Getting started

Some notes about getting started with Linux. We will discuss, among other topics:

  • Were to find information about learning Linux

  • Useful books and sites

  • User Groups

Learning Linux as a woman

The easy way

If you have a friend or relative who is into Linux: ask them. Children are also relatives ;-) They will probably be more than proud to see you turn to them. People who are into Linux are usually quite fond of talking about the subject and explaining you everything you want to know. And having someone experienced to help you get started in the jungle of documentation is usually the best option.

Of course, not everybody is a natural teacher. So (try to) be patient. We will be back with tech-talk tips later.

Maybe you don't feel like asking such a person for whatever reason. In that case, there are other solutions to chose from.

Look for LUGs

Since personal support is still the best way to learn something in a quickie, you might want to search for a local Linux User Group or LUG. Several sites keep track of LUG lists:

LUGs always complain about the lack of women, you will be welcome.

The hard way

If you really live in the middle of nowhere or just don't like being social, you can easily learn Linux all by yourself. Searching for "Learn Linux" or some such search string with your favorite search engine will likely even give you too much information, but it will certainly contain some online explanation for beginners.

Good places to start:

Useful books:

  • Among the Amazon top 10 Linux books, Ellen Siever and Jessica P. Hekman have a reserved spot (together with Stephen Spainhour and Stephen Figgins, of course), for their "Linux in a Nutshell", published by O'Reilly, ISBN 0596000251.

    This book is a desktop reference for basic commands.

  • Also very popular is AEleen Frisch's "Essential System Administration", which is a helpful guide for anyone managing Unix of sorts. Also published by O'Reilly, ISBN 0596003439.

  • Virtually any Linux distribution you buy these days, comes with a Getting Started Guide and contains elaborate on-line documentation, docs on CD and/or books. Distributions with clear manuals, especially suited for beginners, are a.o. Mandrake, RedHat Linux and Suse Linux.

    Ask information from your local software vendor, or see the respective sites of the distributions for hard copies of their documentation.