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I've come a long way :P
Frizzl 
18/8/08 10:17:41 PM
Titan

Probably about 2 years ago I first installed Linux.

I think it was Ubuntu 6.04 from memory.

I've almost 100% converted, still that small amount of time where I need Windows for uni programs and what not, however I'm running Linux for everything else.

I find myself now though... helping others, and it feels good :) A friend of mine has recently installed Ubuntu 8.04 (and he has VERY little computer experience). However he's managed to partition his hard drives and I've just finished helping him install wireless card drivers over msn, without the net on the computer (just adding to the difficulty that little bit!).

But surprisingly he's being very patient towards it all and we got through it and he's liking it too!

Hopefully this is the future of Linux :)

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http://mrfraser89.deviantart.com/gallery/

Twinnie and Tap.

I will miss my sweet princes :(

eckythump 
19/8/08 1:48:43 AM
Overlord

You can pick up a lot in a couple of years. It's amazing the stuff you know and don't even realise it.

The biggest thing holding linux back is vendor support so we can get good driver support. Other than that, the open-source operating systems, not just Linux based ones, have a lot going for them, and it's getting better all the time.

Give it a couple more years and you'll know even more. I remember a few years back, my then-girlfriend found a big chunky UNIX book in the garage and she asked when I last used it. I said I'd only used it a coule of times, and it wasn't very useful because I knew it all.

She thought I was being cocky and started to open pages at random and say "So what does grep do?" "So what does netstat do?" She did this about 10 times and then called me a fucking smart arse and dumped the book back into the damp dusty box it came from.

You'd probably do pretty well, too. The UNIX-land learning curve is pretty steep, but it's worth it.

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"Grandfather had an accident, he got burnt." "Oh no, how bad?" "Well, they don't fuck around at the crematorium."

Genisis X 
19/8/08 2:59:48 PM
Guru

+1

After the initial stage of not knowing what the terminal was et al it is pretty easy to learn. And because it is free it is good to play with because you can keep making huge mistakes and all you have to do is reinstall.

No activation, no installation limits. Just the old "Oh, well. Guess I learnt not to do that again"

-X

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http://picasaweb.google.com/GenisisX/Public

He who thinks the pen is mightier than the sword has obviously only been stabbed in the face with a pen.

eckythump 
20/8/08 2:52:32 AM
Overlord

That's the joy of open-source OSs, they usually have a sensible and streamlined installation system.

When I get a new computer, the first thing I do on it is install FreeBSD and run a "make buildworld" as it's nice to see how fast the new machien can do it, and it's also a good stress-test to make sure it's all working as it should.

I don't drive, so I've often had random friends take me to a PC shop to pick up the new system, and they'll be curious to see me plug it all in and turn it on. It's surprising for a lot of them to watch you boot from a CD, hit a few keys, watch a progress meter, and 3-4 minutes later have a complete OS install ready to go.

Now, if you're ready to move on to something a little more challenging, but a good learning experience, I'd recommend:

For Linux: Gentoo - it's an acquired taste, but it *will* teach you some cool things, especially if you install it old-school style where you boot a livecd into a terminal prompt, manually run cfdisk to partition your drive, manually run mkfs.whateverfs and mkswap to create your file and swap partitions, mount them, untar a base system into it, chroot into it, build bootloaders, kernel, cron, syslog, etc, manually setup /etc/fstab so the system knows how and where to mount the filesystems and then finally, all going well, reboot into a live system. :) It's actually pretty easy if you follow the docs, but you've got a good learning opportunity right there.

For BSD: FreeBSD or NetBSD. FreeBSD is friendlier and removes some of the complexities from things. I really like NetBSD, and I'd probably favour it over FreeBSD if it wasn't for a few minor quirks. Both are worth playing with. OpenBSD is worth touching on, too, I suppose. It's the kind of OS I would tend to save for a specific task rather than as a general, home muck-around machine.

But it's all good. :)

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"Grandfather had an accident, he got burnt." "Oh no, how bad?" "Well, they don't fuck around at the crematorium."

TheSecret 
20/8/08 12:06:41 PM
Overlord
As far as a linux distribution for learning, I don't think you could do better than Slackware. It is quite a bit different from Debian and Redhat, but you will pick up the concepts, and be able to apply them.

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Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.

spielentwickler 
21/8/08 11:32:31 PM
Guru

Wait until you haven't used a windows machine for 6 months and then you need to use one for whatever reason...

It's a bit strange...

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http://www.last.fm/user/spielentwickler/
<= knight of the 6fAOEC =>

wilsontc 
21/8/08 11:49:28 PM
Guru

Quote by spielentwickler
Wait until you haven't used a windows machine for 6 months and then you need to use one for whatever reason...

It's a bit strange...



Strange and horrible!

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Quote by Kothos
More importantly, do any of you girls like arse hair??



Redhatter 
23/8/08 8:53:55 PM
Hero
Titan


Linux From Scratch!

I found that taught me lots... as did Slackware and Gentoo.

It's worth noting that Linux has come a long way in the last 24 months too. I look back on over 10 years of Linux usage... and in that time it has really come a long way.

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Stuart Longland (aka. Redhatter, VK4FSJL)
I haven't lost my mind it's backed up on a tape somewhere...
http://atomicdoc.yi.org <-- AtomicDOC Wiki
Resident Coolie-hatted Gentoo geek. (Gentoo MIPS & Mozilla herd member)

spielentwickler 
25/8/08 4:18:34 AM
Guru

Quote by Redhatter
Linux From Scratch!

I found that taught me lots... as did Slackware and Gentoo.

It's worth noting that Linux has come a long way in the last 24 months too. I look back on over 10 years of Linux usage... and in that time it has really come a long way.



I actually found LFS held your hand a bit too much. I tried it before gentoo, and by the end of it hadn't learned a lot. I'd learned a bit about building a tool chain (and how frustrating that is) which is something most people never have any reason to do themselves.

I followed the guidebook, and ended up with a bootable system, and then not a whole lot to do with it. You can install a package manager, but why bother when there's distros like Gentoo around.

Gentoo focusses more on setting up your OS the way you like. Starting from a stage 3 install is a sensible place for most people who are wanting to just install an OS to start from, while still allowing you to have a mostly customised machine.

If you were looking at starting your own distrobution, which is a huge job and not a one man thing, you could learn something from LFS, but I would think you should only approach LFS for this knowledge if you already have a good understanding of the Linux platform.

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http://www.last.fm/user/spielentwickler/

TheSecret 
25/8/08 4:30:58 AM
Overlord
I agree, I don't see LFS as overly useful to learn how to administer or how a system works, as much as putting one together.

I favour Slackware over most, just because it is clean and orderly, and you have to edit most stuff by hand. It gives you a great idea of what programs are doing what, and how the system interfaces with them. Well..back in the day that's what I got from it.

I don't really see the advantage of gentoo however. Most people won't need to, and won't learn much by compiling everything from source, in which case it's winning feature is portage? I have not used it except for when it first was announced, and even then not extensively, so who knows what I'm missing.

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Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.

wilsontc 
25/8/08 12:46:28 PM
Guru

Quote by TheSecret
I have not used it except for when it first was announced, and even then not extensively, so who knows what I'm missing.



The Gentooists will tell you about Use flags. It's just a front end to ./configure options, but most Gentooists seem to think there's something magical or Gentoo-only about them :|

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Quote by Kothos
More importantly, do any of you girls like arse hair??



Deserted 
26/8/08 8:33:43 AM
Champion

Quote by wilsontc
Quote by TheSecret
I have not used it except for when it first was announced, and even then not extensively, so who knows what I'm missing.



The Gentooists will tell you about Use flags. It's just a front end to ./configure options, but most Gentooists seem to think there's something magical or Gentoo-only about them :|



true, but I do like the ability it lends to configure a program to compile the way you like once, and have it persist across updates/upgrades etc

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Quote by Redhatter
It's aimed at people wanting a job as a Unix network admin, not point-and-click Windows Cowboys.



Quote by Takoma
Looks like you're the man Deserted.


Redhatter 
30/8/08 11:48:13 AM
Hero
Titan


Quote by wilsontc
Quote by TheSecret
I have not used it except for when it first was announced, and even then not extensively, so who knows what I'm missing.



The Gentooists will tell you about Use flags. It's just a front end to ./configure options, but most Gentooists seem to think there's something magical or Gentoo-only about them :|



Some of the USE flags are... depends on the ebuild. USE flags are there to allow enabling or disabling a feature in a package. This could involve:

o parameters passed to ./configure
o patches, sed/awk scripts
o special 'make' targets
... etc.

But yes, you do have a point, they're not exactly complicated. And in many packages, doing it by hand is merely a ./configure --enable-foo away.

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Stuart Longland (aka. Redhatter, VK4FSJL)
I haven't lost my mind it's backed up on a tape somewhere...
http://atomicdoc.yi.org <-- AtomicDOC Wiki
Resident Coolie-hatted Gentoo geek. (Gentoo MIPS & Mozilla herd member)

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