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Old 07-07-2009, 06:25 AM   #1
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I want to switch to linux frm windows

Hi there. I have decided to switch to linux.Iam not a unix or a linux user and i have no back ground of either.But i want to start and master it throughly right from the basics to core programming.I want to know what books i would need to go from a basic to a linux programmer level.thank you.
Old 07-07-2009, 09:01 AM   #2
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"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

Apparently you are still planning that first step. The journey can be long and frustrating at times, but there are many rewards along the way for the one who does not prematurely abandon it all.

OK, enough philosophical stuff. I don't know your level of expertise. Are you already a programmer or are you just starting on that also? I'm assuming that your are starting at square one, but have some knowledge of Windows as a user.

My recommendation is to start by dedicating a computer to your Linux education and still keep your Windows system alive. That way you can still get to stuff you need right away even when your Linux system is broken, which it will be at times.

If you can only maintain one system because of budget or other reasons, then set it up as a dual-boot, or using virtualization. Use Google and on-line tutorials for help doing this. Hard-copy books can sometimes be out of date by the time you buy them, as can many websites, so watch for current information. This forum can be used to get help on specific problems or questions that you may have, although you should try to find answers in other ways first. Use Google a lot.

When you have your system set up, learn to use your distro's package manager to install stuff you want to play with. For a beginner, it's best to install from the package manager if possible, instead of using other methods.

Then learn to use the command line. Use it a lot. Write lots of scripts to do repetitive stuff. Use Google a lot. Study the scripts supplied with your distro until you understand how they work. Use Google a lot.

You could probably learn to administer your system and learn to program without mastering the command line, but using it opens up a lot more capabilities than you can probably imagine until you get there. Use Google a lot.

The next step would be to pick a language and start using it. Start with simple projects and build complexity as you go.

Oh, I forgot to answer your question about which books you need. My advice is to not spend money on hard-copy books until you have determined that you can't learn what you need from on-line resources. Use Google a lot. When that time comes, you will know what you need. Go to a bookstore and look for appropriate titles. Read the table of contents and skim selected chapters to make sure the appropriate material is covered and at the skill level you need.

Oh, did I mention to use Google a lot?
Old 07-07-2009, 09:15 AM   #3
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Yep, that's about it. As well as using Google

For programming IDEs e.g. Eclipse work well on both Windows and Linux, so those would be good.

First step would be to install Linux, as Dick Gregory says, either dual boot or Virtualization. If you have a modern system with a new CPU that have hardware support for Virtualization, I would do that. Very little performance hit on that these days. Different on older systems.

So get a DVD of a recent distribution (Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuse are among good starter ones) and get going.

Old 07-07-2009, 03:24 PM   #4
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One more tip. When you've decided on your distro, google for "ubuntu installation" or whatever. Several people have written very useful step-by-step guides, and however simple installing may be these days, it's still sometimes useful to know what's coming, not to mention things like getting useful extras when the installation is over.

I'd recommend getting a book. You can google for answers to questions, but a book answers questions you never knew existed! For selection, I recommend reading the reviews at Amazon. My local shop once had a book on CSS: I found 13 reviews, of which the shortest (but typical) was "do not buy this lousy book".
Old 07-07-2009, 03:32 PM   #5
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start by installing and using Linux.....then ask specific questions

For programming, try this:
Old 07-07-2009, 04:38 PM   #6
Johnnie J
Registered: Mar 2008
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Hi booldog,

I'm new to Linux/Unix as well. I've found "Visual Quickstart Unix third edition" to very helpful to getting a start. Then there are many books and webpages to learn from from there. It's a good basics book.
Old 07-07-2009, 07:51 PM   #7
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All the above advice is wonderful, I would add you should select one problem at a time to tackle on Linux. So maybe week one will be 'I want to setup my printer in Linux' week two could be 'I want to burn a DVD in Linux' you get the idea. Slowly, with time and research you'll teach yourself fully how to use Linux.


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