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Posted: 2/22/2006 4:43:13 AM EDT
I'm a network admin with a Windows dominant background, I know a few basic Unix commands. My new company is heavily into Linux (Redhat), and I'd like to be able to at least discuss Linux intelligently with my colleagues.

What's the best Distro to learn Linux on, and what is the best way to learn Linux?

Thanks,

Michael
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 4:47:10 AM EDT
A LiveCD is a good way to start. I believe Knoppix is the most popular one. You can pop it into any Windows computer and boot right into Linux without changing anything. Your hard drive isn't touched, and the OS is on a CD/DVD, so you can't break anything either. A good way to fiddle around and learn what's going on before you actually try and install it on a computer.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 4:52:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2006 4:53:37 AM EDT by x5060]
Ok, if you are really going to learn linux, you are going to do it the hard way. start yourself out with trying to install Gentoo. If you can get through that, you are golden. The rest is pie.

ETA: Yes i know that is not the REALLY hard way of learning linux, such as LSF or somthing, but if you can figure out gentoo, you can figure out anything.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 6:06:31 AM EDT
+1 on Knoppix.

If you need NVidia support, you'll have to use Morphix instead; it also supports easy adding of applications (the "morph" part) through burning a second session on the CD. If you are doing a lot of wireless LAN stuff, Kanotix supposedly supports the most cards (I never use wireless, so can't say from experience).

There are lots of others out there if these don't do everything you want.

www.knoppix.net/
www.morphix.org/
www.kanotix.com/

Link Posted: 2/22/2006 6:08:35 AM EDT
Mac OS X.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 6:13:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By x5060:
Ok, if you are really going to learn linux, you are going to do it the hard way. start yourself out with trying to install Gentoo. If you can get through that, you are golden. The rest is pie.

ETA: Yes i know that is not the REALLY hard way of learning linux, such as LSF or somthing, but if you can figure out gentoo, you can figure out anything.




There is a difference between knowing Linux and using Linux. My wife can use my laptop running Gentoo and she can use her Windows XP Desktop, but if something goes pear shaped she is just as helpless in Windows as she is in Linux.

If you want to take the plunge and relly learn how the system works, I too sould suggest Gentoo or even Linux From Scratch if you are really stupid motivated!

The first time I used Linux, I installed Slackware from (8 gazillion) floppies!
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 6:17:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2006 6:20:58 AM EDT by adair_usmc]
Ubuntu - definately the easiest for a newbie. Exellent build, I would run it over knoppix, fedora, or any other.

Plus, it is so free, that if you want official CD's - they wont even charge you shipping, they will just send them.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 6:20:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mrstang01:
What's the best Distro to learn Linux on,



You said your new company is using Redhat? I'd suggest Fedora for you.
Think of it as Redhat's "red-headed stepchild"



and what is the best way to learn Linux?



Fire it up and start playing. You said you know a little about Unix, so you're ahead of many newbs right there.
When you get stuck (and you will), there are thousands of Linux forums where you can find help.
There are some good books out there, as well. Running Linux helped me out a lot.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 7:52:19 AM EDT
I have ended up being pretty happy with Debian.

Also played with FreeBSD, not a Linux but a decent free Unix with great online documentation.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 8:02:41 AM EDT
You don't really learn Linux, because "Linux" is kind of vague. Every distribution is different in some way and some of the differences are significant. You are really learning applications and various methods of system administration.

I started with Redhat 5.2, intending to run it as a server. Since you work in a RH shop, I'd suggest picking up Fedora. Learn useful things like Apache and Bind administration. Try some neat things like Active Directory integration and authentication using winbind. Learn the ins and outs of the package manager (rpm). Aquire a near developer level understanding of automake and autoconf, and spend some time building challenging packages (Gnome from source tarballs comes to mind). IMPORTANT: Learn how to build packages from SRPMS, and steadfastly refuse to blindly use 'install' make targets as root.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 5:31:57 AM EDT
So Fedora Core would be a good start?
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 5:33:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mrstang01:
So Fedora Core would be a good start?



I think so.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 5:42:38 AM EDT
If they are heavy into redhat either get fedora or snag the last distro released of redhat or the distro your company is running. If you know anyone with red hat enterprise that would be good too...buy a book. Yes alot of info is in the MAN pages and online....but an admin guide by your side is awesome.
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