windows migrant: choosing linux distribution

Marko Vojinovic vvmarko at gmail.com
Wed Nov 2 22:52:35 UTC 2011


On Wednesday 02 November 2011 12:37:15 Linux Tyro wrote:
> i am new in this world of linux. getting confused seeing a lot of linux
> distro. I just want to use linux distro to learn linux from the scratch
> level. please suggest me if fedora is the best place to start with. other
> details are as follows:

In addition to what others have said, let me just add a few remarks:

(1) WELCOME to the Linux community! :-) You'll find a lot of friendly folks 
around here, who are in general willing to help you learn and sort out any 
issues you may have with Linux (and Fedora in particular).

(2) Don't hesitate to ask for help. This mailing list is a great resource of 
information and is followed by people who are seasoned linux users, as well as 
freshmen. That said, don't get offended by some nervous people telling you to 
"do your homework", point you to lmgtfy.com, and such. We have all been 
beginners once, and those who cannot tolerate beginner's questions should not 
be taken too seriously. ;-)

(3) It's actually a good idea to do your own research before asking a question 
here. Look up the topic in google, search the mailing list archives, read a 
man page (those are the "instruction manuals" for a whole bunch of stuff in 
Linux), etc. Expect a learning curve, regardless of the distro you choose. 
Some things that are trivial in Windows (like, play mp3 music) are quite 
nontrivial in Fedora (only the first time you try it, of course), and vice 
versa. The difference between Windows and Linux is not just the security, names 
and price. Migrating to Linux means that you need to change your way of 
*thinking* about how a computer can or should be used.

For example, the idea of graphical user interface (a GUI) in Linux is just a 
commodity that is sometimes frowned upon. In contrast to Windows, where GUI is 
the *only* user interface available, in Linux mostly everything can be done on 
the command line (the CLI, or shell prompt, or console, or...). Learning to 
use it is one of the best ways to learn Linux. In Windows the "MS-DOS Prompt" 
is basically a thing of ancient history, and has no serious function in the 
system. This is just one of the *conceptual* differences you are about to 
encounter. Filesystem permissions and "don't log in as root" is another. If 
you have used only Windows so far, your complete knowledge about computers is 
about to be challenged, and you should expect that and embrace it.

Finally, the choice of actual distro to start learning is quite immaterial. 
Any will do. What you should plan, however, is the strategy to stick to some 
distro for a while (say, 6 months), and then switch to another, in order to 
compare and learn what is the same and what is distro-specific. It doesn't 
really matter where you start from... ;-)

HTH, :-)
Marko




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