Re: New Laptop on the Way
From: Dances With Crows (danSPANceswitTRAPhcrows_at_gmail.com)
Date: Fri, 06 May 2005 08:59:50 -0500
["Followup-To:" header set to comp.os.linux.portable.]
On Fri, 06 May 2005 00:46:20 -0700, Marek Williams staggered into the
Black Sun and said:
> On Tue, 3 May 2005 00:20:45 -0500, "Mike" <email@example.com> dijo:
>>The real difficulty is that all the terminology between Windows and
>>Linux is different. If you have used Linux in the past, and have a
> I used Corel Linux
Corel Linux != modern distros. Your questions make me think you're
*really* inexperienced; you may wish to Google for "linux newbie
tutorial" or "Rute user tutorial" or pick up the O'Reilly book _Running
Linux_ or something.
>>The various distros differ in how they gen a system, and how they
>>update the etc configuration files to "enable" various
> What does "gen a system" mean?
IIRC, it's an old dinosaur-herder term that Marek is using to mean
"partition a disk, make filesystems, and write binary packages for the
base system to these filesystems." That's "install the base OS" to you.
> What are "etc configuration files"?
Marek meant "/etc config files". These are text files in the /etc/
directory and its subdirectories that control many important things.
The X config file, f'rexample, is in /etc/X11/xorg.conf .
>>In Linux the Info, and man subsystems are your greatest friend, with
> What are the info and man subsystems?
"man FOO BAR" executed from a console or xterm or konsole will display
the man pages for FOO and BAR. man pages are usually dry technical
references that explain everything a command can do. If a newbie wants
to use a man page, he should enter "man FOO" then type "/examples" to
search the man page for the "EXAMPLES" section, as it's usually the best
place to start.
"info FOO" will display the info page for FOO. Unlike man pages, info
pages are hierarchical, which sounds like a good idea but usually isn't
one in practice. Some programs have info pages but their man pages are
terse and unhelpful, and some programs have man pages but no info pages.
> what is bash?
Bourne-Again SHell. It's the default shell in Linux.
> I thought Redhat and Suse were different distros. I don't really know
> what Debian is.
Debian is another distro intended for intermediate-to-advanced users.
> What is a disk identification mechanism and what does it do?
Need more context to answer. Don't worry about it for now.
>>(don't forget to do a man man to get a brief explanation of using the
>>man -k function).
> How do I do a man man
Enter "man man" at a console, xterm, or konsole. This is the man page
for man, and will tell you how to use man :-)
> and a man -k
"apropos" is easier to type for me (YMMV). "apropos FOO" searches a man
page database for all man pages that relate to FOO and then displays a
list of those man pages.
> I've heard of the X system, but have never seen a definition. What is
Think of X as the program that receives input from your keyboard and
mouse, and makes your video card draw pretty pictures. X is essentially
the video card driver for Linux. (There's a lot more to X than that, but
that'll do for now.)
> I've also heard of KDE and Gnome, but again, have no idea how they are
> different or why I should use one over the other.
KDE and GNOME are both sets of programs that run on top of X. KDE in
its default configuration behaves similarly (not exactly) to Windows in
its look, feel, and config settings for its file manager. GNOME is less
like Windows. KDE has all its configuration options in a big "KDE
Control Center", GNOME hides some of its configuration options in
gconf-editor. Both desktop environments are useful and nifty; you may
want to try both of them out and see which one you like best.
>>There is no substitute for doing. "Once you understand what they are
>>saying then you will know what they mean"
> How-to documents that assume the reader understands the terminology
> get great praise from those who already understand the subject and
> don't need them. They are useless for anyone who is just starting out.
> At this point I am planning on installing Suse 9.3
Unless SuSE have completely dropped the ball, the paper documentation
you get with a boxed set of SuSE is pretty good and can be read and used
by a person who is new to Linux.
> If it blows up there is a local LUG.
Bring your laptop there if they have a "Beginner's Night", grab one of
the least fanatical members, and have him explain stuff to you until he
or you gets tired. HTH,
-- Matt G|There is no Darkness in Eternity/But only Light too dim for us to see Brainbench MVP for Linux Admin / mail: TRAP + SPAN don't belong http://www.brainbench.com / Hire me! -----------------------------/ http://crow202.dyndns.org/~mhgraham/resume