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The Easiest Linux Guide You'll Ever Read

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By Scott M. Morris

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Posted: 3 Aug 2006
 

The Easiest Linux Guide You'll Ever Read - An Introduction to Linux for Windows Users
by Scott Morris

Contents

  • Who should read this book
  • An introduction before we start
  • Things to know about Linux
  • Getting Help and Learning More
  • How do I get Linux?
  • Installing SUSE Linux
  • Introduction to Users and Groups
  • Get to Know Your Desktop
  • Installing Applications
  • Applications
  • So you want to use the command line?
  • Conclusion

Here's an excerpt:

Who should read this book

This book is geared towards Windows users who want to take a look at Linux. Are you interested in trying Linux on your computer? If so, you have found the perfect book. In this book, I will give you a gentle introduction into using Linux, and help you ease into it. The only technical skills you should have include browsing the Internet and downloading files. It will help if you have burned your own CDs before, but such skills are not required. If you have a computer geek handy, that also couldn't hurt. The purpose of this book is to make it easy to try the Linux operating system, particularly for people who are used to Microsoft Windows. Even if you only use your Windows computer for checking email and surfing the Internet, this book was written just for you.

Having used Windows myself for nearly 15 years, I was very used to that platform. I didn't realize how used to it I was until I tried to use something else. As an illustration of what I mean, let's say that you download Linux, and eventually figure out how to download Linux. Even when you finally do get it installed, it is somewhat of a bitter-sweet triumph. On the one hand, you feel good about having successfully gotten that far.

On the other hand, after you have installed it, you sit there, staring blankly at your new desktop wondering what in the world to do next. You may feel somewhat lost. You have heard how wonderful Linux is, but don't know why, or how to make it perform all the impressive tricks. In many cases, you don't even know what those tricks are (at least I didn't when I first started).

If you are considering trying out Linux on your desktop, but have some anxiety about learning everything, from this point on, you have no need to worry. We will take it one step at a time. The top priority of this book is to make everything as easy to learn as possible. I am going to give as much background and explanation as I can.

My goal is that you understand the purpose and concepts involved with each step that we take. I want to go over the why as well as the what. The more you understand, the better your foundation will be. A good, strong foundation provides a solid base upon which you can build as you learn more. This helps you learn more efficiently, and retain more of what you learn in the future.

Before we try and get Linux to install it, we will discuss some fundamental topics. When you are switching from Windows to Linux, there are some expectations that you will need to change. You are going to be using a brand new platform. You cannot assume that the new platform to be equivalent in all aspects to the old one.

To begin with, we will mold your expectations. If you know what to plan on, your experience will be more pleasant. In other words, there is a mental shift that will take place as well as you switch platforms from Windows to Linux. I want to make that shift as easy and pleasant as possible for you.

If all goes well, this introduction will be painless. At very least, I hope to make the migration process as enjoyable and easy for you as I can.

Your experience will gradually increase as we explore the various aspects of the Linux operating system. As this occurs, you will have questions. You will want to learn more about different things. If, heaven forbid, something goes wrong with your system, you may wish to seek help. You may want to interact with other Linux enthusiasts. You may even wish to share what you have learned with others.

There is almost an endless list of online resources and communities that will address all of these issues and plenty more. I will share with you many great resources that you can use to learn more about Linux. Hopefully, I will be able to help you know where to go for each of the different types of help or information that you seek. This way, if you have a question that I do not address here, you will know where you can find your answer.

Download the book here (pdf format)

Read Scott's blog entry about the book here


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