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Thread: Newbie Linux Advice

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    Question Newbie Linux Advice

    Well, I don't post many messages, so I thought that if I were to start getting into the habit, what better way than to get the move on now?

    A buddy of mine is supposed to get a copy of Linux soon, and after much annoying inquiring, he's going to let me have a copy when he gets a hold of it...downloading the Linux ISO files using a dial-up modem with mediocre service is only for the strong, and I have to admit that I am weak when it comes to that.

    Well, I was wondering if anyone out there has any advice for a Newbie user. What UNIX commands are important to learn? What kind of things can you do with Linux that makes it have an advantage over other operating systems? I've been trying to learn some programming languages too (namely Python) and can Linux make such programming all-around better?

    I'd really appreciate it if anyone out there could give advice to a computer power-user wannabe.

    We are our choices. - Jean-Paul Sarte

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2002

    Which Linux will you install?

    I'd recommend you install Mandrake 9.0 if your friend could get it.

    But for the moment you could have a look at the http://docs.linux.com/ documents, or in the same page behind "Browse Documents" in the "keyword search".

    Good luck!!!

  3. #3
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    There are several linux tutorials right here on AO. Use the advanced freature and search for linux tutorials in the tutorial forum.

    You will not be able to learn linux from just tutorials though. You are going to want to pick up a couple of books too. Some of my favorites are

    Linux in a Nutshell

    Using Linux

    Maximum Linux Security

    There is TONS of online documentation. Just search google. As a matter of fact.. google has its own linux search page... google.com/linux

    Check out the Linux Documentation Project

    Linux for Newbies isn't bad.

    There is TONS more, like I said... so use google.

    There are plenty of news groups and there are plenty of IRC "help" rooms for Linux.
    Play with X-Chat after you get it installed, and you should see them right away.

    Hope that was of some help...

    Do you know what distro you are going to get?
    For a newbie(like me), I'd recommend Red Hat or Mandrake . I've played with both and prefer Red Hat.

    edit: black_death covered it more than I could have. Good job black_death! See his post below.
    Quitmzilla is a firefox extension that gives you stats on how long you have quit smoking, how much money you\'ve saved, how much you haven\'t smoked and recent milestones. Very helpful for people who quit smoking and used to smoke at their computers... Helps out with the urges.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    I think the hardest part of your work would be installing the os itself i thought you might want to take a look at this before doing anything:

    1)check if linux supports the hadware you use or not(*)

    2)create two startup disks(boot up disks) one for windows and the other for linux.(if your machine can boot from the
    cd-rom you don't need to create the boot disks)

    3)backup your data(*)

    Note: because this is the first time you are installing linux and making non dos partitions it is logical backing up your data before making any changes,partitioning the hard disk could go wrong somtimes especialy when you are not familiar with the proccess of patitioning .

    4)read all the help or readme files that the partitioning software provides.(*)

    5)partitioning the hard disk is the most important thing you do before installing linux so be sure you know what you are doing.

    partitioning software:

    the best free software that somtimes allows non-distructive changes to the partitions is FIPS that can be downloaded from most of the linux ftp sites.
    (it is recommended that you use this software for partitioning dos based partitions that are empty)

    the best commercial software is partition magic that allows dynamic partiton adjusment and supports the creation and setup of linux. (partition magic is recommend for those new to creating non-dos partitions)


    download fips:

    how to use fips:

    good resources about linux instalation:


    books about linux:

    Red Hat Linux Unleashed
    Linux in Plain English
    Special Edition Using Linux

    links to learning resources about linux

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    black_death has a point about partitioning, will u be installing on a clean machine or trying to dual boot with windows? some versions of windows don't like another OS on thier disk so some jigerypokery is required.

  6. #6
    I'm going to have to agree with Dark Raider on this one :-)
    I’ve found Mandrake to be surprisingly easy, especially in the install!
    Of Course downloading something that large is a pain in the b00ty (I can relate)… But it’s almost worth the 30-40 dollars for the box set (which comes with all kinds of neat toys :-)

    ::Learning Commands?:: Even though there are many differences in the *nix style “FreeBSD” and Linux, many of the commands are the same/similar… You will find your new best friend in a command called “man”. This stands for Manual... There are way too many useful commands to list in just one post, here is a nice little web-based “man” :: http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi :: run by FreeBSD.org

    “may the source be with you”
    When you connect to your ISP, you are potentially opening your computer to the world. There are \'naughty people\' out there who enjoy breaking into other people\'s computers. Give some thought to the security of your computer...

  7. #7
    Senior Member roswell1329's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Wow. There's a wealth of good information in the links above. Good job black_death and phishphreek80!

    As for programming ease and Linux, I feel that Linux definitely encourages programming. There are very few things in Linux that happen "by magic". You can usually trace everything that happens through bits of evidence on the file system (no windows registry here). On top of that, everything in Linux is treated as a file, so you can even go in and read several configuration files to see exactly how things work. When you get good at it, you can even make your own modifications, and see what they do. You'll soon be amazed at how simple some programs really are when you can read the packets travelling back and forth with a client. You'll find that the bulk of programming today comes in the form of fluff for the end-user.

    I also think you'll grow to love the power you have on the command line. There are tools to do everything you could imagine right from the comfort of your own shell prompt. Just remember, Linux has a steep learning curve, and it's important to have patience with it. Since Linux has an entirely different philosophy behind it than Windows does, it will probably take you a while to learn it. Just keep at it, read documentation, and ask questions whenever you need (preferrably in that order... ). Keep us posted on your progress.
    /* You are not expected to understand this. */

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Well, I think the version that my friend is getting is Mandrake, which is really good from what everyone said. And the fact that Linux has a powerful command line is making me chomp at the bits to get it installed once the partitioning is done (that is, done right, I swear I have a knack for messing things up). Thank you all for the advice, I'm already checking out the links that was provided. I'll definately keep you posted.
    \"I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.\" - Voltairé

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    well...Linux is one powerful OS in this world. I am also new to Linux,learning every day. It has a steep learning curver as Roswell1329 mentioned. Yet I can appreciate its commandl line shells and I really appreciate this OS. The way you can play around with you CPU usage, yet providing so much arguments to a single command, you can virtually do wotever you want to. It makes you think with so much variety of options with so many advantages. You'll grow more powerful and strong, when you gain knowledge and read more and more about this OS.

    The problems I am facing in Linux is so many shared objects dependencies. You download an RPM and its ask for so's, when you download another RPM for those SO's, that RPM has its own dependencies. That bugs me so much.

    Plus I want to switch to FreeBSD, as it is considered to be one of the powerful OS around. Whats the difference between a Linux distro and a BSD. Anybody would like to comment???
    share knowledge........that really keeps alive the spirit to learn for newbies like me...

  10. #10
    linux mandrake 9.2 would be excellent for newbies though i suggest you try a bootable cdrom eg.Morphix first as when you are learning how to use linux sometimes "accidents"happen therefore be prepared to reenstall a couple of times.Linux is also a work in progress, so any distro you do use go the the Distros website and check the errata as there are bound to be some fixs turn up for it Eg.Mandrake L.G cdrom kernel bug.read up on command line via google and burn the updates to disk and a way ya go,Good luck with it.

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