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Old 07-11-2012, 09:02 AM   #1
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Registered: Jul 2012
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teaching the basics first

Hello, I am not really a newb, but I do have a question that pertains to newbies. It has been a long time since I have worked through different Distroís to get Linux down, and now I run my own custom OS. I have had allot of interest from friends who want to learn the things I do, such as pen-testing, offensive security, Linux hardening and such. Unfortunately most of them want to DL Backtracks and go that route without really learning Linux. What I would like if you have any thoughts or suggestions, is to recommend an incremental learning curve, by having these people learn one Distro at a time. since it has been a while and I kind of started out knee deep in Linux when I got a job in the alarm and security industry, I don't know what would make a good starting point and what Distroís will work to build on each otherís knowledge base. BTW, my goal is to get them to a point where they understand Linux and networking and such so they donít become script kiddies or rely on something they donít understand what it does, also they kind of think Linux is a hacking tool and I want to get them to a point where they respect it and understand what open source is and means, not just the tech but the ideology. Any opinions, suggestions, ideas comments will be greatly appreciated, even good resource sites to point them too.
With respect thank you
Old 07-11-2012, 10:49 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: USA
Distribution: Ubuntu-Server, Mac OS X, Arch Linux
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Hi Justin -

If you want to really teach somebody about Linux from the ground up, I would print out the Gentoo handbook from, hand it to them and tell them to build a system. Gentoo is ridiculously difficult to install all the way to a GUI, but they would learn a lot. Gentoo is a source-based distro and installation takes a very long time as you have to compile everything with Portage - their package manager.

If Gentoo is too difficult, have them start with Arch Linux from Arch isn't quite as hard as Gentoo, but is still a distro where one would learn a lot. With Arch, you get the Pacman package manager and everything is pre-compiled which saves a lot of time during the installation.

If you are crazy insane, or just plain motivated, try out Linux from Scratch:

I'm a big fan of Arch just because it's minimal, fast, and they have a first-class wiki at
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:53 AM   #3
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IBM has some good LPI doco here .. at least it was several years ago when I read it - it's well structured and they could even get certified at the end.
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:09 PM   #4
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Registered: Jul 2012
Posts: 2

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@ kasl33, I am also a fan of arch Linux, but I was thinking that would be a bit more advanced for just starting out, but it is one that I can see as a great learning Distro’s, and Gentoo I think might scare them off until they have put some time in it, although I am hoping to get them to want to build their own OS from scratch, which is what I run on my Home machine.

@ Kbp, thank you that I a good link.
Thank you both

Last edited by CLIkungFu; 07-11-2012 at 12:18 PM. Reason: make better


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