By Clyde E. Boom

When you are a new user needing to get Linux training, it is often confusing to decide what to focus on.

Should you learn how to use Linux for just one distribution (a.k.a. version, distro)?

Should you focus on learning GUI utilities – or should you learn Linux commands for doing system administration?

Linux Commands Training Tips: The Linux System Administration concepts and commands covered here apply to ALL Linux distros, including: Red Hat, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Slackware, Debian, Fedora, SUSE and openSUSE.

3 Methods of Linux System Administration and Why Using Linux Commands is the Best Method

1. Using Linux GUI utilities for System Administration

Many Linux distributions have “point-and-click” GUI (graphical user interface) utilities that allow you to do common and popular tasks, like manage the file system, create Linux users, and manage user and group permissions.

However, these GUI utilities are usually specific to a single Linux distribution.

So, learning how to use a Linux GUI in one distro is basically useless if you have to use a different one later, or if you’re working in an environment with multiple Linux distributions.

Linux Training Tips: To run a GUI utility, you need to have a desktop installed and sometimes one isn’t installed on a Linux server because it isn’t needed. In addition to this, the Linux system administration pros only use commands because GUI utilities are too slow to run and time-consuming to use.

2. Doing Linux System Administration Tasks with Commands that are Specific to a Distribution

The major (popular) Linux distributions all have several commands that are specific to that single distribution. In other words, for each popular distro, there are several commands that are specific that just that version.

For example, a Linux distribution will likely have a command that is used to manage partitions (disk space) and this command is specific to that distribution.

Learning how to use commands that are only available on a single distribution is a huge waste of time – if there is an equivalent GNU / Linux command – and there almost always is.

For example, the Linux fdisk command is a GNU command that is used to manage the partitions on a system and this command exists on all distributions.

So, rather than learn a command that is specific to a single Linux distribution, learn the GNU commands because these commands are common to all distributions.

3. Using Linux Commands that are Common to All Distributions – The GNU Commands

The GNU commands are the most popular Linux commands – and they are common to all distributions.

Linux Training Tips: Linux distributions are rising and falling in popularity all the time.

If you just learn how to use Linux by running the GUI utilities in one distro, and then you stop using that distro, then you have to learn all the GUI utilities of the next distro. If you learn how to use commands, then you learn how to use Linux for all distros!

How can you tell which commands are the GNU / Linux commands?

Get an excellent set of videos that shows you the popular GNU commands and then try these Linux commands yourself. Then you can learn Linux the easy way – by watching it and then working with it!

And now I would like to offer you free access to my Linux Commands Training Mini-Course, a 7 Lesson, Daily Mini-Course, including the free Linux Commands ebook and Linux audio podcasts – showing you how to get started learning how to use Linux commands.

You can get your instant access at: http://www.LinuxCommandsTrainingCourse.com

From Clyde Boom – The Easy Linux Training Guy – Easy, self-paced Linux training – In Plain English!

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Linux Distro and Desktop – The More the Merrier, Right?
By Ashok Ramachandran

Isn’t it great that the open source world gives you a lot of choices? When it comes to Linux distributions, shortly known tux64x64as distros, there are hundreds of them. Once you have selected a distro, you are up against a decision regarding the desktop. You need to know enough about the pros and cons of these choices so that you can pick the one that is right for you.

Let us briefly revisit the requirements for a successful migration.

You have to meet three requirements before installing Linux on your home PC:

  1. You have identified a demonstrable benefit you can gain by migrating to Linux
  2. You have done your prep work
  3. You have realistic expectations

By following these three steps, you will maximize your chances of success.

However, there is a mind boggling variety of Linux distros available.

Let us try and shortlist the Linux distros based on the following five criteria:

  1. Is it backed by a commercial vendor?
  2. Is desktop Linux for home a stated focus area for this vendor?
  3. Is a retail product available in the form of a CD/DVD?
  4. Are branded PC vendors shipping this distro pre-installed?
  5. Is paid support available, if needed?

We find that there are only two Linux distros that meet these five qualifications largely – Ubuntu and SUSE Linux.



  • Sponsored by Canonical.
  • You can download it free, buy it on DVD from Amazon or get a free CD shipped (takes 6 to 10 weeks).
  • Starter support for Ubuntu Desktop Edition is available for one year at $ 54.99 (as of Sept 2009).
  • Security update is available for 18 months from release.



  • Sponsored by Novell.
  • You can download it free, buy it on DVD from Amazon.
  • You can buy a package from Novell consisting of a DVD with printed manual and 90-Day installation support (by phone or e-mail) for $59.95 (as of Sept 2009).
  • Security update is available for 2 years from release.

Can I buy Linux pre-installed from a branded PC vendor? Dell offers PCs for the home and home office market pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux. HP and MSI offer PCs with Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop pre-installed. Asus offers notebooks with Xandros Linux pre-installed. Acer offers notebooks with Linpus Linux.

Can I get Linux pre-installed from another vendor? Zareason, Berkley, CA and System76, Denver, CO sell Ubuntu Linux desktops and laptops.

Which desktop? Though there are other options available, we will restrict our selection to the two leading desktops, namely GNOME and KDE.



  • GNOME is a very mature and stable desktop.
  • The GNOME project has well defined human interface guidelines to make the desktop and applications easy to use. Most GNOME applications follow these guidelines, resulting in common usability between applications.
  • GNOME doesn’t provide a graphical interface for some of the settings. Users will have to use the command line interface for these.



  • KDE is also a very mature desktop. However, KDE 4 was completely rewritten and so had some issues. The recent 4.3 version seems to be more stable.
  • KDE is also better for new users switching from Windows, and relies less on the command line interface.
  • Unfortunately, KDE does not use Firefox as the default web browser or OpenOffice as the default office suite. You will have to install Firefox and OpenOffice subsequently.

If you are planning to use an older machine and just require stability and an uncluttered approach then you can go with GNOME. However, if you have a newer machine, looking for a desktop closer to Windows and avoid the command line interface, then KDE is your best bet.

Ashok shows home PC users how to successfully migrate to Linux. He writes articles applying Product Management concepts to open source software and related topics.

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Beginners Under Gnu – Linux? There Are Five Errors to Be Avoided
By Didier Pradel

To give the desire for testing linux so that it is one day your operating system, is one of the objectives of this site. The new users of GNU/Linux often make the same errors when they test GNU/Linux for the first time. The reasons of these errors are numerous: because GNU/Linux is a different OS; because Windows gives bad habits; because the user chooses the bad distribution and much of other possibilities. Here some solutions with five current problems under GNU/Linux.

1- To choose its distribution:

There is much opinion on the GNU/Linux distribution with which you will have to start, and the majority are not relevant.

After having to seek, to study, read the opinions of users, with the wire of time, on many distributions, two points arise:

the first: GNU/Linux Bureau is a question of taste,

the second: not a distribution does not join together the whole of the best options.

For start with GNU/Linux, it is to advise to choose among the following distributions, without small-sol-figure02-icon-montageorder:

Professional SUSE and, in the future, openSUSE

Linspire Xandros

Fedora Core

Mandriva (in the past Mandrake)


2- Is Linux free?

Some claim that all that is related to Linux is free. A good software deserves that one pays for him it is obvious, but the price must be reasonable the majority of the commercial distributions GNU/Linux for the office costs less than $100 and is really very rich. The term distribution meaning that a great number of software are gathered they also contain thousands of applications for the office. The commercial distributions GNU/Linux include word processing softwares, P2P, spreadsheet, presentation on transparency, edition file sharing of video, binary compatibility with Windows, virtual machine, reading of DVD, Web server, Web navigator, and much of others.

3- The partitions:

With Windows, you are accustomed to only one partition on your hard disk. It contains the operating system, the applications, the data, and a great space for your file of Windows exchange (the software uses space on the hard disk when the read-write memory is not enough any more). GNU/Linux functions differently. In order to obtain the best performances of the system, the file of exchange is on a separate partition. If you have 512 MB or 1GB of read-write memory the size the partition of exchange (swap) should not be lower than 512 MB, and not lower than 1GB if you have less than 512 MB of read-write memory.

It is useless to make a larger partition if you use your machine only for office automation applications. With this solution you can safeguard the remainder of your personal and software data on a second partition. It is a good solution if you never change hard disk or operating system. But if you wish to preserve your data and the preferences of the applications which you use, it is to better do two other partitions for the operating system, the other for your data and your adjustments. that thus gives 1 partition root “/”, 2 partition “/home”. 3 swap the size depends on the number of software which you install, but 20 GB are more than sufficient for the partition root “/”root, the largest part of your disc must be to hold has” /home “, because it is there that you will store images, films, and other large files. It is wise to give 75% of the total disk space to the repertory /home, the majority of the GNU/Linux distributions can make the partitions for you, but they have all various ideas on the number of partitions to create and their size. you must decide if you want to change the default values. You can preserve your Windows partition and thanks to the dual-boot to choose to start your computer either under Windows or under GNU/Linux. You must install Windows in first to make only one partition but not too large not to obstruct the installation of GNU/Linux after. And if you want to exchange files between the Windows partition and the GNU/Linux partition, use the filing system FAT32 to format your Windows partition (Window does not read the partition linux and linux does not read partitions NTFS whereas it can read and write easily on a system FAT32).

4- The Permissions:

With Windows, you are in general either an administrator, or a user with the rights of administrator. With GNU/Linux, you are in general connect as a user to restricted access, and you pass as a root (i.e. administrator under Windows) when you must change important parameters of the system or regulate the hardware configuration or add or remove a program. This organization based on the permissions makes your system protected and one is accustomed quickly, although that is strange at the beginning.

5- To give up with the first problems:

GNU/linux is not Windows thus you enter a new world with new rules. To learn has to evolve/move in this new world will take time, it is normal. It will be necessary to learn from new software, a new interface, with a new manner of making. but once passed this stage hardest is made. The community the forums are sources of support as well as the site of your distribution if you chose a distribution commercial. To learn an operating system is a challenge. Essayer Linux is not in fact so hard and a thing is sure in any case: more you are frustrated with Windows and its problems, more the transition to GNU/Linux will be easy. Good luck! Those which want to install linux on a laptop will find here The linux laptop support a list of the laptop on which that was already done.

Didier Pradel is the webmaster of laptop support and The linux laptop support where you can find many useful informations, and help for your lovely laptop.

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