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Thread: open-source unix/linux problem (really basic)

  1. #1

    open-source unix/linux problem (really basic)

    (sorry, i have haad other posts, but since most people dont undertstand them i decided to try and make it as basic as possible and why choosing between unix and linux is so hard for me)

    this is from a website i happened to come across and have decided to try and follow what it says.

    but, the section i have trouble with is called "2. Get one of the open-source Unixes and learn to use and run it."

    this is the passage from the site:

    <I'm assuming you have a personal computer or can get access to one (these kids today have it so easy :-)). The single most important step any newbie can take toward acquiring hacker skills is to get a copy of Linux or one of the BSD-Unixes, install it on a personal machine, and run it.

    Yes, there are other operating systems in the world besides Unix. But they're distributed in binary — you can't read the code, and you can't modify it. Trying to learn to hack on a Microsoft Windows machine or under MacOS or any other closed-source system is like trying to learn to dance while wearing a body cast.

    Under OS/X it's possible, but only part of the system is open source — you're likely to hit a lot of walls, and you have to be careful not to develop the bad habit of depending on Apple's proprietary code. If you concentrate on the Unix under the hood you can learn some useful things.

    Unix is the operating system of the Internet. While you can learn to use the Internet without knowing Unix, you can't be an Internet hacker without understanding Unix. For this reason, the hacker culture today is pretty strongly Unix-centered. (This wasn't always true, and some old-time hackers still aren't happy about it, but the symbiosis between Unix and the Internet has become strong enough that even Microsoft's muscle doesn't seem able to seriously dent it.)

    So, bring up a Unix — I like Linux myself but there are other ways (and yes, you can run both Linux and Microsoft Windows on the same machine). Learn it. Run it. Tinker with it. Talk to the Internet with it. Read the code. Modify the code. You'll get better programming tools (including C, LISP, Python, and Perl) than any Microsoft operating system can dream of hosting, you'll have fun, and you'll soak up more knowledge than you realize you're learning until you look back on it as a master hacker.

    For more about learning Unix, see The Loginataka. You might also want to have a look at The Art Of Unix Programming.

    To get your hands on a Linux, see the Linux Online! site; you can download from there or (better idea) find a local Linux user group to help you with installation. From a new user's point of view, all Linux distributions are pretty much equivalent.

    You can find BSD Unix help and resources at

    I have written a primer on the basics of Unix and the Internet.

    (Note: I don't really recommend installing either Linux or BSD as a solo project if you're a newbie. For Linux, find a local Linux user's group and ask for help.)>


    Sadly, I dont understand how he can talk about both unix and linux. Does saying that unix is the operating system of the internet and other things only related to unix, or linux, or both? He seems to talk about them as the same thing, but I just want to know which one to start with. So, should I get FreeBSD or Debian, and can I use either of these operating systems for what he is saying?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    If I am understanding correctly.... you are trying to decide what version of Linux, right? And if I am reading the quote you posted correctly, he is telling you to get one or the other to learn how to hack? Whatever..

    The version you want depends on what you want to do..AFAIK, Unix is commercial?? I could be wrong.

    I would suggest using any version of Linux just to get the variety of experience. Gore's sticky at the top of the OS forum should be helpful to you. Be prepared for a little agony getting it installed. I think gore leads a charmed life because he doesn't seem to have a problem. It took me almost 2 weeks to get a working version of Debian going.... I never could get Mandrake working properly.

    One suggestion I a copy of Knoppix or Knoppix SDT. It's a live distro that runs from the cd-rom. You can play with that a little bit to get a feel for what it's like. Also, when you install whatever version of Linux you decide, and things get totally hosed, you can boot the knoppix disk and still get online if you need to. (I haven't had it fail to detect the NIC on any machine I've used it on yet)

    As for differences between Linx and Unix, check out this thread: Dead Addict does a nice job of summing it up (IMHO)

  3. #3
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002

    Re: open-source unix/linux problem (really basic)

    Originally posted here by stickmansquark
    Sadly, I dont understand how he can talk about both unix and linux. Does saying that unix is the operating system of the internet and other things only related to unix, or linux, or both? He seems to talk about them as the same thing, but I just want to know which one to start with. So, should I get FreeBSD or Debian, and can I use either of these operating systems for what he is saying?
    I'm going to answer this, but you have to promise you won't ask it again. Almost all of your threads here have to do with the same thing. Ok, UNIX is NOT Linux, Linux, is NOT UNIX. UNIX was made in 1969, in assembler, back when coders were coders, who didn't have a fancy "human readable" language.....Ok so it wasn't that bad, but they really did not have many options.

    Well, I guess to answer your question though, do you like using a UNIX like OS? I sure as hell do, and so do alot of other people. It's not just the security, or the "I'm leet because I do my partitions in hex" bullshit, but I just love UNIX based OSs in general.

    They make sence to me, and I understand them better. Being reliable is another strong point. Now, if it wasn't for BSD and Linux, you would have almost no way in hell to use UNIX. It costs alot of money. Do you see where I'm going with this? UNIX doesn't exactly run on cheap x86 hardware....

    Well, Linux and BSD can.

    UNIX costs ALOT of money, and most people can NOT afford it.

    BSD and Linux are free.

    Linus wanted to do more, and decided to make a little project, he used MINIX, which is a UNIX OS, and is mainly used as a helper for teaching OS design. Well, MINIX didn't do everything Linus wanted it to do, so he started making his own. Read my post about the history of UNIX and Linux in this forum, it has alot of this in there.

    Basicaly, Linux was made to be like UNIX, and BSD was too. BSD was made to be UNIX though, untill AT&T sued them. BSD went to the 4.4 BSD lite kernel, because AT&T was pissed about them giving away their proprietary OS code in BSD.

    So BSD switched the code out that was actually UNIX code, and continued giving it away. It's a labor of love and community. So when someon says something about Linux, UNIX, and BSD, well, they can mean any one of those things, as they all work just about the same way.

    Linux was made to be like UNIX, and BSD was too. Just BSD was made a long time ago, way before Linux was. BSD has had time to mature, but Linux is quite quickly maturing.

    My first Linux install was in 2000. The same year I got my first computer. Heh, I picked up on Linux quickly because the people I talked to were Linux users, and they got me into it early on. I installed Linux for my first time the same year I had gotten my first computer. The install went fine and I did it right the first time. Heh, even back then I was good at OS installs lol.

    But I had no time to learn a new OS, so sadly I had to stop playing with Linux, and start doing homework, and other pointless tasks. Last year at this time, I started using Linux again finally. Last January I installed SuSE Linux 8.1 Professional, and actually got seriouse in using it.

    I formatted my HD, taking Windows 98 SE off, and popped Linux on. I pretty much lost everything I had in WIndows, but had Tux to keep me company while I tried figuring out all the files I lost. (12 gigs of porn )

    Well, after that I got really good in a short peroid of time. And now you are reading a LONG ass post I am typing on my Slackware Linux box.

    In closing; Linux is like UNIX, it is not UNIX, but it very close in idea. BSD is the same way. It's not UNIX anymore, but is close enough. It really doesn't matter, if you see someone say UNIX, meaning Linux. Don't worry, the commands almost all work the same, and most software for UNIX will run on BSD and Linux.

    So now, you have an answer to your question....Sort of. Think about it like with DOS. There is PC-DOS, MS-DOS, and Dr-DOS, and FreeDOS....They are all DOS, but they all are NOT exactly the same. There is Linux, UNIX, and BSD, they are all alike, but not exactly the same.

    Groov, what do you mean by "Charmed" ? Lol, am I charming? ;D

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