Looking to Learn Some Linux

Hey I'm wanting to learn how to use Linux(possibly mostly convert), and I was wondering if there was anything I needed to know befor I start to walk down the dark path :wink: .

As I've used a bit of Mandrake 10 on an OLD computer I'm planing on useing Mandrake 2006 on my new rig.

Is it possible to install aditional desktops after the system is setup? I'm rather partial to GNOME, and would like to install it if it does not come in the standard full install of Mandrake.

So, is there anything I should keep in mind or things that are truely important that I should learn?

Thanks in advance
23 answers Last reply
More about looking learn linux
  1. If you want to learn linux then i find the best way is to use a VM.

    You can download a copy of VMware Player for free from http://www.vmware.com/products/player/

    You can then download free pre built linux VM systems to test on it here http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/appliances/

    This will allow you to get used to the system before jumping in with both feet.
  2. Wheres the fun in that? Theres no imediat threat of "Oh sh!t 8O I got to get this to work and now!" I learn better when I have too :wink:
  3. Quote:
    If you want to learn linux then i find the best way is to use a VM.

    You can download a copy of VMware Player for free from http://www.vmware.com/products/player/

    You can then download free pre built linux VM systems to test on it here http://www.vmware.com/vmtn/appliances/

    This will allow you to get used to the system before jumping in with both feet.



    That's a good suggestion.

    There are other options too :-D

    http://www.vmware.com/download/server/

    VMWare is now free, get it while it's hot.

    http://qemu.org/ is also good :-D

    http://qemu.org/download.html + http://free.oszoo.org/download.html = ready made VMs


    A VM is actually a good way to learn because you get to play it with it, break it, fix it, etc. If you break it badly instead of reinstalling just put a working disk image back in place :-D

    Granted you rarely have to reinstall in the Unix world but anyway...

    Works great!

    Another option is a Live CD or DVD like Knoppix or Ubuntu:

    http://www.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V4.0.2CD-2005-09-23-EN.iso

    http://www.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/knoppix-dvd/KNOPPIX_V4.0.2DVD-2005-09-23-EN.iso

    http://www.ubuntu.com/download

    Check out: http://forumz.tomshardware.com/software/User-friendly-distributions-ftopict230699.html

    Good Luck :-D
  4. Hey I understand where you guys are comeing from, but I've had a few bad experinces with older virtual programs...

    sides I like the feeling of ahh man now i have to spend the next several hours fixing this. Besides, its a great excuse for drinking a crap load of caffine in a single night ^^.
  5. Quote:
    Hey I understand where you guys are comeing from, but I've had a few bad experinces with older virtual programs...

    sides I like the feeling of ahh man now i have to spend the next several hours fixing this. Besides, its a great excuse for drinking a crap load of caffine in a single night ^^.



    VMs have gotten a lot better.

    They can be a great learning tool.

    Live CDs are also great. You can play with them all you want and it's almost impossible to break anything.
  6. Quote:
    Hey I understand where you guys are comeing from, but I've had a few bad experinces with older virtual programs...

    sides I like the feeling of ahh man now i have to spend the next several hours fixing this. Besides, its a great excuse for drinking a crap load of caffine in a single night ^^.



    VMs have gotten a lot better.

    They can be a great learning tool.

    Live CDs are also great. You can play with them all you want and it's almost impossible to break anything.

    May be that they've gotten better, but I'm still iffy about um.

    All most impossibly to break something you say?Thats no good, I need to break it, best way i learn. Cuz when it breaks, its one of these: "Well not doing that again." I know I'm strange when it comes to something like that.
  7. Quote:
    Hey I understand where you guys are comeing from, but I've had a few bad experinces with older virtual programs...

    sides I like the feeling of ahh man now i have to spend the next several hours fixing this. Besides, its a great excuse for drinking a crap load of caffine in a single night ^^.



    VMs have gotten a lot better.

    They can be a great learning tool.

    Live CDs are also great. You can play with them all you want and it's almost impossible to break anything.

    May be that they've gotten better, but I'm still iffy about um.

    All most impossibly to break something you say?Thats no good, I need to break it, best way i learn. Cuz when it breaks, its one of these: "Well not doing that again." I know I'm strange when it comes to something like that.


    While it's true you learn by breaking things in some cases you might not want to break something. Or you might want to be able to break it but also be able to put it back the way it was if you cannot figure out what you did.

    I suggested a VM because you can break it all day long but if you get stuck you can always put a good working copy of the virtual disk back in place and start up again without having to waste time reinstalling.

    Suppose you've spent days, weeks, months or even years, customizing your system, installing things, etc things which are not that easy to replicate all over again, you wouldn't normally want to throw all that work away.

    Granted on Unix it is usually hard to break things unless you are intentionally trying to break it or are really unlucky.

    I would suggest you try a Live CD or DVD + a VM + a real install.

    Use them to play with it and learn things. You could certainly try things in a VM FIRST before you try them on the real system. If they work in the VM, then repeat on the real system.

    Simple, easy and safer that way :-D


    PS If you want, I can show you how to do things over IM or whatever.
  8. mabey safer, but I'll plan on ghosting a back up of my drive once a month, so I'm not to worried about recreating a lot of data. Also any truely important data will be saved to a file server :wink:
  9. Quote:
    mabey safer, but I'll plan on ghosting a back up of my drive once a month, so I'm not to worried about recreating a lot of data. Also any truely important data will be saved to a file server :wink:



    Excellent idea, that's exactly what you should be doing :-D

    My offer stands btw, I'd be happy to show you / walk you throught things over IM if you want.
  10. Quote:
    mabey safer, but I'll plan on ghosting a back up of my drive once a month, so I'm not to worried about recreating a lot of data. Also any truely important data will be saved to a file server :wink:



    Excellent idea, that's exactly what you should be doing :-D

    My offer stands btw, I'd be happy to show you / walk you throught things over IM if you want.

    Thanks, I may end up takeing you up on that offer of help.

    What are you doing man? you posting a reply to my posts minites after mine? I'm working help desk and its a slow day.
  11. Quote:
    mabey safer, but I'll plan on ghosting a back up of my drive once a month, so I'm not to worried about recreating a lot of data. Also any truely important data will be saved to a file server :wink:



    Excellent idea, that's exactly what you should be doing :-D

    My offer stands btw, I'd be happy to show you / walk you throught things over IM if you want.

    Thanks, I may end up takeing you up on that offer of help.

    What are you doing man? you posting a reply to my posts minites after mine? I'm working help desk and its a slow day.


    lol :-D

    I'm on top of things sometimes ;-)
  12. lol I gusse its that your linux boxes go down so rarely that you get to be on top of things. :lol:

    well i gusse i'm going to start downloading the ISOs for Mandriva tonight and install smoothwall, so mabye I'll get to get up Mandriva over the weekend. Hey do you know if Smoothwall is able to run as a fileserver as well as a fireway/router?
  13. Quote:
    lol I gusse its that your linux boxes go down so rarely that you get to be on top of things. :lol:

    well i gusse i'm going to start downloading the ISOs for Mandriva tonight and install smoothwall, so mabye I'll get to get up Mandriva over the weekend. Hey do you know if Smoothwall is able to run as a fileserver as well as a fireway/router?



    Well... I'm not sure, I haven't tried Smoothwall yet, mainly because I can get any distro to do everything smoothwall does.

    Any decent Linux distribution can do anything you want so yes in theory it should be able to but I do not know how easy it will be.
  14. well then I've got two goals for smoothwall, get it to work with my wireless card, and run as a fileserver... this could be intresting.

    good thing you dont mind me asking you questions about linux :twisted: .
  15. Quote:
    well then I've got two goals for smoothwall, get it to work with my wireless card, and run as a fileserver... this could be intresting.

    good thing you dont mind me asking you questions about linux :twisted: .



    You can do both.

    A word of warning though, some wireless chipset manufacturers refuse to cooperate with Linux, or BSD so getting some drivers to work can be a pain.

    Make sure you use one of these wireless chipsets:

  16. It should work, as I had it on a mandravia 10.0 box, and it worked fine with out any problems, I'm mostly conserned about getting it to work with WAP and manualy giveing it an SSID. I supose I could just skip smoothwall put the wirless card into my main system, but the problems is that the card does not work with Windows XP 64bit(It was free and legal what can I can't complain).

    To run Linux as a file server(not a true file server, as network will mostly be p2p), will I have to use sambaa? Only reason I ask is because I've heard that you have to run it in order to get Linux to run as a true server.
  17. Quote:
    It should work, as I had it on a mandravia 10.0 box, and it worked fine with out any problems, I'm mostly conserned about getting it to work with WAP and manualy giveing it an SSID. I supose I could just skip smoothwall put the wirless card into my main system, but the problems is that the card does not work with Windows XP 64bit(It was free and legal what can I can't complain).

    To run Linux as a file server(not a true file server, as network will mostly be p2p), will I have to use sambaa? Only reason I ask is because I've heard that you have to run it in order to get Linux to run as a true server.



    There are several types of file servers but SMB / SAMBA is one of the more popular ones.

    SAMBA allows you to share files and printers between Linux, BSD, Unix and windows machines ( and potentially others ).

    But there are many other ways to do the same thing as well like NFS, AFS, etc

    Heck you can share files over the web using http or over TCP/IP using ssh/sftp/scp, tftp, ftp, etc

    Be careful how you use the terms "server" and "true server", the lines are getting very blurred.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Server_%28computing%29

    Almost anything can be called a server these days.
  18. Quote:
    Be careful how you use the terms "server" and "true server", the lines are getting very blurred.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Server_%28computing%29

    Almost anything can be called a server these days.


    True, very true. My skills in networking are one thing I find myself lacking in a great degree.

    To me a true server is a server that is dedicated and on a non peer 2 peer network, and a server any local workstation on a p2p network, not the best use of lexicon, but like I said, networking is not my strong point right now.

    now hard is it to set up a file share, on LINUX from a comand line, useing TCP/IP?
  19. Quote:
    Be careful how you use the terms "server" and "true server", the lines are getting very blurred.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Server_%28computing%29

    Almost anything can be called a server these days.


    True, very true. My skills in networking are one thing I find myself lacking in a great degree.

    To me a true server is a server that is dedicated and on a non peer 2 peer network, and a server any local workstation on a p2p network, not the best use of lexicon, but like I said, networking is not my strong point right now.

    now hard is it to set up a file share, on LINUX from a comand line, useing TCP/IP?


    It's quite easy.

    http://us1.samba.org/samba/docs/man/Samba-HOWTO-Collection/

    or you can use ssh/sftp/scp

    scp filename user@192.168.0.2:/home/user/
    scp user@192.168.0.2:/home/user/filename filename

    or use filezilla + SFTP over SSH2

    http://filezilla.sf.net/
  20. ok realy stupid question time

    how do i find a mac address in linux???
  21. Quote:
    ok realy stupid question time

    how do i find a mac address in linux???



    /sbin/ifconfig

    /sbin/arp -a -n
  22. well now if i could just get the wireless card to sync up whith my AP, but oh well. For now I'm just going to skip smoothwall and just work on downloading mandrake. thanks for your help so for, I'm shure I'll be needing it agian.
  23. Quote:
    well now if i could just get the wireless card to sync up whith my AP, but oh well. For now I'm just going to skip smoothwall and just work on downloading mandrake. thanks for your help so for, I'm shure I'll be needing it agian.



    /sbin/lspci

    # Will tell you what is in your computer. The wireless chipset should be listed. You can then check to see if the wireless chipset is supported by the kernel ( see the image I posted above ).
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