Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Learn Linux the Hard Way

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the for-the-really-hard-way-close-your-eyes-first dept.

Education 185

An anonymous reader writes "Here is a free interactive beta of Learn Linux The Hard Way; a web-based virtual Linux environment which introduces the command line and other essential Linux concepts in 30 exercises. It's written in the style of Zed A. Shaw's Learn Code the Hard Way lessons. The authors says, 'You will encounter many detailed tables containing lists of many fields. You may think you do not need most of this information, but what I am trying to do here is to teach you the right way to approach all this scary data. And this right way is to interpret this data as mathematical formulas, where every single symbol has its meaning.' Of course, my first entry was rm -rf /* which only produced a stream of errors. I wish I had discovered something like a long time ago."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered


fp (1, Offtopic)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about a year ago | (#42359687)

probably my last of the year

Re:fp (1, Redundant)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about a year ago | (#42359701)

The authors says

Somebody's been learning English the easy way.

Re:fp (0)

degeneratemonkey (1405019) | about a year ago | (#42359759)

The authors says.

This is known as a Schrödinger's ess. Submitter probably didn't bother to observe the cardinality of the set of authors before posting.

Re:fp (5, Funny)

degeneratemonkey (1405019) | about a year ago | (#42359829)

Note that this should not to be confused with Schrödinger's ass, the infamous non-deterministic pack mule known for delivering US weapons to either Afghanistan or Pakistan at any given time.

Re:fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42361083)

Try replying to the story, not an unrelated FP.

Re:fp (5, Funny)

MisterSquid (231834) | about a year ago | (#42359783)

Learn Linux the Hard Way? I thought learning Linux, period, was the hard way!

Re:fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42359871)

Nope, that's just your learning disability. Linux is really easy to learn, at least compared to the hodgepodge that is Windows.

Re:fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42359925)

Or the restrictive POS called iOS

Re:fp (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360259)

Agree. Windows is designed for intelligent people, whereas linux is designed for people less technologically inclined.

Re:fp (2)

RicktheBrick (588466) | about a year ago | (#42361431)

That is absolutely correct especially if one had already learned window's commands. I have been using a Ubuntu computer for several years now. I just recently purchased a SSD. I found it so difficult to transfer my programs from the hard drive to the SSD that I just ended up reinstalling all of them. In windows I could just right click on the hard drive directory and send the program to the desktop. I also tried to duplicate a hard drive to an external hard drive. The program I was using could not do that until I opened up a terminal and did some commands before executing the program. It had something to do with the root directory being ram memory. All of the devices were in the directory /dev or something like that. The funny thing about that was that I thought that a terminal was a program to communicate with another computer. I have used dos commands to get around a hard drive but commands like rd cd.. cd \, using a letter for all devices are not used in linux. I still do not know how to get how much free space there is on a device. Open up windows explorer and one can easily find that out. I recently installed Ubuntu 12.10 on a SSD. I found that it would lock my computer if it was inactive for a few minutes. I thought that was something to do with a screen saver so I tried to right click on the screen like I do in windows. After trying to search for screen saver in the help program and getting no help, I finally saw desktop locking but only after several minutes. I tolerate linux(Ubuntu) because I do not want to purchase a copy of windows(I purchase the components of the computer and made it myself so it never had windows).

Re:fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360593)

probably my last of the year

Maybe your last post, period. I just noticed there is no "Recent" link anymore, it's been renamed to "Submissions". Then when I clicked on "Submissions", I got... Internal Server Error

Of course! With the world coming to an end, why would there be more threads?

weird (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42359711)

I wish I had discovered something like a long time ago

A long time ago I wish I had discovered something like right now.

Annnnnnnndddddddd..... (2)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about a year ago | (#42359749)

...slashdotted immediately

Re:Annnnnnnndddddddd..... (5, Funny)

SilentStaid (1474575) | about a year ago | (#42359877)

They did say the hard way. If someone wanted to learn the easy way they'd have installed Ubuntu... which I assume would have:

booted up
connected to the closest availble wifi
...cracking the password if needed
googled for stories relevant to itself
posted this witty comment
became self aware
updated Unity
became unusably cluttered and bloated, thereby saving the human race.
Profit??? I mean, that's the MS did it, right? ...getting cluttered and unusable?

Learning Nothing, Earn Nothing (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360275)

I installed Ubuntu for my father who is in his 80's. Not only does he know nothing about Linux, he doesn't even know that he is using Linux.

The website is intended for people who actually want to open the hood and learn the internals. The point is to learn skills that employers will pay for.

Personally, I train green students with a formatted HDD and a Gentoo ISO. A rigorous and relevant curriculum produces technicians who can earn money and support their families. Many go on to lucrative careers in Linux system administration.

Re:Learning Nothing, Earn Nothing (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#42361057)

If they want to dive in to the deep end all the have to do is install ubuntu 12.04(I still choose ubuntu despite the crap because the install is the most painless and has all of the proprietary drivers fonts and codex) then hold down the CTRL ALT and any of the F* keys other then F7 and they will be dropped into a terminal. And since this is a web based app I doubt the project will contain all that deep a level stuff like building your own kernel or swapping out gnu utils for others versions (BSD utils Inferno's utils, etc) building a descent sized database, etc otherwise some one would turn it into another member of their bot-net or host a lamp server on on it to use as a linking site rather then as a learning tool.

Re:Annnnnnnndddddddd..... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360429)

You forgot 'shopping on Amazon', which I think happens immediately after connecting to wifi ;)

Re:Annnnnnnndddddddd..... (4, Funny)

Hillgiant (916436) | about a year ago | (#42360171)

...slashdotted immediately

How to set up a web based Linux test environment the hard way.

Re:Annnnnnnndddddddd..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42361405)

This. Clicking on the link takes you to a "This topic does not exist yet" page. Of course it doesn't for Linux - when you need an answer, you are the first.

Re:Annnnnnnndddddddd..... (2)

greg1104 (461138) | about a year ago | (#42361299)

This is learning the hard way, only it's the maintainer of the site who's learning.

Any tutorial is not the hard way. Everything important I know about UNIX systems was learned while the server and Internet were down. I learned Solaris that hard way; here's how that works. I started a job where I replaced a Solaris admin at an ISP. I was a Linux person, had to learn as I went how to deal with Sun hardware and software. My second day the DNS server crashed and wouldn't come back up. I had a Solaris documentation CD-ROM as my only resource. Go!

Linux From Scratch (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42359767)

Does this mean that Linux From Scratch is now considered the easy way?

Re:Linux From Scratch (3, Interesting)

MaerD (954222) | about a year ago | (#42359861)

If that was your first step into Linux, my hat is off to you.

Sadly, the number of Admins who know how or have done a Linux From Scratch (or even can compile a package from source) are low these days. Personally, I think anyone who is a Senior Admin should have done this at some point.

Re:Linux From Scratch (1)

N!k0N (883435) | about a year ago | (#42359943)

new project for my Raspberry Pi!

Re:Linux From Scratch (1)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | about a year ago | (#42360221)

I would be REALLY interested what 1SBU would be... in day's, And how long the RPi would need to compile the kernel... :-)
Actually I was thinking about doing the same, but the difficulties I encountered whilst getting it on a 3Epc put me off this idea. It is (IMHO) one of the nicest tech projects one can do at the moment, but also one of the most challenging / nerve wrecking / irritating* ones.
*Pick the one(s) that is most appropriate to your situation.

Re:Linux From Scratch (1)

monkeykoder (1820796) | about a year ago | (#42360381)

Thank god for cross compilation?

Re:Linux From Scratch (1)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | about a year ago | (#42360507)

Then why not get Raspian or what's it called... The whole fun is tweak, review, rewrite, retry and again and again.
Xcompilation is of course the most practical, but how much fun is there in that. And think about the streedcreds you get for producing the first LFS on RPi how-to :-D

Re:Linux From Scratch (1)

N!k0N (883435) | about a year ago | (#42360671)

dunno about how long it'll take _using_ the Pi ... but I wasn't planning on using that as the system doing the compiling (I mean, someone somewhere had to compile the OS that are available for download [raspberrypi.org])...

Then again, a Beowulf Cluster of them would be interesting...

Re:Linux From Scratch (4, Informative)

GaryOlson (737642) | about a year ago | (#42360203)

Linux From Scratch is now considered more organic -- you know, the small animal sacrifices and such required for a successful compile.

Re:Linux From Scratch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360537)

I only tried LFS once and it gave me issues trying to compile on my AthlonXP 2800. I was hoping to learn something, but instead I gave it 3 attempts and double checked the instructions, only to be left with an unbootable OS.

First experience is everything.

The usual (5, Interesting)

Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) | about a year ago | (#42359803)

The hard way is saying NO to Google, fora, newsgroups ant the like, and saying YES to Manpages, --help options, txt files that came with the package using cat maybe accompanied by | grep or | grep -v
That is how I learned it in the mid-90's. Heck, google wasnt even there yet!
Anyway, I am going to do the course, see what I make of it :-)

Re:The usual (1)

threaders (2800007) | about a year ago | (#42359949)

Not to speak of the cost of dialing back then! Of course it will not let you delete / , its a read only filesystem, And mount -o remount,rw / actually crashed the JS/Linux. Funny little thing thoug. Last time i checked that was an emulated 386?

Re:The usual (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42360603)

Will it let you forkbomb it(yourself)?
Can we trick people into doing that again like we used to in the old days?

Re:The usual (2)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about a year ago | (#42360039)

the problem with those Manpages, is that they were written in the mid-90's and haven't been updated since, even though the product has been updated through several revisions.

Re:The usual (4, Insightful)

BobNET (119675) | about a year ago | (#42360181)

The trick is to use OpenBSD's manpages [openbsd.org]. They actually get updated when the code changes, for the most part are relevant to other systems, and don't scold you for not using the texinfo manual.

Re:The usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360327)

... and don't scold you for not using the texinfo manual.

And then it turns out the info page is just the damned out of date man page anyway. I might just switch on that note alone.

Re:The usual (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360147)

Another problem is that you're actually saying "I learned linux by using a bunch of things I know about linux."

Re:The usual (5, Insightful)

arielCo (995647) | about a year ago | (#42360253)

That approach falls short when:
* You don't know *what* program does what you need ("man -k" and "apt-cache search" are not always helpful)
* There's a quirk / unexpected behaviour / bug (man pages seldom admit the former)
* You don't even know the right terms to start searching
* You lack understanding of something too fundamental for a manpage (e.g., initrd)
* The docs are downright poor

OTOH, fora are terrible: full of obsolete hints (especially in rapid-changing distros), awful S/N ratio. To me, wikis are the way to share knowledge (updatable, searchable, concise) and fora are for:
* asking for pointers to that knowledge
* suggesting one-off solutions
* troubleshooting
* tossing ideas about
Once something is settled, there is no reason why a forum thread should be its repository; it irks me every time I read "use the search function, you'll find a whole thread dedicated to that".

Incidentally, I'm an Ubuntu user and many times the clearest, most comprehensive help I've found is an Arch wiki page.

Re:The usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360473)

It is unlikely he has actually read the manpage for grep... If he had he would have known there is no need to use "cat" and then "| grep". "grep pattern file" is quite sufficient. "cat file | grep pattern" is quite a common syntax when using Google to learn how to search files however...

Re:The usual (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#42360677)

There's actually never a reason to use 'cat' except for concatenating files. If you want to pipe a file into a text filter like grep, sed, awk, whatever, just use the angle bracket. Like this:

grep pattern < file

That way you're not starting an extraneous process (cat), and you don't have to remember which programs accept file names on their command line. Using the angle bracket is just like using a pipe.

Re:The usual (2)

arielCo (995647) | about a year ago | (#42361027)

Only in scripts, for clarity in a read loop:

cat FILE | while read LINE; do
# ... several lines
# ... more lines

As opposed to putting the input file at the end.

If it's just piped commands, a lovely idiom is

< infile grep foo | sed s/bar/baz/ | ...| ... [> outfile]

Re:The usual (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#42360701)

* You don't know *what* program does what you need ("man -k" and "apt-cache search" are not always helpful)

Try 'apropos'.

Re:The usual (1)

arielCo (995647) | about a year ago | (#42360933)

apropos is usually equivalent to 'man -k' - search the short descriptions of all commands. 'man -K' searches the bodies of all manpages (yup, slow), and none account for synonyms or subtleties like "filesystem" vs "file system". That makes Google a nice choice, especially since most likely someone has gone through the same before; filtering by date and refining with extra words and exclusions helps the toughest cases.

Re:The usual (1)

RedHackTea (2779623) | about a year ago | (#42360995)

It's fairly new, but LinuxExchange [linuxexchange.org] is pretty useful. Personally though, I think Ubuntu and Fedora have some of the best documentation available from their sites.

Re:The usual (1)

arielCo (995647) | about a year ago | (#42361105)

Thanks. Looks like a StackExchange clone, which should show up along with the dozens of other sites (LinuxQuestions, $DISTRO-forums, $DISTRO-wiki, *-HQ ...) in a Google search.

Re:The usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360353)

actually it was EASIER to learn Linux 15 years ago. You had a couple of newsgroups or mailing lists, you posted a question, and got an educated answer that would point you in the right direction.
When you troubleshoot Linux today, google gets you a crapload of threads discussing the same/similar issue, each one with a different solution (that does not work anyway) and then you find out your issue has been fixed 3 years ago. Well, except the issue is still around..
Any noob thinks he's a linux expert now, and has the need to provide advices. Even though his advices are simply wrong.
You had a lot less sources of information back then, but the quality of information was way better.

Re:The usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360803)

Sounds like a good time to go BSD. /sarc

Re:The usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360647)

The hard way is saying NO to Google, fora, newsgroups ant the like, and saying YES to Manpages, --help options, txt files that came with the package using cat maybe accompanied by | grep or | grep -v
That is how I learned it in the mid-90's.

If you still rely heavily on cat (like you did in the 90's), there may be some room for improvement.

You see, it's quite rare that you need to use cat (compared to tools such as grep, find, xargs or a pager). You can
- search a file using "grep foo bar.txt" instead of "cat bar.txt | grep foo".
- view a file using "<pager-such-as-less-or-more> bar.txt" instead of "cat bar.txt | <pager-such-as-less-or-more>".
- use commands that expect data from standard input using e.g. "patch -p0 <foo.patch" instead of "cat foo.patch | patch -p0".

Of the above, the cat-grep-combination is probably the most common case of redundant cat usage.

Re:The usual (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | about a year ago | (#42360731)

You could always alias your man command to do a wget with the proper GET to a Google search page.

So a 'man kudzu' would do a 'wget www.google.com?q=kudzu'.. maybe return the full page, run it through html2txt and then display.. Now that would be a cool script...

But of course, 'man man ' and 'man snmp' would likely get your system locked out from the GoodNiceQuery proxy...

And don't even get me started on 'man gimp', 'man latex', 'man size', or 'man dump'.

Re:The usual (1)

ak3ldama (554026) | about a year ago | (#42361127)

Absolutely. Sometime around 1999 or so I bought a RedHat 5.2 distribution. I had no internet. No existing friends base who also used Linux. Just my AMD K6-2, a 10GB hard drive, an unsupported video card, and the manual that came with RH. Now, that manual wasn't "bad" it just wasn't a great first time ever tutorial. I was stuck on things like "the root partition" - equating that to "/" took a while. Simple things like that, or simple now, took a while to figure out. But having no easily working GUI made me stick it out. Eventually I bought a Matrox G-400 which fixed that aspect of my user experience, moved on to FreeBSD and BeOS and back to FreeBSD and ever since then it has continually been Linux the easier way.

Re:The usual (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42361181)

LOL - one day, your grandchild is going to look up at you, and ask, "Did they have Google when you were little?" If you answer honestly, the kid will categorize you with tyrannosaurus rex.

Re:The usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42361261)

...txt files that came with the package using cat... ...grep...

Holy god! Are you kidding me??? That's absolutely amazing to me.

Comfortably being able to employ the cat & grep commands toward something truly productive is something you learn after you've gotten neck deep into Linux land. It took me a LONNNNNNNNNG time to get used to dealing with log files exceeding 50MB. I *STILL* don't use cat or grep. I know that they're versatile, but I'll be god damned if I have a clue about getting them to do anything for me. Most users I've met struggle with mv, cp, ls, pwd, rm and rmdir.

I mean * I * know that by and large, with the proper switches and options, you can apply those two commands in the same way you would apply CTRL+F, CTRL+C, CTRL+V and CTRL+S across multiple text editor windows in a desktop environment, but geeze louise, if you think non-programmers will intuitively figure that out for themselves, good luck! Consider that most people don't read, in depth, the instruction manuals that come with their digital cameras, blue-ray players, or perhaps even flash lights. Remember when everybody's VCR would eterrnally flash 12:00 AM? That's what I'm driving at.

On some level, it's kind of insane to me that the Linux world retains the opinion that novice users accustomed to a desktop environment should be expected to accomplish their tasks using piped text commands and shell scripts. Consider it from the perspective of a high school drop out, taking a class at their local library. Could you imagine a class where you sit them down at a Windows workstation, and teach them to do everything using the "type" and "echo" commands with the DOS prompt and BAT files?

If you like your linux hard (1)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | about a year ago | (#42359823)

try http://www.gentoo.org/ [gentoo.org]

Re:If you like your linux hard (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42359859)

Gentoo isn't hard, it's just time consuming. And not even your time, CPU time.

Re:If you like your linux hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360115)

It can be a bit hard for user too if you want to e.g. bring up to date a custom built system that's been sitting on a shelf for a couple of years, all without doing a full reinstall. Even with a full reinstall half the old USE flags will probably have become obsolete, deprecated or incompatible with whatever new ebuilds have replaced the old stuff, and will need some delicate mapping. Any portage overlays will also with high probability been ditched by maintainers and new ones will have to identified. And they need to be up to date so that deps will work with an up to date system. Of course gentoo is easy to maintain if you just remember to update it every week or so.

LFS (4, Interesting)

owlman17 (871857) | about a year ago | (#42359857)

Linux From Scratch boosted my Linux knowledge about a hundredfold. I cut my teeth on a modified LFS 5.1. Following the instructions, while tedious, was doable and straightforward. What made it more difficult for me was that my host distro was a bit too old for the then-current LFS (5.1). With a slow and expensive internet connection, downloading an entire distro was out of the question. Downloaded the official tarballs, mixed and matched on my Celeron 366, and I eventually got it up and running.

Hard way? (1)

MatrixCubed (583402) | about a year ago | (#42359913)

Is there an easy way?

Re:Hard way? (1)

arielCo (995647) | about a year ago | (#42360291)

Asking in a forum. Some answers will only point you to the manpage, but likely someone will give you a pre-chewed answer. Not much actual learning, but certainly easier.

Trademarks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360007)

Maybe Zed should have read "IP Law for Dummies(*TM)" or "...revealed(*TM)" or "Learn...in 21 days.(*TM)" or "...in a nutshell(*TM)" or ...

Linux shouldn't be hard, geek elitism has to go. (4, Insightful)

CronoCloud (590650) | about a year ago | (#42360015)

There's an old Jack Tramiel quote about computer pricing (referring to Apple II prices):

We need to build computers for the masses, not the classes."

I believe that Linux can be for the masses as well:

Linux for the masses, not just those who have taken programming classes.

Things like this "Linux the Hard Way" is the last thing we need. We need better tutorials, better documentation in general, something "better" than crappy gnu info (there's nothing I hate more than a man page that directs me to use gnu info, how I hate that thing) Making Linux more non-nerd friendly makes it better for everyone. It even saves nerds time. I'm not just talking Ubuntu here, after all there was a time when Red Hat was considered the Linux Distro for the Masses. Personally in my Linux usage, I prefer to take the "Easy Button" way whenever possible, I have a "set it and forget it" philosophy and I like "reasonable defaults". Sure, some things are faster in a terminal, but even there I take the easy way by using mrxvt, and not the incomprehensible geek=favorite...gnu screen.

Re:Linux shouldn't be hard, geek elitism has to go (3, Insightful)

MacTO (1161105) | about a year ago | (#42360489)

Then use the "easy button" and ignore the other stuff.

Different interfaces are developed for people who think and operate in different ways. Graphical interfaces are great for some people, while command driven interfaces are great for other people. Making the assumption that "geeks" will find graphical interfaces as easy to use as command driven interfaces is just as elitist as the assumption that "the masses" are ignorant because they cannot handle command driven interfaces. There is not a single "right way" to do things.

Re:Linux shouldn't be hard, geek elitism has to go (1)

claar (126368) | about a year ago | (#42360535)

Things like this "Linux the Hard Way" is the last thing we need. We need better tutorials, better documentation in general

Agreed that better tutorials, better documentation, better defaults, and things that "Just Work (TM)" out of the box are wonderful and needed. But it's so easy to fall off the other slope when you start making "Linux for the masses" -- the needs of the "masses" are simply not the same as the needs of sysadmins and programmers. If you're not careful you get projects like Gnome and Windows 8 that hide everything useful in the name of the "Easy Button".

Re:Linux shouldn't be hard, geek elitism has to go (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360555)


Even the 'hard' distros are bad at it. For example Arch. Would it really have killed them to put the docs on the CD in the 'install.txt' or at least said where to get the docs? Oh I found them ... thru Google. The install.txt that is supposed to help you out is a cut and past from a web page where shockingly the hyperlinks are gone. Would a 20k 'get you up and running' guide really have killed them?

I am going thru the trouble of the 'hard' distros to figure out more about how these things glue together. Not for an exercise of where did you hide the docs this time and are they any good (arch's are ok). I have no prob with this sort of thing having cut my teeth on slack. But even that one is relatively easy once you understand its madness. Going to try gentoo and lfs next. Trying to remember some of this stuff I used nearly 15 years ago...

Why am I bothering with this pain? Because MS has grabbed the handle and is flushing as hard as it can. Apple is going to nickle and dime everyone out of the market as it is abundantly clear all they care about is making sure they are the only person with a ball. This means a lot as I was someone who did not see the big deal of MS including IE with its OS... Also learning this pain is good. It has helped me out of many tough jams over the years with MS systems. Rule #1 to writing software understand your tools. If I am going to write stuff using this I want a decent understanding of it.

Re:Linux shouldn't be hard, geek elitism has to go (3, Interesting)

LandoCalrizzian (887264) | about a year ago | (#42360665)

While I agree with your post I think you are combining two extremes of Linux. "Linux Distributions" should be easy but Learning Linux should be hard. The masses should be able to choose a distribution that easy and will work out of the box (ala RHEL, Ubuntu, Linux Mint...). Learning Linux itself (kernels, command line, compiling from source, customize it to your liking) will never and shouldn't be easy because of the sheer amount of information. While condescending elitism has no place in any subject, I don't think something as open and complex as Linux will ever be easy. The masses should expect that web browsing, word processing, email and the occassional light game of solitaire should be easy. Hackers should expect to roll up their sleeves, get their hands dirty and occassionally fubar the system. As far as documentation and tutorials... Good Luck getting programmers to write something outside of comments.

Re:Linux shouldn't be hard, geek elitism has to go (1)

norminator (784674) | about a year ago | (#42360827)

What this guy said. TFA isn't an attempt to make Linux difficult, it's a difficult crash course on *learning* linux. It should be easy to use, but learning in a difficult way still has a lot of value for people who need to deal with things in a more in-depth way.

Re:Linux shouldn't be hard, geek elitism has to go (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42360695)

Which will of course mean Linux becomes useless for those of us not inclined to stick to the shiny buttons and poke at the screen.

I would rather have less users, than cripple what we have now.

A common ground can be found, but it is hard. It means remembering that every program should run fine without X(even VLC has text output video), that the display and the program may not be on the same machine and that the pipe is still a useful tool. Frontends are nice, but if you program requires it you are already going down the wrong path.

If we give up on the fundamentals we might as well all move to windows 8 with touchscreens only.

Re:Linux shouldn't be hard, geek elitism has to go (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#42360785)

Try 'urxvt'. It does tabbing like 'mrxvt'. It also has unicode support, and provides a daemon so every terminal runs under the same process. This saves memory and launches new terminals faster. You can even configure it to act like a quake console, if you're a yakuake fan. IMO urxvt is far and away the best terminal emulator around.

Re:Linux shouldn't be hard, geek elitism has to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42361327)

"Saves nerds time" to do what, specifically?

What's getting mixed here, is 'Learn to use a Linux Distro as a home computer' and 'Learn how Linux works'.

SMFACA (sue me for a car-analogy), but it's learning how to own and operate a car, versus how to fix them.

"Linux the Hard Way" is a reaction to the problem that it's no longer clear to new wrench-oriented curious folk just how to Learn how Linux works. Google buries them with Ubuntu-docs, 'power user tips', and dev talk.

I don't disagree that the documentation at the manpage level still needs work. But improved manpages will show up in this HardWay project the moment they exist; that's a separate issue. HardWay is just about framing the exercise at the correct level for new people wanting to learn the nuts'n'bolts.

wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360045)

You mean there is an easy way?! Not everyone has a spare pc lying around so they can jump in with both feet. For most people installing linux means resizing the existing drive, partitioning and setting up a multi-boot...far from trouble/risk free, and far from easy

Re:wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360093)

How about running Linux inside VMWare Player?

Start by reading Knuth's Art of Programming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360063)

while debugging autoconf, automake and config.guess scripts in your spare time.

What are you sitting there reading /. for? Better get going!

I didn't realize... (1)

asylumx (881307) | about a year ago | (#42360135)

...that there was any easy way to learn Linux. Must be buried in the man pages somewhere.

Re:I didn't realize... (1)

ak3ldama (554026) | about a year ago | (#42361389)

Till you see their ridiculous FSF statement at the bottom saying they hate man pages and to check the info page... as if anyone would want to do that. I spent some time trying to find one just now but didn't. Sad face. The ln man page is close to what I was looking for:
The full documentation for ln is maintained as a Texinfo manual.

sudo (5, Funny)

Tarlus (1000874) | about a year ago | (#42360351)

Of course, my first entry was rm -rf /* which only produced a stream of errors.

Try it again as root. =)

Just what us Linux newbs need (1)

TechieRefugee (2105386) | about a year ago | (#42360361)

Sicne I've finally convinced my family to run Linux on both computers (only Windows before), it's about time for me to learn Linux. I've used his Learn Python the Hard Way before, and it was a great book. Definitely looking forward to this!

Re:Just what us Linux newbs need (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360523)

You've convinced your family to run Linux, but you yourself don't know anything about Linux?

Sudo (1)

coreboarder (412771) | about a year ago | (#42360403)

Makes it more 'efficent' to run "sudo rm -rf /*"

I did this on a FreeBSD 3.X machine years ago and still have fond memories :)

shitH?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360435)

Okf the warring 4re She had taken their hand...she

Wait a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42360503)

There's an easy way?

the really hard way (1)

RedHackTea (2779623) | about a year ago | (#42360759)

lynx http://nixsrv.com/llthw [nixsrv.com]

Cached version [googleusercontent.com] while it's down. I don't even see mention of curl! That zany CEO of FaceBook used it in that Social Network movie! It was so much hax! And there is only mention of installing files on debian/ubuntu, not with fedora's yum! Some people like to imagine they're eating really really really good food while they install stuff! And it needs more bangs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

there are tons of great tutorials online (1)

Vince6791 (2639183) | about a year ago | (#42361391)

You can also check out this http://thenewboston.org/list.php?cat=16 [thenewboston.org] website. It has tutorials on programming by video which is great for a newbie to learn quickly and get the basic idea, afterwards you will be comfortable in advancing yourself but not with this site try other sites like dr.dobbs for advance algorithms and such. I think windows 8 has an app that organizes everything in thenewboston.org tutorials very nicely just type c++ programming search in app store and you will find it.

With linux it took me sometime to learn(learn the command line) how to fix problems through the terminal. In the beginning I wasted hours just hunting down the solutions(my point of view it was fragmented all over the internet) online to the problems I was having with linux but afterwards it got easier and I started fixing things a lot faster. It's actually a lot easier to fix linux problems today than windows problems. Microsoft problems and solutions are broad and vague, it could be anything causing windows going flaky but linux is just straight forward with the problems and solutions.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account