1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Best way to learn Linux

Discussion in 'Linux / Unix Discussion' started by michael78, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

    2,085
    29
    141
    what is the best way to learn linux? As I think it's pretty easy to use Linux with a GUI like with Ubuntu using Gnome but I really get stuck when having to mess with command lines. I came up against a problem that required me messing with command lines which I had no clue about. Ffreeloader and co were really helpful with the problem I was having but I gave up and reinstalled Linux. If this was windows I would of been able to fix it. I'm really wanting to learn Linux properly. So my questions are:

    1) Should I be learning about linux from the ground up (Command line) or pick a distro and learn that way? If the answer is yes what is a good book to get started with?

    2) If I learn about a distro and read a book on it will I still be stuck when coming to have to mess around with command lines or will a book also cover this.

    3) With the major distros do they all use the same commands when using the command prompts or do distro's based on Redhat differ from ones based on Debian?

    Thanks in advance

    Michael
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  2. SamuelClyde

    SamuelClyde Nibble Poster

    53
    1
    26
    All Distrobutions have the same set of commands, As they are all more or less based on the Linux Kernel. The Distrobutions are basically Packages with programs and untilitys you might like (Like a Nice GUI)

    Im learning linux by switching my main computer to Ubuntu and working out out as go on and need it

    The Best Distro to learn on Apparently is Slackware.

    If you dont like the idea of switching to Linux pointblank, Try running it in a Virtual Machine (Vmware) :)
     
    WIP: GCSE's / Network +
  3. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

    6,281
    85
    174
    Most distro's now offer live CD's. Although to get the full flavour once you see what you are getting install it.

    I am hooked on Ubuntu. I find it has all i need and more. There is also great support on the forums:

    http://www.ubuntuforums.org/

    As for media, well try this for starters. Don't forget, to quote Trip, "google is your friend." There is loads of good advice out there.

    All the best, let us know how you find it.
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  4. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

    2,085
    29
    141
    Cheers for the reply guys, much appreciated. Boyce I have Ubuntu on an old PC. The thing is I can use it fine with the GUI but if anything goes wrong where I need to configure or mess around with command lines then thats where I'm screwed as I aint got a clue about Linux commands.

    Say if I had a problem again with my graphic drivers and it wouldn't boot into the GUI how do I know the commands and what is the best way to learn these commands is it through maybe starting with slackware and buying a linux book based on just command lines distro like slackware would that help me more? I prefer books as I can dip into them anywhere and when I'm away on business and don't have the net. Can anyone recommend a good book that would suit me in what I need (I will chanck the dummies book out).
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  5. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

    6,281
    85
    174
    yeah, print out this for a start.
    :thumbleft
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  6. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    13,493
    179
    287
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  7. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

    2,085
    29
    141
    Cheers for that Boyce had a quick scan it will help for Ubuntu type things but what I'm really after is a guide to what commands like sudo mean etc and how to configure a graphics card with the command line. For instance Ffreeloader told me to edit /etc/X11/F86Config-4 what is X11 folder for instance this is what I'm wanting to learn what these folders are, how to find them and what they do.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  8. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

    2,085
    29
    141
    Trip, thats just what I was after cheers. Sorry guys I'm really crap at explaining what I'm after. Does anyone know any books that are a good starting point for learning the Shell and linux commands. I like books over websites or printing things out cause my printer costs a fortune to print large amounts on.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  9. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    13,493
    179
    287
    Just about any general Linux book will give you an overview of the commands used in Linux and the file structure. I have to disagree with SamuelClyde slightly in that not *all* distros use each and every command the same and not all critical files are stored in the same parts of the file directory. SUSE is just different enough to be a pain when you are trying to learn generic Linux. Also Ubuntu isn't always helpful at learning generic Linux since you don't create a root user in Ubuntu but rather use sudo to give the end user temporary root permissions.

    I'm toggling back and forth between Debian and Fedora Core. The way they use commands is pretty much the same but of course how software packages are managed is just different enough to be annoying. :tongue

    Linux in a Nutshell is something of a classic as far as learning commands but it isn't necessarily for the newbie. Currently, I'm using:

    Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 Bible

    and

    Red Hat Fedora Linux 3 Bible

    As with just about any Linux book, they cover the basics of the command-line utilities, file structure and such. You might get more mileage out of a Linux book aimed at something like the Linux+ certification exam. It cert doesn't focus on a specific distro and lays a pretty broad foundation on how to use generic Linux. Worth a shot, mate.

    I also maintain memberships at Linux-specific forums.

    I'm partial to Linux-Tutorial.info

    and

    LinuxQuestions.org

    While the latter is heavily populated and questions are answered very fast, there are too many members to really give it the "personal" feel. The former is rather underpopulated but then you are up close and personal with whoever is there (which more often than not is usually me). :wink:

    Hope this helps.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  10. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

    3,661
    106
    167
    Slypie,

    Places to learn the Bash shell:
    1. Get a book on the Bash shell. "Learning the Bash Shell" is a good book to start with. The "Bash Beginners Guide" is good. You'll find it on the tldp.org site that Trip pointed you to.
    2. The man pages are good for giving you the syntax of the different commands. For instance: "man dpkg" will give you the manual page for the dpkg command found in the Debian-related distros. Man pages (manual pages) for just about all commands found in the bash shell are available as a default feature on all distros.
    3. Here is a link to the online Bash Reference Manual.
    4. What books you want to purchase will be determined to a great extent by what distro you decide to use to learn.
    5. My recommendation for a distro that will really make you learn is Debian. It has a very simple package management system, which, imo, beats all others hands down. That alone will remove your greatest source of frustration--installing software and figuring out dependencies. Debian will not tell you how to configure your system, but it will allow you to configure all of it, and it will allow you to do this through configuration files. If you're really wanting to learn Linux this is a distinct advantage because you begin to learn what is "under the hood" so to speak. Progress is slow to begin with but once you get a base understanding your learning curve will accelerate sharply.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  11. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

    2,085
    29
    141
    Cheers guys, I'm going to look over all the resources you have mentioned over crimbo. I really appreciate all the help...:D
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  12. Jellyman_4eva

    Jellyman_4eva Byte Poster

    213
    4
    34
    As I see your todo list includes Linux+, which I have done fairly recently, may I suggest Linux+ in Depth by Schitka Eckert (On Amazon)..

    Its a very good beginners book and also maps to the latest CompTIA requirements for the Linux+ exam...

    Although it bases itself upon Fedora Core 2 I believe, the topics it gives you are relevant to any Linux variant...

    I still use mine even though I have passed the exam, its a very good reference book....

    It goes through a fair bit... just a thought
     
    Certifications: MCDST, MCITP-EDST/EDA/EA/SA/ MCSA 2K3/2K8, MCSE+M 2K3/2K8, ISA/TMG, VCP3/4, CCNA, Exchange, SQL, Citrix, A+, N+, L+, Sec+, Ser+, JNCIA-SSL, JNCIS-SSL
    WIP: Lots
  13. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

    2,085
    29
    141
    Cheers for that Jellyman, I'll have alook...:D
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  14. supag33k

    supag33k Kilobyte Poster

    461
    19
    49
    On Fedora, I recently setup at home test boxes for debian and suse and liked what saw. Then I downloaded and setup Fedora FC4 and wondered why I did this?? - as, IMHO, both Debian and SUSE are better distros....

    For Suse, Yast and amount of packages available is excellent, though the linux shell is lsightly different [as has been mentioned]

    For Debian, the number of packages is good, though the package selection on install leaves a bit to be desired, and it appears to be rock solid.

    Fedora FC4 appears to have fallen by the wayside in comparison in terms of package availability etc

    I have found the various doco sites mentioned above to be very helpful.

    Also it is amazing how much can be learnt by breaking and either reinstalling or fixing a Linux install.
     
    Certifications: MCSE (NT4/2000/2003/Messaging), MCDBA
    WIP: CCNA, MCTS SQL, Exchange & Security stuff
  15. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

    3,661
    106
    167
    Partially agreed, and agreed.

    What is it that you find wrong with the package selection? Too old? Try running sid/unstable. It has the latest of everything and for being a development/test bed OS it is amazingly stable in everyday operation. I've been running a combination of sarge, etch, and sid--mostly sid--for a few months now using apt-pinning and I've had very few problems.

    Sarge is a great server os. It's install it and forget it other than running apt-get update and apt-get upgrade once in a while. I've left a couple of my lab servers up now for more than 6 months without a reboot and they show no signs of instablility.

    As to learning through breaking and fixing/reinstalling.... Well, that's an excellent way to learn. Digging through the documentation and learning how all the configuration files work teaches a great deal. To tell the truth I owe the number of skills I've gained in Linux directly to using Debian. It has a very steep learning curve to begin with, but WOW, what an operating system. The payback for effort put forth is very good.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  16. supag33k

    supag33k Kilobyte Poster

    461
    19
    49
    Yo Freddie - congrats again m8!!

    yep - running sarge but I found the initial package install during installation a bit unfriendly though I got there in the end...will look at sid/unstable time permitting or sid when it finally is released as stable.

    btw - have you got a download site for sid/unstable??

    Yes and the doco does help

    after 8pm here & going home...
     
    Certifications: MCSE (NT4/2000/2003/Messaging), MCDBA
    WIP: CCNA, MCTS SQL, Exchange & Security stuff
  17. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

    3,661
    106
    167
    Just add a line to your /etc/apt/sources.list file that uses the same url as Sarge/stable but change the word Sarge to Sid or stable to unstable depending on which wording you're using already. Add another line for source because every once in a while you'll have need of source code too.

    Then run apt-get update so apt will know that the new line exists. If you want you can run a combination of Sarge and Sid by using apt-pinning. Or, you can just run an "apt-get dist-upgrade unstable" and run pure sid.

    I'm assuming you have a pretty fast broadband connection. You certainly don't want to do this from a dial-up.... On a 3000Kb cable connection it takes around a 1/2 hour to do the download. On a dialup it would take a day or two....
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  18. 9box

    9box Bit Poster

    17
    0
    2
    hi there folks, a NEW, noobie here, finding myself being inexorably drawn to Linux for some strange reason. Dont know why.

    If ecdl is the start of one aspect of computing, and A+ is the recognised initial step for all things hardware and software, the Network + gives one a start in networking. My question is,...

    What is the "a.b.c." or starting place of Linux? In terms of books, cbt, courses? Please bear in mind that i personally have never (knowingly) used a linux based pc before. Can i tag this along with my ecdl, A+, Network+, mcsa, mcse, compTia Security+, or wait for completion of the above courses? Any sugestion here will be gratefully accepted . I will of course follow all postings on this and related threads. Thanks in advance
     
  19. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

    3,661
    106
    167
    Pick a distro and start playing with it. Linux is pretty much best learned hands-on. There is a lot of documentation around on the internet and distro's such as Debian have a excellent documentation available as packages that are installed right with the OS.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  20. supag33k

    supag33k Kilobyte Poster

    461
    19
    49
    Yep I got back to this thread

    A good point you mentioned above - I'll give it a go on SID at some stage....
     
    Certifications: MCSE (NT4/2000/2003/Messaging), MCDBA
    WIP: CCNA, MCTS SQL, Exchange & Security stuff

Share This Page

Loading...