How many years will it take to become a guru?
By guru I just mean someone who can install linux, then make it work with hardware. Then install packages, patches, and applications. Set up a webserver, database, and mailserver. If you've ever attempted to do this, there is a lot involved!
I am just getting into this. Actually this is my first post. I'm sure there will be many, many more.... like I was saying I am new to linux...kinda. I've had shell accounts before, and done C programming and shell scripting in unix. I've even installed redhat, mandrake, ubuntu, distros on my computers. but I am totally new to setting up my own custom linux system. And it is really pissing me off to be honest. I thought I would be able to handle this, but everytime I look up an answer, I have like 20 more questions. When will I get to the bottom of this??
Okay well, right now I am just trying to compile the linux kernel. 188.8.131.52. I downloaded the Full from kernel.org. And there is no src directory! I think I figured out from the README that I need to somehow extract the /src first by typing make??? Well I am using windows right now, so I guess I am asking would I be able to compile the linux kernel using Cygwin?
So yeah this is where I am stuck. Havent even compiled yet. ehhh thanks for any help and wisdom you can share.
try a source-based distro
I might get some flack from others - but I started using linux full time several years ago, and jumped in with a source distro. There is a very high learning curve, but gentoo has very nice documentation (http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/) to go along with the install, and lots of wiki's (http://gentoo-wiki.com/)out there to help with other issues. The other source distro I could reccomend is Lunar Linux (http://www.lunar-linux.org) - though the documentation for it is lacking a bit (or at least was when I stopped using it).
The reason I say go with a source distro is it will force you to learn what is gong on. If you want to become a "guru" you need to know what is going on behind the scenes - much of which is hidden in the big-name distros (try building a kernel from the vanilla sources in red-hat, I still can't get it to work on RHEL4). It may mean struggles up front, but in the end, you will come out knowing a whole lot more about how the system works, and how all the pieces fit together.
If you can afford a separate machine to play with the source distro, or at least a large enough partition on a dual-boot machine, that would probably help out. It does come in handy to have another machine that you can at least browse the web with while doing the installs with gentoo, otherwise you'll want to print out the install docs, which will take a bit of paper to do. The lunar linux install is more straightforward, and all-things-considered, I like the way Lunar handles initial install, and package management. But in the end I switched to gentoo for a larger package repository.