The Best Way To Learn Linux

Dan Craciun posted a nice article on his blog titled What is the best way to learn linux? that got me thinking just what some of the best ways to learn Linux are.  Dan and I agree that reading documentation is one of the best ways to learn Linux in general.

Dan uses the famous quote “give a man a fish and he will have food for one day, teach the same man how to fish and he will have food for his entire life” which really does make sense in relation to learning Linux.  A lot of new Linux users will ask a question on a forum or in an IRC chat room and demand or expect a direct answer.  However, a lot of times what they end up getting is a way to solve their problem, not exactly how to do it.  There is a general consensus among old time and advanced Linux users that it’s important to read documentation and manuals if you want answers.

Here are some of the best ways to learn Linux:

  • Start off on the command line to learn the true way of Linux before you start on the desktop and use GUI tools to do everything for you.  Remember each GUI tool you use is just a front end for command line tools that can accomplish the same thing.
  • Read manuals and ask a lot of questions.  Be sure you’re asking the right questions though. Research before you ask.  Don’t bother to ask questions to something that you could easily find by spending 5 minutes searching Google.
  • Subscribe to Linux blogs and participate in Linux forums.
  • Explore your options by trying different Linux distributions.

5 thoughts on “The Best Way To Learn Linux

  1. definitely agree with you, especially on learning to use the command line tools before you start using the fancy gui stuff. i know a lot of people say that “linux will be ready for the desktop when you can use it without having to know how to use a command line,” but i think the line command line is essential.

  2. I think a good way is to try running a few distros in a virtual machine (I like VirtualBox for this). You can experiment all you like with it, and don’t generally have to deal with hardware issues. It also makes it easy to do things because no matter how bad it gets, you can just revert to a previous snapshot or reinstall. I’ve used it to create my own custom Ubuntu installs and to get used to using more technical distros such as Slackware as you can still use the host system to get online and find answers to any problems.

  3. Pingback: Boycott Novell » Links 27/06/2008: Migration Stories (to GNU/Linux); A Look at KDE4’s Folderview

  4. this is the whole problem with Linux culture and why people have such a difficult time adopting it. The vast majority of computer users want and need a tool that they can use, not a tool they must study manuals about before they can use it.

    Saying “start on the command line” is like saying to a 16-year-old first-time driver to start by going through the Haynes manual on their car. Impractical.

  5. Learning Linux thru reading manual is not a problem for a person that can dedicate himself and his time to Linux. But for business purposes like system integrators…I need a quick way to solve technical issues (like programming) for the business needs. Not much time to get to know all other things …which were already done by the Linux kernel experts. Hence, MS Windows is inevitable eventhough I like to get to know Linux.

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