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Old 09-04-2003, 10:42 AM   #1
comtex
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Lightbulb Learning Linux?


1 .What books would you recommend for learning Linux (Mandrake 9.1). I'm a Support specialist in the Windows 9x/2000/xp world but I don't know anything about Linux or Unix.

2. Where can I find Linux training, classroom type? I'm located in BC, Canada.

Thanks.
 
Old 09-04-2003, 11:04 AM   #2
quadc89
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You could try VanLug if your in vancouver or VLUG if your on the island.
 
Old 09-04-2003, 11:17 AM   #3
Oddball79
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I would guess that your local university would have a class or 2 on the subject. This is what community colleges are really for because the night classes are often taught by people that work in the field they are teaching.

As for books, I've always been happpy with O'Rilley.

When you're starting out, don't worry about the differences between the various flavors, get a good grasp on the standard stuff. If you know how to run RPM and tar from a terminal, that can be much more useful than knowing how to navigate a proprietary GUI software manager on a specific distro.
 
Old 09-04-2003, 12:00 PM   #4
comtex
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There is no university or college near where I live; so I'm looking for courses that last a week/few days only.

Thanks
 
Old 09-04-2003, 02:09 PM   #5
Eqwatz
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Mandrake is just one of the many versions of Linux, there will be some files located in unique places, the installer and partition programs are different. If possible, have some one walk you through your first install--even if you have to drive 200 miles to attend an install-fest at a local Linux Users Group. (There actually should be quite a few LUG's in B.C. Aren't they still pretty darn "Canadian" up there?)

I would suggest that you call around and get an old computer for a separate linux box. A KVM switch these days is dirt cheap, so you would use the same monitor and keyboard for both. A lot of people have an old P-II or AMD based computer in their garage or closet--you really want 300Mhz or faster for the easiest install. Check the Linux Hardware Compatibility list first, so you know what you want. If I spent a week looking, I would have a truck-load of them--for free. When you get good at installs you can dig up really old stuff and load linux on it just for fun.

I would suggest that you call the nearest community college, and talk to the "Intro to Unix" instructor about text-books.

Then go online and search for used textbooks!

You also will want to check up on online courses through the local universities and Community Colleges. I personally need the structure of class assignments or I lose focus. (Which means in the end I learn nothing in depth and soon forget it all.) If you went to a University, you may want to check to see if they have online courses, you may be able to apply your experience and further course work toward another under-graduate degree--or even in the Master's Program. It's worth a shot, and it is the cost of a phone call.

My text-book from the intro-class was "Harley Hahn's Student Guide to Unix", dated and a bit cheesy, but very good. Start at the beginning and try to stay focused on the material covered by the book. (See if the local Linux User Group will load up your computer for you. Have them set you up with the non-gui boot.) The reason I am so explicit is that the command line is similar enough to DOS that it will drive you up the wall. Primal Screaming helps. Brain cells will start committing suicide.

Learn the command line. If you are going to be doing support for people who have thrashed their system you will need it. In many cases it is also faster to use than any of the GUI utilities.

The O'Reilly books are a good resource for looking up the familiar, they don't substitute for a text-book. None of the other books will take you through process of familiarizing you with file locations and commands. The text-book should make the man-pages understandable, and the regular expressions which are used in linux to explain everything.

When we got into more than the RS6000, we went directly to installing redhat. So the next book we used was "Red Hat Unleashed". But, the best documentation I found for learning my way around the linux file system and networking was from SuSE. (Very weak on dial up and dial up scripting, but for general file locations, importance of files, editing files, and networking they had the best documentation I have ever seen. I have the SuSE Linux 7.0 Handbook, and the others from the Professional Distro version 7.)

I have a linux library now, and most of it was a complete waste of money. I generally use the online docs from the Linux Documentation Project, the installed Red Hat Documents (Downloaded as an ISO.), search news groups, and google.com/linux. I have never been stymied for any reason save a lack of time.

Read "Rusty's Unreliable Guides" for anything he chooses to write about--he is at least a minor god. (A source of "THE SOURCE". He wrote netfilter, some of the revamped virtual memory, and god only knows what else. )

"Linux Network Servers 24 Seven"; "Linux in a Nutshell"; "Running Linux"; Unix System Administration Handbook"; were used a lot for Linux/Unix Admin. I, II, III.

Nothing will come close to what you learn with a great instructor. But you can teach yourself using the syllabus of a decent instructor. Since I haven't been using Linux professionally, it may behoove me to do classroom assignments even now.
 
Old 09-04-2003, 04:44 PM   #6
blixblix
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I like "Linux Administration Handbook" from Prentice Hall myself. It's helped/helping me along the way quite nicely. But of course working through something like "Linux From Scratch", where you build your own GNU/linux system form the ground up, would also be good on a more practical level. Plan on doing LFS myself in the near future.
 
Old 09-04-2003, 07:42 PM   #7
WhiteChedda
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Perhaps you should be a bit more specific. Support specialist in my employment doesn't mean anything except that you know who to call in the Capitol and ask to fix the network pieces. Really that's what one does.

Do you want to know about the OS itself for programming, configuring it as a desktop and network client, or using a linux server? One book is not going to cover all of these and any one that does, bettter have multiple authors or your going to be sorely dissapointed most likely.

I like to keep Linux desk Reference 2nd Edition by me. Author is Scott Hawkins but as the name implies its a reference. I grew up using Commodore Basic and Dos, command line differences in linux and other OS's has given me high blood pressure and forced me to wipe linux off my machine on more than one occasion in the past. This book has done a good job at preventing me from doing that so far. Actually I blame the man pages for previous tantrums, those things are awful unless you've menorized whats where, I swear.

Covers unix/linux commands, Bash and TC shell commands and a few other things I am not personally interested in at the moment like apache. Relatively cheaper than the other books I have seen as well and he won me over with his intro which is

I hope you get a lot of use out of this book. Since I first started with Unix in 1986, I've spent a ton of cash buying reference books. I've always been a bibliophile, and computer books have the advantage of being tax deductable, so I've amassed quite a collection. It always annoys me when I get home and the glitzy, well packaged, 400-page document-o-rama I just shelled out $50 for turns out to contain only 5 pages of actual information or, worse, to be full of information but so poorly organized that its more trouble than it's worth to find what I need. I've got a shelf full of them, which I will sell cheap.

This prompted me to look at the layout of his book. The first thing I noticed is an alphabetical index of common commands on the inside cover {front and back} listing the page covering them. Pretty sharp IMO. Its worth seeing if you can get an Interlibrary loan and at least look over. Plus like I mentioned its about half the price of other books I've seen. $30 US, and $45 CAN. Not cheap, but not the $50-$60 beasts I usually see.

That said he does not discuss the operating system much, more so the commands you use to interface with it. If you want to understand the more techincal issues and parts of linux such as compiling your own kernal, or how the filesystem works {as opposed to the commands you use to maintian it} this is not the book you want. As it states, it is a reference book, nothing more.

Last edited by WhiteChedda; 09-04-2003 at 07:47 PM.
 
Old 09-05-2003, 05:06 AM   #8
marcoc
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Re: Learning Linux?

Quote:
Originally posted by comtex
1 .What books would you recommend for learning Linux (Mandrake 9.1). I'm a Support specialist in the Windows 9x/2000/xp world but I don't know anything about Linux or Unix.
I found very useful the O'Reilly book "Running Linux", by Matt Welsh, Lar Kaufman, Matthias Kalle Dalheimer, Terry Dawson. It gives a quite good knowledge of linux as a whole (helping a newbie to effectively administer his linux box).

Marco
 
Old 09-05-2003, 10:25 AM   #9
Eqwatz
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As whitechedda said, linux is h-u-g-e.

Not really, but because everything is there for the asking, you end up having not just the core O.S., but multiple window managers, Desktops out the kazoo, Word processors and office suites, compilers and integrated development environments, full web and ftp servers, on and on and on.

Each one of those involve a steep learning curve. The problem with linux is the number of choices available.

I forgot to mention a book which I use on a regular basis when my brain locks up due to frustration: Upgrading & Repairing PCs Linux Edition w/ CD-ROM. It is old, and you should be able to find it used. I find it useful even though it is dated. I peruse it when I need a break from other things. Scott Mueller (the Author) calms me down for some reason. I don't know why, but he can break me out of a caffeinated frenzy.

The other reason for mentioning this book is that many linux installations are on older hardware, and I frequenly forget how to work on the old stuff.
 
Old 09-05-2003, 10:26 AM   #10
Eqwatz
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Did I spel chek that?
 
Old 09-05-2003, 10:53 AM   #11
quadc89
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I would just recomend finding a LUG somewhere, if you need a classroom to learn... If not, just find like 3 or 4 books on your linux and start there.
 
Old 09-05-2003, 11:07 AM   #12
Oddball79
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I know this isn't all that helpful, but can't resist mentioning it... I noticed that a couple of people listed old books saying that they're still useful. Isn't it great having an OS that doesn't reinvent how things are done at every upgrade?
 
Old 06-08-2007, 11:06 AM   #13
huntert
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one book you could get is linux for non-geeks a book a guy wrote when he sent his mother a pc with linux installed because linux was easier on her budget. the book comes with software to install linux and the book explains a lot of software that you can use with linux.

Last edited by huntert; 06-08-2007 at 11:07 AM.
 
Old 06-09-2007, 05:34 AM   #14
ernie
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Your original post indicates you are using Mandrake 9.1. This release is no longer supported (it has passed its end of life) so security patches and bug fixes will not be available. If the computer on which it is installed will connect to the Internet, I strongly suggest you install a newer release. The current is Mandriva Linux 2007.1 (Spring).

Mandrake and Mandriva are the same company. A legal issue arose over the name, so when they merged with Connectiva a few years ago, they renamed to Mandriva.

In answer to your second question, your local community college should have Unix/Linux classes available. If there is no community college close enough to attend, you can get on line classes from Mandriva itself at the Mandriva eTraining WEB site. There are several free modules available as well as others that can be purchased.

HTH,
 
  


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