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Author Topic: Where should one begin?  (Read 10518 times)

Offline NeoPhyte_Rep

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Where should one begin?
« on: December 12, 2008, 01:55:42 PM »
Continuing the basic questions theme, if someone were to ask you how they could get started with Linux, what would you tell them?
Asking all the dumb questions so others need not be afraid.

Offline robc

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Re: Where should one begin?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2008, 02:10:52 PM »
I would tell them they should "shop around" a little before settling with a distribution (My first Linux experience was with MEPIS, then Mandrake, Puppy, DSL, Debian, Xubuntu, now here). They should find one that works well enough with their hardware so most functionality is present but shouldn't worry about every detail because putting in the time to make the pieces work is how you learn. If everything worked "out of the box" then there wouldn't be any need and probably no desire to learn.
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Offline NeoPhyte_Rep

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Re: Where should one begin?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2008, 06:16:54 PM »
I would tell them they should "shop around" a little before settling with a distribution.

OK, so how would one start from scratch and gain enough knowledge to evaluate the various distributions.  It's tough to "shop around" without knowing how to ask basic questions.
Asking all the dumb questions so others need not be afraid.

Offline tobiaus

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Re: Where should one begin?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2008, 06:23:44 PM »
Quote
Asking all the dumb questions so others need not be afraid.

let me just mention how much i approve. i feel the same way.

let me also tell you how to get the answer you want. there are some great tools online that ask you a bunch of questions and then a script guesses which distro is best for you.

i bet since you're here that something attracts you to tinycore, like its size, which makes the question more fun. just imagine everything you want in a distro, mention as much as you see relevant here, and i'll give you the totally biased answer tailored to what you outline.

then the best part is that based on what you said, other biased answers will come that disagree with mine. if it sounds crazy, it is, but it should give you a better idea than those scripts. besides, i'm curious what you're looking for now. other than that i would say try dsl. why? because it's only 50mb to download and i'm not yet qualified to recommend tinycore. if you want to know which bloaty distro to try, make it ubuntu, kubuntu, or xubuntu. and i can tell you which of those is the best of the three based on what you say next.

Offline NeoPhyte_Rep

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Re: Where should one begin?
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2008, 06:47:25 PM »
I guess I'm not stating the question clearly enough.

A person who uses a computer that came equipped with the usual software wants to know how to get started with Linux.  They don't really know what Linux is and, so far, the term distro or distribution has no meaning.

Where does one go to learn the really basic concepts that lead to using Linux?  And I mean really, really basic concepts.  This fictional person knows there is hardware and software, but thinks all software is, uh, software.  Where does one go to get the structural relationship of microcode, BIOS, kernel, task manager, file system, window manager, compiler, interpreter, etc., etc., etc. so that one can make intelligent, informed comparisons between the various implementations of the various software components of a functioning system.
Asking all the dumb questions so others need not be afraid.

Offline Juanito

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Re: Where should one begin?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2008, 07:28:29 PM »

Offline NeoPhyte_Rep

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Re: Where should one begin?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2008, 07:44:23 PM »
Thank you, that comes closer to what I seek than I've seen.

I'm off to peruse http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/hints/downloads/files/essential_prereading.txt
Asking all the dumb questions so others need not be afraid.

Offline robc

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Re: Where should one begin?
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2008, 09:30:49 PM »
When I first needed to learn how to use linux I went to http://www.linux.org. They have a lot of information there, including an introduction to linux.
The introduction is here: http://www.linux.org/lessons/beginner/index.html.
"Never give up! Never surrender!" - Commander Peter Quincy Taggart

"Make it so." - Captain Picard

Offline NeoPhyte_Rep

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Re: Where should one begin?
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2008, 09:53:28 PM »
Thank you.  I'll be checking that out next.
Asking all the dumb questions so others need not be afraid.

Offline curaga

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Re: Where should one begin?
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2008, 03:55:19 AM »
I would give them a livecd or two to try out, and then to start using the one they like best.
The first steps are most easily taken when only trying to use it for everything, doing basic things like web surfing and email.

The cd's btw would be Knoppix, DSL, and TC :)
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline NeoPhyte_Rep

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Re: Where should one begin?
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2008, 09:21:50 AM »
The cd's btw would be Knoppix, DSL, and TC :)
Could you flesh out your reasons for the suggested LiveCDs?  I think I understand why you would recommend DSL and TC, but Knoppix is not an obvious choice to me.
Asking all the dumb questions so others need not be afraid.

Offline curaga

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Re: Where should one begin?
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2008, 09:33:00 AM »
I like them ;)

Then, the reason for DSL and TC being speed. For Knoppix, it's the most popular livecd, KDE is easy to use for win users, and it looks familiar to them. I believe the latest Knoppix also has compiz, so it can be used to show off Linux too.

Edit: Knoppix also includes stuff like OpenOffice right on the cd, making it easy for first-time users to get something done. Remember, win users do not read manuals.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2008, 09:35:12 AM by curaga »
The only barriers that can stop you are the ones you create yourself.

Offline NeoPhyte_Rep

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Re: Where should one begin?
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2008, 09:37:52 AM »
I like them ;)
That's good enough for me.

Thanks for the further details.
Asking all the dumb questions so others need not be afraid.

Offline mikshaw

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Re: Where should one begin?
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2008, 05:53:57 PM »

Offline clivesay

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Re: Where should one begin?
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2008, 07:35:15 PM »
My question back would be what experience level are these people? I do computer repair as a side biz and I can tell you that people that know some about computers make a real big assumption that everyone knows something about computers. That is not true. The vast majority know very little, including teenagers. If you are talking MySpace, Facebook and itunes, then a kid can be very helpful. Other than that, not much knowledge.

I have actually converted a dozen or more novice users to linux and have given more experienced computer users some pointers for doing some things themselves. All must keep in mind that many people who think they are accomplished Windows users know nothing about burning an iso image, partitioning or other simple tasks that all here would not blink an eye at.

So, in my experiences, I have usually done the setup for them just like they would get if they bought a new Windows machine. Normally, depending on specs of the machine, I will put on Mepis or Linux Mint. They are relatively simple to understand and they have good community support. Now, I have put DSL and other small distros on old laptops that people wanted to use strickly at a netbook.

I did computer refurbishing for awhile and put my own customized version on them based on DSL because they were mostly p1 and p2's. Little kids had absolutely no problem with the right click fluxbox desktop. The only challenge was if they wanted a printer. I would always need to do that setup as apsfilter isn't for the weak.

So, for someone who is just getting their feet wet in Linux, I would point them to Mepis, Mint or Ubuntu. I know PCLOS is good too but I tend to swim in the debian pool.  :)
Chris
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