Learning Linux


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Oct 3, 2021
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I have been using Linux for a couple years now, and I am deciding to finally sit down and thoroughly learn Linux. I am using an Acer Chromebook with SeaBIOS running Linux Lite -- an xfce distro. After looking through many of the "learn Linux" books, I am seeing that most of them base their lessons around GNOME 3.
I am hoping to use Linux for my entire life in business as well as personal use, and I am looking to become very proficient and possibly a certified Linux Engineer. Would it be worthwhile to switch to GNOME 3 now, or will skills from xfce transfer easily to GNOME?

Gnome is just the Desktop part ; there was a fork of Gnome and for instance instread of gnome i use
cinnamon for my Desktop on Arch .

In terms of xfce and gnome - if you can use a steering wheel on a deisel car then you can transfer the skills to a petrol car.

If i were to give you another metaphor of say maintaining a motorbike then it might be old but you might learn something if you were to play with tuning a moror bike using a strobe light. Then you might undestand what a chip does on modern bikes.

So carrying on with my metaphor vein then you could have a look at Slackware .
Gnome is just a desktop environment, I think if you were to learn Linux, it would be best to do so by starting with the terminal. If you get the basics down, it will save you a lot of time when you need to install/troubleshoot something.

The certs, at least from what I’ve seen focus a lot on the terminal. Also I think one of the reasons why Gnome is used in examples is because it’s been around for a long time, but also because it’s used quite heavily in the enterprise world, if there’s a DE that is.
Basically, what everyone else said plus this wisdom:

Do not learn Linux. Learn to understand Linux! I have never read a proper Linux tutorial in my life. My journey into Linux was based on trying to make sense of it myself, buggering up royally and learning from buggering up, "how to do X in Linux" web searches, and other peoples' guidance. This method's not for everyone, I mean the more scholarly type reads the theory, but I think diving headfirst in is best because you'll make mistakes and TBH, making mistakes is good. Mistakes teach us. I find experience is more useful a teacher than theory until you want to start studying the engineering, sysadmin, devops, etc. sides, then ye might want te study a wee bit there. Most of all, ask questions. Get an idea that you want something to work a certain way and bloody got for it. Ask people, "HTF do I do X?" and when you get answers, find out why they work.
So, my advice is dive in the deep end, and once ya can swim, then hit some books if ya get the urge. When ya do, things from experience start slotting into place.
And yes, the CLI is the best place to start. If a program runs from a terminal/terminal emulator, run it from there. By learning the CLI, it won't matter your DE or other cosmetics, so long as you have the CLI, you'll be at home.

I suggest you do a full install on a spare PC, not a VM, we want bare metal here. This is so you can safely and realistically fckup. I suggest using a less user-friendly distro. Spend a few months messing up and fixing (try to fix it yourself) and learning. My first real Linux experiences came from TinyCore, AntiX, and Debian (I was running low spec). I actually avoided *buntus altogether until much later. I still find myself a little lost in them. I prefer Mint to *buntus any day (albeit a derivative of the former). Surprisingly, more "technical" stuff is actually simpler and easier. Once you understand, that's it,because you reslise it was never so technical, that 13yo you could've done it. You'll end up gravitating to the so-called technical method, like for example the CLI, the more you use Linux just coz it's easier and more efficient than fighting with an ever-changing or unintuitive GUI. Eventually, you'll be annoyed by bells and whistles other than for unixporn.

Anyways, just thoughts, ramblings, musings. Good luck whichever path you chose (make sure it's right for you).
I find experience is more useful a teacher than theory .

Exactly what's read only becomes real knowledge when you use it in as many ways as you can, what you have read, and making mistakes. The mistakes and fixing them being the most valuable.
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Hello & welcome to the group.
I would suggest that you start simple and move on. A good place to start can be found here.
I wouldn't concentrate on Gnome specifically. But look at many DE's. Most importantly enjoy the process.