Is learning a defunt linux distribution helpful for beginners in linux?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by lastspacefighter, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. lastspacefighter

    lastspacefighter New Member

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    Hello Friends, I am new to linux and I have an old book (linux 4th edition-Richard Peterson), and with it I have an old linux distribution (calder openlinux edesktop 2.4); now will learning this be helpful in anyway? I need to learn Linux inside out and then move to a newer version. I intend to learn both the administration aspect as well as shell programming. So, if you wonderful people can give me some inputs I will really appriciate it.

    Thank you!

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
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  2. arochester

    arochester Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that an 13 year old book and a now defunct Linux distro will help you. Why learn twice when you can use an up-to-date version and learn once?
    lastspacefighter likes this.
  3. lobo

    lobo Active Member

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    I have to agree with arochester. Some older books can be useful however and it may be worth hanging on to and reading through once you have a better knowledge of what is current and what isn't. The computing theory and basic Linux/UNIX sections of such books can still be relevant today.

    The old distro however is really not worth the time and effort.

    If you want to learn GNU/Linux "inside out" then you might want to think about jumping to less desktop/multimedia/beginner oriented distros. Distros like CentOS or Debian might be a safe bet as you will be able to dive straight into rpm or deb based distros.

    Other considerations would be Slackware, Gentoo or maybe even Arch - but I wouldn't recommend these to complete beginners.
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  4. lastspacefighter

    lastspacefighter New Member

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    Thank you for the inputs. My next question is, i found that Debian is also distributed freely, would I have free resources available to learn (please advise a good easy to understand website) or do i need to buy a book? if a book then please suggest an author. Thank you again!
  5. arochester

    arochester Well-Known Member

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  6. lastspacefighter

    lastspacefighter New Member

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    Thank you very much. It should get me started. Best Regards.
  7. lobo

    lobo Active Member

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    The vast majority of distributions are completely free. Debian is one of the most free there is (but still not free enough for the GNU project).

    Debian has a pretty good wiki (not as good as the Arch wiki, but getting there - slowly), there are at least three forums and there are plenty of general Linux forums like this one.

    You don't really need a book - the problem with books is that they're often out of date by the time they're published and you can often search the web for information faster than you can flick through a book.


    How to learn? Install it and start doing stuff.
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  8. rstanley

    rstanley Member

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    "calder openlinux edesktop 2.4"

    Actually, "caldera openlinux edesktop 2.4", should be dumped immediately!!! Caldera, later SCO, currently, "The TSG Group" and is currently in bankruptcy under Chapter 7, is without question the most evil and hated company ever in the IT field!!! The full story of their evil deeds, can be read over at Groklaw DOT NET.

    I would look at either Debian which I use and recommend, or Debian based Mint. (Depending on your expertise, and background. Stay away from Ubuntu, and the Ubuntu based version of Mint.)

    "Debian provides more than a pure OS: it comes with over 37500 packages, precompiled software bundled up in a nice format for easy installation on your machine." From the Debian home page.

    Good luck
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  9. lobo

    lobo Active Member

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    +1

    It was also leaked that SCO were being bankrolled by MS... but this is all offtopic...

    http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Linux-and-Open-Source/Leaked-Memo-Revives-SCOMicrosoft-Connection-Furor/

    You can't really go wrong with Debian - good luck and if you get stuck just search the web and/or ask for help.
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  10. lastspacefighter

    lastspacefighter New Member

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    Thank you everyone for a very good information and reference.
  11. ZZs

    ZZs Active Member

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    I'm also new to Linux and I found this site has been helpful to me in reviewing Distro's. Google distrowatch
    --zz
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  12. lastspacefighter

    lastspacefighter New Member

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    Hello Friends, I need help again!!! I installed Debian using the graphical install option (i followed almost similar steps shows at the link below) I also selected 'Graphical desktop environment' & 'standard systems utility'; but i don't understand why am i not able to see a GUI. Is there a command to activate it? all i get is a prompt to log-in and after i log-in it is a plain command line. Please assist!
    (not allowed to post the link yet.)

    Thank you!
  13. arochester

    arochester Well-Known Member

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    Did you go so far as to install Boot on the MBR?

    Try typing, after you have logged in: startx
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  14. lobo

    lobo Active Member

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    You should see a display manager if you installed those two tasks...

    Did you install with a working network connection?
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  15. lastspacefighter

    lastspacefighter New Member

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    Arochester: 1) When i type startx, the system goes blank and then flashes with the prompt again and then hangs.

    2) I tried to type root and went in the root command and put in the command to install the GUI, but the prompt says file not found.


    Lobo: No, I did not install with a working network connection, and came to realize that it is required for a GUI interface to be loaded. I use a datacard to connect to the internet and without running the app it won't connect to the internet and therefore very disappointed and wonder why this was not included in the ISO.

    I downloaded the ISO and burnt it on the disk to avoid connecting to the internet and so everything can be installed from the CD and later I can update the packages as required. I need help please: 1) is there an ISO which contains the GUI 2) if there isn’t then please let me know the way where I can install the GUI without connecting to the internet (because it is not going to be possible with my datacard); maybe I can download a similar ISO, burn it on a disk and then install it after the base installation.

    Please advise and so I can begin my journey.

    Thank you!
  16. arochester

    arochester Well-Known Member

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    Which ISO did you download and where did you get it from?
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  17. lastspacefighter

    lastspacefighter New Member

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    Hello Arochester: I got it from this Debian org from downloading Debian CD DVD images via Hiper text tran prot File Tran Prot when to the link under CD for i386 and downloaded debian-7.3.0 i86 CD1 ISO (this is 648MB)

    not allowed yet to give the link here and so gave the above info without the link.
  18. lobo

    lobo Active Member

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    That's CD1 and is perfectly fine for an install. You probably won't be able to install anything until your sources are set up correctly. Can you post this output:
    Code:
    $ cat /etc/apt/sources.list
    ?
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  19. lastspacefighter

    lastspacefighter New Member

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    Lobo: I am not able to do that for now.

    Reason: I tried to reinstall over and over yesterday and in the final installation phase yesterday i aborted and therefore the disk was partitioned with Debian. Today, I tried to boot the same disk but it is not booting up (i don't know why); may be because i created the disk with windows7, and now it is not reading or something. I am trying to install the old caldera (the CD boots up) up fine, maybe I will try to see if i can format my hdd with a similar file system to windows if Caldera has it and then try with the CD i created (i know there is no relation but just trying it). While I try to do all this and I will try to check the source list via the command you told me once it is installed, i have a few questions.

    The link from which i burnt the disk from the Debian website also has a list of ISO’s with KDE, maybe i should download that ISO. (Or) would burning all the ISO's (in the series that I downloaded) on the disk be helpful and then i can use each disk for installing the whole thing (there are set of 8 disks). Let me know while i try to boot my disk.

    Thank you.
  20. lastspacefighter

    lastspacefighter New Member

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    I think my hdd has crashed; the lizard in Caldera doesn't show any HDD information (in the select partition section); also it will abort the installation if I select format the other partition. Even other window OS don't install and the system is reboots. I need to change my HDD :(

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