI and the CLI from a windows persons point of view and made the initial transition much simpler for me.

i now use debian and i am much more comfortable with the CLI and doing many of the 'linux things' vs windows. still better at windows then i am linux, but that too will change with time.

best of luck to you.
Old 09-19-2005, 03:58 PM   #5
Registered: Dec 2002
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Hi Nitroguy - welcome to LQ

you'll have to be much more specific - ie, exactly what you want to do, which programs you're talking about, etc. "some code" or "what does it do" is broad enough for way too many pages of writing!

for ex, try searching this forum or for your specific card model - there's bound to be some discussion on it. as for the terminal, think of it as a program you can use to interact with the system. as for downloading - what program are you using to download?

also, as lleb said, search for some good documentation - RH has some well-written manuals:

Last edited by Genesee; 09-19-2005 at 04:01 PM.
Old 09-19-2005, 04:38 PM   #6
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Here is some reading for you that will help.

And of course
Old 09-19-2005, 04:46 PM   #7
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Ok. I'll try to find some more documentation. I think it is just so foreign to me that it is taking a while to get used to it.

In terms of being more specific, here are my two problems at present:

1) wireless. (this might be a problem for linux laptop, but i'll try here, I might get an answer I'll understand). I have a built in Broadcom 94306 (802.11g) chip that has a button to turn it on (in windows at least). The LED that tells me the button is pushed no longer lights up, and there is no wireless anything mentioned.

2) programs. I downloaded Wine as I would love to be able to have iTunes here on campus. I have no idea where to start. I downloaded it, and there is an icon of an open box on my desktop, but from there I'm lost. Any help there? Can Wine be used to read an NTFS harddrive? I have 30gigs backed up from my old configuration (windows) that I need access to.

Also, apparently the standard music player in Fedora (helix) can't play mp3's. Is there a reccomended player for Linux (similar to Winamp)?

Thanks so much for your help. Without knowing that you were here, I might just give up. You keep me trying to figure it out!


Old 09-19-2005, 05:38 PM   #8
Registered: Sep 2005
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Originally posted by teckk
Here is some reading for you that will help.

And of course

teckk, the first URL (rute) you suggested iv had for some time and is prooving to be invaluble, a real good recomendation for newbies and oldtimers alike
Old 09-19-2005, 06:22 PM   #9
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Here is a suggestion start with a newbie friendly distro.


A really easy book to understand is "Moving to Linux: Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye!" by Marcel Gagne. The newest version includes Knoppix 4.0 DVD. Knoppix is a LiveCD meaning it can be ran without installing.
Old 09-19-2005, 07:27 PM   #10
Registered: Sep 2005
Location: irving TX
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lemme try to de-mystify too

This is about installing "some stuff". some software comes with source (theres a BIGGGGGGG list of software like this)..some come directly with pre-compiled binaries(like mcafee antivirus for linux ..mostly vendors who want to keep the source private )..why are sources included???
well..linux is cross-platform...& u expect it to run on any differenct processor technologies.. & one instruction set of processor might not be understood by another processor
(i guess windows softwares go by the assumption that u have a pentium based processor clearly defined in Requirements of any software....or at the most AMD based... in which case they use generic machine intrucstions..)
when u have sources...u can use a compiler to generate machine instructions that are specific for your configuration(processor) linux..mostly done with gcc compiler (a form of C compiler) more info at
When u use pre-compiled binaries...(eg: RPM based...)..they have been already compiled by some other user/developer using a similar setup as urs...RPMs are very specific for each machine..u will see xyz-i586.rpm..or xyz-amd.rpm or xyz-sparc.rpm as file names (or something like that)....this are just like windows installers..which copy ready-to-run executables to ur hard-drive...
As per ur Ipod-30 Gig problem...check ... search for ipod.... u will get myriad of similar applications as itunes... u need not run wine for every windows software..u can get similar package that do the same job..& mostly free tooo!!
yes..linux can read ntfs drives.... provided u have ntfs support in ur kernel or u have ntfs drivers installed (check for that)
for ur wireless thingy...start googling
i will end up with a list of windows-linux applications which might help the "noobiest noob i've ever noobed ..that basically do the same job (this list is specific to me...others like others)

winamp-xmms (pretty much same as winamp..u can even use winamp classic skins)
MS office - open office
windows media player - Mplayer, xine, amarok
Internt explorer - Mozilla, Konqueror, Firefox
Windows Explorer - Konqueror, Nautilus
yahoo mesenger/MSN mesenger/AOL/google talk - Gaim (yes everything in 1 )
Photoshop - Gimp
Nero burning ROM - K3b (for burning DVDs/CDs)
IIS - Apache
Ftp server - vsftpd
windows (not as an OS..but the GUI) - KDE, gnome etc...
Old 09-19-2005, 08:39 PM   #11
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cool. that helps a lot.

i'll check out and post any more questiions here.

thanks guys! YOU ROCK!
Old 09-19-2005, 09:18 PM   #12
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Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Oklahoma
Distribution: Freespire, Mepis 6.0, FC5, PCLinux, Knoppix, Damn Small Linux(DSL)
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Mepis is the easiest is easy. is a good place to view the screenshots of how things work in different distros.


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