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Having been a member of this forum for a little while now, I have seen quite a broad range of topics pop up. Some are by pros, some newbies. Some ...
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  1. #1
    Linux User tech_man's Avatar
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    Prerequisites for Linux?


    Having been a member of this forum for a little while now, I have seen quite a broad range of topics pop up. Some are by pros, some newbies. Some asking how to do something trivial, some asking how to do something major. Some containing tips and suggestions. Some just discussing nothing to do with computers (Coffee Lounge). I digress. Every once and a while you see someone with one post come along and their post title reads, "OmG!11!! how do u installz warez?" (Exaggeration) Inside you see, "LOL i lef klikc the .bin and nothing happens. I WATN TO D CLIKC AND INSTALL IT." (Again Exaggeration) Sometimes it is incomprehensible gibberish, sometimes it is well phrased from a frustrated beginner. I come along and say, just open up the terminal, change the directory to where the .bin is, type "chmod +x filename", and then "./filename". The reply comes quickly, "Whats the terminal?" Then I slam my head on the computer desk.

    Installing software seems to pop up a lot and even has its own dedicated thread here. In windows you download an .exe and double click it. Boom! Done. (Usually) Some people like it and say, "Good, installing software should be as easy as possible." Others say, "Bah! Give me the damn source so I can compile it myself." This is where the beauty of the linux distribution comes into play. You pick what you want. Each distribution caters to different needs. You want "harder" (You know what I mean) you can have slack, gentoo, etc. You want "easier" (Again you know what I mean) go Ubuntu, Fedora, PCLinuxOS.

    The question arises here. No matter which distribution you chose, do you have to know certain things? In order to use linux, should you know how to burn an .iso? (Don't get me wrong, everyone starts somewhere. The first time I tried to burn an disk image, I created about five coasters before I looked up how to properly burn one.) Should you need to know at least the basics of a command line interface? Should you know that a file is a file? (Extensions are really meaningless.) Should you need to know at least a little about the distribution you use? (Package Manger, Desktop Environment, etc.) Should you know the difference between KDE, Gnome, Xfce?

    Before you dive right in and start installing a distribution, should there be information that you should already know? There is a myriad of information on this forum. If you look hard enough, you can find a topic that usually answers your question. The only thing is that you need to know where to look. Under linux installation there is the tutorial for burning the image. Under linux software there is a guide to installing software.

    When someone comes and asks, "How do I get and install Linux?" The thread gets locked and they are given a link to the topic showing them where to start. They come here wanting to just know how to installing linux and before they know it, they are taking a "Distro Quiz". They probably don't even know what a distro is. They use the schema they already have (Windows). They hear about this OS called linux and assume there is one thing called Linux that they can install just like Windows. Before they know it, we have them jumping through hoops with distributions, 32-bit vs. 64-bit, Gnome version, KDE version, RPMs, Source, .debs, yum, apt, CLI, terminal, shell, kernel, gcc, etc. They are so overwhelmed by all of this, they just say, "Screw it."

    What I am asking and proposing is creating a big tutorial that explains the basics. What is linux, what is a distribution, what are popular distributions, what is the kernel, what is the command line and how to use it, what a file is, what user accounts are, what is root, what is the disc image, etc. It would be a primer and guide to installing linux. Instead for having everybody looking all over the forums for each step, I would like to just put them in one big file. Start with the prerequisites, then move on to getting the Distribution, burning the Distribution, booting the Distribution, installing the Distribution, get everything up and running, installing software, etc.

    I need to know from you guys what would you like this tutorial to cover? What should be included, what should someone have to learn for himself/herself? This would by no means be an end all tutorial, just one that covers the basics, and not only help the person get a Linux Distribution up and running with minimal hassle, but give them knowledge which would make their Linux life a lot easier.

    I understand this is a pretty comprehensive project. Anyone that would like to help just post and say what you think. Tell me if it is a good idea, bad idea, what to cover, if you would like to help. This is not set in stone, no details are decided, I am just seeing what people think. There is no time table, etc. Myself and others here have busy lives and can only spend a certain amount of time on this. It would get done when it gets done. If there are enough responses then something might get started, and after that only time will tell.
    'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.'
    --Abraham Lincoln

  2. #2
    Linux User cayalee's Avatar
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    i think this is an excellent idea. the problem comes with visibility though, without support of large forums and sites, this isn't going to get used.
    i'd like to help where possible though
    You know, aliens are going to come to earth in 50 years and kill the hell out of us for DDoSing their networks with this SETI crap
    registered linux user #388463

  3. #3
    Linux Newbie tommytabib's Avatar
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    Yeah, fantastic idea.

    I'd also, actually i think you mentioned it already, like to see a section of the tutorial that says "how to boot from the CD". Because when i first came to linux (only about six weeks ago) i was just putting the CD in the drive and expecting that it would boot from the CD, i thought why else would they call it a bootable CD.

    Anyways it took me a couple of days to actually figure out what i was doing wrong, so id like to see that in any tutorial made. Then again maybe its just me

    One problem i can think may arise is that its going to have to be atleast a coule of pages, and that tends to scare people into thinking it going to be to hard to get linux so they just forget about it.

    I know when i first came to look up what exactly linux is (at first i thought that linux was just a terminal and had absolutely no GUI and no internet or anything *im serious*) i did in fact find a fair bit of information about it but i couldn't be bothered reading it all, and thus made may mistakes along the way.

    All in all, i think its a great idea and if you add a few pictures showing some of the "cool 3D stuffs" linux can do it will attract alot more people.
    It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

    - Voltaire

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  5. #4
    Linux User tech_man's Avatar
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    ^^ What would you think the optimal length should be? Not too much to scare people, and not too short to skimp on important info.
    'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.'
    --Abraham Lincoln

  6. #5
    Linux User Dark_Stang's Avatar
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    I'm all for showing people the beauty of linux, but I've seen a pretty noticable pattern with newbies. If they don't look for answers for themselves before posting a question, chances are they're just going to get frustrated and give up anyway.

    I would love to be proven wrong on this.
    Two levels higher than a newb.
    (I can search google)

  7. #6
    Linux User cheesecake42's Avatar
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    I agree that the "which distro" etc. questions get very annoying. I don't think that there necessarily has to be a long drawn out "start here" section; but maybe the sticky's should just be made a little more noticable. I didn't even discover them until my third or fourth day here. Or maybe just include a quick "starter" overview with the registration process.

  8. #7
    Linux Newbie tommytabib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tech_man
    ^^ What would you think the optimal length should be? Not too much to scare people, and not too short to skimp on important info.
    I guess thats the question. But i would say that anything over three (3) pages will scare people, so under three (3) is my bet.

    Now you've just got to figure out how to fit all the information you want into under three (3) pages. *if thats possible*

    Good luck
    It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

    - Voltaire

  9. #8
    Linux User Oxygen's Avatar
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    I should say here, I'm thinking of settuing up a site for pure newbies that would cover everything from why they should use Linux to changing from windows to getting used to it. I've got a friend to help me with it.
    Graham - You'd better Use Linux!

    I'm registerd Linux user #397030. What about you?

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