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JeremyBoden 08-05-2016 05:26 PM

The backup frequency depends on how vital the information is to you.

If you don't customise anything or install any non-package software then
1) A list of the packages installed (to enable you to resurrect your OS) and
2) Regular backups of /home
would cover 99% of your needs.

However, you would also need a few bits of fairly static files such as
Code:

/etc/passwd
so that you would have a cross-reference of user names with UID's.
/etc/groups would give you a cross-reference of user names with GID's.
You might also need relevant copies of various crontab files (if used).

All this can be easily automated, given time.

johneb47 08-06-2016 07:21 PM

Its all about computer literacy.
People who understand and know computers can enjoy the power of GNU/Linux.
People who use the computer as a toy/tool don't really care what OS they use as long as it works more than 95% of the time.
It saddens me to see Linux distributions following the path of the proprietary operating systems where the full knowledge of how these distributions operate is restricted to the privileged few. Somehow it seems to defeat all the FLOSS and GNU goals.

p_i_n_o 08-07-2016 05:19 PM

@johneb47: I would not see _this_ as the problem. There actually is a big problem, but you must see it from a different perspective. I don't see that much evil distributions, which try to hide some great secrets in a bad way. Maybe some Ubuntu developments (Mir, Snap) are really in a bad direction. And we should be sceptical about them. But in most cases, what the distributors do is making a big big mess a bit more consumable.

Why do they hide messy technical stuff like XFree modelines (I know, this particular issue is gone - but it is a great example, which can stand for everything we see today)? It is not because modelines are great things to deal with and distributors want to steal you something. It is because there was a configuration interface, which was way too complicated and too low-level. For John Doe, it was just impossible to deal with them. For the expert, it was something to show power. He sits on his big throne of wisdom and can tell people in forums what idiots they are.

Whenever I have the choice between (a) using YaST or whatever for making some weird config stuff for me and (b) asking the expert on a forum, I suspect you are faster and more successful with (a), while (b) would just bring you lots of social insights (like the bitterness and evilness experts can have, when you don't pay them).

Nowadays, my only OS is Linux and I fought for understanding everything I need in the last decade (neary two decades meanwhile). And nowadays I can solve nearly all of my problems by means of my intuition, knowledge and the Web. But in the bare beginning, you are mostly faced with lots of stupid idiots in forums, thinking they are Gods. You have some Windows-steered ideas how things worked before. You ask stuff with that background and you get back piles of sarcasm and bullshit, paired maybe with a web link, which can help you after some months of reading.

And those idiots are not the guilty party as well. Since they never get money or anything (just the fun with degrading other people). The issue is that there is no party responsible for helping the noobs.

And this is where the distribution tools can jump in and save lives :)

I love to make hard-disk partitioning in a graphical installer instead of weird command line tools (even if I love to use those command line tools in some automation projects, where the graphical tools obviously would not help me anything).

linxpatrick 08-08-2016 11:18 AM

I have to agree with p i n o. There are two main reasons for Microsoft's success. Same with Android. The first it marketing. I wish Linux could be marketed better. The second is that Microsoft and Android are focused on allowing users to get their work done, not on requiring end users to know how the OS or software works under the hood. I am grateful for yast, LibreOffice and VirtualBox and many other packages that make getting to work a priority. I have seen some forum posts from Linux users saying that using the command line is the way to go and that some things can't be done with a GIU. Simply not true and a properly written GUI provides the instructions and allows many settings to be changed all at the same time. So, I also have to agree with p i n o that there is also an elitist attitude amongst some Linux users (just as you find in the Microsoft world) that isn't necessary and doesn't help most end users make the most of Linux and Linux based software.

linxpatrick 08-08-2016 11:30 AM

Another thought on the same topic. You can learn the internals of Linux and other open source projects to your hearts content. It's just a matter of getting connected to the right people in their respective development communities.

eredwood007 08-12-2016 11:41 AM

I want to get my Linux+ Certification, what would be some good tips to put together a study group.

Ira123 08-12-2016 04:48 PM

First of all I would check with some of your friends that are using Windows10 and see if they would be willing to try using Linux a free and open sourge program and then I would put an add in your local paper, if you have enough computers, a place to teach, Ira123

linxpatrick 08-13-2016 05:08 PM

The response that Ira123 made to a different post is a good idea for this post. That is, get some Windows 10 users together to install Linux. Then use their questions as possible candidates for the Q and A.

doxxx 08-17-2016 02:01 PM

Terminology
 
Just over two years with Linux and 30+ years using dos, win, cics, ibm...
Even with all my experience with computers I still struggle...

The first thing I noticed was that seemingly everything had different terminology.
A dictionary of equivalent terms would be great.

All Linuxs are somewhat similar, but; all do the seemingly same things differently.

I suppose an impartial review of distros noting who would benefit from using it; newbie, user, expert...
Ubuntu was labeled as being a beginner's OS, but; Linux Mint is so easy to use from a newbie POV.

HELP when NEEDED is always a plus.
Ubuntu seemed to take forever to get help. Debian was worse!
Linux Mint has been very helpful, especially the irc channel.
and I have learned quite a bit just observing the channel.

Not enough instructions for newbies on irc;
This whole damn attitude of; "if they learn it the hard way they will remember."
I quit debian over this crap!

fatmac 08-19-2016 10:19 AM

Linux is not Windows - Unix is not Windows - BSD is not Windows - Android is not Windows

The biggest problem is that (nearly) all computers come with that other O/S pre installed.

Most people don't install their own O/S - this is where their problem lies.

Show them how complicated it is to install Windows - then show them how easy it is to install Linux.

Once they see that Linux isn't as complicated as Windows, they are more likely to learn the differences between the two.

Also, it took them some time to learn Windows; they should at least take that amount of time with Linux.

Edit: My recommendation is, as always, AntiX (or MX). :)

mybrothersentme 08-19-2016 02:35 PM

Well, You Asked
 
You asked what we wished we had known before we started using Linux. Well, my Linux-crazy brother started me on Linux in 2005. Now, what I wished I had known is that there really was no GUI and you had to command line too often. And, while my little brother (I'm 60 yo and he's 54 yo) and I went to the same school and took the same classes, I took the hardware path and the first job that came along was data communications (now called telecommunications) and while he started out hardware, he morphed almost immediately into a software type. (I still love him.) It seemed like I was always calling him up to find out how to do something I think I quit Linux and went back to Windows around the time of Ubuntu Intrepid. I don't believe in Jackialopes, either.

So, I went back to Windows because by that time it was Windows 7, which was as awesome as Microsoft ever got Windows IMHO.

Now, what made me go back to Linux? BECAUSE I JUST SAID NO TO WINDOWS 10! Anything (from MS) that tried to install itself is evil. (Kind of like Evil Corp in Mr. Robot. You do watch Mr. Robot, don't you?) By now, I knew that the GUIs work, and there are a Billion Applications available. While I started out with Mint/Cinnamon, I didn't really like Mint. Now, I am running Ubuntu 16.04 with Cinnamon 3 desktop.

WHAT DID I WISH I KNEW BEFORE GOING (COMING?) BACK TO LINUX? There's a book called "How Linux Works:What Every Superuser Should Know" by Brian Ward. It is an AWESOME book. Probably more helpful for people who relate to the OSI 7 layer model a little more than those who are not. But you don't have to be a Superuser to use this book successfully. And at least now I know what's going on in all the little directories like usr, bin, lib, etc. There are other books I've bought just didn't work for me.

But, while I say I stayed on the hardware side, I had to know the software our machines were running. Because I eventually was the Product Manager. You at least have to know when the software engineers are lying about how long it will fix a bug, or that it can't be fixed. And enough so when you cruise through the cubicle farm, you can look over someone's shoulder and see if they're working on what they're supposed to be or on some pet projects that won't sell any more machines.

So, I know you weren't looking for a book, but I write in Verbose Mode. Good Luck on your project. I will come and take a look in a couple of months. Got it in my calendar already.

Oh, and my brother didn't send me here. I found it all on my own. Cheers! Susan

mybrothersentme 08-19-2016 02:57 PM

You don't like feeling degraded by Know-It-Alls?
 
I am quoting only part of your message, but lots of it resonates with me. I believe that computers should work for us. We shouldn't work for the computer. In 2005, when I first started on Linux, even with a brother who was a programmer/Linux guru who would (fairly) patiently answer my questions, it was way too much command line sh*& required. I stayed on Linux until Windows 7 came out.

Now I have a book called "How Linux Works: What Every Superuser Should Know", and I'm not a Superuser, but the book has helped immensely because I need to see everything in terms in how they fit together. Now I call my brother to just discuss regular stuff. And now with Ubuntu 16.04 and the Cinnamon 3.0 desktop (hate Unity!), my computer works for me. And while I sometimes have to go to forums to find stuff out, I just ignore the ones who sound like they are sooooo much smarter than the rest of us. (Sometimes I forget and get mad and throw my trackball across the room, but I'm working on my anger management issues.

Ignore the people who act superior. You have things you are far better at than they are I bet. :-) Like I can rejet a carburetor on a Harley a lot faster than many of them can even find the damn thing. (Yes, I know some have EFI now, but...)



Quote:

Originally Posted by p_i_n_o (Post 5587518)
@johneb47: I would not see _this_ as the problem. There actually is a big problem, but you must see it from a different perspective. I don't see that much evil distributions, which try to hide some great secrets in a bad way. Maybe some Ubuntu developments (Mir, Snap) are really in a bad direction. And we should be sceptical about them. But in most cases, what the distributors do is making a big big mess a bit more consumable.
.

And those idiots are not the guilty party as well. Since they never get money or anything (just the fun with degrading other people). The issue is that there is no party responsible for helping the noobs.

And this is where the distribution tools can jump in and save lives :)

I love to make hard-disk partitioning in a graphical installer instead of weird command line tools (even if I love to use those command line tools in some automation projects, where the graphical tools obviously would not help me anything).


danrevell 09-06-2016 08:10 PM

My, my, what an angry group of people... could it be that they have tired of being bent over the barrel at every turn? I thought it was just me, being my grumpy complaining self, disadvantaged by my years away from Linux.
But no, it appears that these folks have ALSO been stymied by downloads that don't work, aggravated by convoluted processes to accomplish what should be a simple change, and aghast at the number of hours spent in search of answers to questions that shouldn't exist in the first place.
I submit that what is needed is a small set of "how-to"s. Concise but thorough one-page manuals on the bare basics of computing with Linux; choice of version(s),installation, use of defaults vs adding apps...
This would, of course, predicate the need for a particular type of writer, a rare species, not a blathering meandering old fool like me.
Any volunteers?

p_i_n_o 09-07-2016 03:40 PM

Hi Danrevell.

You aren't the only one. By no means. Nowadays I use Linux and nothing else, and I master everything I do (this is stuff about server administration, workstation 'John Doe' stuff, software development, video cut from time to time, photo post-processing, ...). But it would be a big big lie, if I had told you that it wasn't fucking hard in the beginning.

One phrase of your message put many of my thoughts in a nutshell: "aghast at the number of hours spent in search of answers to questions that shouldn't exist in the first place".

It could be, that more FAQ for end users isn't what we really need at all. Maybe we need one for the devs? Obviously, developers are a kind of people who don't always really love to get feedback. But if we had some general guidelines, which would help to write better software, could that help?

I don't mean low-level stuff. This is for the Stroustrup books. But maybe a word or two about 'dont make your gui as esoteric as only you understand usage', providing convenient and working automation interfaces (e.g. use libraries instead of parsing command line tool outputs - I love all the GUI frontends for command line tools; they are all terribly broken and I've never seen a working one for any tool more complex than 'shutdown'). Maybe something about typical user interface concepts. It should encourage better error handling (I've seen too much tools, interacting with other ones in a rather complex way, but without any serious error handling). It should encourage the developer to make interfaces (i.e. GUIs, config files, command line, file hierarchies, ...) which are logically structured and more n00b-compatible. I've seen so much config interfaces, which would become perfectly easy after some non-rocket-science restructuring, but which actually need hours of research due to weird structure. They are often result of uncontrolled growth, while no felt responsible for cleanup from time to time.


When I'm at work and I go to our documentation department with weird crap, they ask me if I would prefer to fix that in code instead of writing manuals about how to deal with a broken interface.

In the open source / free software ecosystem, this is obviously by far more difficult, admittedly...


Greetings
Jos

JeremyBoden 09-07-2016 04:23 PM

LyX is a really excellent tool that provides a GUI for a complex text input system - LaTeX.
There are exceptions to every rule!


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