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Old 12-01-2017, 11:59 PM   #1
taffyzim
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Question Where do I start with Linux


Where is the best place to start. Am a 74 year old Windows only fan since Dos. Worked with electronics and computers since a teenager, but would like to learn to use Linux and keep the grey cells alive! Have spare unit and also familiar with virtual machines. Thanks in advance for any help for any help.

Last edited by taffyzim; 12-02-2017 at 12:00 AM.
 
Old 12-02-2017, 12:22 AM   #2
FlinchX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taffyzim View Post
Worked with electronics and computers since a teenager
Quote:
Originally Posted by taffyzim View Post
familiar with virtual machines
It will be a piece of cake.

Step 1. Find the nearest LUG (Linux User Group).

Step 2. Make some contacts, see what Linux distribution most of them prefer to use. This is for the future. Getting help online works, but sometimes talking to a real person is much quicker and productive.

Step 3. Find a LiveCD of that Linux distribution that is popular in your area.

Step 4. Install VirtualBox on a computer that is modern enough, assign enough RAM to the virtual machine, set it to boot from the LiveCD image.

Step 5. Document every little thing that you learn. Write it down using your note taking program of choice - may be a text editor or some kind of wiki. It will pay off greatly. But you're probably doing this since I was existing in my parents' plans only :-)

Step 6. Once you feel confident about the basics - install a mainstream distribution on your spare computer.
 
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Old 12-02-2017, 02:40 AM   #3
!!!
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Huge WELCOME to LQ!!! A fellow DOS'er here:
https://www.linuxquestions.org/quest...9/#post5766868

My 'heretic' advice: pre-installed Linux, at osboxes.org (beware heavy JavaScript)
or/and post in Slackware forum, asking: "Got .vdi/.ova?" ... just kidding

Yes, jump in! Enjoy! p.s. does your Win10/other(?) PC have 4GB ram?

Last edited by !!!; 12-02-2017 at 02:44 AM.
 
Old 12-02-2017, 07:28 AM   #4
topernic
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FlinchX has good points. I'm 63 and have been messing with the stuff since Commmodore 64. Your hardware will have some say about the best way to go, but I would grab a live iso from one of the big guys like ubuntu. There is so much info and help for the big distros. Lubuntu is good for older computers, LXLE, there's plenty out there.

You can go virtual if you want, but I would start with a base that works good on the hardware.

You want a lot of grey cell activity? Go with Gentoo or Arch. But not to start with.
 
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Old 12-02-2017, 12:25 PM   #5
DavidMcCann
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Personally, I'd go for using an installed Linux: if anything unexpected happens, at least you know it's the OS, not the virtual machine. I'd also stick to something reliable, friendly, and with good documentation, like Mint or Salix
http://linuxmint.com/documentation.php
http://www.salixos.org/guide.html

Arch is not for everyone (no proper installer, for a start) but it's well to know of their wiki which often explains things better than any other documentation
http://wiki.archlinux.org/

This is a good guide to learning the command line.
http://mywiki.wooledge.org/BashGuide

I think you'll enjoy yourself. I belong to the same generation as you: when I remember CP/M with PIP and DOS version 1 with no sub-directories, I realise how much simpler things have got!
 
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Old 12-02-2017, 01:37 PM   #6
Turbocapitalist
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For starters, I'd say stay with native installations on the spare machine. And go with one of the easy distros where a lot is polished and set up in advance, such as one of the Linux Mint variants. You can still (re-)configure them to your heart's content but the defaults are meant to be quite functional and easy to use.

However, since you mention electronics, the current rage is to add kits to the Raspberry Pi single-board computer. There are a lot of HATs but at your level, you'll be able to plug directly into the GPIO pins for your own projects. Arduino is also popular. Both run GNU/Linux quite well and are not that expensive, even with accessories.

To give an idea for different regions:

https://www.adafruit.com/categories
https://shop.pimoroni.com/collections/raspberry-pi
https://thepihut.com/collections/raspberry-pi-store

And of course the fan magazines:

https://hackspace.raspberrypi.org/issues
https://www.raspberrypi.org/magpi/

Last edited by Turbocapitalist; 12-02-2017 at 01:39 PM.
 
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Old 12-02-2017, 03:49 PM   #7
AwesomeMachine
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All good advice. But if you just dig in and get dirty, you'll learn.
 
Old 12-02-2017, 06:49 PM   #8
Mill J
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Don't be afraid of breaking your install. It's generally easy to reinstall and fixing it is the best way to learn.
 
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:14 AM   #9
Mike_Walsh
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I agree with all the above, and would add this; if you want a comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide to using the gParted disk partitioning software (which comes with almost every Linux distro).....this is the one:-

https://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/gparted.html

I used this myself in my early Linux days (3-4 yrs ago), and would recommend it to anyone. Takes all the 'mystery' out of disk management. Seriously. And Mill J is right; breaking your system, then re-doing everything, is the best way to learn. Installing any Linux distro is a piece of cake.....nothing like the headache engendered by Redmond's products.


Mike.

Last edited by Mike_Walsh; 12-03-2017 at 11:07 AM.
 
Old 12-03-2017, 09:03 AM   #10
fatmac
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Having enjoyed using DOS well into the Windows era, I just grabbed a copy & started learning by making mistakes, nothing teaches you faster.

Start with a 'live' distro & see whether you want a light or heavy weight distro to learn on, then install it to your 'spare', & start trying things out.

If you don't use/learn the command line to some degree, you aren't learning to use Linux, just using programs that happen to run on a Linux machine.

You can find a choice of distros here.
https://distrowatch.com/

Last edited by fatmac; 12-03-2017 at 09:07 AM.
 
Old 12-03-2017, 10:57 AM   #11
JeremyBoden
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For Ubuntu based info especially and non-Raspberry Linux refer to https://fullcirclemagazine.org/
 
Old 12-03-2017, 11:24 AM   #12
Mike_Walsh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatmac View Post
If you don't use/learn the command line to some degree, you aren't learning to use Linux, just using programs that happen to run on a Linux machine.
Y'know, I hate to say it, but that is reeking of the old saw 'Linux is for geeks'. I have had this argument till I'm blue in the face with many people, who are convinced that to run Linux, you have no choice but to learn some highly technical, esoteric language.....and that you MUST make use of this strange artifact known as a 'terminal' to do absolutely everything.

Uh-huh. Nope.

I tinker with my Pups. I modify; I code, I create my own software packages, and just generally customise the hell out of 'em.....but believe it or not, I use the terminal as little as I possibly can. To me, the terminal just slows me down, 'cos I have to remember how to use it every time I go in there.....and I've always hated learning languages. About the only thing I use it for is compiling..!

I guess I've always been more of a 'mechanic' than a 'technician'; I enjoy nothing more than digging down into the file system and physically moving stuff around to make it do what I want it to. I'd far sooner get my own hands dirty, than spend time directing others to do what I want by getting their hands dirty instead...

(Does that even make sense..?)

I guess it's got a lot to do with the fact that I'm one of these folks who respond better to visual stimuli; if I can actually see something, I can figure it out far faster than I can from an abstract description.

But 'horses for courses', as they say. We're all of us different.....and the great thing about Linux is that it'll accommodate all manner of ways of achieving an end result. Even if it's not technically 'acceptable'..!!


Mike.

Last edited by Mike_Walsh; 12-03-2017 at 12:21 PM.
 
Old 12-03-2017, 12:16 PM   #13
AwesomeMachine
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The command line is infinitely faster than a gui, because you don't have to switch between input devices. Even with gui programs, I use keyboard shortcuts. People who use the gui as much as a possible really have nothing to get done, or they would learn the fast way to do things.

Refusal to learn the command line is actually mental laziness: continuing to do things the slow way for lack of effort to commit anything to memory. Believe me, anyone can type commands faster than they make 20 or so mouse clicks needed to use a gui program.

Those kinds of people can't use any program that isn't in the menu. That's pathetic! Even on windows I use the command line quite a bit, because you can't really do anything with just pretty pictures and little chimes.

But, some things are actually faster with the gui. If you have to clean out the downloads directory, it's easier to just click on each file you want to delete, and then delete them at the end, that to type each name. And if you use wildcards, you better be careful.
 
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Old 12-03-2017, 12:49 PM   #14
JeremyBoden
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Learn to use the GUI - but when you start to think that there must be an quicker way, its time for the CLI.

Also, if you are writing a script, the GUI is useless.

Last edited by JeremyBoden; 12-03-2017 at 02:10 PM.
 
Old 12-03-2017, 01:18 PM   #15
Mike_Walsh
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Oh, don't get me wrong. I script like crazy.....but I don't use the terminal to do so. In all fairness, unless you've actually used Puppy for any length of time, you can't really appreciate just what our Woof-CE team are capable of devising.....or some of our members, for that matter.

Quote:
Refusal to learn the command line is actually mental laziness: continuing to do things the slow way for lack of effort to commit anything to memory.
Mm. A bit incendiary, that.....a more than slightly elitist statement. To me, that smacks of someone who's living in the past.....and thinks only the intellectually 'elite' should be able to use Linux. I can't agree with that.

And anyway; who made any mention of 'refusal to learn'? I certainly don't recall doing so.....and neither did I state that I used the GUI, either.

I came to Linux as someone who was fed up to the back teeth with the cumbersome way in which Windows works.....and very quickly realised I could do whatever I wanted with Linux, with no strings attached. That works for me.

I realise I'm an extremely atypical Linux user, but the Menu is actually one of the very last places I resort to for anything at all. There are so many different ways of achieving the same outcome with Linux, and that's a good thing.....because no two people are born with the same abilities, or are able to necessarily follow a 'fixed' set of 'rules', just because that's deemed 'good practice.' For sure, if I was ever contemplating a career in Linux admin or anything similar, I'd probably tread on more than a few toes.....because I always use what works for me. Regardless of whether anybody else likes it or not. And I always get results.

(But since I don't earn my living at this, am retired, and have plenty of spare time, I can't really see the need to do things as quickly as possible.....can you??)


Mike.

Last edited by Mike_Walsh; 12-03-2017 at 07:59 PM.
 
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