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Getting Started with Linux #1
authors note: This guide is a prequel to a much bigger project I'm planning to put together. This prequel will get the user started with their first Linux operating system. I am uploading this guide in part as an entry for Sinisterly's 2 year anniversary contest. I intend to keep this guide exclusive to Sinister.ly for the next 30 days before it will likely be released to the general public in PDF format. Please enjoy the early release.

With that, lets get into....


Getting started with Linux


Welcome to the getting started with Linux guide. In this guide I intend to introduce you to the world of Linux, get you started running a Linux OS, and teach you a few basic Linux skills. Most of my readers will be Windows users trying to learn more and/or transition to a Linux environment, so we will begin by running Linux and Windows at the same time.

Whoa, both at the same time? What voodoo is this? It's simple dear reader, I'm referring to what's known as virtualization. Basically, with the help of some specialized (free) software, we are going to setup and run a Linux distribution WITHIN your (likely) existing Windows environment. I promise it will all make sense soon. With that, let us begin...

What the heck is a Linux anyway?

As I stated earlier, I'm operating under the assumption that you are running Microsoft Windows. You're obviously familiar with Windows, you use it to browse the Internet, create documents and media, etc, etc. Microsoft Windows is the Operating System your computer has loaded on it, and it's the interface you use; the software that makes things work. Without an OS, your computer would be a big shiny hunk of metal/plastic that did pretty much nothing.

Linux is also an Operating System. Think of it kind of like how you have Apple's Mac OSX, and Microsoft Windows. We can get far more technical about the subject, but this guide is designed to be fairly high level, (technically Linux is the kernel, and the distribution is the rest of the operating system utilizing the linux kernel... don't worry if that doesn't make sense to you, that's another show). One of the big differences between Linux and the other Operating Systems I mentioned is that Linux is free and open source. This means that you can download and use Linux free of charge, no licensing fees, no activation software or keys, just download, install, and enjoy. On that note, let's get started with downloading the necessary software.

Virtualization- try before you “buy”

We're going to get a couple downloads started before moving on in the guide. One of the downloads may take a while so I figure we'll get it started now, and you can continue reading while the download runs.

For starters, let's get the virtualization software downloaded. This software will allow you to run the Linux OS within your current windows OS. That way, you can experience Linux without being dumped into completely unfamiliar territory (like if we were to completely wipe out Windows and replace it with Linux. Perhaps some day you'll be ready to take that dive.)

OK, enough talk, head over to https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads and download the virtualbox software. The file as of this writing is about 111MB so it may take a few minutes depending on your download speed. Once the software is downloaded, install it using the default options.

Next, you need to download the Linux distribution we'll be utilizing for this guide. I've decided we're going to use Linux Mint for this guide. The reason being that Linux Mint is a bit more friendly to new users. For example, Linux Mint comes with the software needed to utilize websites such as YouTube already installed. You can find Linux Mint at http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php . As of this writing the most current version is Mint 17. I prefer the MATE version and will be using it throughout this guide. I'm using the 64-bit version.

Next we'll build our virtual machine. You will need the Linux Mint ISO file before we can finish the virtual machine build, so plan accordingly.

Begin by starting Virtual Box. You should find an icon on the Desktop called “Oracle VM VirtualBox”.

[Image: zXd2oY9.png]

Virtual Box will open and you will be presented the screen shown here

[Image: UzvFsuR.png]

Click “New” to create a new virtual machine

[Image: 86aNoQ7.png]

In the Name section, enter “Linux Mint”. The type may automatically choose “Linux”; Under “version” I chose Ubuntu 64bit. The reason I chose this is because Linux Mint is a distribution based off Ubuntu.


The next screen is for configuring the memory size for the virtual machine. A setting between 512MiB and 1024MiB should be sufficient.

[Image: A2rKRnN.png]


Click Next when finished. We'll do our hard drive configuration next. Start by creating a new virtual hard drive

[Image: iGARmGe.png]

Hard drive file type VDI is fine; different file types work with other types of virtualization software

[Image: MAorRzl.png]

Dynamically allocated drive space will save us lots of space on our host machine

[Image: Vy03Qwd.png]

Finally we find ourselves at the hard drive size configuration, the final step in the hard drive process

[Image: QHXNtSa.png]

You can set the size however you like, within reason. I used 10GB. Linux Mint requires at least 8.9GB to install.

With that, we're done! Congratulations, you just configured your first virtual machine.

[Image: rHCCf7j.png]

We'll next work on installing that Linux Mint distribution that has hopefully finished downloading by now.


Highlight your virtual machine and click “settings”, you should see a screen like this

[Image: myw6E5l.png]

Highlight the “Empty” device under the IDE controller, this is to configure the virtual machine to act like we put a disc in the CD/DVD drive. A small CD icon will show on the right side of the screen, when you click that you will be given a menu option to “Choose a virtual CD/DVD disk file

[Image: pXAXX3k.png]

You should now have a window to select your linux mint ISO in, select the ISO file and click ok. You've now loaded your disk into the CD/DVD drive. Click ok again, then click “Start” at the main screen to start up your virtual machine.



Glorious!

[Image: Wvze0KR.png]

Let the system run. You'll see the Linux Mint main splash screen and it will count down from 10. Eventually you'll be booted into the Linux Mint Live CD environment.

[Image: xujTvHX.png]

On the desktop of the main screen you will see an option that says “Install Linux Mint”. Double click this icon to begin the installation process for Linux Mint.

[Image: tZDcVDk.png]

After a moment you should be greeted by a “Welcome” screen

[Image: dzvc4zw.png]

Select your language and click continue. The next screen is verifies your system (the virtual system) meets the minimum requirements for Linux Mint

[Image: aTUjBfX.png]

This should be all good to go and you can simply click Continue to progress to the next screen.

In this screen we will be selecting the installation type. The option “erase disk and install Linux Mint” is the default setting and appropriate for what we're about to do. I also recommend checking “Use LVM with the new Linux Mint installation”. We will discuss LVM in a future guide, but just know that it makes disk administration much easier.

[Image: 44D0G2X.png]

After Clicking “Install Now” you will be brought to a screen to select your timezone. Clicking continue will bring you to a keyboard selection screen. I'll let you figure these two out since they vary depending on.... well, your location and keyboard type.

Once you get through those settings, you'll be asked to create a username and password. You'll also name the computer. You can use whatever you want in this section

[Image: ZDPIMeN.png]

Once you click Continue, Linux Mint will begin copying files to the system, the install is in progress!

[Image: uHKGNZf.png]

Let this process run. It will probably take a while so go grab a snack and fire up an episode of Family Guy on your Hulu or Netflix. I've had the install take up to 20 minutes before, and I”ve had it take as little as about 10, it varies from system to system.

Once finished you will see the following screen indicating the install completed successfully

[Image: TTDur1g.png]

Restart the system and log in using the credentials you chose during setup, and you've now logged into your Linux Mint Installation. Yay!

NOTE: If the system is a little slow and clunky, try increasing the memory size from 512MB. This can be changed in the virtual machine settings within Virtual Box. You cannot change the memory size while the virtual machine is active and running, so shut the vm down first.


I hope you found this guide interesting and helpful. In our next section we will explore the OS we installed more, and begin practicing some basic Linux commands.
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Click here to get started with Linux!

If I helped you, please +rep me, apparently we've started over on Rep and I'd like to break 100 again...

Inori Wrote: got clickbaited by roger

[+] 2 users Like roger_smith's post
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RE: Getting Started with Linux #2
Wow, this was a pretty in depth guide on installing mint.
#MakeSinisterlySexyAgain

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RE: Getting Started with Linux #3
Wow. Very in depth and informative. I can't wait for what's to come!

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RE: Getting Started with Linux #4
Will the rest of the series be limited to Mint or will you be wandering into other OSs? Nice informative tutorial, I'm looking forward to the rest of them.

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RE: Getting Started with Linux #5
Mint is perfect for beginners.Good job btw.

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RE: Getting Started with Linux #6
Well I didn't read it but it looks very detailed. Nice tutorial

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RE: Getting Started with Linux #7
(08-31-2014, 09:12 AM)Eclipse Wrote: Will the rest of the series be limited to Mint or will you be wandering into other OSs? Nice informative tutorial, I'm looking forward to the rest of them.

My plan for the long term project is to eventually move into some Red Hat variants as well. I want to get users introduced to linux then move into some system administration skills Smile

Thanks everyone for the kind words. I had a good time putting this guide together, and learend a LOT about the process that goes into it. I really truly hope someone uses this and finds it helpful.

Cheers
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Click here to get started with Linux!

If I helped you, please +rep me, apparently we've started over on Rep and I'd like to break 100 again...

Inori Wrote: got clickbaited by roger

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RE: Getting Started with Linux #8
I like this guide. Are you going to hate on me for saying I have never used mint though (as so many linux users will if you haven't used their distro of choice)

However, very indepth, and perfect for the absolute starter. I would skip large parts, but it's good it's there for those who need it.
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BACK UNDER YOUR BEDS
TRY TO GET A GOOD NIGHT'S SLEEP NOW

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RE: Getting Started with Linux #9
(08-31-2014, 03:41 PM)cr33pyguy Wrote: I like this guide. Are you going to hate on me for saying I have never used mint though (as so many linux users will if you haven't used their distro of choice)

However, very indepth, and perfect for the absolute starter. I would skip large parts, but it's good it's there for those who need it.

No hate if you haven't used Mint, lol. I honestly prefer CentOS/Red Hat/Scientific Linux, but I didn't want to trust the complete new user into one of those distros because sometimes getting things like flash and codecs to work can be a bit...tedious. I chose Mint for the beginner stuff mainly because it more or less "just works". I want to build some basic Linux skills within an environment the new user will still be comfortable navigating in, before we jump into enterprise Linux. That's my end goal though, teaching people how to sys-admin :-D

I appreciate the feedback. this is my first big guide like this so I'm reading every reply to make sure I'm giving you all what you want!
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Click here to get started with Linux!

If I helped you, please +rep me, apparently we've started over on Rep and I'd like to break 100 again...

Inori Wrote: got clickbaited by roger

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RE: Getting Started with Linux #10
As someone who's used Windows almost all their life, I really like how beginner friendly this guide seems to cater to me. Good luck on your next few entries!

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