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Starting with Linux!

Discussion in 'Computers' started by thatguy188, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. thatguy188

    thatguy188 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    So I've decided since I am going to college for Telecommunications System Management I ought to try out and get a little familiar with Linux.

    I've installed "Pinguy OS" just yesterday, and it looks extremely user-friendly with the ability to be "more advanced" if one so chooses.

    Anyways, I was curious if some of you guys could recommend some reading material for people new to linux who want to learn more.


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  2. Joe Dirt

    Joe Dirt Android Enthusiast

  3. thatguy188

    thatguy188 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    You know the for dummies books aren't all that bad actually. Taught me at least the basics of Java ... which I now don't remember of course, lol :p
  4. Joe Dirt

    Joe Dirt Android Enthusiast

    The only time I've ever seen anyone with a "for dummies" book was my grandfather, he had a windows 98 for dummies. He still had a hard time. Always had to get the grandkids to fix stuff.
  5. SUroot

    SUroot Extreme Android User

    A fellow wintel system engineer at work has linux for dummies. he swears by it.
  6. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande?

    This is something I have been meaning to do as well.

    Need to set up a home box/virtual install and see what I can learn.

    I'm thinking Linux For dummies is as good a place as any -- but I'd expect to need a second more advanced book when done.
  7. Joe Dirt

    Joe Dirt Android Enthusiast

    Just do like I've done. Jump in and install while half drunk. Wake up in the morning and figure out what you did the night before. Run updates and start using it. The Internet has alot of info i've learned.
    alostpacket likes this.
  8. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian

    Truth be told, there really is a lot of info on the web.

    There are distro-specific forums left and right to help you get started, and some of the lurkers there were using UNIX before many of us were born (myself notably included, and I'm 40). Transitioning for these guys to Linux was a breeze compared to newer computer savvy folks used to using MacOSX or Windows XP+

    I jumped into Linux back with Fedora Core 2, and dual booted with XP. I quickly got past the default install and was hungry for more - and when I ran into Con Kalivas' kernel patches even back then that really showed me the power of supercharging Linux, I got hooked. I quickly learned how to compile my own kernel, and then was told that if I wanted to continue on my path to self-compiled kernels and apps, that Gentoo was the way to go. Back in 2004, this was sound advice.

    Nowadays, you'll find a lot more in terms of distros that allow for a much more customized, built-from-scratch approaches - Arch is, Gentoo is, LFS is, and many more distros whose names I do not know. At the same time, if you know what you are doing, and don't mind taking chances to learn (and possibly b0rk your system while doing so) you can make any distro you like as customized as you want, or leave them as vanilla as you want.

    One word of caution - vanilla usually leads to a not as noticeable performance increase on the surface (I know I'm gonna get flamed for this statement, but I can assuredly qualify it). When doing FC2 vs XP, my boot time were within 20 seconds of each other - both took ~1:30 to boot, XP closer to 1:40 and FC2 closer to 1:20. I wasn't really impressed, but I kept seeing folks that had magnificent boot times under 30 seconds flat. So, rather than dismissing them, I took the time to learn and read - a lot. I read pages and pages of forum posts, blog posts, distro-specific websites and manuals online, learning different commands, etc. I finally figured out that my default kernel in FC2 was doing nothing more than the Windows kernel does - polling the hardware for various devices, and if found, then loading the driver(s) for them. I also learned that I can hand code my kernel to only load drivers that I wanted loaded. And that, right there, made all the difference in the world. Once I took out the bloat, and stopped letting it look for new hardware, it was a snap to get a sub-30 second boot on that very same machine that took 4 times as long to boot into XP.

    My rather long-winded post comes down to this - whatever floats your boat. If you want a book to read through, buy a book. However, if you're not into that sort of thing, do realize that you'll always have the Internet at your disposal - and with that you can find all sorts of resources to help answer much more exact and specific questions that you might have.

    Coincidentally, when it came time for my first smart phone almost 2 years ago, I did the same thing - I read and read and read and lurked and read some more. I was already a member at Howard Forums, an a couple of other places, and then I found this place - and I obviously like it here :D But, I've never, ever evah bought a book on Android. Online is my cup of tea.
    9to5cynic and thatguy188 like this.
  9. thatguy188

    thatguy188 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    LOL. thats what I did .... well, kind of, haha.
  10. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande?

    It's weird -- for me I think there's a motivation factor. Like Linux is something in my "should do at some point" category. While Android is in my "I'm passionate about this nearly every day" category. So for the "should do" stuff, I'm thinking having a book laying around would give me a chance to learn when I have spare time, like on a train.

    and lol@ joe dirt, I may just need to do that :D
  11. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian

    Linux was my "I must do this now" obsession (let's face it, I'm OCD) of the decade.

    Android is my new one. Oh, and learning F#
  12. baillou2

    baillou2 Well-Known Member

    I started with "Linux Phrasebook, essential codes and commands"

    It's good to have an actual book and this will help you immediately get into the essential basics.

    These days distros like pinguyOS (using it now) are so user friendly you really don't need to know much. But where's the fun in that? ;)
    alostpacket likes this.
  13. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Android Expert

    I started with Ubuntu 8.04, and have been updating and installing different distros since!

    Not sure what versions you guys are using, but the latest ones are not using classic desktops (Ubuntu 11.04 and Fedora 15 come to mind). You might want to find older versions of those distros to get the classic Gnome desktop experience.

    As for learning Linux, I'd say the best way is the hard way. I've learned (learned, not memorized or read) way more by messing something up and having to fix it by looking it up than from reading in advance.

    Though, reading in advance does leave you more prepared; I'd say hands on is the way to go with Linux.

    (Just triple booted my netbook for classes; Fedora, Ubuntu and BackTrack)
  14. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande?

    For me the reason i have to learn it is that I will likely have to maintain to some small degree any servers my apps need.

    So that mans CentOS most likely. And SSH access only... I've done a little but updating the server was a scary process for me...lol
  15. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Android Expert

    Oh yeah, servers are fun for sure. Set up Ubuntu Server this summer... pretty interesting, learning where all the real work is done from. As easy as it is to set up a wireless network on the GUI, CLI is a bit trickier. lol.
  16. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian

    Or, if you really wanna have some fun, look into running YDL.net on your PS3 :p
  17. SUroot

    SUroot Extreme Android User

    I.had to learn to build android Roms. I just installed and went. Anything I need to know, I Google. I learn quicker this way
    alostpacket likes this.
  18. pete4

    pete4 Lurker

    Got into linux late last year as a way to breathe life into old Power PC-based eMacs. I have 3 eMacs at work running ubuntu 11.04, and they run great. Tried out Unity 2D desktop, but didn't like it. I like cool launchers and graphical effects, but I simple does it fine for me on a desktop OS.

    I've settled into using Linux Mint at home on a mini Foxconn box with an Atom 330 chip, and everything works great. Mint is just super easy to use, you almost won't need help. Best way to learn is to jump in and do stuff. There's so much good documentation out there, just be sure you're looking at something recent and not two to three years ago.
    Support for hardware and peripherals seems to get a lot better every 6 months. Everything I've plugged in has worked out of the box with Mint. The days of Linux being difficult are really over, I think.
  19. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian

    I've always liked Xubuntu - XFCE is my fav lightweght DM
  20. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Android Expert

    XFCE is the one with the mouse logo right? I've only tried it once or twice.

    Anyone remember what the DM with cruchbang is/was. Haven't tried #! in quite some time....

    Despite not really like Gnome 3, I'm really enjoying Fedora 15.
  21. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian


    Xubuntu I just got 11.10 and will put it into a VM and test the power of my workhorse.

    #! - wasn't that also Deb based? It used / uses (don't know if it is still around) Openwin or something like that, right?
  22. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Android Expert

    Oh yeah, maybe openbox? I think it was open...something.

    how's xubuntu going?
  23. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian

    Lol - I was in the (biotechnology) lab all day today, haven't even cracked it yet on VBox. Tonight. Maybe. Cute girl may have other plans...and I'm a sucker for them lol
    9to5cynic likes this.

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