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Newbie in need of suggestions

Link to this post 11 Jul 09

Recently switched to Ubuntu Linux 9.04 Ultimate Edition 2.2 from Windows XP. Installed, Set to Dual Boot, but I use Linux 99% of the time now. I am almost ready to get rid of my security blanket :P . Downloaded and installed several programs, and got five PC's total running Linux, three on Ubuntu, two on Puppy/DSL, all just for kicks.

My question is, where to go next. Are there any distro's I should install just to see how different? Any suggested reading, be it books, magazines, or online links? I think I am interested in seeing what's under the hood of Linux, I just don't know where to go. I need basic how to shell type books or info.
I have no programming experience, but I would like to be pointed in the right direction. I am open to any suggestions. This is all just a hobby for me, but I am very interested in any help you can give.

Thanks,

Eric

Link to this post 11 Jul 09

If you are really wanting to look under the hood, then I would recommend Linux From Scratch. LFS would allow you to play more with Kernel options, base applications and learn about package management. Additionally with that knowledge you would be better suited to offer your skills to the community of you favorite distro by assisting in testing and building package, kernels, etc.

Link to this post 11 Jul 09

I recently found a few articles about recompiling the kernel in Ubuntu. They would probably work on other distros too but the writers are using Ubuntu.

I'm also assuming you want Ubuntu tutorials since you are running ultimate edition.

Here they are:

http://avinesh.googlepages.com/howtobuildcustomkernelonubuntu
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/ubuntu/how-to-customize-your-ubuntu-kernel/
http://www.howtoforge.com/kernel_compilation_ubuntu

That will get you into some kernel customization without leaving a comfortable disrto like Ubuntu or UE. Hope this helps.

Link to this post 16 Jul 09

LFS and kernel compiling are definitely great methods for getting under the hood of Linux and learning stuff. Unfortunately they can also be rather complex and time consuming (and frustrating!) ways.

I recommend reading a few O'Reilly books:

Learning the Bash Shell and/or Shell Scripting

Learning Python

Linux in a Nutshell

Knowing a programming language even at a beginner level can give a few insights into how an OS works, so I recommend python. If you don't feel like buying books, reading man pages (especially man pages regarding development) and wikipedia are a great way to learn. Take wikipedia's article on udev for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udev

Hope that helps.

Link to this post 16 Jul 09

Going from bare home usage isn't Linux From Scratch a bit too hard for a first timer. I would recommend a spoonful of Archlinux for you. That way you get to learn what's really under the hood of Linux. Without having to recompile from source at all time.

And for the main desktop, I would recommend you trying out Linux Mint. It's my favourite all-in-one distro, it's stylish.

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