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Hi Everyone, I won't go into great detail but I am quite ill and not able to work at the moment. It's extremely difficult as I have always either been ...
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  1. #1
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    How Did You Learn?


    Hi Everyone,

    I won't go into great detail but I am quite ill and not able to work at the moment. It's extremely difficult as I have always either been in education or work. While I have free time I think it's best I try to learn something useful and I'd like to try and work out how to use Linux/Unix properly. As this would be a great boon for me personally but also for work.

    I've been using several distros for about six months and I feel I'm no longer really learning anything. I've simply just started to copy commands that others have posted on the internet. So what's the best way for me to learn how to operate within Linux without resorting to copy + paste?

    If I had to set a goal it would be to be able to successfully configure an ArchLinux installation. However I've tried an "ArchBang" install and it didn't go well. I can partition the HDDs fine but that's about as far as I can get. Once I reach the desktop I can't install anything even when I copy commands from the internet.

    As you can see I'm still at the "newbie" stage and a long way from my Arch install goal but I really want to learn. I've thought about taking a course but I would like to build up my basic understanding of Linux/Unix before I commit money to anything.

    Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated. I apologize for the long post and thank you for reading.

    Bleu

  2. #2
    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    Some good stuff in my signature. Me. I learned like I did on motorcycles. I got on. Fell off. Got on. Fell off. Got on. Then drove it like I stole it.

    I am not the best person to refer you to best understand command structure. For me it is like driving my scooter to a destination. My instincts and muscle memory get me where I need to be. But ask me for directions. I am clueless.

    I am sure other members here will chime in better than I.
    Linux Registered User # 475019
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  3. #3
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    I first started with Linux because I was into web development at the time. I learned most of what I know out of necessity pursuing that hobby. My suggestion to you would be to set up WordPress and Joomla on your machine using only the command line, and of course your web browser.

    That will teach you a lot about packages, starting and stopping services, editing config files, and introduce you to a a very important software stack: LAMP.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Roxoff's Avatar
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    I knew bits and pieces about Linux from being a user - but I didn't really start to understand the OS until I came onto sites like this one (actually - not 'like' this one... it was this one) and got stuck into answering peoples questions. I found that you learn an awful lot when you try to explain a solution to someone who might not understand it; you end up investigating something that you think you know about, and learn new stuff or just reinforce your existing knowledge.
    jayd512 and Hildr like this.
    Linux user #126863 - see http://linuxcounter.net/

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    @Mizzle: I'm not aware of WordPress or Joomla but I will look them up right now.

    Thank you all for your time I don't feel so bad now about not knowing anything.

  6. #6
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleu View Post
    While I have free time I think it's best I try to learn something useful and I'd like to try and work out how to use Linux/Unix properly. As this would be a great boon for me personally but also for work.

    I've been using several distros for about six months and I feel I'm no longer really learning anything. I've simply just started to copy commands that others have posted on the internet. So what's the best way for me to learn how to operate within Linux without resorting to copy + paste?
    Whether you decide to install a particular distro, build your own system from scratch or carry on using the distro you are using at the moment is up to you ... you can fix the copy paste thing straight away - just look at the man pages for every command you use, and make sure you have a reasonable idea what it's going to do before you use it

    Give yourself a spare partition to experiment with, and backup your data before you start - so you don't have to worry about loosing stuff ... then have some fun !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan183 View Post
    Whether you decide to install a particular distro, build your own system from scratch or carry on using the distro you are using at the moment is up to you ... you can fix the copy paste thing straight away - just look at the man pages for every command you use, and make sure you have a reasonable idea what it's going to do before you use it

    Give yourself a spare partition to experiment with, and backup your data before you start - so you don't have to worry about loosing stuff ... then have some fun !
    Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm actually in the middle of buillding a new rig to run Linux or even BSD so I can get stuck in without worrying I'll mess up my current OS. I've also picked up a small laptop to practice on even before I touch my new system. I will try things your way and see how it goes, thanks again.
    jayd512 likes this.

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    Just Joined! IslandSilverWolf's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Best response I've seen in a long, long time

    Quote Originally Posted by Roxoff View Post
    I knew bits and pieces about Linux from being a user - but I didn't really start to understand the OS until I came onto sites like this one (actually - not 'like' this one... it was this one) and got stuck into answering peoples questions. I found that you learn an awful lot when you try to explain a solution to someone who might not understand it; you end up investigating something that you think you know about, and learn new stuff or just reinforce your existing knowledge.
    I just want to tell you, that is one of the most honest and helpful responses I have ever read. Outstanding, Roxoff! (My opinion is of questionable, if any, worth; but you deserved the kudo nevertheless.)

  9. #9
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    You should be able to know the basics of command line, file system(s), location of config files, text editing, etc. Just follow one tutorial to the end. You can start with "Introduction to Linux A Hands on Guide by Machtelt Garrels". Google it, since I'm unable to post the link.

  10. #10
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleu View Post

    I've been using several distros for about six months and I feel I'm no longer really learning anything. I've simply just started to copy commands that others have posted on the internet. So what's the best way for me to learn how to operate within Linux without resorting to copy + paste?

    Bleu
    When you are given a command, go straight to the command's man or info page. Check what it does (especially when used with these particular arguments). If it's a pipeline rather than a single command, check out the individual bits by hand. For example, the first command in the pipeline produces a particular output, it goes through grep or awk and comes out as something else: find out what the original output is and why grep does what it does to that output. If a system file is involved, see if it has its own man page to tell you what exactly it does in your system. You can learn a lot that way.
    "I'm just a little old lady; don't try to dazzle me with jargon!"

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