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Linux 101

post #1 of 18
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Given the amount of basic questions this section sees, some guys thought it would be good to give a basic intro to linux for those-who-don't-yet-know.

Here goes:

Vocab

AIGLX – allows accelerated 3D graphics in Xorg. For technicalities, see wikipedia. Is the successor (IMO) to XGL; it allows gaming, and is more appropriate for the Xorg layout.

Beryl – a window manager with 3D effects that use OpenGL. See beryl-project.org

Compiz – see Beryl

Distro – a distribution of linux. A distro includes the linux kernel, Xorg, GNOME and/or KDE, and a packaging system. If you want to run linux, you want to download a distro.

FGLRX – the closed-source driver for ATI cards, written by ATI. Not quite as robust as the nvidia driver (lower performance); should work fine now, however.

GNOME – a desktop environment (DE). Is most recognized by the two panels, one at the top, one at the bottom. Uses the GTK toolkit, the Metacity window manager, and runs a lot of GNOME apps. Is rather customizable; very aesthetic IMO. Link (thanks to art.gnome.org).

KDE – another DE. Is recognized by the big K button, usually. Is more familiar to recent Windows users, since in default mode it just has one bar at the bottom. Extremely customizable. Link (thanks to kde.org).

Kernel – this is the engine of the OS. It processes all of the basic commands. Versions include 2.4 (older), and 2.6 (newer). This is what Linus Torvalds & Co. work on. Numbering: version 2.6.17 is testing because the third number is odd; 2.6.18 would be the final release of 2.6.17. You can find the latest version at kernel.org

OpenGL – OPEN source Graphics Library – like DirectX, just not. Doom3 (and all its posterity: Quake 4, PREY) used OpenGL. Is less popular nowadays in the gaming world but is popular in the linux world (see Beryl).

Window manager – the program that draws the window decorations (Title bar, edges, corners). Works directly with Xorg. Examples: Metacity (GNOME), Kwin (KDE), Beryl (formerly known as compiz – 3D effects), XFWM (XFCE), Fluxbox, Enlightenment, etc.

XFCE – a minimal DE. Requires much less of your computer to run, but has less features. Is best for older computers, or for those who prefer more spartan DEs. Link (thanks to xfce.org).

XGL – Xorg server with OpenGL acceleration. Was the first way of running Compiz (now Beryl). Has its faults: doesn't support running games, isn't exactly appropriate for Xorg's implementation.

Xorg – the windowing system. It is the lowest layer of any graphical application. When you move a window, Xorg draws it. Versions include 7.0, 7.1, etc.


Commands:

These are what you use to get around a linux system on the terminal.

cd - change directory. With no options, goes to your home folder (just like 'cd ~'). 'cd ../' will return you to the parent directory, 'cd ../../' will return you to the uh, grandparent directory, and so forth.

cp <from> <to> - makes a duplicate copy of a file

ls - much like dir in windows; lists the contents of the current directory

man <command> - shows the manual page for that command. 'man ls' will show you ALL the options for the 'ls' command. USEFUL.

mv <from> <to> - moves a file to the destination; leaves only 1 copy of the file.

pwd - prints working directory

rm <file> - deletes the file. Don't go looking for an undelete command - there isn't one. Use with caution. 'rm -rf /*' _will_ wipe your box clean.


Non-Distro-Specific Links:


http://distrowatch.org – news, popularity rankings, distro tracking
http://tlm-project.org/ - The Linux Mirror Project – good place to download distros





Distros:


Ubuntu – ubuntuforums.org – a rather young distro, extremely popular, very good hardware support, and more. Uses GNOME by default; for KDE download Kubuntu (Kubuntu = Ubuntu with the KDE packages added and the GNOME packages removed, that's all. SAME OS.); for XFCE download Xubuntu. Highly recommended for beginner – moderate users. Uses the deb packaging system (apt-get).

SUSE – suseforums.de – a German distro, known for its penultimate configuration tool, YaST. Is known for being insanely easy to use, and a tad slow. Is a very comfortable OS. Uses RPM packaging. Recommended for beginner – moderate users.

Gentoo – gentoo.org, forums.gentoo.org – an extremely configurable OS. Not for the faint of heart. Requires lots of patience and enthusiasm for any beginner (learning curve like the Matterhorn). Uses portage for packaging system (compiles all code locally, resulting in long package installs but a very fast product). Recommended for moderate – expert users, and masochists.

Mandriva – what can I say? It's a lot like SUSE, a little like Ubuntu; somewhere in the mix. Uses RPM packaging system. Recommended for beginner – moderate users.

Fedora Core – the open source child of Red Hat (who now sells Enterprise Linux). Known for its security (overclock.net once ran on Fedora Core, if I'm not mistaken; now it runs on CentOS, which is a Red Hat clone). Easy to use, uses RPM packaging system. Recommended for beginner – advanced users.

Debian - the mother OS of Ubuntu; one of the earliest linux distros ever. Pioneered the .deb package management system with 'apt' (Advanced Packaging Tool...or something). Split into three branches: stable (secure, server-ish OS...outdated software), testing (mostly secure, good for desktop usage), and unstable (should only really be used by developers or experts. Really, it's not a fun experience). You'll probably be disappointed with the lack of current software on Debian Stable - a new release is due 12/2006 so look forward to that (the testing branch will migrate to stable...). Debian has very strict ethics and guidelines; if you're wondering why they ship IceWeasel instead of Firefox it's because they can't work with the Mozilla licensing...

Slackware - probably _the_ oldest linux distro that's still being used today. Maintained by pretty much 1 dude - Patrick Volkerding. Uses the .tgz packaging system, which is a bit on the old side, I must say. Does not use repositories (online databases of downloadable software) so you have to find your own tarballs (.tgz's, packages) to install. Suited towards mid-to-expert users, you can do everything yourself with Slackware - there are no wizards that do (and screw up) things for you. A fun experience IMO - you get to download your kernel from kernel.org and compile from there. Note: Patrick was wasting too much time packaging GNOME for slackware so he dropped it. There's only KDE now - if you want Slack + GNOME look into these Slack projects: Dropline, Freerock, and one other.


Don't Forget!
Linux Partitioning Guide and Choosing a Linux Distro by Kittani


Feel FREE to make edits/changes/additions/suggestions...I wish I could this like a wiki but you'll have to send me revisions or ask a mod to post them in. I hope I spent those 30min typing it up well



Enjoy
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post #2 of 18


FAQ FAQ! or Sticky!

Add debian and slackware too the list
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post #3 of 18
Ok, here's a Linux 101 question. I wanna learn how to install things. I just installed Kubuntu and IT DID NOT INCLUDE FIREFOX. Unbelievable. I downloaded firefox-1.5.0.7.tar.gz onto my desktop and extracted it onto my desktop (just so you know where it is if it'll help). I've never successfully installed anything in Linux in my life. I do know something about a ./configure command, but there is no "configure" file in the folder. I can't run any of the gear-icons by clicking them. Help...
post #4 of 18
./firefox
run that command in the terminal when your in the extracted folder.
You can make a launcher icon to run it so you don't need the terminal every time too.

EDIT||
Guess I should tell you how to do that.
right click on the desktop and go to create launcher
then just name it Firefox 2, and for the command just browse to the firefox folder and select firefox (/home/YOURuserID/Desktop/firefox/firefox)
then get a icon of google image and there you go.
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post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hundred Gunner
Ok, here's a Linux 101 question. I wanna learn how to install things. I just installed Kubuntu and IT DID NOT INCLUDE FIREFOX. Unbelievable. I downloaded firefox-1.5.0.7.tar.gz onto my desktop and extracted it onto my desktop (just so you know where it is if it'll help). I've never successfully installed anything in Linux in my life. I do know something about a ./configure command, but there is no "configure" file in the folder. I can't run any of the gear-icons by clicking them. Help...
Why go for FF? Konqueror is much better. You can install FF with Automatix if you like, unless you want to go through the process of doing a manual install (good for learning purposes).
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post #6 of 18
./firefox does not work. I tried ./everything for every little file that was in the folder and nothing happened at all. Just gave me the same error thing for each file.

Edit: Anyway, how would you install the stuff in system folders? I don't like having program's folders sitting in my home (that would be like putting programs in My Documents in windows). It'd be great if those files could be put in a program files section and a shortcut was put in the appropriate section of the K Menu.

Another thing: I tried to install Suse Linux on the same HDD, but it said something about a HDD only able to carry 4 primary partitions? My Kubuntu was destroyed.
post #7 of 18
Yeah you can only have 4 primary partitions on a drive, and a total on 14 on a SATA drive. When you make the setup for the partitions for linux then make a logical partition.

I usaully put everything in my home folder, but make one called bin and store the programs in that. You can also put them in the home folder and rename it putting a "." in front of it, that will make it a hidden file.

You don't install anything with Firefox, no ./configure, no make, no make install.

Well you have the .tar.gz file. Then you extracted it (tar -zxvf filename).
Then "cd firefox/" that moves you into the new extracted folder. Then there is a script file called "firefox". And that is what is run to start firefox.

Want is the output of these two commands then after you try the above.
Code:
pwd
Code:
ls | grep f
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post #8 of 18
Another link that might be helpful to newcomers. FAQ by batista lookie
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post #9 of 18
I use Nero to burn my CDs and DVDs. There are also other programs out there that you can use to burn the .ISO file with.
Well after you download the Distribution(Distro) of your choice, you'll notice the extension is .iso
NOTE: You do NOT un-pack that .iso file even though it'll look like you can with some zip and rar archiving programs.

In Nero you want to select to burn an Image to Disc.

Then the following window will come up.

Select the .iso file. In this example I selected Gobo.
NOTE: Make sure that at the bottom of the window you have it set to show all file types.
After the burn is done, the disc will be ready to use. Just leave it in the drive and reboot and make sure that in the boot order in the BIOS that the CD-rom drive is set first.
Make sure you already have free space set away on the hard drive for Linux before you reboot.
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post #10 of 18
I want to install the pretty skins and Icons that I find at http://www.gnome-look.org/. I have installed some of the themes, some work and some haven't. No success with Icons. Are there any tutorials on how to install any of the things on that site?
    
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