General discussion


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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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.

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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??

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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 )

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by puppybreath In reply to well

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

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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.


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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.

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New To Linux

by Balbir In reply to Thanks for the warm welco ...

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,

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A few good links

by jdclyde In reply to Thanks for the warm welco ...

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

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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.

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by apotheon In reply to Just wait...

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

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