Linux Beginner Incoming
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  1. #1
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    Linux Beginner Incoming

    Hey all.

    Thought I'd take the opportunity to drop a quick intro before I start spamming the forums with lots of basic questions

    I have decided to take up a hobby and have settled on teaching myself Linux. It could quite as easily have been learning the guitar, playing golf, origami or clay pigeon shooting, but hey, I'm a geek at heart so what the hell

    I have a reasonable level of IT knowledge, mostly working within the Windows environment. I also have some beginner>intermediate experience of PHP/mySQL coding, so I figured it would be nice to get to grips with the architecture that hosts those environments and maybe combine the two. My starting point on my Linux journey is therefore to build, config and learn to administer a Linux web server within my home network. I decided to go with Fedora 28 Server edition as opposed to Ubuntu, just because I'm not a sheep.

    Anyway, installing Fedora 28 Server along with the LAMP stack on my old Lenovo lappy was fairly straightforward and pain free (followed a simple guide on YT). I now have the dilemma of (being a bit of a purist) whether I attempt to manage everything from the CLI or whether to install a GUI.

    Henceforth is my first question to the community. I'm interested in the pros and cons of installing a GUI versus working solely within the CLI. I believe I'm currently middle ground as I've installed Webmin, to give me some level of visual interface.

    Next steps is to learn some of the basic CLI commands, especially around directory and file management. After all, I'm going to be having a go at writing and running some PHP on my newly created server. If I don't have a desktop environment on the server machine, I'll need to build a Fedora Workstation machine and write them on there, then figure out how to pass them over to the /var/www/html/ directory on the server.

    Your thoughts... am I mad? Should I just take up golf?

    Salutations

    /....

  2. #2
    tempest766 Guest

    Re: Linux Beginner Incoming

    Unfortunately linux is becoming more GUI WYSIWYG oriented so too many lusers don't even know a command line runlevel/target exists. If you just learn the GUI apps then you are short-changing yourself. desktops will come and go, but the cli stuff should always exists, and be far less subject to the whimsical changes of GUI desktops.

  3. #3
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    Re: Linux Beginner Incoming

    Welcome to Linux and the Fedora forum. Nice intro. Beware: *nix can be highly addictive. Once I dipped my toes in the Linux waters there was no turning back for me.

    CLI or GUI or both? No one can answer that question for you, that's up to you to decide. I don't run any type of server, just a general desktop computing type of guy, but my original reason for installing Linux (Fedora Core 5) was a need to become somewhat familiar with Linux cli in able to do some remote struff via ham radio. I've been a cli devotee ever since, though I boot into a GUI desktop (Xfce for me). Last time I used a GUI File Manager.....ahh, gosh, I can't even remember. My file/directory management is done 100% in an X term. So I have full choice of usage, GUI for running email client, web browser, text editors, etc, but the command line is always right there at my finger tips for a whole lot of other stuff I do (pretty much everything else that doesn't require an internet connection, except for using dnf to do package and system updates or querying the package repositories).

    The quickest way to learn the cli for file management and traversing your system directories is to be very aware that the rules in Linux are different from Windows. You'll want to make heavy use of the "man <command>" (man = manual) and/or "info" commands to see usage and options . But having a GUI environment and thus access to the web to search for more usage examples is a great help as well to speed you along the steep learning curve.

    The key Linux cli file/directory items that trip up first timers the most:

    Linux is totally case sensitive. "Linux" and "linux" are two different things, whether it's a file or directory name.

    / is the directory delimiter, not \ as in Windows. In Linux, \ is the escape character.

    Spaces are not used in file/directory names. Space is an illegal filename character. You can use it though, using either the escape character or putting the whole file/directory name in double quotes.

    cd (change directory) by itself will always return you to your home directory.

    Typing a command (just the command name alone) will not be found by bash unless it is in the command search path ($PATH).

    For a command whose file is not in the $PATH directories, use the full path to the command, or use ./command if it is in the current working directory.

    ../ will back you up to the parent directory. ../../ will back you up two directories, and so on. Commonly used with the ls (list) and cp (copy) commands.

    The first / (unless preceded by a dot) always indicates the root directory. So if you are in your home directory and want to list the contents of your Music directory, don't use "ls /Music". Use "ls Music".

    Hope the above tips helps propel you along the fun, and sometimes maddening, journey of "becoming one with the Linux CLI".
    Last edited by PabloTwo; 26th September 2018 at 07:21 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Linux Beginner Incoming

    Henceforth is my first question to the community. I'm interested in the pros and cons of installing a GUI versus working solely within the CLI. I believe I'm currently middle ground as I've installed Webmin, to give me some level of visual interface.
    I would go with a GUI interface.
    You can then have multiple terminal windows which is useful during testing stuff.
    You will also have a web browser and all the other programs for doing things like taking notes or writing design docs.

    Later you might also consider using an IDE such as Eclipse if you are considering doing a more significant project.

    I would add that doing the development on a separate machine is good practice.

    User error. Please replace user and try again

  5. #5
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    Re: Linux Beginner Incoming

    Here is a list of important commands and their use: https://beebom.com/essential-linux-commands/
    I would practice using each one several times a day for a week or so until they become quite familiar.

    One thing that is important is the "tab-key" completion: just enter the first few letters of a command and then hit the tab-key; much or all of the command will appear on the command line. This can save a lot of time. Also if you're not sure of the exact command, type a couple of letters and then hit tab-key twice; you will see a list of possible commands that begin with those letters.

    Enjoy your adventure with open-source. It should be amazing. It is useful to note that practically all commands are used the same way on all Linux distributions. Some commands may not be added by default, but using a package manager (dnf in Fedora, aptitude/apt-get in Ubuntu, Debian, etc.) to fetch a command is quite easy: "# (which means super-user, etc.) dnf install gparted"

    For Fedora you should study the output of "man dnf" to see the various uses of the dnf package-manager. For instance, "# dnf upgrade" will upgrade your system (you should do this every day or two), "# dnf search 'name of program' " which will show you if the program is available in the repository ("dnf search google" would show you all the programs available that have "google" in them), "# dnf install 'name of program', "# dnf remove 'name of program' ", "# dnf info 'name of program' which will give you detailed information about a program, etc., etc.

    Richard Stallman, the creator of GNU open-source software and therefore the co-founder of Linux, has stated that using open-source software is the most democratic of activities. Stallman states:
    With software, either the users control the program or the program controls the users. The first case is free software; the second case is proprietary software.
    Enjoy your new found freedom!!
    Last edited by donatom; 27th September 2018 at 12:44 AM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Linux Beginner Incoming

    for learning purposes, it would also be prudent to use a Virtual Machine installation of Fedora to begin with and take snapshots. that way if you break something by mistake you can simply load the last VM snapshot that worked.

  7. #7
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    Re: Linux Beginner Incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by tempest766
    Unfortunately linux is becoming more GUI WYSIWYG oriented so too many lusers don't even know a command line runlevel/target exists. If you just learn the GUI apps then you are short-changing yourself. desktops will come and go, but the cli stuff should always exists, and be far less subject to the whimsical changes of GUI desktops.
    Hi MrSixty7
    I am the exception, I am approaching 80, vs I guess, your 67. I started 6 years ago with a Library book and a DVD. I prefer command line use and do quite a bit of C programming. Occasionally I look at elementry problem solving with C++, and then I read about new hardware, the costs for same, the problems that people have encountered and posted here, and when I can, I try to provide solutions or present ideas about where to look. This forum is a fan club. We like Linux and we welcome the people who like Linux and we welcome people who like both Linux and Fedora.
    No, tempest766, there is still much to do besides WYSIWYG.
    Leslie in Montreal

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    http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showth...40#post1697840

  8. #8
    tempest766 Guest

    Re: Linux Beginner Incoming

    Quote Originally Posted by lsatenstein
    Hi MrSixty7
    No, tempest766, there is still much to do besides WYSIWYG.
    OK. Lets be real about this from the perspective of a newbie. What is the first thing you see when you boot an installation media?...a GUI...and what are the default installation packages?...GNOME desktop and graphical-desktop.target

    Unless the person has some level of prior sophistication they might not even get a terminal window installed by default (this has happened to me when installing Fedora versions in the past). So yes, unfortunately everyone is being subtley coerced toward WYSIWYG GUI presentation.

    Sure the alternate CLI consoles are available if you know to use <ALT><Fn> keys or are savvy enough to change the default run target to multi-user.target but for the guy who accepts the defaults they don't even see a CLI.

    So yes, there is still much CLI behind the scenes, but the momentum subtly coerces users toward GNOME point and click for everything. Look at the number of folks who think you need a GUI app to copy an ISO to a USB stick, and have never heard of "dd" or they expect anything they stick in a USB slot to be automatically mounted and a pretty icon pop up...

    anyway, glad to read that you're exercising some grey matter with C and C++ programming. In the embedded domain I've pretty much given up on modern linux in favor of commercial or special RTOSes like freeRTOS or VXworks.

    Cheers.

  9. #9
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    Re: Linux Beginner Incoming

    To *really* familiarize yourself with Linux, especially in a distribution-agnostic way, you need to learn the command line. Servers won't run a desktop environment, and it sounds like you're taking the server approach. You can use a terminal multiplexer like tmux to manage multiple virtual terminal "windows" and "panes" in a CLI-only environment. I also recommend checking out LinuxAcademy for their video tutorials.

  10. #10
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    Re: Linux Beginner Incoming

    I agree with tempest766, you will often find that you're being pushed (not even subtly anymore, you can not evern avoid the GUI during installation since they crippled textmode install) to the GUI.
    I would just install it, possibly on a virtual machine and start doing the stuff that interests you. As time goes on, you will see what works best for you on command line vs GUI. You might get interested in programming in say, python, you might find that general system administration is what you like. There's probably millions of different things to get into , and some will be best done by GUI, some by command line.

    So install it, start doing stuff that interests you, and see where it takes you.

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