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slevesque

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I would like to know how to learn linux. Also please tell me if it is simple to learn or not. thank you

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The standard ways, reading, taking classes, asking people, etc.

No, it is not.

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I gave it a whirl once a couple of years back. It was not extremely hard, but it was not extremely easy. I don''t know how easy Red Hat makes it, but I used a different kernel that was somewhat difficult to understand (many how-to(s) to read0.)

I think the hardest part for me was the absense of plug-and-play support. You have to configure all the interrupts and IRQs manually, not too hard if you know what your doing. But some plug-and-play hardware will not work without a plug-and-play operating system. Also, if you have any windows specific hardware (e.g. winmodem), you can forget about using it. And I still don''t know if USB support has been implemented on any of the kernels yet.

Linux is GREAT for networking and business apps. If your looking for gaming and game programming, stick with windows.


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quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
I think the hardest part for me was the absense of plug-and-play support.

Linux supports plug and play.
quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
You have to configure all the interrupts and IRQs manually, not too hard if you know what your doing.

I've never had to do that .
quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
Also, if you have any windows specific hardware (e.g. winmodem), you can forget about using it.

That's a good assumption, but a couple winmodems will work with some effort.
quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
And I still don't know if USB support has been implemented on any of the kernels yet.

Yes, it has.
quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
Linux is GREAT for networking and business apps. If your looking for gaming and game programming, stick with windows.

That's the common notion, but I believe any usable OS can/should/could be used for whatever is can be used for (go figure). Since Linux can be used for gaming, I see no reason why it shouldn't.



[edited by - Null and Void on May 3, 2002 8:29:35 PM]

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quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
If your looking for gaming and game programming, stick with windows.



Obviously you don't know what you are talking about. Linux is an excellent OS for game development. Obviously you won't have the choice of using DirectX, but there is OpenGL, not to mention the various cross-platform graphics packages, such as SDL. Actually, you could argue that it is a better development OS because many of the packages you will be developing with are platform independent because they may have been developed for Linux, but because they are then OpenSource, they can easily be ported to other OSs. Then it is almost always easy to port your software to another OS.

But, to answer the original question, which seemingly had nothing to do directly with programming/game development:

One of the best sources to find information about Linux is the The Linux Documentation Project
However, if you are truly a novice user, you may want to search the web for some better beginner tutorials.

Some sites that come to mind right now on which you might find tutorials are linux.org and linuxhq.com , but I honestly haven't looked up linux tutorials for a long time. Your best friend after The Linux Documentation Project in your quest to learn Linux will be Google, as somebody already said.

In terms of a distribution, since it sounds very much like you are a novice, I would suggest trying Mandrake first, as it is geared towards people who have never used linux before (although it still has all the benefits of linux). It is extremely easy to setup and get running. However, others would argue that you will learn more by using a tougher distribution that requires you to do more work to get it running, because you will better understand how your system works. Not many versions of linux really require a long setup process anymore, but many people will tell you that Slackware will force you to know your computer more intimately. This is the distribution I personally use.

However, don't just take my word for it. There are many articles out there that describe what and for whom the different distributions are best for. Find one of those, read it, and re-read it before making your decision. Many beginners are discouraged because they pick a distro that just doesn't fit them.

Finally, to answer whether it is simple or not. This can really go either way. You can make it easy or hard, fast or slow. Much of this (I believe) depends on the distro you use. For instance, I believe that it is beneficial to many people today to start out with Mandrake because Windows has created the expectation of a simple to use GUI, many programs, etc. Mandrake essentially can provide this. Just about all distributions will be able to setup your hardware for you if there is already support for it in linux (and to answer the question of USB support, I believe it was in testing in the 2.4.18 kernel, but as I don't have a USB port, I haven't tested). However, Mandrake takes care of the things that many people would like to avoid, like partitioning their harddrive, and it will easily allow you to make it boot to Xwindows (just an option in the setup). This will allow you to get up and running, get used to the new programs you are running, etc. Then later on you can go back and really configure and optimize your system. This is the "easy" route.

Then their is the "hard" route. I put this in quotes because the hard route may be the only way you really learn about the system. Some will get their computer up and running the "easy" way and never get to the best part about linux, the real control you have over the system, because they already have what they are used to. The "hard" route in a way forces you to learn about your system before you can really make it usable.

What it really boils down to is a matter of preference. It isn't so much easy or hard as it is a level of comfort for you.

Also, don't think that you learn linux, then you can work with it. You will constantly be learning. You will never run out of things to learn about the system. Even the creators are still constantly learning things about it, which is one of the reasons they keep working on the kernel. This is similar to windows. People think they "know" windows because they know how to use the start menu and use programs like office, etc. That isn't
"knowing" windows, or even really knowing how to use it. It is really just knowing the software tools. Knowing the system is knowing all the nooks and crannies, all the nuances, the programming interfaces, etc. And I don't think anybody could ever know all of it.

And finally, after saying all this, I'm just curious as to exactly WHY you want to learn linux. I certainly don't want to discourage anybody from learning it, but I hate to see people use it just because they think it's cool that they use an OS not known to most people, and just so they can say "I hate windoze", etc. on message boards. Anways, just curious.

ewen

edit: fixed italics tag, Null and Void got to this a bit quicker than me! good responses!

[edited by - echeslack on May 3, 2002 8:46:38 PM]

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quote:
Original post by slevesque
I would like to know how to learn linux. Also please tell me if it is simple to learn or not. thank you


Do like most of us did, just dive into it, if you're all confused in the beginning, don't worry, it's normal. When I started using it, I didn't have a hell of a clue what I was doing. As time went on, I learned from doing research on the net and from books. ( I first started to use it specificly for the net using Lynx and pppd manually ). And now, I'm the founder of a LUG( linux user groug )...





"And that's the bottom line cause I said so!"

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/(bb|[^b]{2})/ that is the Question -- ThinkGeek.com
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[edited by - cyberdrek on May 3, 2002 9:06:13 PM]

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Hey Null and Void, I'm talking about a few years ago.

Perhaps now it supports those features! And also it depends on which kernel you were using (a few years ago!!!)

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[edited by - aNonamuss on May 3, 2002 11:23:16 PM]

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quote:

Obviously you don't know what you are talking about. Linux is an
excellent OS for game development.



Yea, it's a great game developement environment if you want your games to be played under Linux (Unix). How many people are playing games under Unix??

If you want your game to run for the majority of the gaming population in this world, those of which use Windows, your going to have to port your code to a WIN32 compiler (e.g. FAT32 file system). (Wait, let me guess, they have software that does that for you?)

When I create my games, I make them so they run optimally under Windows. I don't care about any other operating system, unless that operating system is in the publics' eye as a gaming platform.


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[edited by - aNonamuss on May 3, 2002 11:11:36 PM]

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quote:
Original post by aNonamuss
Yea, it''s a great game developement environment if you want your games to be played under Linux (Unix). How many people are playing games under Unix??

If you want your game to run for the majority of the gaming population in this world, those of which use Windows, your going to have to port your code to a WIN32 compiler. (Wait, let me guess, they have software that does that for you?)

When I create my games, I make them so they run optimally under Windows. I don''t care about any other operating system, unless that operating system is in the publics'' eye as a gaming platform.



Hmmm, I don''t want to start a flame war, but I just can''t leave this unanswered.

Try taking a look at OpenGL. It is the "most widely adopted graphics standard," and has implementations on many systems, including both WINDOWS and LINUX. There are additional libraries implemented for both OSs, as well as others, that make the interface with the operating system completely transparent.

So in fact you can make games on linux, and they will be essentially instantly portable to another system. There are some cases, especially when you need high performance, when you might not want to use those other libraries to deal with the interface to the OS. However, the OS specific code is generally minimal, and there is NO performance loss in any of the OpenGL parts of the code. If it isn''t optimal for the different OSs, it is because the programmer is doing something wront.

Anyway, this stuff has been discussed before. My point is just that just because the OS isn''t the most popular doesn''t mean it should automatically be assumed useless.

ewen

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