[nSLUG] New User Advise

Jason Kenney jason at ohm.ath.cx
Tue May 10 17:29:02 ADT 2005

> In the case of Linux, the developers have different camps,
> and the basic philosophy is that this is a Unix for the users
> and by the users.  Everything about Linux and open source will
> resist there being a standard that every distribution will adopt.

I think if you compare different linux distributions they are probably all 
about 95+% the same.

The key differences are:
- chosen X window manager (which is usually changed pretty easily, just 
the default is a difference really)
- location and organization of critical system configuration files
- package management system.

Everything else is virtually identical between distributions. Some use 
different versions of some software, some use different icons or 
decorative schemes, some use different kernel versions, some use 
alternatives (postfix/sendmail/exim, syslog/syslog-ng) but they're all 
pretty much the same. These differences usually come from the different 
aims each distribution has (or at least claimed to have at some point).

I think the best approach if you want "learn linux" is to take one 
distribution, whatever one you have, and learn everything about it. If you 
ever switch to another, some things will be different, but you should be 
able to easily adapt to the differences.

What is the best way to learn more about something? Play with it. Try to 
understand what is happening. If you want to be a world class pianist, you 
start off reading books (how many linux books have you read?), getting a 
teacher to show you things, but above all, you practice practice practice. 
You also push yourself to the next level.

Surely there must be decent online guides or books that can give you a 
good base to start from.



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