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Old 12-13-2011, 03:31 PM   #1
psychic
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Need direction on how to start my Linux journey!


Hi all!
I've never used Linux before and wanted to dive into it for a long time now.
I've decided it's time to start learning on my netbook as a start.

The reason I opened this thread and wasn't satisfied with merely reading on the net is because I'm looking for a specific experience and I'm not sure I've found the correct distro for my needs.

What I'm looking for is basically a distro that is as lightweight as possible while requiring minimal configuration to install (since I'm not even qualified as linux newbie yet), and that is compatible with ratpoison.
My netbook is an intel Atom with 1 gig of ram.
I'm looking to get the most keyboard-centric non-mouse experience possible.
I'm looking to use this netbook mainly to linux learning, programming and surfing.

From what I read linux puppy is pretty lightweight, however installing it is a struggle. And I'm really note sure if ratpoison works on every distro.

So my first question is which distro should I get?

Second question is, in what order should I go about learning? Should I read a unix book? a linux book? a shell book? and in what order should I read them?
I like learning new things so I'm really looking forward into learning linux, it's philosophy and it's many tools.
I prefer reading books and understanding the fundamentals good enough so that I won't have to ask questions all the time but figure things out by myself.
Eventually I'd like to move to more bare-bones advanced distros (like Slackware from what I've read).

Thanks everyone for your help!
 
Old 12-13-2011, 03:49 PM   #2
T3RM1NVT0R
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Hi psychic,

Welcome to LQ!!!

I am glad that you want to pursue you career or interested in learning linux. I am quite sure that you will enjoy your journey with linux.

As far as starting distro is concerned that depends on person to person. I mean there are many light weight distro available but the thing is which one you want to go for. My personal suggestion will be Linux Mint. Linux Mint is quite light weight and easy to learn. Linux Mint belongs to Ubuntu and Debian family. Linux Mint will also help in easy transition from Windows to Linux (if you were hardcore Windows user).

There are many books available online for linux beginners. You can download them for free and start practicing. Whenever you get stuck you can post your queries here.

As you said that after sometime you want to get into bare-bone distros well that will depend on which line you want to choose at that time. Whether you want to go for Redhat, SuSE (Not an open source distros) or for other open source distros like Slackware, Debian, OpenSuSE etc. Remember the base will always remain the same so whatever you learn, learn it hard. If your basics are clear then you can easily get grip on other advanced distros.

Another thing that I would like to add is to use VMware to try out new distro's. In this way you will have an stable base system and you can install whatever linux distro you would like to try under VMware.

Last edited by T3RM1NVT0R; 12-13-2011 at 03:58 PM.
 
Old 12-13-2011, 04:21 PM   #3
kbscores
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I agree Mint is an excellent jump off point. (Despite being partial to Red Hat and CentOS) linux.die.net has an EXCELLENT beginners guide along with a lot more guides and online man pages.

The guide is titled "Introduction to Linux" -- It comes with practice scenarios and everything!
 
Old 12-13-2011, 04:45 PM   #4
psychic
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Thanks for the kind replies!
linux mint really looks like it comes configured and ready to go, if you say it's lightweight then I'll give it a go!
Just to make sure, there's no problem running it with ratpoison correct?
I don't intend on using the desktop environment. I'd like to get as far away from windows as possible.
Using Vim as a text editor, Vimperator in firefox as a browser, and hopefully never ever touch a mouse.

As for the suggested guides, thanks for the suggestions! I did a search after posting this thread and
i've found this book in amazon to be the best overall linux book: Practical Guide to Linux Commands Editors and Shell Programming
here's an amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/Practical-Guid.../dp/0131478230

I have no problem shelling out money to make sure I get the optimal learning on the first go.
Is this book known? Can you recommend it in my case?
I'm looking to really learn this from the bottom up, and not take any shortcuts!

Thanks again for the help!
 
Old 12-13-2011, 04:59 PM   #5
T3RM1NVT0R
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You're welcome

In the beginning you do not need to spend much money. You can search the internet and can find free book. Here is one of them: http://www.linux-books.us/linux_general_0003.php

Later on when you will be ready to try hardcore distro at that time you can spend money to get the books for your specific needs.

I don't think you will require/need to use ratpoinson once you are on Mint.
 
Old 12-13-2011, 05:13 PM   #6
impert
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Quote:
I'm not sure I've found the correct distro for my needs.
You probably won't be until you've tried a few different ones. Which is why I would suggest you consider multi-booting.

Quote:
What I'm looking for is basically a distro that is as lightweight as possible while requiring minimal configuration to install (since I'm not even qualified as linux newbie yet), and that is compatible with ratpoison.
My netbook is an intel Atom with 1 gig of ram.
I'm looking to get the most keyboard-centric non-mouse experience possible.
I'm looking to use this netbook mainly to linux learning, programming and surfing.
If you want to learn, and you are not afraid of the command line, you will learn a lot from installing several distros. It also means that you should always have a functioning system if, or rather when, in your eagerness to learn you temporarily break things. Two, 20 or 200 linux systems cost the same amount as one: $0, though you'll have to buy a few blank CDs or USB keys.

Make your partitions before you start. 10G is ample for each system, probably 5 or 6 if you're pushed for space, if you keep all your data in a separate partition called /DATA or /STUFF or some such, which you mount and use with each OS. Don't make a separate "home" partition for each OS, and don't keep things in the home folder other than configuration files. Make sure you have the same user id in each OS, so that the data folder belongs to that user id.
I should mention that with ten systems you'll get about ten times the number of problems as with one; but that is how you learn, by fixing things.

Last edited by impert; 12-13-2011 at 05:15 PM.
 
Old 12-13-2011, 05:22 PM   #7
Sed_Awk
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@ psychic

I learn all about linux from reading books and online content. Start with the basics like commands and then shell scripting and practice, practice what you learn.
 
Old 12-13-2011, 05:29 PM   #8
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychic View Post
Just to make sure, there's no problem running it with ratpoison correct?
Linux Mint is based on (and compatible to) Ubuntu. You will find ratpoison in Ubuntu's repositories, so it should be pretty easy to install.
Quote:
Vimperator in firefox as a browser
May I suggest to use Pentadactyl (link in my signature) instead of Vimperator? It is a fork of Vimperator done by many of previous Vimperator developers, I found that it is faster and has better documentation.

Quote:
and hopefully never ever touch a mouse.
You won't have to, at least as long you don't visit websites that work with Flash. And also as long as you don't use applications were a mouse (or other pointing devices) really is recommended. Using GIMP without a mouse is a not really fun.

But I see another issue with that approach. On one side you want minimal configuration (which normally means GUI wizards), on the other side you want almost keyboard only. That is somewhat contradictory in my point of view, the normal way to go for a user that wants to be keyboard only would almost ever be to edit configuration files or at least some text UI. You will of course have a steeper learning course that way, but it may be worth the effort. If you want to try that, may be Salix is the way to go, it even has a special version with ratpoison pre-installed.
 
Old 12-14-2011, 02:41 AM   #9
psychic
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Thanks for all the help, I will compile all of your answers into one plan which I will follow.
@TobiSGD - yes you're right about the configuration.
But what i meant is minimal configuration of the distro. Things like wifi, sound, display etc.
Of course keyboard only tools need to be configured, and I shall learn and configure them.
 
Old 12-14-2011, 07:58 AM   #10
ExtremeLinuxNoob
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Thanks For The Info & I'm Still Doing Lots Of Research Testing Stable Distro's & Etc

Am Looking For The Ultimate " Linux " Experience And am Wanting a Mostly Point & Click

Environment ,, Ya Know Just Point, Click & it Works W/O Too much Config

Or Help From me ??? LoL ,,,Yeah I Know Winders Has spoiled Me But I Do Know a LiL

Dos " For Dummies " & Very Little Coding From My Old CNC Job's / Days

I assume that with alot of Reading & Learning that almost anything can

& Prolly will be done With a lil practice ??? Am Wanting to Learn The Basics of

Linux & How to Code Etc For Future Reference & Possible Contributions

To The " Matrix "
 
Old 12-14-2011, 09:27 AM   #11
newbie_john
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my 5 cents:

As you might guess I'm a bit newbie myself. I'm using Debian starting from Etch (late 2007), but I've tried tons of other distros before choosing Debian, including Ubuntu, Mandriva, Slackware and many others, that I don't even remember now. I suggest you to do the same: try the distros until you find the one that suits you. I've chosen Debian mostly because of apt (advanced package managing tool), tons of stable and tested software in it's repos, tons of manuals, tutorials and documentation available over the net, and the best hardware compatibility with my particular system at the time. So do try different distributions.
 
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:04 AM   #12
AwesomeMachine
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Learning Linux is like dating a classy female. Windows charges money up front, and she's easy, like a girl who removes her own clothing! But Windows blabs everything you hold in confidence together all over the internet, and she's always infected!

Linux is mysterious. You won't get what you want until you get to know what Linux likes. You have to give Linux what she wants before she'll do what you want! Linux has her own whims about everything! Windows is designed like a 1.6 liter rice burner,with a three-speed automatic on the tree, and lots of entertainment on the dash, so ADD sufferers don't get bored just sitting there and driving. It's the perfect solution for females, because it's painted a pretty color, it's shiny, and it has a new car smell. There's no third pedal, because people have only two feet. And, when you back it through a closed garage door, twice, it's no big loss.

Linux is designed like high-octane 5.7 liter V-8, six-speed manual on the floor, with an deep exhaust tone that makes women ovulate! But you don't want to slam it down into overdrive and put the pedal to the metal before you've tried the brakes! You gotta take it slow at first.

Debian is a fast, lean, power machine! There are not more than one Debian. There is the Debian Linux Project, a distro that offers 27,000+ packages, 11 different processor architectures, 350 mirror repositories in 110 countries! Then there are about 120 downstream forks (Distros) straight off the Debian distribution tree!

Nearly all Linux distros, including Ubuntu, are Debian by another name. There's no shortage of Debian documentation. The major players are: OpenSuSE, Red Hat/Fedora/Centos, Slax, Debian and friends, and Gentoo/Sabayon. Sabayon works out of the box, but I'd still lean you toward openSuse:

http://mirror.anl.gov/pub/opensuse/o...tion/11.4/iso/

because it just works. You can use the dd command to put the DVD or NET install media on a flash drive, and boot off that:

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...ommand-362506/
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 12-15-2011, 09:21 AM   #13
jonyo
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http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/
 
  


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