How did you "learn" Linux?

Questions about the project and the distribution - obviously no support questions here please

Re: How did you "learn" Linux?

Postby casey972oo on Sun May 15, 2011 8:34 pm

Hallo ! ... ' teilnehmer ' ! ...

Wir sprechen auch deutsch ! ... denn ich bin auch aus ' Germany ' ...
und lebe aber seit Jahren hier auf ' Martinique ' ! ...

will nur sagen ! ... man lernt nie aus ! ... besonders nicht bei LINUX ! ...
denn da gibt's immer wieder etwas Neues ! ... zu entdecken ! ...
zum Ausprobieren ! ... und zum Selbstprogrammieren ! ...

bei ' Windows ' ist ja überall der Riegel vor ! ...

Also dann tausend Grüßle ... aus der Karibik ! ...

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Re: How did you "learn" Linux?

Postby gordon.cooke on Sat May 21, 2011 8:54 pm

Looks like everyone has covered the learn by doing and make mistakes.

One thing I would add- pick an area your either have to work with a lot or have a large interest in and just focus on that. Learn that little area and soon you will see questions on the bord you can answer and help other people with-- for everything else, use google and keep posting questions. For example, when I was starting out I was distro hopping a lot to try them all out so I was forced to get real good at installing multi-boots (had not discovered VMs yet) and working with grub. Had no choice, I had to work through it. Any other problem not related to getting an install to run, I didnt even try to solve, I just jumped distros until I found the ones that did what I needed out of the box. Along the way I got rel good at seting up multi-boots and doing grub. (it was the only topics I was looking for answers and getting help on)

Now I've settled on Mint, dont use those skills much anymore bu still know them. Now Im working on learning about scripting. This time not as much a need but an area i want to do. My goal is to build some scripts to automatically make all the customizations I do after fresh installs. Many are changes I can/usually make with GUI's but Im working out all the command line methods as well as tracking down the actually config files and such ( to edit/replace them directly)

So, just pick a topic to focus on--- eat the elephant one bite at a time.
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Re: How did you "learn" Linux?

Postby linuxuser159 on Tue May 24, 2011 5:30 am

Not everyone is interested in becoming a power user, be it linux, windows, or anything else. Many just want to use it and get things done. In order to convert the masses, the perception that you have to be a power user to use linux has to change. With modern linux distros and user-friendly desktop environments, everyone should be able to use linux. Linux is highly customizable to accommodate all kinds of people, whether or not they are interested in becoming power users. Thus, learning linux can be as little as intuitive use of the desktop environment to get many things done including settings.
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Re: How did you "learn" Linux?

Postby mintymintminty on Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:26 pm

I have not fully learnt Linux, I am learning all the time, Learn as I go along Is the best way for me.
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Re: How did you "learn" Linux?

Postby luna paradox on Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:13 pm

I have to agree that tweaking till it breaks is the way to go. when I get a few days off and start mucking about my wife gets nervous :D She knows it's just a matter of time before I'm cussing and searching for a fix, but really the fix is the process and the cussing is just fun.
I started with hopping from one distro to the other then I found slackware and was forced to sink or swim. after several months on slack I switched to Debian sarge for about a year or so. after that to ubuntu 8.04 that was the only version of ubuntu that I ever really dug. after 9.04 came out I switched to mint and have been here ever since. I still have an extra partition I play with other distros to see what others are doing but I keep some form of mint going at all times :)
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Re: How did you "learn" Linux?

Postby MarkX on Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:32 pm

I learned Linux via UNIX. I started with FreeBSD and Solaris back in the early 90's. I was a huge System 5 fan and knew it very well. When I first starting using Linux around '99, I didn't like it very much. I stuck with Unix for years. It was not until a few years ago that I really moved to Linux from UNIX. Unix has never been great on the desktop and the first time I installed Ubuntu, I though now this is great. I tweak and work on UNIX servers all day. I didn't want to have to work on my home PC for everything to work. I was a MAC user at home (at least it is a BSD based OS) but since Linux Mint 10 I have never looked back.
I try my best to help, its all I can do.
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Re: How did you "learn" Linux?

Postby mzsade on Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:19 am

Tried, oh i tried so hard when i first began with Ubuntu, discovered i had certain learning disabilities so i switched over to Linux Mint..now i don't have to, get by just fine without knowing much about it. :D
Edit: And with a little help from the forum. :oops:
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Re: How did you "learn" Linux?

Postby likiteasy on Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:39 pm

Still learning and , through trail error .
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Re: How did you "learn" Linux?

Postby karashata on Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:50 pm

For me, a lot of it was just tinkering and poking around, searching Google for help when needed, and hopping around in the forums for whatever distro I happened to be using at the time. I consider myself to be fairly adept at figuring things out as I go and I rather enjoy learning how things work by poking at them and tweaking them to see what happens (as long as I'm sure tweaking them won't completely trash my system, anyway).

I don't really go out of my way, though. If something catches my interest because it's not quite how I want it, that's when I'll take a look at it, poke around, and check Google for ways to possibly make it do what I want how *I* want it to, if I can't figure it out myself first. No reason to stress myself out trying to figure something out if someone else already has, after all.

All in all, I just try to enjoy the experience and make changes gradually as I find things I want to mess with, and I keep learning things as I go.
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Re: How did you "learn" Linux?

Postby samriggs on Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:48 pm

I am still learning, the first time I killed my system about 4 times playing in the terminal, couldn't go back to windows either (I thought I burnt in the recovery dvds for windows for my system but when I went to use them they were all blank :lol: no choice from then on in).
Trial and error mostly error in the beginning and a lot of searching forums and googling myself to death.
Then I found this
http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/100
Helped me alot with the terminal stuff.
Now I want to learn to make software for linux eventually, keep it open source of course just something maybe I can add to this great system hopefully.
Just keep the dvd handle and try things you probably will fail we all do once in a while (me more often times I do especially in the beginning) now not so much, back up your stuff and dive in, if you bork it, you bork it, reinstall, backups away and back to normal (got to love how easy it is in linux).
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Re: How did you "learn" Linux?

Postby christoff522 on Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:10 pm

I have always had a yearning for perfection. I first started with an IBM thinkpad t22 which was old when I bought it in 2005. It was running windows 2000 quite well, but I knew it was outdated. So I installed Windows XP, it was slow, but I didnt know that anything other than Macs and PCs existed in them days - so begrudgingly I made do. Then one day I did a search, alternative operating systems (or something like that) and up popped all these different things, BSD, Unix, Linux. as well as ones that are so obscure they run on specialist hardware. Well Linux seemed the most popular, so I bought a book on it from ebay (Linux for Dummies) It had a live DVD on it of various (outdated) distros, to which I installed Fedora 4/5 (this is in 2007, about 2 years too late). Well, it ran. I was completely in the water, I had to install it because my DVD-R was so slow, so I did. I couldnt install anything because all the repositories were gone, In fact, it took a good session just figuring out how to install things, and realising that an exe is going to open as a text file if you dont have wine. Its hard for someone whos used Linux for 4 years to understand how normal it is to just open synaptic and find what you want, but in them days with windows it was: go to website> download file> install> reboot> run program. Using a program to install programs was just weird. Well with Fedora I played around, used ethernet to get on t'internet, and it was cool. But I didnt realise how outdated Fedora was, I had no idea what a release schedule was.

Well, eventually I figured out that it must just be old, and started hunting for "distros" I tried PCLinuxOS, Puppy, - Ubuntu wouldnt even load the live CD as I had 128 ram. I needed something that would run my hardware, and would let me have wifi (oh i still remember acx100 - the bane of my existence) then i found mepis 6 , it had ndiswrapper, was quick even on my old hardware, it looked amazing, and even flash wasnt choppy, this was like manna from heaven.

That lasted me, although I flitted between various distros still, It was fun and I could always just reinstall.

Then after the ram died on the T22 I got a computer with a little more oomph, but not much, and I continued to distro-hop, eventually I found linux mint, and I stuck with it. It did everything I needed it to but was still slow on a 1ghz processer and 368 ram. I ended up with an amd64 desktop with ATI graphics and 256 ram, which I upgraded to 768. This had much more power. I could play games on it such as nexuiz. I even managed to get WOW working with wine, and it was good.

This lasted me a good while, but in my strive for perfection I needed something better, and I am typing on that now, after a 4 year hunt for something perfect (still havent found perfect, but I'm very close to it) I have a dell inspiron 1545, 2gb ram, Intel x4500mhd, 160gb hard drive. and I'm running LMDE - something I couldnt have done even 2 years ago - I always avoided the fathers of the modern hand-hold distros. But as you go on, you pick stuff up, little tricks that get things working. just a few lines of terminal command and you can download and install broadcom drivers. Its easy as well. It is actually easier than opening a program, clicking away to install ATI drivers. apt-get install fglrx. done, then all you have to do is click ctrl-alt-backspace. ATI installed.

Linux has many ways of making things easier, and you can run anything you want. you can install windows within linux via virtualbox. Or you can run an application via wine.
Its the can-do culture of the linux movement that I love. Nothing is impossible. How bad can windows be where the second most used windows OS is 10 years old. Linux is young, the kernel aint, its been around for a good 18 years, but In its present form and popularity its only had for a few years. Its evolving and ever changing. If you dont like something in Ubuntu, move to mint - but its still linux. Dont like windows 7? downgrade to XP. with windows its either up or down, with linux its up down left and right. Theres something for everyone.

So I learnt by striving, for something excellent. I never gave up, and neither did linux. Now I'm using LMDE, its got an Xorg meant for ubuntu (xorg-edgers) its got a wine meant for ubuntu. Its running sid, and its amazing.
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Re: How did you "learn" Linux?

Postby thatsallurspaceships on Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:15 am

Forum, Forum, Forums i read. Now I'm at a point to have basically my hardware working (not that it didn't work out of the box) I'm going to learn by myself. The Community does great job in helping users, but after all to get some progress i need to get myself into LinuxMint. As long as i have the ISO on DVD absolutely nothing can go wrong. At some point i want to try Debian edition, maybe later. :)
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Re: How did you "learn" Linux?

Postby Phil Dodd on Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:18 am

It's great that everyone has come up with different ideas – no shortage of scope on this topic ! It has been a fantastic response with such enthusiasm and detail from everyone. It's great that people care to this extent !

But what do we mean by learning Linux ? Those two words suggest that we need to discover more.

The top level is deciding which is the best distribution for us. For social networking on a net-book or other small machine, Meego could well be the best. At the other end of a scale, someone with a whole campus of assorted equipment might go for Slackware, as it includes a kernel module for every device driver that exists.

Do we mean choosing the best application for each task ? We've all encountered web pages created by the publishing software of a well-known commercial operating system, running to hundreds of lines of code dealing solely with fonts. A human can create the same web page with 10 lines of code, and we'd be happy with a publishing tool getting near to the human's result. Word of mouth and suggestions in computer magazines can give us hints on the best applications.

Do we mean going directly to the web portals of individual applications, downloading and installing the packages, and tailoring any configuration files ? We get the latest features, with the caveat that the newest version might not fit in with the rest of our current distribution.

Or perhaps it is an understanding of how a distribution is made up ? We then discover that what we call Linux is indeed a Linux kernel, provided by a huge and dedicated group of people to whom we should be thankful, but there is also a whole mass of other software. There is a directory structure which traces back to the original Unix operating system of Bell Labs in the early 1970s. There are thousands of files and applications, some of which are, and always have been, fundamental to every Unix-like operating system. This is good because it gives us a predictability that those entities will be there on a Unix-like system when we want to use them. Our applications and our ideas have portability. On a current distribution, this is in no small part thanks to Richard Stallman and the GNU Organisation ( http://www.gnu.org ) , who over the decades have updated the packages and standardised the way that they compile and install.

I'm going to assume that the original poster was referring to this level of knowledge. As other posters have said, there is no instant way of learning how to work with it and how it all fits together, not least because it continually changes. I first used Unix in a factory in 1978, and will continually be learning about it for my remaining couple of decades on the planet.

One way which I don't think that has already been mentioned is to build your own system using the method described on the Linux From Scratch ( LFS ) website. If I'm allowed to quote web pages, it is http://www.linuxfromscratch.org You start with an empty disk partition, follow the instructions, and two days later have a working Unix system. There is considerable explanation in the text, which includes use of shell scripting ( all fully explained ) with will build your knowledge in this area. With the creation of the LFS system, you then have the option to go on and create a final system to do whatever you want – a web server, an email server, desktop publishing, a PC multimedia system, a firewall, or any combination of those. This is in the Beyond Linux From Scratch ( BLFS ) system described on the same website. To create a BLFS system on top of the LFS one takes another two weeks, and ends up as a system comprising of what many people describe as Linux.

There is no getting away from it that building a LFS and BLFS system is hard work and a good deal of concentration, but it is a great way of advancing our knowledge of creating and controlling a system. It also gives confidence about researching into other aspects, such as configuring the kernel, creating web pages or using programming languages. If we like LFS and BLFS, we can stick with it, or can use an excellent distribution such as Linux Mint, armed with the knowledge of how it works.

Lastly it is important to communicate, to join with others in the same neighbourhood to work on Linux and for mutual help. In my time in the computer industry it was a great stimulus to work as a team. Someone working alone on the end of an internet connection can miss out on that.
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Re: How did you "learn" Linux?

Postby yao on Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:57 am

I am a new comer i want to learn how to use linux mint too.your guys advices help me a lot.
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Re: How did you "learn" Linux?

Postby Contemporiser on Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:22 pm

I didn't. I am still in the squere 1. But I took an easy way. CBT nuggets has realy grate courses - very "advanced" if you watch it for the first time. By the fifth time it gets more || less some shape :)
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Re: How did you "learn" Linux?

Postby Guilden_NL on Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:09 pm

I am a business guy that suddenly had technology slide into my career. I had one computing class back in 1988 when I went back to college for a handful of prerequisite classes required to start an MBA program. I bought my first computer in 1991 (386 40Mhz, 8Mb of RAM and a 211Mb HD). In '93 I accepted a role where I managed all IT for the customer service and sales units of a global corp that was a huge user of various Unix flavors. So I was surrounded with loads of Unix gurus, DBA gurus, networking gurus, and I knew jack....... I spent many a night hacking around, learning everything I could as fast as possible.

I learned about Linux on CompuServe in 1994 and installed SUSE, going on to try Slackware and a little later, RedHat. Many years of hacking later, I am a Chief Architect at a global IT company, designing every system running on servers powered by RedHat Linux. It's been a long, but fast road and quite an enjoyable ride! We have a home network with 8 servers and 9 clients consisting of 7 laptops and 2 desktops - all running Linux, and none having Windows on their drives. I met Linus Torvolds back in 1998 at some IT meeting in the Bay Area when he was with Transmeta, just 7 short years after he started working on Linux. I have Debian flavors on all of our home clients, but just started with Mint last month. So far, so good!

It looks like the community here is vibrant, positive and helpful. I look forward to helping whenever possible.
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Re: How did you "learn" Linux?

Postby beer-in-box on Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:58 am

Hi, I am a newbie myself too, but I guess I have a good start point here: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial
That's why I love communities :)
And I found http://tldp.org/HOWTO/HOWTO-INDEX/categories.html
I guess we should just get started from somewhere.

I always looked for some hierarchical tutorials like starting with installing the distro and finishing with compiling your own kernel, but I think starting from learning shell commands and trying to avoid using GUI where we don't need to use it is the way.

Correct me if I am wrong.
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Re: How did you "learn" Linux?

Postby Arliegiles on Wed Sep 28, 2011 6:00 am

Linux is considered as the most secure operating system than windows..The graphics of linux is also much better than windows.I love working on this operating system
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