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View Full Version : SUSE Linux - getting to know you


Otter
04-27-2005, 12:22 PM
I'm a Linux newbie and by newbie I mean, I couldn't get Firefox to load on my SuSE Linux Platform.

I thought I could get away with just hacking through it because I'm familar with several OS's and have years of IS experience but I've officially decided to swallow my pride and pull over and ask for direcetions.

Anyone have any good resources on Linux for beginners? Specifically SuSE Linux?

Online BBs, websites, publications, insightful posts.

Simplex3
04-27-2005, 12:40 PM
Uh, how did you try to install Firefox and what version of Suse? If you're running 9.2 or up there are packages available straight from Suse that will work every time.

Otter
04-27-2005, 01:12 PM
Uh, how did you try to install Firefox and what version of Suse? If you're running 9.2 or up there are packages available straight from Suse that will work every time.
That's a nice bandaid for the Firefox problem but doesn't help out with the underlying issue that I don't understand the OS well enough to troubleshoot a common problem.

I was looking for some 'Linux for Beginners' direction to help muddle through the Google search or avoid starting out with the 'Linux for Dummies' publication.

There 'where', 'who' and 'how' of: file structures, hardware interaction, driver storage, system data, user data...that kinda stuff.

Simplex3
04-27-2005, 01:28 PM
Ahh. Well, first you should use something other than Suse if you want to be able to tinker with the config files. Yast has a nasty habit of overwritting your changes. The Suse user's guide is by far the best way to learn about Suse, it's the only place (pretty much) that covers Yast. Just open the KDE menu then click "SUSE Help Center".

linuxquestions.org has a dedicated Suse forum, that's a good place to pop in some questions. I would also try out some irc channels (use xchat, it's far better than the stock KDE irc client).

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/

If you're really trying to understand Linux and not just how to use it as a desktop then go to Gentoo, Debian, or Slackware. They don't provide any config tools which will mean that you're going to have to find and edit the config files yourself. As far as what files go where, you're staring down a frustrating path there. There is a standard but it isn't strictly followed by anyone that I know of. Here are some general rules of thumb:
/bin : tools and apps
/boot : files needed to boot your system (grub, etc)
/dev : device nodes. These are your vaious pieces of hardware.
/etc : configuration files
/home : user's home directories (except root)
/lib : various shared libraries
/media : A Suse directory for removable media mount points
/mnt : Typical place that things are mounted
/opt : Application settings
/proc : info about processes that are running, not actually on a disk.
/root : home dir for the root user
/sbin : like /bin only these aren't meant to be run by users directly
/srv : Suse specific dir for holding web, ftp, etc server directories
/sys : system related files.
/tmp : temporary files
/usr : commands, libs, man pages, etc
/var : Files that change as the system runs, ie log files (/var/log)

Otter
04-27-2005, 02:16 PM
Ahh. Well, first you should use something other than Suse if you want to be able to tinker with the config files. Yast has a nasty habit of overwritting your changes. The Suse user's guide is by far the best way to learn about Suse, it's the only place (pretty much) that covers Yast. Just open the KDE menu then click "SUSE Help Center".

linuxquestions.org has a dedicated Suse forum, that's a good place to pop in some questions. I would also try out some irc channels (use xchat, it's far better than the stock KDE irc client).

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/

If you're really trying to understand Linux and not just how to use it as a desktop then go to Gentoo, Debian, or Slackware. They don't provide any config tools which will mean that you're going to have to find and edit the config files yourself. As far as what files go where, you're staring down a frustrating path there. There is a standard but it isn't strictly followed by anyone that I know of. Here are some general rules of thumb:
/bin : tools and apps
/boot : files needed to boot your system (grub, etc)
/dev : device nodes. These are your vaious pieces of hardware.
/etc : configuration files
/home : user's home directories (except root)
/lib : various shared libraries
/media : A Suse directory for removable media mount points
/mnt : Typical place that things are mounted
/opt : Application settings
/proc : info about processes that are running, not actually on a disk.
/root : home dir for the root user
/sbin : like /bin only these aren't meant to be run by users directly
/srv : Suse specific dir for holding web, ftp, etc server directories
/sys : system related files.
/tmp : temporary files
/usr : commands, libs, man pages, etc
/var : Files that change as the system runs, ie log files (/var/log)

Very cool, that's more along the lines of where I was looking. It's a start which puts me in a better position that I was earlier. I'm sure you'll see more question coming your way.

Thank you very much.

Otter
04-27-2005, 03:31 PM
Found this site as well, looks like there may be some braintrust lingering around:

http://forums.suselinuxsupport.de/

KC Jones
04-28-2005, 06:56 AM
Here's another site for you:

http://www.justlinux.com/

You might also consider one of the 'dummies' books. Of the 3 or 4 books I bought to help me understand and become more proficient with *nix, the "Red Hat Linux All in One Desk Reference for Dummies" was the best by far. You have to put up with certain things being specific to Redhat and an older version at that, but in terms of learning the file system, commonly used config files, and commands it was great. It seemed to perfectly strike the balance between babying a newb and understanding that the audience might also be a proficient IT user in general. Who knows, perhaps the author (Naba Barkakati) has something more recent geared towards Suse.

For non trivial usage there is a steep learning curve, but hopefully you will enjoy the learning process and the end results enough for it to have been worth it. You've probably invested a huge amount of time learning your way around windows (rather your concious of it or not), and there's no true shortcut for learning a different OS.

KC Jones
04-29-2005, 07:35 AM
Speaking of Suse, does anyone know of a good torrent for 9.3 pro?

I found a couple last night and I'm currently working on this one: http://www.interknet.net/bt/?torrent=suse93 However I'm only 15% done and it's indicating another 3 days to complete. :( I'm uploading at 4 times the rate I'm downloading right now.

Simplex3
04-29-2005, 08:09 AM
http://w1.isohunt.com/torrents.php?ihq=suse+9.3&ext=&op=and

I found the torrent I used on that site, but for the life of me I can't remember which one it was.

About a week and a half ago there were two, one that moved really fast but wouldn't complete and one that moved pretty good and did complete in under a day.

Otter
04-29-2005, 09:11 AM
If you go to the forums and in the "install / boot" section from the site in post #6 you'll read alot of problems people are having with 9.3.

I'm not even thinking of upgrading till I get a better grasp on things but just somthing you may want to look into to make things easier on yourself.

Simplex3
04-29-2005, 09:20 AM
I have 9.3 on both my laptop and my workstation, I've had nothing but great luck.

The one quirk I've run into is that for some reason it wants to change the default window manager to twm and the display manger to something else, but that's easily cured.

I can also point you guys to some Yast sources that will let you get DVD's playing, wmv files over the web through Kaffeine (or any other xine player), etc.

KC Jones
04-29-2005, 08:45 PM
heh - looks like the author I mentioned above is working on a version of 'Dummies' for Suse 9.3

http://ostg.pricegrabber.com/search_getprod.php?isbn=0764596152&nrd=1