[lug] Linux Starter Guide

Chris McDermott csmcdermott at gmail.com
Mon Sep 13 16:42:37 MDT 2010

Actually I wouldn't recommend Ubuntu for learning Linux, it does too many
things its own way.  I believe if you want to learn Ubuntu, use Ubuntu.  If
you want to learn Red Hat, use Red Hat.  But if you really want to learn
Linux inside and out, I vote for Slackware.  I'm running it on my Thinkpad
with Fluxbox for a window manager, and it's a truly beautiful thing.  As for
resources, here are my favorites:

Unix and Linux Administration Handbook (paid) - http://www.admin.com
RUTE User's Guide and Tutorial (free) -
Forums - http://www.linuxquestions.org


On Sun, Sep 12, 2010 at 4:53 PM, John Dollison <johndollison at hotmail.com>wrote:

>  A friend of mine (he's a software tester) just asked how to learn
> about Linux.  I sent him the e-mail below.  Did I miss anything?
> ----------------------------------- Original Message
> -----------------------------------
> Subject: Linux Starter Guide
> From:    "John Dollison"
> Date:    Sun, September 12, 2010 4:48 pm
> To:      "Ed"
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Ed,
> If you want to learn UNIX / Linux, you absolutely will need a working,
> modern
> distribution on a laptop so you can play with it anywhere, anytime.  It's
> easy to make
> your laptop dual-boot either Windows or Linux; setting up a third NTFS
> partition takes a
> bit more work, but is worth it.
> My suggestion is starting with Ubuntu (http://www.ubuntu.com/).  It's one
> of the easiest
> distributions because of the hardware auto-detection, etc.  You'll have a
> working
> installation in under two hours.  The current stable version is 10.04 (from
> the Download
> Now page), and there's a beta version 10.10 that you can download if you
> want (it will
> become the official latest stable version in October).   The website has an
> amazing
> amount of step-by-step tutorials, often with pictures.  Take the time to
> read through it
> all.
> I have 6 books on Linux that you're welcome to borrow; I'm sure there are
> dozens more at
> the libraries.  Stay away from the reference books for now; look toward the
> step-by-step
> tutorials.  Books that include their own CD are preferred; it means the
> steps in the
> book should match how your system works.  I can't tell you how many times
> I've read
> something in a book only to find out it will only work on Distro X,
> versions 1-4, and I
> have some other Distro or version that doesn't include that command or
> tool.
> I think classes are easier than learning from books (unless you already
> have a Computer
> Science degree or some similar computer/programming background).  Just
> about all
> colleges now offer Linux classes, and many are available online, which is
> better for
> working adults.  I've also heard great things about O'Reilly School of
> Technology.  They
> offer individual classes, as well as full certificate programs.  If money's
> tight,
> e-mail Trish and ask if any discounts are available; last year she offered
> me a decent
> discount but I just didn't have time to enroll and take the course.
> http://www.oreillyschool.com/certificates/system-administration.php
> I also recommend finding local support; someplace to help you out when
> you're stuck.
> For me, that's the Boulder Linux Users' Group (BLUG).  I used to attend all
> their
> meetings; now that I live further south I just hang out on their e-mail
> list and ask
> questions.
> http://lug.boulder.co.us/
> There's also a South Denver group, the Colorado Linux Users and Enthusiasts
> (CLUE).
> http://www.cluedenver.org/
> And, of course, there are tons of resources online.  The Ubuntu forums are
> Just about any problem you run into is probably already solved and
> described on the
> forums.  Sign up and start reading.
> http://ubuntuforums.org/
> If you want to get more advanced, there are hundreds of Linux or BSD
> distributions that
> you can try for free.  (BSD is another variant of UNIX that doesn't use the
> Linux
> kernel, but most of the commands are essentially the same.)  Check out
> DistroWatch;
> specifically their "Top 10 Distros" page.
> http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major
> Or, you can really get into the nuts-n-bolts of Linux with the Linux From
> Scratch
> project; it's like building your own airplane from a box o' parts.
> http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/
> Let me know if you have any questions!
> --
> John Dollison
> Westminster, CO 80021
> .
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