Linux and Unix question

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Prowl2000, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. Prowl2000

    Prowl2000 Keep it sealed TFW2005 Supporter

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    So I need to start learning these OS for some class work I'm working on but I'm not really sure where to start. People that use or have experience with these OS's, where should I start what versions of each should I use?

    thanks
     
  2. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    Sadly, without knowing a bit more answering this question is going to be difficult at best. Linux and Unix are such a vast world of different components and distributions that you could go a hundred different directions without repeating anything.

    If you're looking for ease of use? Ubuntu or something similar.

    If you're looking to dive into the guts of the system and try to understand what's going on under the hood? At a high level: Debian. At a low level: Linux From Scratch.

    If you're going to use the system for development? About any of them will work, but that then becomes a matter of experimenting and finding the one that works best for the way YOU want to work. For myself, the answer has been SuSE for quite a while.

    As for Unix, again, so many different directions.

    FreeBSD has kinda become the catch-all in the free/cheap Unix world.

    NetBSD if you have a lot of different hardware you're targetting.

    OpenBSD for a more stripped down base to start and build-up from.

    What kind of class is this going to be and what do you need from the operating system to get there? Maybe what you should consider if you have the time to experiment with them, is a sampler or two from someplace like CheapBytes.
     
  3. Prowl2000

    Prowl2000 Keep it sealed TFW2005 Supporter

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    its a OS class that has is a Pre-Rec for the Masters Program I'm working towards getting into for Computer Science. Plus I figure now is as good of time as any to get started on this as I have a decend to pretty good understanding of the Windows and Mac OS.
     
  4. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    If that's the case, I'd definitely suggest buying a couple multi-packs. Get a Linux sampler and a BSD sampler and spend a week or two studying each different distribution, then pick one or two out of those and get hard-core into them.

    I installed my first Linux in 1996 or so, and my first FreeBSD install was about 1997, so things are a LOT different these days. But the best way to learn them is still the same. Experiment. Try to install them on a current computer and fight your way through it until every piece of hardware works. Then start digging into the software side of it and figure out how to schedule jobs, create scripts, automate tasks, view logs, compile kernels, etc, etc, etc.

    If you have more than a couple hours a day to work on them, it doesn't take long to get to know enough to at least know how to find the solution to most any problem. Once you hit that point, you can start getting comfortable with the interfaces and the underpinnings. Back when I started you didn't have the option of graphical administration, so I had to learn it the hard way. As I'm currently a Linux/Unix administrator as well as a web developer these days, feel free to contact me for help if you need it here and there. I may not know an exact answer to every question, but I can certainly point you in the direction that will GET you the right answer fairly quickly.
     
  5. Zero Prime

    Zero Prime Windows user no more

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    You can start with Ubuntu. As fars as I know it's the easiest to use. Install for duel boot is very easy. There is also http://ubuntuforums.org/ . You can find a lot of help there. Be carefull though, Ubuntu is very addictive once you get it set up how you want it. I don't remember when the last time I used Winblows was.
     
  6. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    And I don't remember the last time I read the word "Winblows." That's a kick back to the cola days. Next someone's going to call them M$.

    Ubuntu is easy, but I'm not sure that's the route you'd want to go if you're looking at it from a computer engineering perspective. It sort of breaks all sorts of Unix conventions in order to be easy, like having no real root account for starters.
     
  7. Zero Prime

    Zero Prime Windows user no more

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    There is a root, but you have to use it from the terminal. I think it would be a good place to start because it's very easy to learn the basics, then you can move on from there. Ubuntu is user friendly enough that once you have the correct graphics driver installed you can use it just like Windows, except of course Ubuntu is a lot faster and better organized. You can then start learning the terminal then, and later move on to Red Hat ot some of the others.
     
  8. Prowl2000

    Prowl2000 Keep it sealed TFW2005 Supporter

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    cool thanks a lot. I'm going to take a closer look at this stuff tonight when I get home from work.
     
  9. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    Unless there's been some drastic change to it, you actually have to struggle quite a bit to get a root account working under Ubuntu. You may be talking about root-style access, which is accomplished by entering your normal user account password, but that's not quite the same as a root account.

    But, like I said, Ubuntu is an awesome and easy Linux for regular users, not really something I'd recommend if your objective is to learn the undercarriage of the Linux system.
     
  10. Zero Prime

    Zero Prime Windows user no more

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    Root is not available at login like you said, but you can get full root accessunder your normal login by using the terminal. It's not just root like, but full root access. It's also the only way to add items to certain folders, such as theme engines.
     
  11. butz

    butz slippery when wet

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    I'm wondering, with all the different distributions and such, why wouldn't your class be more specific on what ones they wanted you to bone up on?
     
  12. Motor_Master

    Motor_Master Lets the balls touch TFW2005 Supporter

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    Well if the OS class is anything like the one I took as an undergrad, its mostly on the theoretical side and they try to give you an idea on how things like scheduling and memory management are done on the different major operating systems, like Winders and UNIX/Linux.
     
  13. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    But, once again, it's not the standard for Linux. User accounts are never root on Linux Standard distributions. It's a cool concept for regular users, but I'll repeat that it's just not useful when trying to learn about what's under the hood.

    That would be like me saying that SuSEconfig really helps you learn Linux. It doesn't. In fact, it prevents you from having to learn Linux by doing everything for you. Sure, great tool for the common user, but I'm glad I had to learn it the hard way first so that I can fix what ends up breaking down the road.
     

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