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OESF Portables Forum > Archived Forums > Zaurus General Forums > Desktop Operating Systems Issues > Linux Issues

Be gentle with me here, I know it's borderline sacrilige but I've been a Zaurus owner for a year and a half now. (Started with a 5500 and recently upgraded to a 6000.) I've learned a bunch and know my way around the Z fairly well, (flashing, kernel updates, successfully gotten GPS, Wireless, Ethernet, Modem, etc. working just fine), but the honest truth is; a year and a half later and I'm still basically Linux-ignorant.

I've survived by following others directions step by step but have never really developed a good understanding of Linux in general. (I don't even know how to make a sym-link) Several years ago I dabbled around with Linux-Mandrake and managed to get a bunch of good games set up and working including the then just released Quake3 and also Unreal Tournament and I even bought every game released by Loki games at the time. I bought and installed Word Perfect Office 2000 for Linux so between it and the games Linux met all my wants and needs at the time. Even though I ended up with a very functional system it was all very easy and everything was user friendly and installed without much difficulty. (Ok Quake3 and UT were a friggin' beast but I managed it...barely.) As time went by I became addicted to several games that would only run on Windows and was eventually lured away from Linux again.

My SL-6000L has changed my life, the way I compute, and my outlook on OS's. (Cheesy line but completely true.) I want to finally give the effort and time to learning Linux in depth. More specifically I want to learn about Debian's Linux distribution. I've been told that it's structure is different from Red Hat/Mandrake as well as many other things. My reason's are two-fold, I not only want to run Debian/Xqt on my 6000 but I also want to run debian on one of my Desktops. The fact that the Zaurii in general are built on Debian's framework seals the deal.

I'd be VERY thankful if you would take a moment out and suggest good learning resources and materials for a Linux newbie wanting to learn Debian inside and out but from the ground up. I will need to learn to crawl before I can walk and walk before I can run so if needed please suggest materials for beginning, medium, and advanced levels of learning. I'm open to any media type- books, links, manuals, CD or other online resources etc. I do not mind paying for books etc. as I intend to make this a serious investment in my personal learning and computing future.

Thank you VERY much in advance for your help!

Neuroshock, posting the same thread in different forums is considered unpolite, you shouldn't do that. Also, that topic has been discussed before, please search the forums.

Apart from that, my hint is that you should get used to reading manpages and searching the web for available docs. There are quite some introductions (I'm sure someone else will recommend something good), but you'll definitely get to the point where you have to skim through manpages and forums to get to the solution. Also, look at info, which is in the same spirit as man, but has more in-depth-information for many programms.


You are most certainly correct about the multiple posting. Unfortunately I realized after posting here first that since this was not an issue of difficulty between the Zaurus and it's functionality while using a Linux OS on the desktop that I had posted in the wrong forum. After searching for a more accurate forum I was forced to settle upon the "General" forum as my topic clearly did not fit elsewhere. Upon doing so I sent a PM to the Moderator asking him to please delete this misplaced post. Since he has not done so I will resend the request to him. Please accept my most sincere apologies if I have offended anyone with this misplaced post. I will be more careful in the future.

You are also correct that the topic in general has been addressed before but after reading every thread I was able to turn up, I found that while I discovered several generic linux "newbie" introduction material sources they were almost all either written for Red Hat or Slackware based distributions, but were largely unhelpful to me because, (as I indicated in my original post), I am trying to find material specifically dealing with Debian. While basic syntax and some concepts are the same, the file system structure, Debians package management system, etc. are totally different. So I often found myself following directions that didn't apply, or trying to edit config files that were not where they were said to be. That may seem like a very small problem to those who are fluent in Linux in general and Debian specifically but to someone struggling at the entryway they are insurmountable roadblocks. So when I made my post I tried to express that while I had some background with Mandrake etc. that I was having difficulty and needing instructional material from the Debian perspective.

I'm sure you are very correct about searching for docs and reading man pages. Once I got through the steep learning curve that my original 5500 posed, picking bits and pieces out of forums was how I managed to get along as well as I have, I'm sure when I get to that level I will do that exact thing with the Debian distribution. First I've got to learn enough of the basics to "get to the point" where that will be useful to me, right now it's all greek. This is exactly why I made this post to begin with- I needed to get past first base and had failed in finding the information myself.

So at the moment I'm stalled a bit still waiting and hoping "someone else will recommend something good." sad.gif

I'm sure it appeared that I was someone with little respect for protocol and who instead of trying to help himself find answers decided to stand around with his hand out expecting others to bring those answers to him. If you would re-scan my original post I hope you will see that I tried to be appropriate, concise, and specific in asking for assistance once I had exhausted my own ability to attain it by myself. Also if you would like please peruse my history of posts, I believe you will find that I try to be helpful, friendly, and stay within the forum conduct parameters.

I'm somewhat frustrated and extremely embarrassed at this moment. I had put off making this post because not only would it expose exactly how Linux illiterate I was, but invariably in the past when I tried to expand my Linux knowledge and posted to a forum asking for entry level help, regardless of how polite and well thought out I tried to make the post, someone either brushed me off, sneered at me, admonished me because I was unable to discover the "obvious place to find my answer", or left me with a link to a document that was so far beyond "newbie level" that it might as well have been written in hexadecimal code for all practical purposes. Once again all I've accomplished is to completely humiliate and embarrass myself.

Please understand in no way am I being sarcastic or mean spirited, this reply in it's entirety was written from an apologetic, humble, and sincerely embarrased perspective. If the Mods, don't get this thread deleted by tomorrow I'll come in and edit the post and at least delete the body of the message as to hopefully limit any further embarrassment upon myself. If no one has pointed me in a direction to get some real help, I'll probably delete the one in the General forum also for the same reason. I shouldn't have posted this to begin with- it was a moment of bad judgement. While folks here on the ZUG have always been helpful to me with Zaurus specific help, (and I have returned the favor more than willingly many times), the Linux community has always been borderline hostile to my entreaties for assistance. At this rate I'm doomed to be a newbie forever.

Thank you for at least being polite in your admonishment Pyrates, and I dont believe you were being anything other than well intentioned. Unfortunately I'm not a single step closer to getting the bit of help that I need, but I'll keep at it- I'm determined enough that I'll learn what I need to eventually. And again I agree with you completely, cross forum posts are in extremely bad form and it will not be repeated by me.

I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and happy holidays,

Thank You and God Bless,

Damn, your english is pretty well, are you a native speaker ? smile.gif

Now, sorry, didn't want to embarrass you, some people just don't know (and to be honest, I wouldn't know where a newbie should know this stuff from), so I wanted to point that out to you. No damage done wink.gif

Now, for your linux efforts, you really sound frustrated. I know, people are often "hostile" to newbies, I hope you don't have to make that experience to often.

Ok, lets get back to your original question (which, I have to admit, I didn't really understand from the beginning on; now I reread it carefully and find that indeed you asked for debian-specific documentation, which hasn't come up here yet, so, sorry that I blamed you for not searching enough). There are probably two sides of the story: You'll have to learn about Linux in general (and that's a topic that has already come up) and about the debian-specific things, which mainly means the package managment (or what else would you mean?). For that, I'd point you to , I hope you find something usefull to you there. Sorry, I don't have anything I could personally recommend, at the time I needed this stuff it wasn't really available...

If you have questions, I know a bit about Debian, I don't have a Debian system right now, but I just installed one for a friend, and used it myself for some years. Good choice smile.gif So, feel free to post questions, specific or not, we'll try to make linux a more pleasant experience for you wink.gif

I am not sure if this book is complete online, since it comes from oreilly:
It seems to be old (1999).
This could be also interesting:
There are also a lot of communities mentioned on the debianplanet site, from which I just know the german one. My experiences within the debian community are positive.
I am a linux n00b myself. The most positive linux learning experince Ive ever had was doing a Gentoo install. The documentation is excellent, they have fantastic forums and irc, and the community is very freindly to noobies.

Thanks All! I have already made some headway using the links and suggestions above- I feel somewhat silly as now that I've been shown some links of where to look I'm wondering how I avoided finding it for myself. (Kinda the "can't see the forest for the trees" scenario.)

Oh and yes I am a native English speaker so don't be too impressed by my writing skills- You guys that speak English as a second language are the ones that impress me! I have enough difficulties with my own language I can't imagine trying to converse in computer technical terms using a foreign language.

Any more Debian specific links are greatly appreciated so feel free to keep posting them!


I don't have a link, but remembered one thing this morning when my brain was turned on by an ice cold shower: If you have a package you have to consider yourself (something more complicated, maybe a webserver, kernel sources, modutils or whatever), you can find documentation in /usr/share/doc/<packagename> . The important thing is, there often is a README.Debian.gz that would tell you about how-to-do-it-for-debian and also gives really good specific hints.

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