Mike Chirico on 7 Apr 2008 10:37:26 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Suggested reading

On Mon, Apr 07, 2008 at 10:34:53AM -0400, Gabriel Sean Farrell wrote:
> On Sat, Apr 05, 2008 at 07:22:33PM -0400, Mike Chirico wrote:
> > In my opinion, there are three general types of Linux users.
> The categories you listed may describe some portion of Linux users, but
> certainly not all of them.  I'm a web developer (mainly Python), but I
> admin my own server for my web site, mailing lists, etc., and I've
> installed Debian on more machines than I can remember just to see if I
> could get it running in various environments.  I'm currently in the
> middle of my first LFS (Linux From Scratch) install, and learning a lot.

For me busybox (http://www.busybox.net/), had advantages over LFS. I
was able to get a very small system (13 M) up and running fairly
quickly off of a CD ROM (http://souptonuts.sourceforge.net/cdrom.htm).
Then, packages could be added as needed. From what I remember from
LFS, bash had a lot of library requirements that first needed to be
compiled and installed.

> Also, there's my father, mother, sister, and a few friends who are Linux
> users (I'll take some of the credit there), but they don't want to be
> sysadmins, devs, or geeks.  Nor should they need to be, as long as
> there's enough of us around to help with upgrades, web sites, and the
> continuing betterment of free software.

Agreed. I certainly didn't want to put anyone down. But, I did want to
suggest, because I'm guilty of falling in the trap myself, that there
are a lot of interesting areas to be explored with Linux. For example
SELinux (http://www.tresys.com/selinux.html).  Which seems to cross
camps (System Admin) for understanding applications and how they are
used (say Postfix), plus some development experience on on what files,
libraries, sockets and other IPCs are created. Plus, I think some of
the tools could be more user friendly.

It seems that newcomers sometimes get frustrated with Linux because it
doesn't do what they want it to do. Like a paint brush, it isn't going
to paint the painting. To compound the problem outsiders may caution them
about going over to the geek side. 

I don't think the label geek is helpful; but, you get more out of it
if you go beyond just being a user to trying to create something with
quality. ("Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance"
"Arrowsmith" http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200131.txt )

Anyway, the original question was for a book to learn Linux. But, it's
like asking what's the best book to learn religion, which I think
others were trying to explain that learning about Linux is more than
just reading a book. Perhaps, to do it justice, it's also a self
discover processes?


Mike Chirico

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