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danrok 4th March, 2012 06:25 PM

Beginners guide to Linux: where to start
Tutorial: Start your journey from beginner to Linux guru.

See front page:


ThunderRd 5th March, 2012 06:02 AM

I know that the article is for absolute newcomers to Linux, but I was disappointed in it.

I read through it, hoping to find something that I could use to help teach my students the basics better, but TBH, Ubuntu does not equal Linux, nor does Linux equal Ubuntu. I'm not opposed to Ubuntu in any way, in fact, I quite liked Xubuntu when I used it, but free software, and Linux, are all about choice.

To give the command line such a cursory mention, as well as not even exposing the user to other possible Linux flavors, is really not good writing.

Not to mention that Ubuntu of late has been riddled with bugs, mostly related to the GUI and Unity, which AFAICT isn't as popular as it was intended to be (to say the least.)

As some of you know, I donated a roomful of computers to a local high school with the proviso that they were to run Linux only. At first, the admins at the school were suspicious until I told them I would also be happy to donate my own time to get the students started with Linux. Until then, the students had been running XP (via pirated copies, as is quite common here in Thailand, one of the piracy capitals of the world) and most did not even know there was an alternative.

Now, there's a Linux (OS) club, a Linux gaming club, and a scripting club. The school itself still runs their pirated XP network, and is in awe of the fact that the computer room in the English Program NEVER has a virus problem, ALWAYS has a working network/internet connection (as long as the provider hasn't let us down) and the EP computer students generally run circles around the rest of the student body (there are 4 other computer labs on the campus, all on the XP network.)

In our lab, we initially set up half of the machines with Ubuntu, several with Debian stable, and the file server/gateway together with 3 or 4 workstations with Gentoo. Interestingly enough, Ubuntu quickly became the least popular of the lot, with the students clamoring to get on one of the Debian boxes first, and the Gentoo machines next. In the end, we changed over all of the workstations to Debian. So I believe that even newcomers can make their own choices, given the opportunity to do so.

booman 13th March, 2012 11:32 PM

I see what you are saying ThunderRd...
There are some other good alternatives that weren't even mentioned.
I have found Linux Mint to be a good alternative for Linux beginners and I use Fedora.

The command line has become a critical tool for me to navigate and troubleshoot Linux. Not to mention has been benificial in using OSX too.

I congratulate you in successfully creating a Linux network and educational lab with your donated hardware and time.
What a great service!

I would love to start a lab like this and teach people to use other alternatives.... specially alternatives to pirating!

Now you have sparked my interest in Debian... I may check it out and see how well it suits my needs and a beginners needs.

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