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Thread: want to learn to program in Linux, need help with where to start

  1. #1
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    want to learn to program in Linux, need help with where to start

    I'm only 20 years of age, and it's been my dream since early High School to work on a Linux distro in some way shape or form, but.... I need some serious help figuring out where to start, not only do I need to figure out what programming language to start on to get my feet wet, I also need to learn what I need to do to eventually be able to build a linux OS from scratch (that one is mostly so that I can improve my skill and hopefully work on a bigger OS like Ubuntu some day) I was just hoping someone here could help point me in the right direction, and help me find some basic tutorials to get me started, thanks to anyone who can help at all!

  2. #2
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    Jul 2013
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    Re: want to learn to program in Linux, need help with where to start

    Well, "building a linux OS from scratch" yourself is a truly Herculean task. Only a few huge projects really do that. I would suggest a more modest goal.

    1) Learn how to use the command line (bash and/or dash) shell.
    2) If you have no previous programming language experience, start learning Python. Many advanced system features are written in Python.
    3) If you have some previous programming experience, start learning C. Most basic system utilities are written in C.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2012
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: want to learn to program in Linux, need help with where to start

    To build your own Linux you will need to know a lot.

    For a start there is shell scripting. Different linuxes use different shells Ubuntu's default shell is dash though bash is also installed. I suggest you learn which commands are POSIX as then you can write scripts that run on several different shells.

    Learn Python and C. I agree with the previous post that Python is easier to learn so if you have no programming experience it's the best place to to start.

    Once you are happy with that you can start learning how to make packages, and then ...

    Take your time it's going to be a long journey but there is plenty of help available.

    Don't expect to be releasing your own version of Linux for some time.

  4. #4
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    Re: want to learn to program in Linux, need help with where to start

    Have a look in the programming subforum. especially this sticky http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1766253

  5. #5
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    Re: want to learn to program in Linux, need help with where to start

    Learning to program so that you can build your own Linux distro is like learning to farm so that you can cook your own food.

    You can't swing a dead ball mouse on the internet without hitting some kind of website that wants to teach you to code; codeacademy, coursera, edX, khanacademy, etc. etc. A quick search should give you material for months.

    But if you want to put together your own Linux distro, there really isn't typically a whole lot of coding involved. It's more about selecting packages and configuring them to work together. Knowing some scripting helps there, but it's a separate discipline from sitting down and writing an application, for example.

    So which do you really want to do: create a linux distro, or develop software?

  6. #6
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    Re: want to learn to program in Linux, need help with where to start

    Why do you want to program?
    -------------------------------------
    Oooh Shiny: PopularPages

    Unumquodque potest reparantur. Patientia sit virtus.

  7. #7
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    Re: want to learn to program in Linux, need help with where to start

    well I meant more so the learning to build a linux distro like to learn the basics, mostly how it works so I could eventually attempt to work on something else bigger, but that's for later on, MUCH later on, I'll look into python then if you guys think that's the best one to try and get started with. oh, and Tgalati4, the reason i wanna learn to program is that it's my dream to eventually work on linux on a regular basis, and actually have a purpose (not just tweaks or things for myself) I wanna do something with it. Thanks though, much easier to hear from people that know what to look into than to go through very vague google searches to figure out what may be best to use.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Re: want to learn to program in Linux, need help with where to start

    It's your dream to do something with Linux that has a purpose.

    1. Why do you want to do something with a purpose?

    2. What purpose did you have in mind?
    -------------------------------------
    Oooh Shiny: PopularPages

    Unumquodque potest reparantur. Patientia sit virtus.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: want to learn to program in Linux, need help with where to start

    http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/

    This also has books you use to get to setting up a Linux from scratch. This can give you an idea, but it takes a long time, and you need to follow instructions to a t when you do it first.

    As far as Programming, it is just to either tweak programs, or to make programs that fulfill a purpose. I one day was sick of typing in forumla for my calculator, and wanted a faster way of doing it, so I made a small program with python that let me do that on the command-line. Which made for finding the answers to problems much faster.

    If you wanted a quick set of video tutorials on it. Thenewboston on youtube had a lot on there, and his videos are quick, and you can learn lots of commands. Programming as a tip from what I have done with it, is problem solving, you may learn commands, and be given tools, sometimes it does not work right, the computer does not understand, so you need to tell it a different way.

    So programming is used to make features, or tweaks, or whatever, to get a job done. Some languages are better at certain things, or can do certain things. but go ahead and start with 1 language, do not try learning like 8 at a time or even 2 languages, learn one, get good at it, move on to the next one. If you learn python well enough, and decide you like programming still, move onto C or another language that is commonly used for things you like.
    Proverbs 14:15

    The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2014
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    Re: want to learn to program in Linux, need help with where to start

    thanks Radicax, those may help as even knowing what to look for still left me with the issues of where to look. and Tgalati4, not sure where you're going with this entirely? I've always wanted to do something with computers since I was little, when I was first introduced to Linux, I was just in awe at the number of possibilities with it. I love getting people set up on it, and the fact that it helps people who can't afford to buy the newest copy of windows or buy a bloody Mac still get to use their computers for something. So really I just wanna do anything I can to help linux as a whole grow (not just one distro but try and get more people to use it) I do know it's commonly used in server environments already, but I want it to reach out to more and more people, if I can learn to program in Linux, then I can hopefully help out more open source projects and if I'm lucky get more and more people into free computing. That's why I love the idea of working on Linux, I want it to expand so that more people can afford to get a computer, and so that we overall get more native Linux apps

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