The Ultimate Linux Newbie Guide:

Chapter Overview

1. What is Linux?

If you are completely new to Linux, or any Operating system for that fact, this chapter covers all of the main primer aspects.

2. Choosing a distribution

If you have not yet Installed Linux on your computer, you might want to have a look at this chapter for information on choosing a distribution that suits you.

3. Installing your distribution.

This chapter works in two parts: Ascertaining what you need to do to prepare for installation of Linux. I use a hypothetical example of having a 8GB hard drive PC with Windows 98 already installed, and installing Linux so that you can boot both Win98 and Linux.
The second part of the chapter covers the installation of Red Hat Linux 7.1, the latest helping of Linux from Red Hat, the most popular Linux distribution to date.

4. What's The X Window System?

X is a server application for Unix or Linux, and allows Graphical User Interfaces to sit ontop of it, allowing you to use applications graphically in Linux, such as file managers, browsers and games. This chapter also covers a little history of the Graphical User Interface (or the GUI).

5. What's this KDE thing?

KDE is a GUI that sits ontop of X, It is a very popular GUI and Window manager throughout the Linux (and some Unix) market, and is heralded for it's ease of use amongst newbies. This chapter introduces the K Desktop Environment to you, and let's you know about all the things that makes it attractive as a GUI/WM.

6. What's this GNOME thing?

Gnome is another extremely popular GUI for X. It has a very clean interface and whilst it is possibly slightly less newbie-friendly than KDE, it offers better speeds and native GTK+ interoperability. This chapter covers the reasons that you may want to choose Gnome as your GUI.

7. I don't know any commands!

This chapter covers the inevitable: Linux (bash shell) commands. Every Linux newbies pet hate! Once you finish this chapter, hopefully you won't mind doing basic commands as much, as even with the nicest GUIs, commands do pop up from time to time that you will probably have to use.

8. How do I get software?
Okay, you've installed Linux, you've chosen you're GUI, and you've picked up a few basic commands. You're probably feasting for some software now. Linux has an abundance of software out there, mainly available over the net, mainly for a zero fee. This chapter covers how and where to get software.

9. How do I install software?

You've downloaded the software that you want, and you discovered that you don't know how to install it. No, there is no InstallShield (TM) (C) (R) Wizard. InstallShield is a trademark of the InstallShield Corporation -- (You'll soon learn to hate Commercial software!). This chapter covers installing .RPM, .DEB packages and tar.gz files.

10. Managing files and directories

Ever wondered what the /etc /home /usr /bin /dev /proc /mnt /tmp /var and /boot directories in your root directory ( / ) are actually for, and what goes where? This chapter covers that.
It also covers how to keep your files in good order, moving files, copying files, renaming files and very importantly, the security part of files (or permissions). It is important that you don't give permission for everyone to run, read or execute on certain files, be they private to you, or files that are sensitive to the security of the system. This chapter covers the usage of the chmod, chgrp and chown utilities to manipulate permission of files.