I’ve been havin so much fun with mine, I got the pi 4 integrated into keyboard (pi 400). Ive tried ras-pup, picore And Manjaro and of course rasbian. I re installed rasbian because it runs very well on the pi and it more or less sets it’s self up for you. The Official raspberry pi manual Is also a good readI still use my PI as a paper weight until I get bored and start trying to learn code stuff .
I totally agree, i have lost count of how many systems ive obliterated in a virtual machine. i use virtual box, you can also clone an install you have created. Im notorious for having 5-10 different distros on my virtual box! virtualiziation is the way to go before you do a full install onto real hardwareIn my opinion, the best way to learn Linux is by creating a VirtualBox with a LinuxSystem inside that. That means if make a heavy mistake, nothing happens to your main operating system, like windows.
There are many YouTube Tutorials how to create a VirtualBox with almost any Linux Distrobustion.
Hope this helps.
Don't be afraid to break your Linux distro and learn from your mistakes.
The Linux Experiment:After a bit of a hiatus from Linux, I returned to what felt like a familiar, but new world. My primary materials to get reintroduced:
The Linux Command Line (book by William Shotts) - professional quality, free PDF. I also purchased the softcover to support the author.
Linux Pocket Guide (book by O'Reilly)
Bash Pocket Reference (book by O'Reilly)
(both of the O'Reilly books are good for terse lookups.)
Youtube channels: LearnLinuxTV, TheLinuxExperiment - Both have great series for beginner/intermediate users, and are currently active. I also learned a bit from Joe Collins' channel.