Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Linux guide I wrote a while back

Hey guys,
Possibly not entirely WoW-related I know, but this was a little guide I threw together prolly a year or two back to help someone learn about Linux from the ground up. I'm aware that this won't be for everyone, but some of you might be interested. This doesn't explicitly mention setting up WoW in Linux, no...but by the time you've gone through the six steps here, you'll know that much about Linux anywayz that you'll most likely be able to figure it out on your own. If you can't, ask me. :)

This also might take a couple of weeks for you to go through, a bit at a time. Another reason why you might want to look at it is because Vista is pretty much a complete flop. (As explained here by someone who's apparently a fairly hard core Microsoft fan) I'm still primarily with XP myself, but either Linux or FreeBSD will almost certainly be my next OS once XP hits end of life. Anywayz...here's the guide. :)

1. First of all, grab Knoppix, burn it to a CD, and spend a few days (or a few weeks, whatever you feel comfortable with) playing with it. Unless you go into the install option, the base CD doesn't install anything to the hard drive, so you can't harm anything. For the purposes of these exercises, you might want to just run from the CD for a while and do them that way. This is a completely safe, non-intimidating way for you to initially get your feet wet.

2. While you're exploring Knoppix, there are a few things to read which will really help you. This [tldp.org] will give you a very good
introduction to Linux, in terms of a little history of the system, how to begin using it, and how some basic things work. Here [tldp.org] is another in-depth document about using Linux, leading on from the previous one.

3. Once you've gone through those two, (take as much time as you need) this [tldp.org], written by the same
man as the introduction, will introduce you to the Bash shell, the textual command interpreter where as a sysadmin in
particular you'll likely be spending a lot of your time. This will ease you into scripting in what I think will be a very
non-intimidating way. You will be able to try out all of these exercises with the Knoppix CD, and again, because the CD
doesn't install anything to the hard drive, you needn't worry about destroying your existing system's contents while you
learn. This [tldp.org] is another book on Bash
scripting which to a degree follows on from that one, and will go into somewhat greater depth. Both of these should lead to
you feeling very comfortable writing shell scripts and moving around to a degree on the system.

4. Here [tldp.org] is where we get
to some meat. This document goes into compiling and installing generic Linux/UNIX software, and offers some basic
applications and examples. Once you've gone through this, coupled with the material above, you should now have sufficient understanding to be able to compile and install at least a basic application yourself.

5. The Pocket Linux Guide will take you step by step through the process of learning to make a small, bootable Linux system on two floppy disks.

Although compiling a basic custom kernel is part of this process, the Guide contains a link to another document which
explains very clearly how to do this, and given the background you will have received from the previous documents, this
should not be difficult.

6. Once you have completed the Pocket Linux Guide, you will then be ready to proceed to this [linuxfromscratch.org] site, which is the homepage of the Linux From Scratch Project. Here you will be able to read an HTML-formatted book which will give you the necessary information to successfully build an entire base Linux system of your own, and a more pure boot CD than Knoppix to initially build it upon. The Linux From Scratch Project also has a sequel book, Beyond Linux From Scratch, which describes how to install, among other things, a full graphical user interface with the X Windows system.

7. After you have completed all of this, although it is not crucial, I thoroughly recommend reading this [catb.org] book during idle moments. (It's still a good mealtime accompaniment for me) It will give you a detailed knowledge of the history and philosophy behind the UNIX operating system in general, which I am sure you will find enormously useful.


Pike said...

Posts about Linux are always enjoyable.

I might have to make a post in my own blog about how I got WoW set up.

Mirshalak said...

That'd be good, Pike :)

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