The Linux Thread - The Autist's OS of Choice

He Who Points And Laughs

Flavortown Refugee
kiwifarms.net
@He Who Points And Laughs Where did you do your research for Linux? I want to learn more about it and spread my wings when it comes to computers.
Initially, books along with using Linux. Then, as you mentioned earlier, trial by fire. I started with RedHat when win98se pissed me off for the last time. I just said "fuck it", fdisked my desktop's hard drive and decided to learn Linux. Once I learned the basics, I switched distros to Mandrake. Got comfortable with that, switched to SuSE. Stuck with SuSE for a bit and then decided to try a distro called Sorcerer.

Sorcerer is a source based distro. It was autistic AF, as the package manager was called sorcery, and to install anything you'd "cast a spell" from the "grimoire". However, I really liked it. During this time I decided to also try Linux From Scratch (LFS) and so I installed that on a spare computer over a week or so of headaches and research. It was at this point when I heard about Gentoo (circa 2002).

I fell in love with Gentoo pretty quickly.

This entire time I was buying and reading various O'Reilly books on *nix tools, learning how to use the GNU/Linux toolset, and just being autistic AF about having absolute control over my computers.

Gentoo was always my "home" distro, but I tried anything that looked interesting. Arch was a distro I tried, learned and deeply appreciated. When I got into security more intensely, I checked out Back Track. Back Track later disappeared and reappeared as Kali. Kali is Back Track perfected, and Kali became my favorite distro for InfoSec related endeavors.

The single best book on understanding Linux is UNIX and Linux System Administrators Handbook. The best "intro to Linux" book I can recommend to total newbies is Linux Basics For Hackers.

Aside from that, always RTFM, learn Sed, Awk, Bash, Vim, and some scripting language,,, Perl is not what it usedto be, so Python. These days, YouTube & Cybrary are excellent resources for learning pretty much anything.

Fundamentally, just put in the time until you've wrapped your head around it all.


p.s.
My university days were not focused on computers. Nor was most of my early career. Computers were a passion of mine. Only after my passion became marketable did I switch paths. If I had a time machine, the first thing I'd do after whacking a couple people in history, would be to slap myself around and study computer science in undergrad.
 
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AmpleApricots

kiwifarms.net
I went right to gentoo knowing literally nothing about Linux (besides knowing a little about POSIX) after I couldn't get RedHat installed because the installation script failed somewhere because of my hardware. Everyone can just jump right to gentoo. It's really not all that hard if you have any kind of attention span and patience. The "lol you compile stuff all day" argument doesn't even matter anymore, even "old" and underpowered ARM boards are fast enough to handle it and on modern computers it really doesn't matter. Gentoo's capability of avoiding "features" included in software through use flags to trim down bloat is now more relevant than it ever was.

That being said, if you have the fitting hardware, maybe try one of the *BSDs first. Linux userland regarding critical software is going downhill with no signs of stopping.
 

He Who Points And Laughs

Flavortown Refugee
kiwifarms.net
I went right to gentoo knowing literally nothing about Linux (besides knowing a little about POSIX) after I couldn't get RedHat installed because the installation script failed somewhere because of my hardware. Everyone can just jump right to gentoo. It's really not all that hard if you have any kind of attention span and patience. The "lol you compile stuff all day" argument doesn't even matter anymore, even "old" and underpowered ARM boards are fast enough to handle it and on modern computers it really doesn't matter. Gentoo's capability of avoiding "features" included in software through use flags to trim down bloat is now more relevant than it ever was.

That being said, if you have the fitting hardware, maybe try one of the *BSDs first. Linux userland regarding critical software is going downhill with no signs of stopping.
While I would generally not recommend that path, if you can work it out, brilliant.

Knowing bash, partitioning, GRUB, and kernel building I generally consider to be prerequisites for Gentoo. but not all n00bs are created equally. Some people can just "get it" pretty quickly while others will be asking how to get out of Vim on IRC/forums.

WRT to compile times, my daily updates take anywhere from 5 minutes to two hours on very rare days. On average it's about 10 minutes.
 

AmpleApricots

kiwifarms.net
Well, I had experience with computer systems spanning from and had a brush with unix in the 80s, and it was the early 00s when I did that, but still I knew little about it. The gentoo installation handbook is very comprehensive though, you're probably fine if you just follow it to the letter. Then there's the package manager that's pretty much like almost any other out there in that it resolves dependencies by itself, it just takes a bit longer because of compiling. I wouldn't be afraid to experiment, it's a hard to break system. In fact, my gaming/VM PC still runs that very first installation.

Back then also a big update could take several days, was more the exception than the rule though. I still run gentoo on pretty weak systems, the weakest being an Allwinner A20 powered SBC. I do distcc if I'm in a hurry but usually I just let it update in the background. It has 2 GB of RAM which is enough for that, although I don't have big things like firefox installed on it of course. I just have PORTAGE_NICENESS set to 15, so it just updates in the background and it doesn't really matter how long it takes in most circumstances. I tried other distributions in the meantime but was so spoiled by gentoo that I find them all ultimately too limiting. Portage really is something else.

Also you can sit down and roll a custom kernel for your hardware and usually only have to very slightly touch it for later hardware updates. This used to be easier back in the day since the kernel has become a lot more complex with a lot more options, but if you are a bit hardware literate and read the option descriptions, that also is mostly a game of patience. There are a few gotchas though where sometimes seemingly unrelated options are connected to important functionality and the documentation doesn't make that clear, google and mailing lists are your friends here though if the hardware isn't too exotic. You'll also learn that the kernel isn't as rock solid as some of the safer distros make you believe and regressions and bugs do happen, especially if you use a few of the more exotic functionalities or hardware combos. I had the worst time getting lima to work with aforementioned A20 for example.
 
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He Who Points And Laughs

Flavortown Refugee
kiwifarms.net
Also you can sit down and roll a custom kernel for your hardware and usually only have to very slightly touch it for later hardware updates. This used to be easier back in the day since the kernel has become a lot more complex with a lot more options, but if you are a bit hardware literate and read the option descriptions, that also is mostly a game of patience
I have the kernel save its config file in /proc/config.gz, so on any kernel update, I'll symlink the new kernel to /usr/src/linux then run zcat /proc/config.gz > /usr/src/linux/.config followed by a make oldconfig. With any new options being shown during the oldconfig. I like to verify afterwards with make menuconfig to ensure that I've understood what ever new options were shown.
 

Stoneheart

kiwifarms.net
I need a small and easy to use Linux for an USB drive. general first aid for windows should be part of it or easy to install.
any ideas?
 
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