[SATLUG] Re: Introduction of Myself and Linux for Newbies

FIRESTORM_v1 firestorm.v1 at gmail.com
Sat Jun 7 14:18:23 CDT 2008

I'll throw in my .02c just because I'm here and.... yeah. :)

If you need help with VMware, just let me know. I've done some pretty
freaky things with a case of beer and a laptop with two ethernet
ports.  (like making the VM act as a router for a network connected
through a hub while the host PC is a member on the protected network..
) VMware will allow you to explore many aspects of the workstation and
server sides of Linux without having to purchase additional hardware.

This list has been an invaluable asset to learning Linux from the
first days when I mistakenly untarred an RPM and the accompanying tar
file and then was lost as to how to get it in the machine.  (back in
the RH 6.0 days :P)     In order to give you a good recommendation,
where exactly are you wanting to start?  Linux as a desktop?  the
Server aspect of Linux? Linux and networks?

If you don't have extra hardware lying about, I strongly suggest
getting VMware Server.  This will allow you to build as many virtual
machines as you have disk space for.  On my machine zeus, I have
12something VMs (although due to memory constraints, I don't run all
of them concurrently).  I have one of them that actually acts as a
distribution server, allowing me to PXEboot any computer with that
capability and then I can select the distribution to install.  The
sources are contained on the distribution server VM and it doesn't
even feel like I'm not talking to a physical machine.

As far as distributions, I am also going to throw my opinion behind
Ubuntu.  They have Ubuntu Server, and 'regular?' Ubuntu (desktop), and
just a few days ago I found a distribution for ubuntu called Ubuntu
Studio.  This distro is more relased to digital video/audio editing
and contains the Ubuntu Desktop with packages and applications for
DV/DA editing.  I haven't had a moment to play around with it, but a
friend of mine has been able to pull video from his DV Cam and is able
to edit it, transcode or press to DVD.  It can be downloaded from

On Sat, Jun 7, 2008 at 7:53 AM, K. Reginald Buckner
<buckmiester35 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hello my name is Reggie Buckner. I saw Daniel's bit about Linux for Newbies
>> and VMs. First I will like to share that I want to learn Linux in depth. I
>> started as a San Antonio College student last year but I got discouraged
>> about getting hands on experience to put on a resume. I been striking out
>> trying to learn on my own but I want to meet others out there who know could
>> help to enlighten me.

Hi Reg... :P  (sorry, had to)

>> About Linux for newbies:
>>   . Linux for Newbies - As a newbie I found that it was hard to get
>> started. The How tos on the net was not helpful enough. I used Sun OS,
>> Solaris, SCO Unix, AIX and HP-UX in my past but I did not understand things
>> like:
>>  Differences between commands/ etc in Debian based linux and Red Hat based
>> linux. Specifically  the hardware detection in Red Hat based Linux (
>> anaconda and kudzu) does not recognize a lot of things like Debian does.
>> Knoppix ( a debian based) can detect with exactness all the hardware and
>> specs. Ubuntu does this as well. I am not sure where Puppy Linux falls but
>> it detects hardware good.
>>  Package management is different - rpm ( red hat package manager format) is
>> for Red Hat based. deb is the package system for Debian. rpm  commands and
>> yum works well in red hat ( fedora, centOS) but you have to use dpkg and apt
>> in Debian. I found out these and many more things as a newbie from hours and
>> hours of hands on trial and error. Not one bit of help or mentoring or stuff
>> in some document. I did find some stuff in forums and a little bit here and
>> there on web pages. But no overall guide to help newbies. Anybody would like
>> to get together and put together a HOWTO for newbies?

My recommendation for package managment for newbies is use a graphical
package manager.
It will allow you to search, add, remove and update without the hassle
of learning all the intricacies
of each packages, getting caught in dependency hell or other things
that plague some command
 line based package managers.

Here's a good writeup on using Synaptic, Ubunbtu's (and Debian's?) gui
based manager:

If you find yourself working with a server where GUI isn't available,
here's something I learned:
# apt-cache search {packagename}

This searches the APT local cache for packages matching or coming
close to {packagename} If your cache is out of date,
the next command helps too:

# apt-get update

this tells Apt to updates it's cache for new or upgraded packages from
the repositories defined in /etc/apt/sources.lst (i think that's it)

# apt-get install {packagename}

Installs {packagename} if it is in the known cache and will do its
best to resolve any dependencies as well.

# apt-get dist-upgrade

This tells APT tp upgrade our distrbution to the most current version
of packages released for that distribution.  I used this on a RH 6.2
box that had apt installed.  Saved me a ton of money on my car
insurance. :P    I haven't tried this on a Ubuntu box yet so I don't
know if it
was RH-apt specific or what.

>> Reggie
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Hope that helps...


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