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  • #2179617

    OK I finally did it


    by puppybreath ·

    After centuries with MS, I finally decided to give Linux a try. I took an old laptop (PIII 500) and downloaded the latest version of Ubuntu. The install went very well once I realized that you have to load the system on the root and not in a folder. So now the question is: Where do I go from here? Can anyone recommend a good reference manual that would get a newbie past looking around and more into the guts of things? Or am I better off looking at Ubuntu specific documentation? I have no problem with playing around and breaking things, since this is only for my Linux education and a reload is simple enough, but would like some sort of roadmap to get me as comfortable with Linux as I am with Windoze. I do a lot of registry modifications and configuration changes in Windoze and would like the same flexibility with Linux. I know it’s there, but what’s the best source for getting started?

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  • Author
    • #3122630


      by jaqui ·

      In reply to OK I finally did it

      are some sites for general info:

      reading distro specific docs will help with that distro 🙂

      and, the best resource of all:

      man [command] | more/less

      man is manual pages for every application you installed.

      [command] is the application you want to learn about

      [the following are optional ]

      | redirects man output

      more/less, 2 different commands that will page the output.
      an example would be:
      man ethereal
      this will give you the users manual for ethereal as output, in console window.
      the gui help program may have the man pages available for browsing.

      there is no registry in linux, so a registry editing fix isn’t available.
      there is a database of what apps are installed, but that is completely different.

      • #3122625


        by puppybreath ·

        In reply to here

        I’ve been to a couple of the sites already but haven’t dug deep enough to see what’s available. But I’ll definitely check them all out. What about command line functionality? I want to be able to do everything from the command line that you can do from the GUI (I’m an old DOS guy at heart). For example, have a reference list of all configuration files you may need to modify in case something fails. I was thinking along the lines of the one of the Linux Bible books. Will these be over my head as a newbie or would they be a good starting point? Or should I stick to the sites and man pages you recommended to begin with and pick up the reference guides once I’ve got my feet wet??

        • #3122608


          by jaqui ·

          In reply to Thanks

          I personally went with the linux administration and networking guide, available as download from the linux documentation project.

          the contents of the etc folder is the configuration files for the system.

          vi(m) being the default text editor for linux console, reading the manual and turorial before breaking anything might be a good starting point.
          ( try using vi(m) without it on a system you broke the config on without having looked at vi(m) first..ouch )

          vi(m) = VI iMproved

          checking what is available online, see what areas it isn’t helping the going and finding a publication that specifically targets that area is a better use of resources, most of the “Bible” books are distribution specific rather than application / usage specific.
          O’Reilly’s “In a Nutshell” series has some good resources for all IT topics, including linux.

          TLDP has several usefull guides including bash scripting. [ dos batch files ] there are a lot more sites with reference materials for linux than those I listed, but the first in the list has most subjects covered fairly well.

          another excellent means of really learning linux in detail, read the linux from scratch installation manual. 200+ pages on building a linux system, bare bones by compiling it from source code. it definately will teach exactly what is needed and how it needs to be configured. this is not saying build a linux system from scratch, just read the instruction set. going lfs is for those who are completely comfortable with linux in console mode, know how to track down dependancies for building from sources and have up to a week to get a system up and running. ( for the first time with lfs )

        • #3122598


          by puppybreath ·

          In reply to well

          You’ve been a great help. Looks like I have some reading to catch up on.

        • #3043926

          Welcome to the fold

          by jdgretz ·

          In reply to Thanks

          If you are an old Dosketeer you’ll really enjoy Linux from the command line.

          Good to have you with us.


        • #3043882

          Thanks for the warm welcome

          by puppybreath ·

          In reply to Welcome to the fold

          From what I’ve seen so far, my main question is: Why did I wait so long?”

          I’ve been very impressed with the installation process and the functionality available right out of the box. And I began perusing the documents on the sites that Jaqui provided. There’s a lot more info out there than I realized.

          The biggest challenge so far is learning the keystrokes to VI. But I’ll get there.

        • #3128414

          New To Linux

          by balbir ·

          In reply to Thanks for the warm welcome

          I too am new to Linux. I down loaded and installed
          SuSe Linux 9.3 from the Novell Website. I was very impressed with the installation as well. Everything was detected and installed automatically.My LG DVD RAM drive was detected and installed. I have it connected to my Windows network. I can’t share files at the moment, but i’m working on it.You can download the user guide (304 pages)and administrators guide as well from Novell website

          I can do most things on it that i do on my windows box. I can’t play DVD’s so if there is anyone out there that can show me how, i’d be very greatful.

          I think the biggest factor holding back Linux is because people are too lazy to learn.I like the KDE desktop. When I’m not working , i use Linux and having fun learning.I think Linux should bre taught in schools, perhaps alongside windows so that people know there is an alternative to windows.
          All the best,

        • #3128286

          A few good links

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Thanks for the warm welcome

          System commands, alphabetical order, with explanations. Always nice to have a list to go through and just see what is available.

        • #3129711

          Just wait…

          by ~omega~ ·

          In reply to Welcome to the fold

          …Until you start typing BASH commands at a DOS prompt. I’m fairly new to Linux (gentoo) myself, and I catch myself trying to ls c:’/’program\files all the time.
          If you still boot into M$ every once in awhile make sure you get cygwin. And I haven’t seen any references to SSH, but it’ll be a valuable tool.

        • #3126687


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Just wait…

          Yeah, without OpenSSH, my life would be considerably more difficult (or less secure).

        • #3128303

          Good books

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Thanks

          I like to get the Cert study guide books. They will ask me questions, many of which I would never encounter on my own.

          It helps to keep me looking at new things with a direction. Do I worry about taking the tests? Not at all. But if I can open the book randomly and answer a question, I feel I am doing pretty good. If I can’t answer it, I have something to concentrate on learning.

          Another good thing to do when starting out. What do you want to DO with this computer? Get some tasks that you did in Windows, and try to do them ONE AT A TIME, until you can do anything in Linux that you did in Windows.

          That is my basic roadmap that I am following. Got sidetracked playing with all the Cisco stuff, but plan to be jumping back in fresh to the Linux stuff ASAP and will be dragging my 13 year old boys with me. Getting a few matching systems, so we can all work on this together. (watching someone else doe it, just doesn’t cut it!)

        • #3128217

          Free Online tutorial

          by dlewis45 ·

          In reply to well

 offers a free class called Linux 101
          It will give tou some basic insite into setting up the internet and configuring your printer and such. Welcome to the real world

        • #3126457

          free extensive training docs…

          by swier miedema ·

          In reply to Free Online tutorial

          Have a look at, They have a complete set of training material, which can also fucntion as reference. I found it quite useful!!! (to say the least)

        • #3197038


          by cass ·

          In reply to Free Online tutorial

          It would be nice if you provided a link.

        • #3197727

          easily fixed

          by madsmaddad ·

          In reply to where?

          take out the comma at the end of the url.

        • #3125736

          Another good Website

          by t0nz ·

          In reply to easily fixed

          Another good source of help is
          I got started with Linux, Debian Sarge about a year ago, and that site has helped me through many problems. I am now searching the links and suggestions in this thread, I am always trying to learn more about Linux. And what you are experiancing is what makes Linux such a great OS, the users. When have you ever worked with Microsoft products and ever met so many people with so much enthusiasm trying to help. Welcome to the good side!

    • #3128427

      what you need

      by apotheon ·

      In reply to OK I finally did it

      First off, if you’re willing to spend money on a book, the one reference that will help most with what you seem to want is [u]A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming[/u]. This book is incredible, and even includes a very helpful guide to the vi(m) text processor. You can find it at a number of bookstores, but here’s the Amazon listing for it:

      This book, for someone wanting to learn how to be comfortable, capable, and competent at the command line in Linux, is bar none the best tutorial/reference I’ve seen. If you only get one book related to the Linux command line, this should be it.

      As for learning to use vim on your own, you should know this stuff:
      (in command mode)

      [b]a[/b] moves the cursor forward one from its current position and enters insert mode (good for when you want to start typing at the end of the line)

      [b]dd[/b] deletes one line (anything up to the carriage return)

      [b]ddp[/b] deletes the current line then pastes it below the line that was currently below it

      [b]:help foo[/b] gives you help information about “foo” — you’ll want to replace “foo” in that with a command name or some other word that relates to what you’re trying to do (for instance, [b]:help copy[/b] gives information about the co(py) command)

      [b]i[/b] enters insert mode

      [b]:new filename[/b] opens a second file at the same time so that you have two open, each in a pane taking up half the screen — you can move between them in command mode by using [b]Ctrl+w w[/b]

      [b]o[/b] inserts a blank line under the current line, places your cursor there, and enters insert mode

      [b]O[/b] (a capital o) does the same as [b]o[/b], but above the current line instead of below it

      [b]p[/b] pastes the last thing you deleted or copied in the line just below where your cursor is currently located

      [b]:q[/b] quits the application — also used for exiting the help mode

      [b]:q![/b] quits the application without saving any changes

      [b]:red[/b] is the redo command, which can also be invoked by way of [b]Ctrl+r[/b]

      [b]s[/b] deletes the current letter and enters insert mode

      [b]:set invpaste[/b] turns on (if it’s currently off) or off (if it’s currently on) the autoindent setting for vim — useful for when you want to paste a large block of text with indentations in it without screwing up the formatting

      [b]:set number[/b] shows line numbers

      [b]u[/b] is the “undo” command, and can be used multiple times in vim (but only undoes one thing in vi)

      [b]:w[/b] saves (writes to file) the file that’s open without closing it

      [b]:wq[/b] saves and quits

      [b]x[/b] deletes the letter under the cursor

      NOTE: Any of those (non-colon) commands that lends itself to multiple actions can be preceded with a number to cause it to happen that many times. For instance, you can delete seven letters by typing [b]7x[/b], or seven lines with [b]7dd[/b], and so on. If you type something like [b]7i[/b], you’ll get into insert mode like normal, but when you next exit insert mode it’ll copy what you just did six more times. At that point, you might want to use the [b]u[/b] command, if that wasn’t what you intended.
      (in insert mode)

      [b]Ctrl+w[/b] deletes the word just before the cursor

      [b]Esc[/b] exits insert mode, entering command mode instead

      That’s pretty much the first stuff that comes to mind for getting underway as a competent vim user. I’m sure there’s more that would be useful right now, but that’s (as I said) what comes immediately to mind.

    • #3128388

      Rute is awesome

      by fritz_monroe ·

      In reply to OK I finally did it

      First, welcome to Linux. If you find your way around and want more, check out Slackware and Gentoo. They are a bit more hard core.

      Rute, located at, is the best reference I’ve got.

      Another great place to go with your questions is Linux Questions forums, located at The people there are happy to help anyone with question. But prior to posting, please do a little homework. The same questions are asked over and over and some of the regulars get annoyed with that.

      As for VI, there are some pretty decent cheat sheets out there. I’m posting several because while they do have the same info, the format of some are better than other.

      • #3128240

        Link to rute

        by tek1 ·

        In reply to Rute is awesome

        The link posted to doesn’t work.

        • #3128206

          the link, fixed

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Link to rute

          Remove everything after the .html and it should load fine, as long as you’ve got a browser capable of uncompressing the target file.

    • #3128387

      A few things

      by kraken_ ·

      In reply to OK I finally did it


      I don’t know much about your background using UN*X vatiants, but there’s a great tool on that allows you to answer the common question “how do I do it on this platform?”.

      As for Linux, if you’re a un*x newbie, the first things I should recommend are:

      – understand the boot process (/etc/init.d and /etc/inittab)

      – search in the /etc/ directory and read some files in there; it’s where you’ll find most of the config files.

      – don’t hesitate to go to the command-line. get used to the SH/BASH or KSH scripting (choose any one)

      – learn some tools like ps, lsof, kill, and at least the “-1” (soft close) and “-9” (sure kill) signals.

      – Try anything that goes on your mind. This is how you’ll learn the most.

      Hope this helps.

      • #3128375

        Last point

        by fritz_monroe ·

        In reply to A few things

        That last point is the best. Anyone that really wants to learn what’s happening with a computer can’t be afraid to break it. It’s kind of scary to know you are the one that broke it and not know how to fix the problem, but it’s also very rewarding when you determine the problem and get it fixed without having to call someone in.

        I’ve been playing around with Linux at home and was afraid to make a full switch, so am currently dual booting. However, I’ve recently gotten a laptop and as soon as my college course is over, that’s being loaded with Linux and will be my primary machine. For anyone looking to load Linux on a laptop, the best resource is Can’t always find the newest information on there, but most people load Linux onto a spare laptop, not their primary one.

    • #3128366

      One of the easiest samba how to’s I have found

      by ludedude25 ·

      In reply to OK I finally did it

      If file sharing you want then it doesn’t get much easier than this.

      Granted this is wrote specifically for suse 9.3 when you get to swat setup it is more universal. I have managed to setup SuSE 9.3 with complete file sharing between SuSE and XP/ 2kpro. After that I managed to get my Fedora Core box networked to XP/2kpro also but only to view files on the windows based pc’s. I’m still learning on seting up samba shares to view shared linux files.

      I find being able to interact with windows pc’s and being able to install programs you want to use on linux to be the most important features for a beginner. Once comfortable with those steps digging down into the Linux kernel isn’t so scarry.

    • #3128361

      I did the same thing recently

      by jkameleon ·

      In reply to OK I finally did it

      Downloaded Fedora & installed it on Virtual PC, just to see how it looks like. I must say I was very pleasantly surprised. OpenOffice, and a couple of very decent development tools are already included in the installation. I was able to configure it in a matter of hours, pull MS office documents from windows shares, read them into Openoffice, and continue to work on them. Even desktop backgrounds look better than those of Windows.

      I wasn’t able to test development tools, though. Virtual PC is terribly slow. Guess I should reactivate one of my old boxes one of theese says.

      • #3128309

        Fedora4, WinXP and VMWare 5.5 Desktop BETA

        by esnyder ·

        In reply to I did the same thing recently

        I was interested in doing something similar to you: I wanted a secure desktop that would let me do my day to day work, but still have access to files, network resources and programming as a “typical user” would. I set up VMWare’s Desktop 5.5 BETA on a laptop running Fedora4 and installed and updated WinXP in a virtual PC and everything has been working great. I tried the other way, but right off the bat, Windows XP and VMware required more resources just to run because of windows that the Linux side did.

        Back to the subject at hand. I found for me, the best way to learn Linux was to just try and do something. My first IT job dealt with HU-UX, Tandem?s and Tolerant?s so I had a good understanding of UNIX. Still can?t remember the vi hotkeys. Anyway, I decided SNORT would be a good starting point, so I bought Snort for Dummies and walked through it step by step. I found that there was a command ?script? that is similar to the dos redirected output in that it writes everything to a log file so when you are doing installations with lots of data scrolling by, you can go back and review them later; never knew it was there. Also, since they keep doing things the same way, downloading to /usr/local/src/tarballs and uncompressing to /usr/local/src for instance, you will start to build your won ?best practices.? I then rebuilt the laptop and tried Snort, Apache, SSL, PHP, MySQL, and BASE Install on CentOS 4, RHEL 4 or Fedora Core from Patrick S. Harper who also has Oinkmaster Installation and Configuration Guide now as well.

        Since installing SNORT, I have used source files and complied most of my own programs so I can see how things are set up, what the cross-file dependencies are and where files are going. I also try to look at the configure and make files before launching them to see what they will do.

    • #3128359

      Check out..

      by allroy10 ·

      In reply to OK I finally did it

      The Linux Documentation Project:

      The guides there helped me out immensely when I first made the leap to *nix.

    • #3128358

      Additional thoughts

      by sdalek ·

      In reply to OK I finally did it

      In addition to the great sources listed by contributers here, the O’Reilly press books have been good references, too. I would also suggest that you play with live-CD versions of linux such as Knoppix and Kanotix (my favorites), and also check out Novell’s new version of SuSE Linux 10.0. I have a CPQ Presario V2030 and have had no trouble with either of the live-CD versions or the full-install of SuSE.

      Now would also be a good time to explore the wonders of Mac OS X. 😉

      I have found that just for getting regular work done and run-of-the-mill web browsing, that SuSE Linux with OpenOffice 2.0 and the standard installs that come with it and Mac OS X with NeoOffice and all the ported freeware unix and linux applications will easily hold their own against MS-XP and Office Pro.

      Hope this helps….and have fun. Easier to learn when you’re having fun.

    • #3128337

      getting to know Linux

      by michael_orton9 ·

      In reply to OK I finally did it

      1/ If you have KDE desktop, just run it as you did with win 3.x but with only a single click.
      You can alter it to double click if you really want to.
      2/ Google “Linux Users Groups” and find your local one. There will be many there only too willing to help.
      3/ Google Dr. Bob’s LowFatLinux web site.
      Loads of really geeky help there.
      For a link to other sites “Harlech the way Forward”
      Local Linux user group. I have stuck a few links there.
      4/ Just play with it. Its certainly easier than the days of cp/m and DOS.
      Have you tried SuSE 9.3 pro?
      That comes on 5 cds with loads of “man” (how2)
      pages, it remends me of the days of MS DOS when we had to get “illegal” dos help shareware programs and hide them on the work’s PCs (IBM PS2s) using an equally illegal program called “hyde” that we renamed ext2bin!
      As the firm (at that time running the alleged 5th biggest IT program in the EEC) didn’t DO I.T. training for us, we learned a lot this way.
      When we finally did get professional training, it was far too late and we knew more then the rather poor trainers.
      As a scientist, I was used to being given a new gizmo, 10 minutes training and then being given a 2″ thick book to learn how to use it, and finally learning how to abuse it for purposes that it was never intended. At one time I had 4 different IT systems to deal with, all with different commands.
      You could even buy a how2 book. I haven’t done this since the early 90s when I used to get a copy of our latest SW from work, install it on my more powerful home PC, buy the QUE book (spending ?40 on a book when I got a copy of a ?500 or more software was worth while, and the firm benefited as we all got better training this way).
      Later, after taking early retirement, I worked for several “training” firms.
      I found that in general it would have been better to buy everyone a QUE book than sending them on a days ( or even the “”””expert””” 3 day) course.
      IMHO, the main benificaries of most IT training are the providers!
      Management feel obliged to provide “training” and they get the quickest and cheepest c***p possible.
      My wife spent the best part of a year learning SQL and database Management with the Open University.
      I know firms who will “teach” it in one whole day, perhaps three if you are very lucky!
      I know one training firm that is very proud of the fact that “Six months ago I had never switched on a computer: now I am teaching Photoshop!”
      And he couldn’t have put it better!

    • #3128327

      Linux, a different animal

      by john_perez_tx ·

      In reply to OK I finally did it

      Although Windows and Linux had similar beginnings, they are totally different animals today. Don’t expect to find anything like a registry, because most applications are set up with configuration scripts or start-up scripts.

      Where to begin depends on if you want to investigate desktop or server environment. Do you want to check out admin or user or developer roles. I would suggest checking for online books to familiarize with scripting and unix tools, this should lead naturally to vi editor and using regular expressions. From there you can pick up a book on Unix admin to learn how to create users, groups, home directories, mount resources, format disks, set up network communications. You can also try downloading applications and getting them installed and configured on your environment, I.E. download MySQL or Apache or Tomcat.

      Although you have selected Ubuntu, you might reconsider your choice simply because there are more books available for other Linux OS.

      • #3128300

        Try Suse (Novell’s flavor for lots of resources

        by pipe guy ·

        In reply to Linux, a different animal

        Two years ago I downloaded Suse8 and started on the same path of enlightenment. I still have a hard time getting my head around the “open source” concept after expecting that I will get a licensing bill from the manufacturer. Its just amazing how easy it was to install.
        I chose a P2 with 384megs of ram and an old scsi hard drive. It works great. I recently installed Suse 9 on a P3-800 with 512 megs of ram and it works even better. It installs just like Windows 2000 or XP pro. All the drivers were already there… everything worked and the install took 40 minutes. TCO is lower, period

    • #3128295


      by lstell9 ·

      In reply to OK I finally did it

      Knoppix is a good introduction to Linux. Knoppix comes on a bootable CD that installs the Knoppix version of Linux from the CD, and runs from the CD. It installs nothing to the hard drive. You can purchase it under $10 shipped or download it free.

      • #3129750

        Knoppix is good…

        by ccvenard ·

        In reply to Knoppix

        I’ve had Knoppix around since I heard about.
        It’s also handy for checking systems that Windows
        is broke on. I LOVE IT!!!

    • #3128270

      You guys are all terrific!

      by madsmaddad ·

      In reply to OK I finally did it

      As a university lecturer, I am trying to get away from Microsoft in my networking labs: I used to use Unix/Xenix a bit years ago, and am now playing around with different versions of Linux:

      I use Madrake 10.1 – Mandriva on a PC at home, and I like the KDE Gui.

      The Uni systems group has helped me make a downloadable Image for Mandrake 9 for the students to use for networking. Now we can swap between NT4 and Linux – Why not Dual Boot? We ghost down ‘clean’ images as required.

      I used Ubuntu on the machine at home for a bit, but it kept locking up – Nvidia screen drivers I think. Only happened when I dragged and dropped stuff across teh screen.

      I’ll get there, and you guys have given me terrfic links to help.

      Peter M.

      • #3129639

        That’s what it’s all about

        by jdgretz ·

        In reply to You guys are all terrific!

        No, get your left leg back out of there…

        You’ve hit the purpose of this place. We’re all here to help. I learn something every time I log on here, and I’ve been playing with this stuff since 1978 (actually started programming back in ’66).

        Linux folks are some of the most helpful folks around. Probably enlightened self interest.


    • #3128190

      Some Helpful Info

      by kelenpc ·

      In reply to OK I finally did it

      Hello, I’m a newbee too…
      Here is something usefull I found
      The root directory where the file system begins. In most cases the root directory only contains subdirectories.
      This is where the Linux kernel is kept. It is a file called vmlinuz.
      The /etc directory contains the configuration files for the system. Most of the files in /etc are text files. Points of interest:
      The passwd file contains the essential information for each user. It is here that users are defined.
      This directory contains the scripts that get the system started.
      Red Hat systems have this directory. It contains a lot of start-up scripts and configuration files for various services.
      /bin, /usr/bin
      These two directories contain most of the programs for the system. The /bin directory has the essential programs that the system requires to operate, while /usr/bin contains applications for the system’s users.
      /sbin, /usr/sbin
      The sbin directories contain programs for system administration, mostly for use by the superuser.
      The /usr directory contains a variety of things that support user applications. Some highlights:
      The X Windows system
      Dictionaries for the spelling checker. Bet you didn’t know that Linux had a spelling checker. See look and ispell.
      Various documentation files in a variety of formats.
      The man pages are kept here.
      Source code files. If you installed the kernel source code package, you will find the entire Linux kernel source code here.
      /usr/local and its subdirectories are used for the installation of software and other files for use on the local machine. What this really means is that software that is not part of the official distribution (which usually goes in /usr/bin) goes here.

      When you find interesting programs to install on your system, they should be installed in one of the /usr/local directories. Most often, the directory of choice is /usr/local/bin. On Red Hat systems, the /usr/local directories are created but they are empty, ready for your use.
      The /var directory contains files that change as the system is running. This includes:
      Directory that contains log files. These are updated as the system runs. You should view the files in this directory from time to time, to monitor the health of your system.
      This directory is used to hold files that are queued for some process, such as mail messages and print jobs. When a user’s mail first arrives on the local system (assuming you have local mail), the messages are first stored in /var/spool/mail
      The shared libraries (similar to DLLs in that other operating system) are kept here.
      /home is where users keep their personal work. In general, this is the only place users are allowed to write files. This keeps things nice and clean 🙂
      This is the superuser’s home directory.
      /tmp is a directory in which programs can write their temporary files.
      The /dev directory is a special directory, since it does not really contain files in the usual sense. Rather, it contains devices that are available to the system. In Linux (like Unix), devices are treated like files. You can read and write devices as though they were files. For example /dev/fd0 is the first floppy disk drive, /dev/hda is the first IDE hard drive. All the devices that the kernel understands are represented here.
      The /proc directory is also special. This directory does not contain files. In fact, this directory does not really exist at all. It is entirely virtual. The /proc directory contains little peep holes into the kernel itself. There are a group of numbered entries in this directory that correspond to all the processes running on the system. In addition, there are a number of named entries that permit access to the current configuration of the system. Many of these entries can be viewed. Try viewing /proc/cpuinfo. This entry will tell you what the kernel thinks of your CPU.
      Finally, we come to /mnt, a normal directory which is used in a special way. The /mnt directory is used for mount points. As we learned in the second lesson, the different physical storage devices (like hard disk drives) are attached to the file system tree in various places. This process of attaching a device to the tree is called mounting. For a device to be available, it must first be mounted.

      When your system boots, it reads a list of mounting instructions in the file /etc/fstab, which describes which device is mounted at which mount point in the directory tree. This takes care of the hard drives, but you may also have devices that are considered temporary, such as CD-ROMs and floppy disks. Since these are removable, they do not stay mounted all the time. The /mnt directory provides a convenient place for mounting these temporary devices. In a normal installation, you will see the directories /mnt/floppy and /mnt/cdrom. To see what devices and mount points are used, type mount.

    • #3128174

      Ubuntu Link…

      by tweakerxp ·

      In reply to OK I finally did it

      I just installed Breezy 5.10, my first distro of linux. I trying to break the windows habit. Little bit of a learning cruve but its getting better.
      Had a real hard time loading Slackware. Ubuntu worked like a charm. Good Luck…..

    • #3129755

      Samba vs. Network Conversion

      by vitz ·

      In reply to OK I finally did it

      I have been a long time fan of Linux, using it on an old machine just because I could. However, my primary machines in my house (I have 3) are all Windows based. With my recent upgrade to a highspeed ISP, I decided to set up one of the spare machines as a print/file server. Having never connected the Linux machines to my network, I forgot entirely that they didn’t support Windows network.

      My question is: Am I better off setting up a Samba server, or converting my entire network (which includes 802.11b/g wireless) over to a Unix based network system?

      • #3129745

        the latter

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Samba vs. Network Conversion

        You’re better off with a fully ‘nix-based network, if you really won’t mind the lack of Windows systems. Using Samba with Linux systems, however, is reasonably easy once you get the hang of it, and is extremely stable and functional. In fact, once I started setting up hybrid Windows/Linux networks using Samba, I discovered that the Windows side was the most problematic, because a Linux system just keeps chugging along without issue once you get it configured. Meanwhile, Windows systems have an aggravating tendency to reset things, change things, and otherwise do what it thinks you should have it do rather than what you want. Recent Windows Updates have wiped out network settings, restarting systems in the wrong order can sometimes cause some Windows systems to change their network settings, and adding a new Windows system to an already existing Windows network has been known to cause problems as well (since every new version of Windows has defaulted to a higher priority as the primary network browsing “master”).

        All of this specifically applies to small “workgroup” networks, of course, as opposed to Windows Domains, which are a whole different animal.

        • #3129653


          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to the latter

          Samba is pretty spiffy and quite beefy. You can even integrate it into a domain role (although this can be interesting at best).

          If you want Windows Machines, you can read NTFS (but writing to it is a whole different story) and you can share and mount the shares for Windows to Linux and vice versa (via Samba).

          Keep in mind Windows machines are pretty slow with the whole sharing ideal and tend to have strange things happen. Sharing with MS OSs doesn’t seem to be high on their priority list.

      • #3129638

        Couple of Questions You Need To Answer

        by jdgretz ·

        In reply to Samba vs. Network Conversion

        Are you using any Windows programs that do not exist on Linux (QuickBooks/Quicken/Microsoft Money come to mind as biggies for many folks)?

        If so, then you’ll need at least one Windows box for that and the games that are not ported to Linux. Go for Samba, it’s pretty simple to setup and get stable once you’ve played with Linux for a while.

        If on the other hand you can do everything you want without need of Windows programs (PhotoShop???) then make the total switch.

        Keep us informed as to your decision and how it works out for you.


        • #3126578

          Couple of Answers

          by vitz ·

          In reply to Couple of Questions You Need To Answer

          Well, the thing is, I only operate on one of the three systems. The other two are Win2000 belonging to my mom and dad. Having my dad switch to Linux only is not a problem. My mom, on the other hand, will have trouble with Linux because she is used to windows. That is something my dad and I have to deal with, because we are itching to switch to all Linux.

          The other issue is with my laptop (my actual primary machine) which I can’t switch to Linux else loose support software wise, which is an issue for me (though most of the problems do involve windows/drivers…) I am not willing to switch it yet, as my warrenty is not yet up. At that point I may switch it.

          The programs are not an issue, because everything used (except the games) has a Linux version available one way or another.

          So, unfortunatly, I must stick with a mixed network, with either Samba or a *nix network.

          I have a feeling it won’t be pretty to set up, but I am more interested in not having my mother cursing my dad and I for screwing up something, and her not being able to print. Right now, as a temp. solution, we have the printer shard on my dad’s machine, and the tower containing my nice Suse 10 setup sitting idle.

          I should also mention that I am not using a full server style set up. It is going to be more of the Suse tower sharing the printer, until I find budget enough to do something better.

    • #3129650

      If it wasn’t for linux not recognizing my Winmodem…

      by kuntua ·

      In reply to OK I finally did it

      The only thing that kept me back from using Linux is the modem. Linux didn’t recognize my internal Winmodem and I’m not patient enough to go back and forth to find info in the internet with the other PC running Win. Several year ago I installed RedHat 7.3 and it recognized my Winmodem. But now, I’ve installed Fedora 4, Ubuntu, Knoppix, and none recognized my modem.

      • #3129637

        Do it the easy way

        by jdgretz ·

        In reply to If it wasn’t for linux not recognizing my Winmodem…

        Get a non-winmodem and you’ll not have that problem. Heck, go back to an external box so you can watch the lights (I’ve always enjoyed that!).



        • #3129525

          Advantage of external

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Do it the easy way

          If it ever hangs, it is just a power switch away from a reset!

          It does still amaze me that people would make OS specific hardware. What are they thinking? (or did they?)

        • #3126792

          Reply To: OK I finally did it

          by fritz_monroe ·

          In reply to Advantage of external

          I don’t blame them. After all, Windows has a huge market share. They are just saving a lot of money by building for Windows only. It would probably cost a lot more to make them non-windows modems. It’s strictly a money issue.

        • #3126532

          Why not make agnostic modems??

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to Reply To: OK I finally did it

          Why should hardware be so dependent on an OS?

          Oh and as for getting winmodems to work in linux:

        • #3126529

          the winmodem problem

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Why not make agnostic modems??

          The modulation/demodulation performed by a winmodem actually occurs in software rather than hardware. Since it costs nothing to duplicate software, it’s cheaper to do it that way than with a fully hardware based modem. Three immediate problems arise from that, however:

          1. Because it’s software driven, it’s much slower. As such, a 33.6kbps winmodem is actually significantly slower than a 33.6kbps hardware modem. Hardware based translations between analog and digital are pretty much instant, but software based translations of the same sort require processing power, RAM, and time. Thus, though the communication speed and bandwidth is the same for either type of modem (all else being equal), there’s a latency overhead introduced with the winmodem.

          2. Because most of the actual work of the modem is done by software, it’s extremely easy for the thing to get screwed up. Since Windows isn’t very modular in design, it becomes an interesting challenge to fix corrupted winmodem “drivers”.

          3. Because most of the operation is handled by software, that means the hardware is utterly useless without the software. There’s not really any such thing as a universal “close enough” driver: either you’ve got a usable winmodem driver, or you haven’t got one. This software is, of course, a closely guarded secret of the winmodem vendors, because it’s the majority of their profit, being the one part that doesn’t really have any duplication overhead. The software is designed for Windows. Back when all this started, there wasn’t any notable demand for non-Windows drivers for these modems, and now that there’s broadband everywhere, there still isn’t any notable demand.

          Ultimately, what it boils down to is that it was much cheaper and more profitable to target a large segment of potential customers than to target all of them.

        • #3126494

          you forgot

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to Why not make agnostic modems??

          the detection and driver link site for winmodems in linux. 😛

        • #3126357

          Reply To: OK I finally did it

          by fritz_monroe ·

          In reply to Why not make agnostic modems??

          I agree that it’s annoying to have a device tied to an OS. However, if you look at it from their point of view, it makes perfect sense.

          If I make a modem that 100,000 people will buy and I can make an extra $1 by making it tied to the OS, that’s an extra $100,000 profit. Then I put out fewer of the same modem but with the extra hardware that make it work independent of the OS, I can charge an extra $10 for this. It’s strictly a business move.

        • #3126398

          I do blame them

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Reply To: OK I finally did it

          for not coming out later with additional drivers for other OS’s as the demand rose.

          If the linux community could come up with the work around, why couldn’t the manufacture INCLUDE a fix themselves?

          Never good to ignore a new market, as NEW markets are the easiest to gain market share in! One of the first things they teach you in marketing/management.

        • #3126348

          Reply To: OK I finally did it

          by fritz_monroe ·

          In reply to I do blame them

          But most of the manufacturers already have a market share of the Linux market. Most of the manufacturers have winmodems and non-winmodems. But by and large the largest segment of the market is for winmodems. They are cheaper than non-winmodems. The dial up market is a shrinking market, it isn’t in the company’s best interest to put a lot of money into creating non-winmodems when the vast majority of the market is not for this product.

          As much as we all like to think Linux is currently a huge market, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the M$ share. That’s just the way it is. The Linux market is growing by leaps and bounds, but it’s not really that big yet.

    • #3197008

      did it and regret it

      by avid ·

      In reply to OK I finally did it

      i just installed suse pro 9.3 and it is so slow. am i missing something or is it just a slow responding os?

      • #3196966

        Reply To: OK I finally did it

        by fritz_monroe ·

        In reply to did it and regret it

        Never used SUSe, but I know that every distro that I’ve used has been far faster than the same generation Windows. Have you tried to use it with a window manager that’s light weight? Gnome and KDE are a extremely bloated.

        I will also say that anyone that tries to learn Linux must go into it with an open mind. Anyone that goes into it thinking that it’s not going to be a good experience, won’t have a good experience.

    • #3127305

      Thanks to all for the responses

      by puppybreath ·

      In reply to OK I finally did it

      I want to thank all of you for the helpful responses you submitted. It’s encouraging to see the number of people willing to offer advice and help to a newbie. I really appreciate it. Now if I can get off the road for a while, I can try to bang away at the new Linux system. At least I have the on-line references several people recommended to peruse while I’m traveling.

      Thanks again!

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