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Learn Unix/Linux

By adminmichael ·
Does anyone have suggestions on the fastest and easiest way to learn Linux/Unix on your own? Ive been wanting to take time to learn it as it seems like something fun to get to know how it works inside and out.

Also what Uniux/Linux Operating System would be the best to learn that would give me a feel for most unix or linux platform.

Any help would be appreciated.

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All Answers

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I'd get a couple of good reference books and a copy of Unix and Linux and

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Learn Unix/Linux

play with it while studying the books. I recommend Zorin OS Linux to people simply because they do NOT have to do anything under the hood unless they want to, and even then most can be done through the GUI. If you want to get down and dirty, then I suppose Free BSD and SuSe may still be the best for that stuff.

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Reponse To Answer

by adminmichael In reply to I'd get a couple of good ...

Hahahaha yeah forget that! Started the download and i tell you what that getting now where... I'm going to go with Linux mint and FreeBSD as i know those will be way faster. Yes Zorin Linux looks sweet but they seriously need to get more download servers up and running or a faster way for people to download that copy.

Thanks again!

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On the copy of Linux...

by dldorrance In reply to Learn Unix/Linux

My first choice would be Linux Mint before Zorin OS. Both have good graphical user interfaces with similarities to Windows GUI. However, Zorin OS is a very slow download (about 5 hours) as it is torrent only and apparently there are very few seeders. Mint is a fast download either by torrent or direct, has, in my opinion, a more complete GUI and has a large user base with lots of online help.

This is the second try at posting this reply.

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Reponse To Answer

by adminmichael In reply to On the copy of Linux...

Ok, ill give both a try as virtual images, my goal is to hopefully learn linux enough to be able to build a linux/unix network ground up including servers without gui's. Thanks you for both of your help.

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Reponse To Answer

by Deadly Ernest In reply to On the copy of Linux...

I wonder what server you're downloading from as my download here in Australia was less than an hour. Don't know how long as I set it just before I went out for almost an hour and it was done when i got back.

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Reponse To Answer

by dldorrance In reply to On the copy of Linux...

Deadly Earnest. The USA website download time is listed as 5 hours; the Australian download site is listed as 1 hour. Maybe I should have used the Australian site?

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If your ultimate goal is to network Linux computers

by ahanse In reply to Learn Unix/Linux

then may I suggest you learn networking in the first instance because playing with computers will only get you so far...

also the knowledge will help you understand a broader area than just Linux.

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I'd start here

by r_widell In reply to Learn Unix/Linux

Eric S. Raymond has published what I consider to be a good "starter document" at:
http://www.tldp. org/HOWTO/Unix-and-Internet-Fundamentals-HOWTO/index.html
(remove the extraneous space before org). It was initially published in 1998 and updated in 2010 and provides an overview of what happens "under the hood" on any computer. It also provides a background on disk partitions (necessary to understanding file systems such as ext[234], btrfs, jfs, etc.), users, groups, permissions and a number of other concepts fundamental and common to all unix-like variations.

It also provides a VERY glossy overview of TCP/IP and DNS (but doesn't talk about DHCP) that's critical to understanding anything else that happens over the internet or other networked environment.

I tend to be biased against Debian and derivatives because they don't do runlevels properly, IMHO. They shove everything into runlevel 2 and consequently subvert what can be an important diagnostic/maintenance tool. Which is too bad, because I really do prefer the APT package management system over RPM and others.

My personal preference for Linux distros happens to be openSUSE, but whatever distro you choose, be sure to install all of the basic How-To docs. It's nice to have access to these docs even if you're running off-line.

I tend to prefer the KDE desktop for new users simply because I think the the help system is better. Moreover, the man and info protocols in Konqueror allow me to have multiple pages open simultaneously so I can jump between them.

In any event there's a lot of data to parse, and you're going to have questions. When you do, go to the appropriate forum for whichever distro you choose and ask in the following manner (as you did in this forum):

1) describe what you're trying to accomplish
2) describe what you've tried so far and what the expected vs. actual results are.
3) ask what to change to achieve the expected results
4) ask if there's a better or more effective way to achieve the goal in step 1
5) ask where to find the appropriate docs to (hopefully) answer subsequent questions.

There are many more resources available today than there were when I first started perusing the hard-copy man pages and user guides of System III Unix some 30-odd years ago so I have little doubt that with diligence and persistence you will achieve your goal and have a lot of fun. Good Luck.


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This book "Linux from Scratch" will help you a lot...

by Peconet Tietokoneet In reply to Learn Unix/Linux
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Just Plain Using It is a good start

by LeonBA In reply to Learn Unix/Linux

You can be off to a good start by switching from Windows to Linux full-time. Back in 2009 I decided to make the switch. I looked into different Linux distros and settled on one that was meant to be easy to use, was well supported, and whose look and feel I was comfortable with. For me that meant Xubuntu, which I could set up to look and act like Windows 2000. For you it might be Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE, or what have you.

My recommendation would be to first back up your hard drive, then maybe image it. Then wipe the drive and install your distro of choice. (Nothing says you can't go back later and install another distro, or even reinstall Windows.) Then just use Linux day-to-day, doing all the things you normally did in Windows, which will involve a fair amount of figuring out how to do those things in Linux.

We learn by doing. Books would be a helpful supplement but probably wouldn't do nearly as much for you as just using the OS. If you're using Ubuntu or one of its derivatives, or Mint, you might find Keir Thomas's "Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference" ( a helpful resource. It's outdated now, since it was written for version 10.10, but it's free to download and is an easy read.

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