So the summer for me is coming up fast and I really want to level up my linux skills over my ten weeks of freedom, and I have an old pc of which the wonders of the dumpster gods granted to me, single core amd from 2006 and has 1 gig of ram and a VGA controller with a 160 gig IDE hard drive, and it is currently running debian with KDE and it is REALLY slow, so I need a distro that is really minimal, and I need help deciding between arch and gentoo, so some help would be greatly appreciated if some one with more experince could enlighten me.
If you are starting with minimal *nix knowledge I'd recommend something like Lubuntu or just take your current installation and put a very lightweight GUI on it like OpenBox or LXDE. But between Gentoo or Arch, I'm an Arch person.
But what is it that you are trying to learn? Is it the actual installation and Linux itself or the Utilities that one can use on Linux?
If it is the former of the two or the combination of them, then I'd go with Arch.
If it is just the latter of those two, then I'd recommend getting something that is dead simple to install and not worrying about the installation process. If you will ever deal with Cloud computing you basically won't have to do any of that, rather you will have to maybe configure Apache, Tomcat, etc. And that is something useful (but I'm personally on the Software Engineering side of the spectrum and toeing my way into some Network Security things).
I want to learn the command line the hard way, I already know how to get some basic stuff done, I already know how to install linux graphically, but I want to do the one thing that linux does well, control ALL THE THINGS, and I want to do it all through the command line
There is not alot of call in the real world on building a distro from scratch it is much more likely you would configure a service on a system like Apache or creating user share folders from samba or making directorate for new work groups. But if you want finite control of your system I think arch is as far as you need to go Gentoo uses a lot of compiling and with a single core system it could take a very long time to compile everything from an update. If you are new to arch I would suggest trying Antergos or Manjaro just to get your feet wet with the commands especially since you are coming from debian. Then try installing manual and read the Wiki it is well maintained and can answer a lot of questions. As for the DE I would suggest something like LXDE, XFCE, i3, Open box just to get as light weight as possible.
Then I'd recommend a simple distro. I'd recommend learning bash scripting and Python scripting and just the who automation of things. If you want to be 'bleeding edge' I'd sign up for what AWS and other cloud providers give out for Free and play in an environment like that too. But, I mean this respectfully and do wish you the best, learning on a personal system I always feel is so radically different than learning on an enterprise system. There's just so few 'turning gears' in personal systems compared to that of a large companies.
I'd also be on the prowl for articles like this or lists of tools to learn more about. I'm currently learning more about netsec myself after transitioning from a Full Stack Software Engineering role. I played around with nmap and masscan for the first time last week. Quite fun things you can find on internal networks that are unsecured, because "It is internal, no one would ever do anything bad internally ..."
Gentoo. You will learn more from gentoo than you will from ubuntu or arch.
Okay, I will take that into consideration, thanks
Why, could you give me an example, I hear there is a lot of compiling, I could get some more powerful stuff, but really could you give me a solid example
LXLE worked great on an emachines 1300 I had. single core AMD uder 1 ghz and I did add another gig to the 1 gig installed. It flew.
edit: by flew I mean it seemed fast to someone whos first PC was a 286:)
Thanks, but I am looking for doing most of the things by the cli