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Old 03-10-2005, 01:21 AM   #1
Registered: Mar 2005
Distribution: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
Posts: 249

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Newbie: You were all once in my shoes...

Thanks for reading this post. It's kind of long, but I really hope you decide to read till the end. This one's very important to me...

I'm a complete newbie to Linux. I know very basic programming concepts, but I know literally nothing else about networking, networks, linux, unix, apache...

It seems like there's so much knowledge out there, and I see all you pros talking about all this complex, cool stuff like networking, scripts, configuring your apache, etc, and I just CANNOT COMPREHEND how reading up on basic things like 'ls' and 'cp' commands can possibly lead to all that ridiculously complicated stuff that's necessary to run a web server.

I really want to teach myself to become a web server administrator, and am unaware of the natural progression of how to go from knowing nothing to being able to run a web server. In terms of the actual steps I must take in going from a newbie to my goal, can you please suggest how I can get there?

I just got Knoppix and have started looking through the 'info' pages of a couple of basic commands like 'ls', 'rm', 'cp', 'mv'. I just do not know where to go from here, what things to do, etc...

If anybody knows what I am going through and has gone through this frustration before, can you please give me some DETAILED steps of what my learning progression should be? Just outline a list of things I should learn in the order I should learn them, so I can have some hope that my learning today will lead to something tomorrow which will lead to something the day after...some light at the end of this crazy Linux tunnel...

I've got a basic Linux tutorial book, and I'm a very diligent learner, but I don't know where to go from here. Of course you could just tell me to go to my local university and take a Linux course, but I can teach myself with the resources available to me exactly what a course can teach me, as I'm assuming was the case with most of you back in your newbie's just a matter of me not knowing WHAT to learn and in WHAT order of progression.

Please help a newbie out...all you Linux geniuses were in my shoes at one point in time in your lives. Any help you could provide would be really appreciated. Thanks so much.
Old 03-10-2005, 01:38 AM   #2
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Antelope, CA
Distribution: Ubuntu 9.04
Posts: 90

Rep: Reputation: 15

rute is a good place to start.
For networking I would read the Linux Network Administrator's Guide

I also subscribe to
Safari Online Books - this oline book library comes in very handy and they have a lot of different variety of books.
Old 03-10-2005, 01:46 AM   #3
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 19,192
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 475Reputation: 475Reputation: 475Reputation: 475Reputation: 475
Let's also not forget The Linux Documentation Project and our own, our very own, Book Reviews.

And welcome to LQ
Old 03-10-2005, 01:50 AM   #4
LQ Veteran
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Boise, ID
Distribution: Mint
Posts: 6,642

Rep: Reputation: 87
I'd also recommend O'Reilly's Running Linux Between it and Rute, you'll have an excellent foundation -- J.W.
Old 03-10-2005, 01:50 AM   #5
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Antelope, CA
Distribution: Ubuntu 9.04
Posts: 90

Rep: Reputation: 15
Originally posted by XavierP
Let's also not forget The Linux Documentation Project and our own, our very own, Book Reviews.

And welcome to LQ
Thanx XavierP, those two just totally slipped my mind
Old 03-10-2005, 01:53 AM   #6
Registered: Feb 2005
Location: Rio de Janerio
Distribution: suse 9.1, suse 9.2, redhat enterprise, ubuntu, kubuntu
Posts: 104

Rep: Reputation: 15
I probably wouldn't hurt to work on learning a scripting language - perl would probably be your best bet.
Old 03-10-2005, 02:08 AM   #7
Senior Member
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Mosquitoville
Distribution: RH 6.2, Gen2, Knoppix,arch, bodhi, studio, suse, mint
Posts: 3,304

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1. General knowledge of basic commands: ls, cp, dd, mv and such is needed to get almost anything done. The knowledge is very boring on it's own, but as soon as you have to get anything done, you have to know some of that stuff.
2. After you get where you feel somewhat comfortable with those commands, you can start looking around your system with them, and seeing where things are, and messing with things, and messing things up.
3. Then you're far enough along to understand instructions and howto's to mess with the things you really wanted to know how to do in the first place.
Old 03-10-2005, 02:18 AM   #8
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Vancouver, BC
Distribution: Slackware, Ubuntu
Posts: 558

Rep: Reputation: 31
I have a bunch of references in my .sig.

Last edited by spurious; 03-10-2005 at 02:27 AM.
Old 03-10-2005, 03:10 AM   #9
Senior Member
Registered: May 2004
Location: Hilliard, Ohio, USA
Distribution: Slackware, Kubuntu
Posts: 1,851

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Also, this will come in handy:
Replace KEYWORD* with whatever keywords you wish to return commands that fit that description. Keep in mind, this is exactly the same to typing
Old 03-10-2005, 03:21 AM   #10
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: Southampton, England
Distribution: Laptop:Gentoo-i686-2.6.9-r9 Desktop:Slackware10 2.4.26
Posts: 298

Rep: Reputation: 30
but don't forget about the best learning tool EVER..... google

you sound just like me when i started... thinking that there's a certain point at which to start, but it's different for everyone. I think you should make a list of things that work and things that don't as well as what sort of software you'd like(cd/dvd burning,painting,games etc.). Then go through the list one by one and you'll pick everthing up.
Old 03-10-2005, 04:27 AM   #11
Senior Member
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: California
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 1,181

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A good way to start is by looking at what you use a computer for already. Read email? Play games? Chat with friends? Manage a firewall? et cetera.

If you make a list like that, as has been said you can go down the list and see exactly you need to research to at least get familiar with some of the crossover miscellaney.

In your travels across Google, LQ, and the HOWTO guides out there, I'm sure you'll run into -a lot- of commands and topics you have no clue about. Make a new list of those, and research those.

Repeat a few hundred thousand times, and you'll be a pretty competant computer admin
Old 03-10-2005, 05:09 AM   #12
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Netherlands
Distribution: Debian Unstable
Posts: 61

Rep: Reputation: 15
...and if you want to selfstudy and get even certified have a look this:

it will provide you with objectives on what to learn but you can also use it as a personal guid to set objectives for things you want to learn.

I like 0pal_t0ad's method but risk is that as soon as you get it working than you leave it for what it is and you will not dive any deeper into it than necessary for you since it works and that was it. It all depends on you as how far you want to go... Linux is vast
Old 03-10-2005, 09:44 AM   #13
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 264

Rep: Reputation: 30
If you really are starting from the basics with the command line, I recommend , there is a tutorial on there to get you started and walk you through how to use the shell or command line.

It isn't difficult to begin, and the author explains things well and takes a steady learning curve, rather than the sudden near-vertical ones that many tutorials take.

Last edited by morrolan; 03-10-2005 at 09:45 AM.
Old 03-10-2005, 10:16 AM   #14
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: middle of a cornfield, IL
Distribution: Kanotix HD Install, Debian Testing, XP Pro,Vista RC1
Posts: 145

Rep: Reputation: 15
And become good friends with an editor you are comfortable with for changing configuration files.


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