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Old 12-18-2012, 10:52 PM  
kcfanXIII kcfanXIII is offline
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Any Linux users here?

Alright, so I'm an IT student right now and we're working with virtual machines, using windows 7. We're getting into Linux later this quarter, and I have no experience with it. I'd like to set up a VM and tinker with it before we get into class with it. I know this forum is crawling with techies, so I ask you Chiefsplanet, what would be the best version for someone to get their feet wet with Linux?
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:09 PM   #2
pr_capone pr_capone is offline
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Mint is probably your best bet.

http://linuxmint.com/

I used it for a bit but ditched the entire Linux experience... just isn't for me.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:21 PM   #3
kcfanXIII kcfanXIII is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pr_capone View Post
Mint is probably your best bet.

http://linuxmint.com/

I used it for a bit but ditched the entire Linux experience... just isn't for me.
i'm not sure how i'll like it. i've been a windows user my entire life, and i hate adapting....
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:25 PM   #4
Pilsner Pilsner is offline
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+1 for CentOS.

http://www.centos.org/

It's enterprise level, it's server, and it's free. It's based on RHEL, which is a very common distribution for a range of servers. If you're learning linux for IT reasons, I imagine you're going to be learning on RHEL.

OpenSUSE is another option if you're interested in working with client side stuff, though I don't see this as particularly applicable as any workstation in production that you're going to be dealing with is almost certainly going to be some strain of Windows.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcfanXIII View Post
i'm not sure how i'll like it. i've been a windows user my entire life, and i hate adapting....
If you're looking something a little more similar to your experience with Windows, I'd suggest Ubuntu.

It's really hard to go wrong and it's a great place to start. If you're just looking to tinker a bit, I'd start there actually.

http://www.ubuntu.com/
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:31 PM   #6
kcfanXIII kcfanXIII is offline
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RHEL?
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:35 PM   #7
Pilsner Pilsner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcfanXIII View Post
RHEL?
Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Sorry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux
http://www.redhat.com/products/enterprise-linux/

Basically it's a server distribution aimed at corporations, academic campuses, etc.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:58 PM   #8
kcfanXIII kcfanXIII is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilsner View Post
Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Sorry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux
http://www.redhat.com/products/enterprise-linux/

Basically it's a server distribution aimed at corporations, academic campuses, etc.
i have heard that name thrown around. gonna give mint and ubuntu a try for now.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:05 AM   #9
QuikSsurfer QuikSsurfer is offline
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If you're learning for work and will be managing servers and other objects, you will be happy you learned on redhat.
After you're comfortable, you can move on to fun flavors like CrunchBANG and other very light, very manageable, very fun to use flavors.
Toss a flavor like Ubuntu or Mint on an old laptop or desktop laying around the house for a good desktop experience.
Just google all this. And get ready for some command line action.

And welcome
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:16 AM   #10
kcfanXIII kcfanXIII is offline
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see, this is why i came here to ask lol. I'm still a student, in my second quarter of a 19 month program. so i've got some time to figure all this out.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcfanXIII View Post
i have heard that name thrown around. gonna give mint and ubuntu a try for now.
Those are fine if you want to learn them from an end user perspective since they have well developed GUIs and are fairly user friendly but from a true IT knowledge perspective... not a good choice at all.

Pilsner had the best advice, RHEL, SUSE or CentOS... also you may want to look at Debian. Any of those 4 are great to learn on.

Here is the main issue... once you install it, you need to actually use it. Yes, Linux can be used as a desktop OS but learning it from that perspective is almost completely a waste of time. Your best bet is to set it up with various web servers, php, python, databases, mail, ftp, etc... and learn it from that end.

Learn how to set all of those up in various ways then learn how to manage the server after setup (migrating servers, what happens if your file system gets full, etc etc) .. do all of that and you will be WELL on your way.

AND of course, if you hit any snags, come here and start a thread asking questions... plenty of us here will help out.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:39 AM   #12
kcfanXIII kcfanXIII is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinChief View Post
Those are fine if you want to learn them from an end user perspective since they have well developed GUIs and are fairly user friendly but from a true IT knowledge perspective... not a good choice at all.

Pilsner had the best advice, RHEL, SUSE or CentOS... also you may want to look at Debian. Any of those 4 are great to learn on.

Here is the main issue... once you install it, you need to actually use it. Yes, Linux can be used as a desktop OS but learning it from that perspective is almost completely a waste of time. Your best bet is to set it up with various web servers, php, python, databases, mail, ftp, etc... and learn it from that end.

Learn how to set all of those up in various ways then learn how to manage the server after setup (migrating servers, what happens if your file system gets full, etc etc) .. do all of that and you will be WELL on your way.

AND of course, if you hit any snags, come here and start a thread asking questions... plenty of us here will help out.
i was thinking about just using this thread as kinda a catch all when i run into problems. figured chiefsplanet was too valuable of a resource to pass on. thanks for the advice everyone, i'm sure i'll need more over the next year and a half.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:53 AM   #13
Saulbadguy Saulbadguy is offline
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:10 AM   #14
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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I see people have already recommended RHEL and CentOS. Those are the two most common Linux VMs being deployed in enterprise clouds right now.

I use Xubuntu (an Ubuntu distro that uses XFCE instead of Gnome/KDE) and Fedora. Fedora is basically the non-enterprise build of Red Hat.

I wouldn't recommend Mint since it, as AustinChief said, is basically a pre-packaged GUI aimed at user-friendliness. Not a great learning platform as it hides much of the "guts".
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:32 AM   #15
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I would recommend going with Ubuntu, which is a Debian derived flavor of Linux. If you are learning Linux at all, it will likely be primarily command line based.

Fair warning, once you use a proper OS with a unix like shell, you'll find Windows much less powerful.

There is a great screencast from Peepcode covering the basics of the command line and how the directory structures work. Understanding how the systems are structured will help make sure that you can safely update the OS without interfering with the code that you've either compiled or written yourself.

Another cool resource is command line fu for really cool shortcuts and commands that will make your life easier (sudo !! is my favorite).

Also since you're running in VMWare, remember that snapshots are nice, but not a substitute for backups.

While the package manager in Ubuntu is nice, you also ought to try to compile some of software on your own. I always compile nmap from scratch. You also might try Alpine, which can be configured as an imap client to connect to gmail of all things.

Personally I've used Slackware and numerous versions of Ubuntu. GUIs for Linux kind of suck, but if you've used Windows you're used to that. I run the latest long term support version of Ubuntu in a VM for some server based stuff and use Back|Track when I need weapons. It's also Ubuntu based.
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