Originally Posted by Rookie1337
So autosized of the auto argument, what about for the general user? Sure we all want to have full control but to do that requires knowing a lot more. What should the general user do then?
I think the general user needs to weigh what is important enough to learn to do for himself and then just bite the bullet and do it. It is difficult to say, "This is trivial enough that I can afford staying ignorant of it and depend on others", I know, and maybe I take on too many learning curves sometimes, but there are relatively few things as long term as computers. It seems to me there is always going to be worthwhile advantage in knowing them deeply.
That said, I once began learning Assembly so I could write device drivers for OS/2 because of such limited hardware support (you think Linux is tuff for hardware!) and I did get to where I could write some decent stuff. However taking that on was naive because I was unaware of how little hardware information was made available to utilize for writing drivers from the ground up. Now, I'd be hard pressed to say "Hello World" anymore via Assembly. It did improve my debug skills though.
So each person just has to do his best to figure out what he can really use and often that means some dead ends, some missed opportunities, and some useless knowledge.
On a far less general tip, security, even in Linux (but dependent on where you go and what you do) is important and only going to get more important as the user base grows. It is worth finding out how "iptables" works because the rule sets are similar elsewhere in security applications. Then you can decide if you need such things as Snort, Tripwire, Nessus, etc. It's better than just hoping SELinux suits your specific needs IMHO.