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Understanding Linux


x290
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Hi, this may be an introductory post... But hey, what's wrong with that? :P

Since 11th grade I've been 'studying' Windows. I got into a Network Administration program, earned my MCP and MCDST, graduated with an advanced Tech diploma.. And promptly got sucked into learning everything about Windows. I can tell you how to configure Group Policy, Active Directory, anything from creating batch files to installing programs silently over a network... However, I feel like I've maxed out.

I tend to be an information sponge, I can't get enough. If I'm playing a certain game, I read and can instantly memorize things. I always had mediocre grades in school, not because I didn't know the material, to the contrary, I never did my homework... Anywho, I digress.

I've finally moved on from Windows, and I'd like to learn everything about other OSes. With Windows being closed source, I never really understood what a kernel was, save for that it was a core part of the OS.

One of the things I'd like to learn is how to compile a kernel from scratch.

I want to make and compile my own program.

I want to learn what an open source community is like.

I want to help design something, and be able to say "I made that integral part of this project"...

I dunno, that may be lost on certain people, but I am generally a helpful type. I tend to be the regional tech support, with everyone and their mother calling me for help; TeamViewer ftw.The whole hacker mantra has been similar to what I live by every day.. If it's not broke, fix it ;) I case mod, I vold mod, I've done registry editing, I've done RockBox installs on iPods, I even put Linux on my Creative Zen, before it broke... But honestly, I never really got into the culture as much as I wanted to. I like making something out of nothing, or improving something that is seriously flawed.

Over the past month, I enlisted in the Air Force. I am going in as an E-3 (after basic) into Cyber Surety (aka Network Security), and I really want to know my job BEFORE I go to the tech school. I found hak5 just messing around the net, watched a few episodes and was totally hooked. You guys are the pros. I want to learn from you.

Anyway, what I'd really like to know is, does anyone have a tried-and-true website where I can branch out? I know there are a lot of experienced users here, but there aren't many tutorials to mess around with. I've learned the basics, apt-get install, chmod, how to secure a system with a good, long, complex password, video and audio codec installs, and I spent a fair amount of time trying to get my laptop to work with a MSCHAP PEAP network... However, nothing like compiling and installing a program, or upgrading a kernel :D

Is IRC something I should join, just to get to know the community? I've used IRC before, and it's always been more of an invite-only group to join. Don't know if it's like that here though.

I know this was long, but I appreciate anyone who reads this and gives me advice. You guys seem like a community to stay with.

-x290

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Holy Smokes dude! You're a die hard super geek! :D I mean that in the best way possible. I too thrive to learn more. Every time I sit down at the computer I can't seem to stay focused on one interest. By the time i'm finished I have 30+ tech related tabs open. Start out looking up virtualization, firewalls ect. An hour, 2, 3 later I end up with assembly language or any number of other topics.

I've always been kinda curious about the kernel as well. There's always Gentoo.. But even though you compile everything it don't feel the same. As for compiling your own program pick up a language and give it a go. Python, Java, C++, bash, ect.

As for the hacker/open source culture... I'm still struggling to find the slippery slide that'll take me directly to the heart of it. Still haven't found it, but if you do let me know! Sadly I think its one of those deals you just have to pick a community and just start contributing to it. No set path to the ultimate open source geek community. This one seems to have a little action. Not near as much actual informing and learning how things work, but loads of your typical every day hacking. As for culture I have a feeling if you just hang around here or any other community like this you'll pick it up. Just don't be afraid to dive right in. Again u find that slide let me know. :)

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You want to try Linux From Scratch. This will teach you how to take some source code, and use it to build a fully functional linux system. Also, try a FreeBSD minimal install, as this helped me understand how everything worked in the *nix world.

As for IRC, you can try #hakhouse on irc.hak5.org or #init6 on irc.mintirc.net, #init6 being more of a "traditional" hacker IRC room.

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You want to try Linux From Scratch. This will teach you how to take some source code, and use it to build a fully functional linux system. Also, try a FreeBSD minimal install, as this helped me understand how everything worked in the *nix world.

As for IRC, you can try #hakhouse on irc.hak5.org or #init6 on irc.mintirc.net, #init6 being more of a "traditional" hacker IRC room.

Wow didn't know about this. Thanks man! Will be checking this out!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Anywhoozle, now that the forums are back up, I've been playing non-stop lately with OSes. I built an Arch Linux system straight up from the ground, editing in vi and nano to installing X to configuring rc.conf, I had a lot of fun.

However, I just can't find the right window manager for me, heh. Fluxbox, KDE, KDEmod (highly recommended, I don't know why...), OpenBox...

I am going to try Gnome because it's more similar to what I've used before (Mint/Ubuntu), but I'm not sure if I'll like it.

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