Can I learn Linux

Can I learn Linux

Post by Stephen Edward » Thu, 12 Mar 1998 04:00:00



: Hi. I have been considering trying the Linux operating system, but I don't
: know if I could really learn to use it or not, or if it would do what I need.

Absolutely you can learn Linux... anyone can... Linux is not hard, it's
just than many new users cheat themselves by not carefully reading the
documentation.   The main stumbling block that most people run into,
is they just skim thru the installation/post-installation documentation,
and therefore, they end up missing certian details that they need to know.

As for what Linux will do?... Heehee :)... I could ramble on for hours.
But mainly, if you want a reliable UNIX clone, that has many decent office
applications, and stability that sickens the commercial vendors, then you
will like Linux.  Here are some of my favorite sites:

http://www.linux.org -- The official Linux homesite

http://www.goober.demon.co.uk/linux/ -- Hundreds of Linux applications
                                        listed, and available for
                                        download.

ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/ -- The Sunsite Linux FTP archive

: The main reason I have been considering it is simply because I am sick of
: contributing to Microsoft's pocketbook, and because I want to try an
: alternative. I am looking at buying a laptop soon because I am going away to
: college, so one of my first questions is will Linux run on a laptop?

Yup.  I run Linux on a 4MB/486SX25 Compaq 4/25 Contura, in addition to my
big iron.  :)  . The laptop works very nicely, especially as an IRC
client. Linux will run beautifully on a more contemporary model.

Linux by itself does well in 4MB of memory.  Linux and The X Window System
(which it's easier to just call X) needs at least 8MB of RAM.

: I have pretty much considered 3 options to get away from Windows.

Whatever you may need help with, other Linux users, or the vendor you
bought from, will gladly oblige.

: I am not a programmer, and I don't know anything about Unix. But I am willing

Neither was I... and I emphasize the word "was".  :)

: to learn it. I do know quite a bit about Windows and DOS though. Can someone
: like me learn to use Linux? Can I learn to to set it up, and set up X Windows
: and install the apps I want to use, and use them in a reasonable amount of
: time?

Yes, you can.  For the easiest installation you may wish to go with RedHat
Linux distribution v5.0.  You can purchase it on a CD, or you can download
it from their site:

http://www.redhat.com
ftp://ftp.redhat.com

Actually, when first starting out, I suggest that you set your machine up
to dual boot both Windows and Linux.  This means, that if you get stuck on
Linux, you can still boot into Windows, and access the internet for help,
if you cannot find it in the docs.

: I will mainly be using the laptop for a dial up connection to the internet,
: and I will also need a word processor and maybe a time manager and
: spreadsheet. Are there any reasonably priced office packages available for X
: Windows that will do what I need?

Yes.  You can get WordPerfect for Linux from Corel, you can get
StarOffice from Stardivision/Caldera, you can get Applixware from RedHat,
you can get LyX for free, etc.  Chances are, if you need an application,
someone has created a commercial offering, or you can find one for free.

Oh, and BTW, all of the above run under The X Window System, per your
inquiry.

: Is Linux something I can use? Or would I be better off just living with
: Windows? Also, if I can use Linux, which distribution would you recomend,

Nope!nope!nope!  :)  Anyone can learn to use Linux.  The trick is, it
takes a bit of time to learn the finer points, but once you learn them,
you will get work done quickly, and you won't have a single crash to your
name.  :)

: what is the best book for a newbie like me?

There are several very good books:

Linux Unleashed
Linux in a Nutshell
Running Linux

Check out your local Barnes & Noble, or comparable bookstore.  In fact,
many Linux books come with a Linux distribution on CD.

Feel free to post here, to comp.os.linux.setup, or even E-mail me, if you
have more questions, need help, etc.  :)
--
Stephen S. Edwards II -- Support GNU... run UNIX... be happy.

*** You have been kicked off of channel #sane (banned:  Welcome to hell!)
"Don't *WHAM* touch *WHAM* that! *WHAM*WHAM*WHAM*" -- Michael J. Peterson

 
 
 

Can I learn Linux

Post by g_harma » Thu, 12 Mar 1998 04:00:00


Like many other situations, the best thing is to just
jump in and give it a shot.  Linux/Unix is not that
difficult to learn, if you have the patience.

In many, many ways Unix is more powerfull than
other OSs - especially in terms of networking.

Setup a dual-boot machine so you can still run
Windows.

Thats all I can tell you.
Good luck.

 
 
 

Can I learn Linux

Post by James Youngma » Fri, 13 Mar 1998 04:00:00


  murban> Hi. I have been considering trying the Linux operating
  murban> system, but I don't know if I could really learn to use it
  murban> or not, or if it would do what I need.  The main reason I
  murban> have been considering it is simply because I am sick of
  murban> contributing to Microsoft's pocketbook, and because I want
  murban> to try an alternative. I am looking at buying a laptop soon
  murban> because I am going away to college, so one of my first
  murban> questions is will Linux run on a laptop?

Linux is not so hard to learn.   However, some laptops make it
difficult to run Linux, you may find it easier to install it intially
on a desktop machine, perhaps alongside Windows 95 for the time being.

 
 
 

Can I learn Linux

Post by Carl Brow » Mon, 16 Mar 1998 04:00:00


Hi!
I'm* around here because I'm about to try Linux. For a person coming
from Windows, I would also suggest OS/2 Warp as an alternative. It isn't as
stable as Linux, but it's a lot closer to what you're familiar with in terms of
installation and GUI. (And command line) 32bit all the way, mutithreaded
multitasking, and a protected memory model that works most of the time. It
still locks up on occasion, though, but nowhere near as much as W95. It will
run DOS and Win3.x apps, out of the box, and there is a project in beta now
that converts W95 & NT apps to native OS/2. (www.ibm.com, of course)

I tried FreeBSD a while back, and I couldn't get anywhere with it. The UNIX
command line is mind-boggling in its bizarre command names and endless options,
plus there's no way to find help if you don't know the name of the command
you're looking for. It took hours of command line typing for me to find some of
the apps that I had installed with the OS, and then it told me I wasn't allowed
to use them. I never did find most of them. Oh, I could go on... What a
struggle! RTFM, sure, but it's got the directory structure wrong, just for a
start. I finally gave up on it. Stability is worthless without usability.

The only reason I'm going back for more UNIX torture is because there are some
good GUI's available for Linux. Don't let anyone tell you that X is a GUI. It
is just the first step toward one. It doesn't have any of the utilities like a
file manager, for example, until you install one. Check out the KDE. It looks
really good. There's a link to it from linux.org as I recall. I'm spoiled by
the Warp GUI now, it's way ahead of any M$ junk. It's almost endlessly
configurable, and is based on what is a just plain better way of doing things.
I'm looking forward to a comparison test with KDE!

  /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\-----------------------------\
   Carl Brown, Whitefield, NH, USA     Proud Member of TEAM OS/2

  \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/-----------------------------/

Sunday, March 15, 1998 - 04:40 AM

 
 
 

Can I learn Linux

Post by Stephen Edward » Mon, 16 Mar 1998 04:00:00


[mailed and posted]

: that converts W95 & NT apps to native OS/2. (www.ibm.com, of course)

Interesting.  Can it be found by mere futzing?... if not, could you post
the direct link to the project homesite?  I'd love to be able to use
sPatch (spline-based 3-D modeler) under OS/2.

: I tried FreeBSD a while back, and I couldn't get anywhere with it. The UNIX

The BSD clones are quite difficult to learn, if you have no prior UNIX
experience.  The best way to describe a UNIX CLI, is it has many very
specialized tools that allow for great felxibility.

: command line is mind-boggling in its bizarre command names and endless options,
: plus there's no way to find help if you don't know the name of the command
: you're looking for. It took hours of command line typing for me to find some of

The best documentation for BSD UNIX can be found at your local Barnes &
Noble.  In fact, I think O'Reilly has a book out on 4.4BSD-Lite, which is
exactly where NetBSD (the oldest), FreeBSD (optimized for Intel), and
OpenBSD (latest and greatest), come from.  If you feel like trying to tame
BSD again sometime, you should look into getting this book first.

: the apps that I had installed with the OS, and then it told me I wasn't allowed
: to use them. I never did find most of them. Oh, I could go on... What a
: struggle! RTFM, sure, but it's got the directory structure wrong, just for a
: start. I finally gave up on it. Stability is worthless without usability.

The BSD family tends to leave every single solitary thing up to the
user... right down to setting up the OS environment.

: The only reason I'm going back for more UNIX torture is because there are some
: good GUI's available for Linux. Don't let anyone tell you that X is a GUI. It
: is just the first step toward one. It doesn't have any of the utilities like a

Very keen.  X is rather like a GUI-template, instead of a fully blown GUI.
But X and a good window manager do make up the classic definition of a
GUI.  BTW, thank you for calling it 'X' and not X-Windows.  'Tis a tad
*of me, but I really get bugged when people refer to it as
'X-Windows'... it makes it sound like it's some sort of Microsoft
product.  There are a lot of books that also refer to X as X-Windows... it
drives me nuts.  It's called either 'X', or 'The X Window(ing) System...
there is no X-Windows.  When it was being maintained by The X Consortium,
it was never ONCE referred to as X-Windows, and therefore, that name is
nothing more, than a mere media exposure term like, like 'information
superhighway' (ugh!), or '*space' (puke).

: file manager, for example, until you install one. Check out the KDE. It looks
: really good. There's a link to it from linux.org as I recall. I'm spoiled by
: the Warp GUI now, it's way ahead of any M$ junk. It's almost endlessly
: configurable, and is based on what is a just plain better way of doing things.
: I'm looking forward to a comparison test with KDE!

I think there are very few things that will rival IBM's SOM.

Microsoft Windows95/NT just uses mere shortcuts, which can be
rendered usless by dragging the actual program file into another
directory, or deleting it.  Under Windows, a missing shortcut target will
cause the system to search your entire HD for a possible match.  Many
times, Windows will match the shortcut to the improper object.

In OS/2, when you drag an icon to another folder, it takes its target with
it.  What you do to the icon, you do to the target.  Very nice, indeed.
--
Stephen S. Edwards II -- Support GNU... run UNIX... be happy.

*** You have been kicked off of channel #sane (banned:  Welcome to hell!)
"Don't *WHAM* touch *WHAM* that! *WHAM*WHAM*WHAM*" -- Michael J. Peterson

 
 
 

Can I learn Linux

Post by Roger Irwi » Tue, 17 Mar 1998 04:00:00



> I tried FreeBSD a while back, and I couldn't get anywhere with it. The
> UNIX

From a user point of view there is not much diff. between Linux
andFreeBSD.

Quote:> command line is mind-boggling in its bizarre command names and endless
> options,

Bizarre? Most command names are mnuemonics, options are, optional. The
UNIXcommand line is V.potent if you are prepared to learn it. If not,
use graphical tools
under X windows.

Quote:> plus there's no way to find help if you don't know the name of the
> command

apropos command, short for aproprosito.(e.g. 'apropos printer' will
bring up man-pages relevant to the printer).

Quote:> you're looking for. It took hours of command line typing for me to
> find some of
> the apps that I had installed with the OS, and then it told me I
> wasn't allowed
> to use them. I never did find most of them. Oh, I could go on... What
> a

Did you look in /usr/doc? (e.g. user/documents). Here you will find a
subdirectoryfor each app installed, where a README or something similar
will get you up and
running.

Quote:> The only reason I'm going back for more UNIX torture is because there
> are some
> good GUI's available for Linux.

Actually, the GUI's and window managers available under Linux are mostly
runnableon any UNIX platform.

Quote:> Don't let anyone tell you that X is a GUI. Itis just the first step
> toward one.
> It doesn't have any of the utilities like a
> file manager, for example, until you install one.

Gazooks! Please, please, please. I realise you are limited to M$ totally
non-modular way of doing things, but please do not try to critisize
people who
take a better approach without understanding what you are talking about.

You have three layers to X windows, the X server which provides the
basic
primitives such as putting a box on the screen, drawing a circle and
telling
apps where you have clicked the mouse. The window manager puts the
frame around the windows, provides iconize/close buttons etc, and
provides pop-up menus to do things like launch apps. A file manager is
an application program, even though it may be included as a utility
program in a window manager.

Done this way, you only need a (hardware) driver for the X server and
you
can run whatever window manager you like, even changing dynamicaly
on the fly without closing apps.

X distributions, including the XFree86 normally used with FreeBSD and
Linux DO include Window managers and file mangers. Maybe they are not
to your liking, but then the whole great thing about UNIX/X is that you
can
set things up just the way you want.

Quote:> Check out the KDE. It looks
> really good. There's a link to it from linux.org as I recall. I'm
> spoiled by
> the Warp GUI now, it's way ahead of any M$ junk. It's almost endlessly

> configurable, and is based on what is a just plain better way of doing
> things.
> I'm looking forward to a comparison test with KDE!

KDE is based on W98.

It seems to me that you want a pre-shrink wrapped desktop with
everything
set up that you just need to accept by pressing the OK button.
So why try UNIX? What you need is W95, but you just can't accept this.
Face up to the facts. M$ got big by providing a ready setup system that
satisfies an average users requirements. You are that average user, Use
it.
Unix is for people who want to control thier computer, not be controlled
by
it. To achieve that you need to know what you are doing and be prepared
to change things.

If you really think OS/2 is better, so be it. Personally I can't think
of much I can
do with an OS/2 that I cannot do with NT, but I prefer UNIX to both, but
then,
I know haow to use that ubiqtuous command line.

DO NOT USE UNIX.
It is not made for people like you. Period.

 
 
 

Can I learn Linux

Post by Mike Urba » Tue, 17 Mar 1998 04:00:00



>KDE is based on W98.

>It seems to me that you want a pre-shrink wrapped desktop with
>everything
>set up that you just need to accept by pressing the OK button.
>So why try UNIX? What you need is W95, but you just can't accept this.
>Face up to the facts. M$ got big by providing a ready setup system that
>satisfies an average users requirements. You are that average user, Use
>it.
>Unix is for people who want to control thier computer, not be controlled
>by
>it. To achieve that you need to know what you are doing and be prepared
>to change things.

>DO NOT USE UNIX.
>It is not made for people like you. Period.

Well, maybe and maybe not. I am very new to Linux, and I use KDE. It has
really helped me out a lot. I want to learn the commands and how to
configure the different window managers, but in the mean time, while I am
learning, KDE at least lets me use Linux and be productive with it so I
don't have to fall back on my Windows 95 machine when I want to do things
like get on the internet. I want to learn how to set of the PPP
configurations, and set up a dial up to the internet. But until I learn
that, KDE allows me to use the internet so I don't have to fall back on
Windows 95.

I switched to Linux because I was sick of Windows 95. I am not a programmer,
but I have enough computer smarts to know that Windows 95 is a substandard
operating system that doesn't even begin to tap the power of the PC. And it
is also so bloated that it requires about 32 mb of ram to run well. I would
like to learn all the details of Linux, and even learn programming and
stuff. But for now, while I am learning, KDE allows me to be productive with
Linux.

So there is a place for KDE.

 
 
 

Can I learn Linux

Post by Carl Brow » Tue, 17 Mar 1998 04:00:00



Date: Mon, 16 Mar 98 10:31:01 -0500
To: comp.os.linux.advocacy

Subject: Re: Can I learn Linux



Quote:>From a user point of view there is not much diff. between Linux
>andFreeBSD.
>> command line is mind-boggling in its bizarre command names and endless
>> options,
>Bizarre? Most command names are mnemonics, options are, optional.

Grep would be mnemonic for...?
It goes back to AT&T. They didn't want anyone to be able to figure it out. This
is the same bunch that continue to identify telephone wires by the names ring,
(not the ring signal), tip, and sleeve, and use yellow for ground. Grep has 26
options shown in my book. pick three and that gives you 2600 combinations for
"one" command.

Quote:>apropos command, short for aproprosito.(e.g. 'apropos printer' will bring up
>man-pages relevant to the printer).

Well that's one they didn't bother to mention in the book. Thanks.

Quote:>Did you look in /usr/doc? (e.g. user/documents).

It's been a while since I played with it...
The directory structure described in the book is for an older version of the
OS, and is just plain wrong in several places, making it very difficult to find
things, especially since at present I have no graphical file manager to help me
learn the structure, just ls after ls, not much better than DOS.

Quote:>> The only reason I'm going back for more UNIX torture is because there
>> are some
>> good GUI's available for Linux.
>Actually, the GUI's and window managers available under Linux are mostly
>runnableon any UNIX platform.

Key word=mostly. I don't want to take any chances. Some of the software I want
to use is written or compiled for Linux, will it run on FreeBSD? Probably, but
not certainly.

Quote:>> Don't let anyone tell you that X is a GUI. Itis just the first step
>> toward one.
>> It doesn't have any of the utilities like a
>> file manager, for example, until you install one.
>Gazooks! Please, please, please. I realise you are limited to M$ totally
>non-modular way of doing things, but please do not try to critisize people who
>take a better approach without understanding what you are talking about.
>You have three layers to X windows,...

My point exactly. In the description of the FreeBSD package, they describe X as
a GUI. It isn't, by itself, anything close to a complete GUI environment.

Quote:>but then the whole great thing about UNIX/X is that you can
>set things up just the way you want.

OS/2 is like that too, much more so than Win xx. That's one of the reasons I
like it.

Quote:>KDE is based on W98.

Sorry to hear that. I was hoping for something that worked. Just kidding!

Quote:>It seems to me that you want a pre-shrink wrapped desktop with
>everything
>set up that you just need to accept by pressing the OK button.

Baa baa.
I *was* disappointed with the X installation. I had  been led to expect
something more than a clock and a command line window.

Quote:>So why try UNIX?

Software, software, and software.

Quote:>What you need is W95, but you just can't accept this.

I wouldn't wish that junk on anyone.

Quote:>Face up
>to the facts. M$ got big by providing a ready setup system that satisfies an
>average users requirements. You are that average user, Use it.

No, I'm not. I cannot accept an excuse for an OS that crashes three times a
day, and takes itself apart in the process.

Quote:>Unix is for people who want to control thier computer, not be controlled by
>it. To achieve that you need to know what you are doing and be prepared to
>change things.

Right. My biggest complaint was that it was extremely difficult to learn by the
"bootstrap" method, given limited and misleading information.

Quote:>If you really think OS/2 is better, so be it.

It's a whole lot better than anything that comes from Redmond!

Quote:>Personally I can't think of much I can
>do with an OS/2 that I cannot do with NT,
>but I prefer UNIX to both, but then,
>I know haow to use that ubiqtuous command line.

Before I bought OS/2, I was considering NT, since it also uses a protected
memory model. I dropped it when I found out that M$ had stuck the lame 95 GUI
on it. Besides, I didn't think they were trustworthy after what I'd seen with
3.1.1, and I still believe that.

Quote:>DO NOT USE UNIX.
>It is not made for people like you. Period.

Sure it is. The KDE seems like a big move in the "user friendly" direction. The
command line "interface" is a relic, and if there are things that can't be done
with a GUI, then that's a lousy GUI. My computer is supposed to be a tool for
me, not the other way around.

  /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\-----------------------------\
   Carl Brown, Whitefield, NH, USA     Proud Member of TEAM OS/2

  \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/-----------------------------/

 
 
 

Can I learn Linux

Post by Tracy R Re » Tue, 17 Mar 1998 04:00:00



>Grep would be mnemonic for...?

Global regular expression parser. You're gonna have to do better.

Quote:>It goes back to AT&T. They didn't want anyone to be able to figure it out. This
>is the same bunch that continue to identify telephone wires by the names ring,
>(not the ring signal), tip, and sleeve, and use yellow for ground. Grep has 26
>options shown in my book. pick three and that gives you 2600 combinations for
>"one" command.

huh?

Quote:>>KDE is based on W98.

I doubt this. KDE was started quite a while before any win98 betas were
available.

Quote:>Baa baa.
>I *was* disappointed with the X installation. I had  been led to expect
>something more than a clock and a command line window.

Configure it.

--
Tracy Reed      http://www.ultraviolet.org
The sticker on the side of the box said "Supported Platforms: Windows 95,
Windows NT 4.0, or better", so clearly Linux was a supported platform.

 
 
 

Can I learn Linux

Post by Josh Fishm » Tue, 17 Mar 1998 04:00:00


On 16 Mar 1998 22:23:37 GMT, Tracy R Reed


>>Grep would be mnemonic for...?

>Global regular expression parser. You're gonna have to do better.

Not ``Get Regular Expression & Print'', like the ex command?
(That's the mnemonic I heard anyway ...)

Quote:>>It goes back to AT&T. They didn't want anyone to be able to figure it out. This
>>is the same bunch that continue to identify telephone wires by the names ring,
>>(not the ring signal), tip, and sleeve, and use yellow for ground. Grep has 26
>>options shown in my book. pick three and that gives you 2600 combinations for
>>"one" command.

>huh?

Clearly, he means that ``grep -v -i --help'' is different from
``grep --help -v -i'' which is in turn distinct from ``grep -i
--help -v''. Right?

Quote:>>Baa baa.

Linux isn't for sheep   ;-)

--
   O<      ( (      [ Josh Fishman      GPL DNA NOW! ]

<_>-<_   + :::::-.  [ Linux:                         ]
 HCl<O>     :::`-'  [  hex, bugs, flock() and poll() ]

 
 
 

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