How to get started with Linux ?

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  • Peter JakackiPeter Jakacki Posts: 9,707
    edited 2020-10-17 - 02:32:02
    Be sure to install webmin on your linux machine. It's a web-based system that makes managing and configuring linux much easier than all that command-line fol-de-rol.

    -Phil

    Ugh, never heard of it and never used it. Just tried to have a look at it but it wasn't in the software manager and so I had to find a suitable dowload and there seems to be some command line stuff you need to muck around with to get it installed. Seeing that I have never used or needed it before, is it worth while for a beginner?

    @Cluso99 - to embrace anything, you have to let go of whatever it is you are still holding onto. If it is a rather sad and demanding Windows, then let go. Install Linux and install Kicad and maybe a few other specials but pretty much everything else is preinstalled. Just like we had to finally let go of Protel to embrace Kicad and there was a slight relearning curve, but there are no regrets, and no desire to go back to what was.
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 22,752
    edited 2020-10-17 - 02:49:41
    Seeing that I have never used or needed it before, is it worth while for a beginner?
    I would say yes. It is for me, since my main linux box is headless. It handles my email and serves as a backup and firewall. Using webmin, I can access and configure it from any computer on my network. Okay, I can also do the same from the command line using a remote X client, but webmin does make some things easier and doesn't require a special client to be installed -- just a browser. IIRC, it came with the Ubuntu installation on that machine; but that was years ago, so I might not be remembering correctly.

    -Phil
  • I think Bean is wanting to try Linux as a desktop setup, not a web server.

  • FreeBASIC is multi-platform

    If Android was an option, B4A (BASIC for Android) is similar to VB.
  • evanh wrote: »
    I think Bean is wanting to try Linux as a desktop setup, not a web server.

    Yes, that is true. I'll try the "boot from memory stick" option when I get a chance.

    Bean


  • Clock LoopClock Loop Posts: 1,940
    edited 2020-10-18 - 22:54:55
    Bean wrote: »
    I'm confused about the different "versions" of Linux. Like what is the difference between "Mint" "Ubuntu" "Red Hat" etc ? Aren't they all Linux ? Will a program (.EXE or whatever it is in Linux) run on all of them ? Or do you have compile for each version ?

    Any advise about how to get started would be helpful. This will be in an engineering setting if that makes any difference. Specifically product testing with lots of data to be stored.

    Thanks,
    Bean

    I have tried a few and as far as hardware support, updates, AND SUPPORT for installation instructions, debian is at the top. I use debian10 with cinnamon as the desktop.
    Linux is a bit different when it comes to configuring it, for instance, the OS will lower its clock by default.
    If you want maximum performance in linux you need to actually tell it to run at its fastest clock.
    This is typical even with windows, but windows lets you change this with a few clicks, linux requires a command,
    and if you want it to stay that way at boot, you need to edit a boot up script.


    If you dual boot linux and windows10 you have the benefit of both. Linux can write to the windows partition, but windows cannot write to the linux partition.
    Debian, unbuntu, etc, all the major popular versions usually are pretty compatible with eachother, and many instructions are for debian / unbuntu.
    Having a good skill at google searches will help you. You can also PM me or make a post if you need to do a task and don't know how.

    One issue with linux that many have is getting their pc to boot from the hard drive once the install is done.
    Sometimes you need to include special switches to get the installer and initial boot to work, for instance I need a special switch for my nvidia GPU
    just to get the desktop to boot, just so i can install the nvidia drivers at the command line.

    Many things you install may need other packages to even work or are needed to compile the program.
    Linux tends to compile things on the fly for your specific setup, so you find yourself installing and searching for dependencies.
    However much of the work is usually done for you and already in the linux repository, at least with debian10.

    Also installing the GPU drivers in linux (any other drivers) is sometimes a PITA.
    The best you can do is get ready to search the internet for answers, don't give up, have a linux friend at the ready in your contact list.

    I hope you like entering commands in at the command line, because even with the fancy desktop, you are still right back at the terminal to accomplish things.

    Get a notebook and WRITE down all the various steps(the commands) you do, you will need it again in the future, and you won't remember half of the things you needed to do.
    Having a SECOND pc, or device that can access the internet to search for answers, is petty much required with linux, especially if you are having booting issues or connectivity issues.

    Command line work done, like a .bat file in windows, is done with a .sh file in linux.

    The .exe files in windows are not the same as executables in linux, the linux executables are usually specific to your version of linux.
    Which is why so many linux programs can be complied.
    .exe files can usually be shared between all versions of windows (and perhaps d.o.s.)

    I have a dual monitor deskop with debain10, I use conky for pc resource monitoring, nvidia has pretty good linux support in their drivers.
    I use an intel cpu, with a msi motherboard.
    All of the drivers were included in with the DVD, except the gpu drivers, I had to specifically download and install those.

    If you want better driver support out the box, get a non-free firmware install.
    Here is a debian10 64-bit install DVD that includes the non-free firmware.
    https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/cd-including-firmware/10.6.0+nonfree/amd64/iso-dvd/
    https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/cd-including-firmware/10.6.0+nonfree/amd64/iso-dvd/firmware-10.6.0-amd64-DVD-1.iso

    Here is the same dvd that can be run LIVE.
    https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/cd-including-firmware/10.6.0-live+nonfree/amd64/iso-hybrid/
    You need to choose the desktop. Cinnamon is a nice one.
    https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/unofficial/non-free/cd-including-firmware/10.6.0-live+nonfree/amd64/iso-hybrid/debian-live-10.6.0-amd64-cinnamon+nonfree.iso

    Good luck!
  • Clock Loop wrote: »
    Get a notebook and WRITE down all the various steps(the commands) you do, you will need it again in the future, and you won't remember half of the things you needed to do.

    Having a SECOND pc, or device that can access the internet to search for answers, is petty much required with linux, especially if you are having booting issues or connectivity issues.
    I'll strongly second those two points.

  • Peter JakackiPeter Jakacki Posts: 9,707
    edited 2020-10-19 - 04:05:32
    or you could just install Linux Mint

    ( I say this because all this advice makes it sound like it is rocket science but the OP just needs to get started, not finished)
  • @Peter Jakacki
    I would slightly alter your last statement; the user needs to get finished with Linux to get finished with his project. And Mint seems to be the easiest install and most intuitive UI for someone coming from the windows desktop. I would also recommend Midnight Commander as a way to manage files over the standard file manager in most distros.
  • I mean not be finished with Linux before he has started. All this helpful advice is not very helpful at all and it would even scare me away. I can setup Linux on a new machine with just a few clicks of the mouse without all the fuss. Once he is started he might need something extra, but then that's only another few clicks and hardly ever a terminal is involved.

    As for file managers, none of them ever compare to my old favorite ZTree. The author keeps it up to date but I wish he would do a version for Linux as I only really use it within VirtualBox.
  • I have to agree with Peter and Frank. Mint is the easiest choice for moving from Windows to Linux. My laptop HDD died yesterday evening so I got on my desktop, found the closest stores that had some in stock and picked up a new one this morning. Stopped for brunch on the way back, arrived home about 1:30, installed Linux Mint 20, and now (5:29) am checking the Parallax forum on my laptop. Firefox, LibreOffice, Thunderbird, and a bunch of other programs are installed.
  • kwinn wrote: »
    I have to agree with Peter and Frank. Mint is the easiest choice for moving from Windows to Linux. My laptop HDD died yesterday evening so I got on my desktop, found the closest stores that had some in stock and picked up a new one this morning. Stopped for brunch on the way back, arrived home about 1:30, installed Linux Mint 20, and now (5:29) am checking the Parallax forum on my laptop. Firefox, LibreOffice, Thunderbird, and a bunch of other programs are installed.

    Hello!
    And you're one of the lucky ones.
    I belong to a LUG, currently we're on a conditional stand down because of COVID, but, ah, one of the regular groups that did meet before was on the subject of how new users could install Linux on a system, or keep the OS running properly. One individual (with help but not mine) did install Linux Mint on a system. And during the days afterwards when we would meet he would have problems. Typically simple ones, and I'd provide some useful advice. By the time our last meeting was held, he had left the area, and I certainly hope he's getting help.

    For those comfortable with the learning curve I typically advise people who want to run an OS that's Debian based, but not itself, to pick Linux Mint, or the current animal from Ubuntu. For those who've had the experience I've had, I suggest Slackware. (But only if it is for fun not for real work.) If this is a work related project, then its either RHEL or Fedora, or Centos.

    Bean can you reiterate what exactly you're looking for? And also include what else you've tried out.
    Mascot away this week. No messages accepted.
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