Where do I start with Linux?

So as the title says I want to Linux and I don't know where to start. I've been using the Ubuntu distro for a few years now and at first I just thought it was cool to have a full fledge OS for free but now I've started slowly growing more of an appreciation for the Open Source and Linux world as a whole. I want to learn how to do things myself as well one day maybe making it a hobby to contribute. I'm sure there's been tons of people who say things like this and it's annoying because you have alot of tutorial post and such and for that I apologize. I'm just looking for a good place to start and you can send me on my way. I'm looking for both a starting place distro wise, like would you recommend this or that or does it depend on what you want, and if there's any good video tutorials as well as other written resources. To give you an idea of where I'm at currently, and please don't laugh. I know that 'sudo-apt get install' will let me install something :P But again I am looking to go much much further than that down the line.

Edit: Yes I know that it isn't just some magic world of "Oh I know command line prompts I'm a code master now" Everything has it's meanings and points and ect. That is something I want to get into.

Good day @cleb

I would personally recommend starting with Ubuntu or Fedora, I have been using Ubuntu Gnome for a little while and really like the desktop environment that it offers. There is much you can do with the shell (Or terminal) that you can check out. below i have left a few resources on linux that you can check out at your leisure. If you have any more questions feel free to post them and i will do my best to answer

a few resources for you to check out

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If you are already comfortable with Ubuntu, the next step would maybe be trying different Ubuntu flavours like Kubuntu and Xubuntu. There is also Ubuntu Gnome which is worth looking at too. You could also check out other distros like Fedora, Debian, Arch, Manjaro etc. Assuming you have the hardware you can install them in a virtual machine to test out the ones you like.

This is a fine suggestion but i will say that it is not really necessary. I have played around with other distros but i have only ever used them in virtual machines. I am still using ubuntu (after gutting unity) and just set up the services that i wanted. The whole point of linux i feel is getting software to run which any distro worth it's salt should be able to do.

Only way to learn and start using it and to well, just use Linux.

What I did was install Linux on my laptop. No duel booting.
And just use it as a daily drivers.
There are substitutes for just about everything.

You said you've been using Ubuntu for a while. Do you have any problems with it? is there anything you wish it did that it doesn't? I find that I learn best, if I learn for a reason. If there's something you want to change, then you should set that as your goal, and start working on it.

Best way to start:

A) Pick an OS. It really does not matter which one but I would stay with the main distros or some offshoots that you find and trust.

B) Fuck with it. Poke buttons, see what shoots sparks and what shoots fire!

C) Learn WHY it did that.

You have a summer of fun with that alone.

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This sums up the process of using Ubuntu casually. Though instead of trying anything out, you just do the usual stuff on the internet, nothing special, then ubuntu shits itself, it breaks, cant update anything, software centers and everything are stuck in an eternal loading screen, nothing works trough terminal, learn the hard way that there is no system restore. End up nuking the whole thing with a clean re-install and then say "should have just re-installed windows 7 on this laptop".

I only really use my laptop before I sleep to watch a few videos and call it a day. Not that much use all in all as I spend most of my time with my desktop. Yeah few times I have skipped some updates, moved them to another day because I dont feel like having to restart the laptop each time I turn it on. I just want to watch a few videos, but so often It turns into a wrestling match with the laptop, some time later I finally am able to watch a video, but then Im too pissed off to do that, not tired anymore and I just get up and go back to my desktop, insomnia cycle initiated. Thanks ubuntu.

I dont even know why Im writing this, I guess Im just really frustrated with Ubuntu so far and I want to vent. Its like the buggiest, most volatile OS on the planet. It breaks when you even look at it the wrong way, the multi monitor support is shoddy, it needs to restart after everything or it breaks. Its just the most frustrating thing on the planet and I really have to recommend people to think twice before installing any linux on their computers.
I guess I can see the appeal of it though, makes you feel like a wizard when you have to be typing things to the terminal every 2minutes.

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well truth is everyone will recommend a different os. i suggest you do a bit of research and find an os with an ok ui. ubuntu/debian based is cool because of the amount of documentation and tutorials available. there was almost nothing i couldn't find a tutorial for.

also look up linux distro watch. it will tell you the most popular distro atm and also segments it based on similarities and differences. i found this useful when i only needed a ui change. there are countless ubuntu debian based oses but i personally like elementaryos and linux mint. i feel mint is alot more stable though.

edit. test them in vms. that way you dont have to be commited. i do this alot when i test new distros

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Im learning like you. I'm sticking with one distro myself but I play with them all in VM's to test stuff.

I find things I am interested in using and playing with and try them out in a VM so as not to break my main machine. The last thing I tested out and use now was BTRFS. Myself I installed ubuntu in a VM then added 4 extra virtual HD's 50gig each. Then setting them in the raids. Removing drives, Balencing etc etc.

Finding stuff to check out can be hard. One really cool source is Linux Action Show. There are nearly 400 show all over line 1 hour plus. I learned a lot there.

For me I find it difficult to learn about something unless I have a goal. So with Linux my advice would be to have a goal.

For me it was..

I don't want to use a cloud based music solution. I want to be able to upload and download music to my phone privately.

Enter "VSFTPD". So now I have my own FTPS server running on my main PC. But I don't want to leave my PC running the whole time...

Enter the Raspberry Pi 2. So now I learn how to communicate with my Pi from my phone over SSH on a non standard port after creating a new user and removing the default user on the Pi and setting up iptables. Now I learn how to create a script on the Pi I can run to wake up my PC with WOL.

Now I install a network monitoring solution called "Smokeping" to monitor my crappy internet connection on another Raspberry Pi.

And now...

You see how it goes. So what do you want to accomplish? Have your own private IRC server for you and your friends to chat in? Setup a voice server for gaming? Having a goal forces you to learn in a directed manner.

Good luck and enjoy.

  1. Nuke
  2. Pave
  3. Tinker
  4. ???
  5. Profit & repeat as needed

General 5 step process to learning anything on linux. You just do shit, mostly wrong, and then teach yourself what you did wrong in order to avoid it the next time.

The beauty is the level of transparency you're given which allows you to actually see each step of the process and learn about the inner operations on your system.

If you are really looking into going all out with Linux, a great variant is Arch. There are a bunch of great Arch distros that have a typical live USB GUI installers similar to how Ubuntu has, but Arch just gives you a little bit more freedom. And has Pacman and Yaourt built in which are, IMO, the most useful software installer packages for Linux. It lets you pull things straight from the Arch User Repo (AUR). It's hard to explain, but the first time you use it to install a program, you'll understand why it is so great.

If you really want to get crazy, you can install Arch from scratch. You literally install using the terminal commands to pulling whatever packages you would like for your GUI or whatever else. It can be pretty complex, but then you really have a distro that has exactly what you are looking for.

Arch has an insane Wiki that has tutorials for basically everything you would be looking to do. It can seem overwhelming, but I will never go back to any other linux distro.

Great resource for tutorials.
I run into problems all the time. But I learn something every time when it doesn't work.
Copy pasting doesn't teach you much. But the tutorials usually have great explanations of why to do something and what it does so worth reading everything.

Pick something you want to do with Linux. Dig deep into it. Breathe it for a week or however long it takes. Very satisfying once you know how stuff works.

Some starters could be OpenVPN, website on HTTPS, Owncloud or Pydio, your own mailserver (modoboa is easy to setup). And then hardening all of the services/servers.
For some services you might need an own webaddress, I can recommend Namecheap.com for that but theres others. Look around.

You could also experiment on a Raspberry or similar.

If you want to learn about the power of linux, my advice, is start moving off the x86 platform and try fx. a raspberry pi. Commands are the same, execpt you learn to respect the power of the console, and console commands vs. GUI, which is the biggest resource hog EVER!. Ubuntu "sadly" is closing in on windows, but im by far saying its a bad distro, it is really good. But it hogs alot of resources just showing a gui to the user. Linux is not a gui OS, performance diff between ubuntu server, and ubuntu desktop is just redicules, ofc depending on what you are using it for.
My first project was setting up a linux workstation....then i got aquainted, then i bought a raspberry pi, and setup a NAS, and it sortta snow balled from there, after a while my NAS was running a plex server, then a 2nd server running the same services as a router. Now a days i prefer attaching a linux based system to my tv. cause the windows based systems are just so redicules prone to problems cause....microsoft.

As someone who is Linux+ certified, I'd suggest starting with Linux+ tutorial videos. CBT nuggets if you can "find them somewhere" and put Fedora on a VM and follow along. Also, when examples are made, explore the commands and tinker with it. Try to use it differently than what is shown.

Also get used to TTY2 mode. I'll let you do your own research on what it is.

any one intrested in joining skype calls to group learn Linux commands / bash / python over the next 17 weeks?

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