View Full Version : Further Linux Adventures

July 3rd, 2008, 11:27 PM
I'm getting to the point where I think I can be considered at the very least competent with Ubuntu and Linux. I often prefer the command line of doing things (and can usually pull it off) and I've finally dumped Windows for the clunky piece that it is. I've moved around partitions, battled with compiling software from source and thus learned to be thankful for apt, set up a mythbuntu box (repeatedly :lolflag:), and messed around with a good many things that I can only claim a limited understanding of - but have some understanding of all the same (init.d, fstab, X, custom livecd's/liveusb's, Qt, alsa/pulse-audio/oss... the list goes on.)

My question is simple - where do I go from here?

I'd like to continue on my way to achieving 'guru' status in Linux, and I'm not totally sure what I should do as my next 'educational' goals. I'm thinking I should play with some of the less 'user-friendly' but strong distros (perhaps Slackware or Gentoo?) and I'm playing around with my brother's MacBook as well. (If anyone has gotten Starcraft to run in Wine on Leopard, please drop me a line, because I have some questions!) I'm also learning some programming (teaching myself Ruby, taken one semester of C++ [AVL TREES ARE SATAN] and one semester of Java in school), but it's very disheartening how unhelpful any programming knowledge is until you get a fairly deep understanding of a language - the distance between 'Hello World' and a remotely useful program seems a bit large. I'd like to sign on and help a FOSS project but my rudimentary programming skills (at best) make me reluctant to do so, out of fear of being a liability (along with limited time once school starts again.)

Anyway, any suggestions or nuggets of wisdom that I (or others like me) can get on where to go or what to do in order to gain a deeper understanding of Linux, programming, FOSS, and computers in general would be greatly appreciated.

July 3rd, 2008, 11:30 PM
If you're willing to try a "less user-friendly" distro you should go with Arch. At least it's worth the effort.

July 3rd, 2008, 11:51 PM
The Gentoo Handbook is a great way to solidify your understanding of CLI.

Some of it is obviously Gentoo (and similarly based distros) only, but the rest is universally Linux. Compiling a kernel, partition setup, GRUB setup etc.

Of course you could take it all the way and try Linux from Scratch. But that's a bit far for most people. (I've never completed it.)

As for general ideas, just try to develop your system to exactly as you want it. A standard program not quite to your tastes, try some of the others available. You could link it into your programming studies. As you say, making your own program is a huge step, so why not just start tinkering with some others. Read the source, and see if you can figure out how to make a change you would prefer.

July 4th, 2008, 01:09 AM
I hear arch is really good for advanced users. The philosophy of only getting what you want and what you explicitly put in your system is great, if you know how.

Just read up on installing arch, print off some stuff if you want a reference during installation, and go for it.

Maybe you could tame a totally different beast and try FreeBSD? You have to set up the GUI manually but I hear BSD is good. I've never used it, though.

July 4th, 2008, 01:46 AM
Slackware is a superb learning experience. Don't use slapt-get, swaret, or any other dependency-resolving package manager - you'll learn a ton from dealing with dependencies yourself. Arch is really quite easy.

Dr Small
July 4th, 2008, 01:55 AM
Install ArchLinux and try your hand with it. It is built for advanced users, but it is realitively simple to operate.

July 4th, 2008, 02:23 AM
Or try LFS (Linux From Scratch) it is somewhat hard to do but doable if you follow the instructions in the book to the letter (not one deviance is allowed).


And most important of all go buy the book and do not deviate.

Yes I know the book versions are old, but trust me go buy the book the first time and it will be easier. Oh and if you are running a 32bit OS on 64bit system follow the CLFS book, or you will get yelled at by the irc support.

July 4th, 2008, 03:20 AM
I recommend Arch as well. The package management cannot be beat, and you can have your system exactly as you like it. I'd recommend Slackware as well. I'd like to be using it, but I couldn't get it to work with my resolution for some reason. Slackware has a pretty awesome installer.

July 4th, 2008, 07:38 AM
Just installed Arch - I like it a lot so far. pacman is pretty sweet. Keep the suggestions coming!