Linux Lessons

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Linux Lessons

Postby DebianFree » 2010-02-24 17:34

Hey, I'm trying to do my own self-teaching for my IT class. Everyone is doing Windows but my teacher said it'd be cool if I did Linux by myself. I need recommendations on what OS to use and where to get course work from though. I'm thinking either Debian or Linux Mint.

Thanks for the Help,
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Re: Linux Lessons

Postby craigevil » 2010-02-24 18:35

Mint is probably easier to install.

Linux - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -

Debian -- Reasons to Choose Debian
Reasons to Choose Debian

Thank you for considering using Debian GNU/Linux to run your machine. If you aren't quite convinced why you should try Debian, consider the following:

It is maintained by its users.
If something needs to be fixed or improved, we just do it.
Unparalleled support
Mail sent to the mailing lists often gets answers within 15 minutes (or less), for free, and by the people who developed it. Compare that to typical phone support: hours spent on the phone, for money, only to get someone who doesn't know the system well enough to even understand your question.
You wouldn't be alone in your choice
A wide range of organizations and individuals use Debian. See our Who's Using Debian? page for a description of some high-profile sites which use Debian, and have chosen to submit a short description of how they use Debian and why.
The best packaging system in the world.
Tired of old files from software three versions old cluttering your system? Or installing a piece of software only to find it causes your system to crash because of software conflicts? Dpkg, Debian's endured packaging system, takes care of these issues for you.
Easy installation
If you have heard that GNU/Linux is difficult to install, then you haven't tried Debian lately. We are constantly improving the installation process. You can do the installation directly from CD, DOS, floppies or even over the network.
Incredible amounts of software
Debian comes with over 25000 different pieces of software. Every bit of it is free. If you have proprietary software that runs under GNU/Linux, you can still use it - in fact, there may even be an installer in Debian that will automatically install and set up everything for you.
Packages well integrated
Debian surpasses all other distributions in how well its packages are integrated. Since all software is packaged by a coherent group, not only can all packages be found at a single site, but you can be assured that we have already worked out all issues regarding complicated dependencies. While we feel that the deb format has some advantages over the rpm format, it is the integration between the packages that makes a Debian system more robust.
Source code
If you are a software developer, you will appreciate the fact that there are hundreds of development tools and languages, plus millions of lines of source code in the base system. All of the software in the main distribution meets the criteria of the Debian Free Software Guidelines (DFSG). This means that you can freely use this code to study from, or to incorporate into new free software projects. There are also plenty of tools and code suitable for use in proprietary projects.
Easy upgrades
Due to our packaging system, upgrading to a new version of Debian is a snap. Just run apt-get update ; apt-get dist-upgrade (or aptitude update; aptitude dist-upgrade in newer releases) and you can upgrade from a CD in a matter of minutes or point apt at one of the over 300 Debian mirrors and upgrade over the net.
Multiple architectures and kernels
Currently Debian supports an impressive number of CPU architectures: alpha, amd64, armel, hppa, i386, ia64, mips, mipsel, powerpc, s390, and sparc. It also runs on GNU Hurd and FreeBSD kernels besides Linux, and with the debootstrap utility you will be hard-pressed to find a device that can't run Debian.
Bug tracking system
Debian's bug tracking system is publicly available. We don't try to hide the fact that software doesn't always work the way users want. Users are encouraged to submit bug reports and are notified when and why the bug was closed. This system allows Debian to respond to problems quickly and honestly.

If you are not already a GNU/Linux user, you may also enjoy the following benefits:

There are many cases of machines that run for over a year without rebooting. Even then, they are only rebooted due to a power failure or a hardware upgrade. Compare that to other systems that crash multiple times a day.
Fast and easy on memory
Other operating systems may be as fast in one or two areas, but being based on GNU/Linux, Debian is lean and mean. Windows software run from GNU/Linux using an emulator sometimes runs faster than when run in the native environment.
Drivers for most hardware is written by GNU/Linux users, not the manufacturer.
While this can mean delays before new hardware is supported and no support for some hardware, it enables support for hardware long after the manufacturer has stopped producing it or gone out of business. Experience has shown that Open Source drivers are usually much better than proprietary ones.
Good system security
Debian and the free software community are very responsive to make sure that fixes of security problems get into the distribution quickly. Usually, fixed packages are uploaded within a few days. The availability of source code allows the security in Debian to be evaluated in an open setting which prevents poor security models from being implemented. Also, most free software projects have peer-review systems, which prevents potential security problems from being introduced in essential systems in the first place.
Security software
Unknown to many, anything sent over the net can be read by any machine between you and the receiver. Debian has packages of the famous GPG (and PGP) software which allows mail to be sent privately between users. In addition, ssh allows you to create secure connections to other machines which have ssh installed.
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Re: Linux Lessons

Postby nadir » 2010-02-24 19:45

i wouldn't say mint is more easy to install. you may do it from a gui-installer of a live-cd , but the main process is the same
(you enter some default info: language, region, keyboard-layout, tell the installer on which partition to install (say: use the whole disk and use defaults) and if and where to install grub). in both cases you are well off with the defaults.

the debian-wiki is quite good:
some links are collected here:

my opinion: if you want to learn it, and learn it fast, debian is the better choice
(as it seems like the command-line is more often used on debian than on the so-called user-friendly distros. or, at minimum, advice is more often given that way)
"I am not fine with it, so there is nothing for me to do but stand aside." M.D.
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Re: Linux Lessons

Postby sir fer » 2010-02-24 21:19

Mint is to Linux what MacOS is to BSD.

You're not really going to learn much about Linux from Mint and IMO Debian is the ideal choice as it is the simplest GNU/Linux out there and since Mint is based on Ubuntu which is based on Debian you're gonna be referencing Debian a lot anyway.
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Re: Linux Lessons

Postby DebianFree » 2010-02-24 23:11

It's looking like I'll be using Debian, I still need work to do though. The class is IT Essentials so as you may be able to guess, it's about the essentials of IT. Pretty much all the stuff youcould find online for IT uses Windows programs and terminologies though which is a problem. Anyone got sites with lessons plans or courses or anything?
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Re: Linux Lessons

Postby Bro.Tiag » 2010-02-25 01:58

DebianFree wrote:It's looking like I'll be using Debian, I still need work to do though. The class is IT Essentials so as you may be able to guess, it's about the essentials of IT. Pretty much all the stuff youcould find online for IT uses Windows programs and terminologies though which is a problem. Anyone got sites with lessons plans or courses or anything?

Well I'm not really sure what it is you are looking for, but Googleing "Linux IT Essentials" yields lots of stuff, including some sample test/answers, that deal with windows & linux. OH, and this was the first link, LINUX Essentials.

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