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A 12-Step program for personal Linux edification
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alienjeff


Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 2291
Location: Winsted, CT - USA

PostPosted: Wed 11 Jul 2007, 15:39    Post_subject:  A 12-Step program for personal Linux edification
Sub_title: Put a definitive Linux guide local on your computer
 

A 12-Step program for personal Linux edification

Frustrated with the necessary-by-design lack of man pages or other general Linux documentation in the Puppy Linux distribution? Ever find yourself wrestling with the search function on the forum or seemingly endless navigating circuitous, serpentine routes on the wiki? Hate having to open and keep track of a multitude of browser tabs to a variety of websites?

Smile! There's good news. Help is a mere 12-steps and 10-minutes away. And it's easy to do.

The book Linux - LINUX: Rute User's Tutorial and Exposition by Paul Sheer is an incredible resource that is available as a conventional book or online. But you don't have to buy the book or continually surf the online table of contents as it's also available, in full, in HTML format ... as a single 1.4M compressed file!

Here's what Freshmeat says: "Rute (Rute Users Tutorial and Exposition) is a book on GNU/Linux that aims to be the definitive guide for new users ..." and "It covers essential theory to UNIX as well as giving practical tutorials on all fundamental aspects of Unix administration, from basic commands, the theory of TCP/IP, the Linux filesystem, through to configuration of mail, DNS, and other servers, through hardware configuration and package management. It is not Unix-specific but tends to give examples suited to Debian and RedHat-like systems."

If this interests you, here's a quick and easy way to have Rute in its entirety available full-time, anytime, locally on your computer.

An added bonus is that dial-up users only have to download a single 1.4M file.

Ready?

1 - Open a browser

2 - Visit this address: http://rute.2038bug.com/rute.html.tar.bz2

3 - When prompted, save the file "rute.html.tar.bz2" to /root

4 - Click "Home" desktop icon

5 - Scroll down and click on the file "rute.html.tar.bz2"

6 - In Xarchive pop-up window, click the "select all" icon

7 - Click "extract" icon

8 - Click "OK" in the "extraction directory" pop-up window

9 - When extraction work is completed, click "OK"

10 - Close Xarchive window

(You now have a new directory folder labelled "rute" containing 181 items - the entire contents of LINUX: Rute User's Tutorial and Exposition v1.0.0)

11 - Go back to browser and visit this link: file:///root/rute/index.html (or file:/root/rute/index.html on some browsers)

12 - Click "bookmarks" and label, file and save as desired

Now Sheer's excellent Rute "book" is a just a browser bookmark key click away that brings you to the table of contents and everything else right there on your computer - not through the Internet. Enjoy.

-aj

_________________
hangout: ##b0rked on irc.freenode.net
diversion: http://alienjeff.net - visit The Fringe
quote: "The foundation of authority is based upon the consent of the people." - Thomas Hooker


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bugman


Joined: 20 Dec 2005
Posts: 2131
Location: buffalo commons

PostPosted: Wed 11 Jul 2007, 16:28    Post_subject:  

I did this a long time ago, and added it to the "Help" section of my menu, along with the LFS book, the WDG guides to CSS and HTML, and the Anarchist FAQ.

The punchline is that I never remeber to look at any of 'em...
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alienjeff


Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 2291
Location: Winsted, CT - USA

PostPosted: Wed 11 Jul 2007, 17:35    Post_subject:  

bugman wrote:
The punchline is that I never remeber to look at any of 'em...


A new desktop icon, appropriately labelled, that calls up one's browser-of-choice with a start/home page of Rute's index.html file would provide one-click access as well as a more prominent and constant desktop presence. Just a thought ...

-aj

_________________
hangout: ##b0rked on irc.freenode.net
diversion: http://alienjeff.net - visit The Fringe
quote: "The foundation of authority is based upon the consent of the people." - Thomas Hooker

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Getnikar


Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Posts: 143
Location: Gold Coast, Australia

PostPosted: Fri 13 Jul 2007, 08:06    Post_subject:  

It looks interesting. I had a quick look.

Unfortunatley I found 2 errors within 30 seconds of reading a couple of bits, so based in that I would be a bit wary of its authority.

Eg.

at rute/node25.html:
Quote:
Assembler instructions are the program code that your 80?86/SPARC/RS6000 CPU understands directly.
Close, but not quite correct. Assembler instructions are program code that the CPU understands after its been assembled into machine instructions by an assembler. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assembly_language#Assembler
Quote:
Assembly language

A program written in assembly language consists of a series of instructions mnemonics that correspond to a stream of executable instructions, when translated by an assembler, that can be loaded into memory and executed.

For example, an x86/IA-32 processor can execute the following binary instruction as expressed in machine language:

* Binary: 10110000 01100001 (Hexadecimal: 0xb061)

The equivalent assembly language representation is easier to remember (more mnemonic):

* mov al, 061h


Also in his example about sed programming at rute/node11.html#SECTION001120000000000000000 he ends with Ctl-C (stop the process). It should be Ctl-d (close the file). Small points, but they point to a lack of knowledge in some basics of computing.

I am sure there is a lot of good stuff in there, but be careful.
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alienjeff


Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 2291
Location: Winsted, CT - USA

PostPosted: Fri 13 Jul 2007, 11:52    Post_subject:  

Thanks for pointing those things out, Getnikar. You remind me of Eagle Eye Healy, a good friend and editor I worked with in an earlier life. EEH was the ne plus ultra for attention to detail who frequently bled profusely over my manuscripts.

Now I guess I'm going to have to email Paul Sheer and demand my money ba... oh wait. Rute was free. Never mind.

Thank goodness such lapses of technical expertise never find there way into posts to this forum ... heh.

Rute has bailed me out on more than one occasion and I find it immensely handy to have local to my machine. The reason for my How-To post was twofold:

1) to share something I've found helpful, and

2) to show what could be done with Puppy, should the critter ever sit still long enough to be properly documented

-aj

_________________
hangout: ##b0rked on irc.freenode.net
diversion: http://alienjeff.net - visit The Fringe
quote: "The foundation of authority is based upon the consent of the people." - Thomas Hooker

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Getnikar


Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Posts: 143
Location: Gold Coast, Australia

PostPosted: Mon 16 Jul 2007, 07:59    Post_subject:  

alienjeff wrote:
Rute has bailed me out on more than one occasion and I find it immensely handy to have local to my machine.
Smile. Handy: great. Handy and correct ... hopefully most of the time Smile.
alienjeff wrote:
2) to show what could be done with Puppy, should the critter ever sit still long enough to be properly documented
I have found that almost no open-source projects are 'properly' documented, as least in the old latin sense of 'proper' (=clean). This is because no process prevails (doesn't exist in most cases) to ensure information is kept from getting old, outdated, wrong, dirty. Ahh, but dont get me started. I have thrown this observation into a few places in the past year or two, and almost no-one seemed remotely interested. Puppy is no different to most other open-source projects in that respect.

Open-source is basicly a nerdfest, with very little focus nor interest in understanding the needs of the other 95% of the world. For me the attraction of Puppy is that it seems to be a tad better in that respect. PCLinuxOS seemed to be trying to focus in the right direction somewhat as well, last time I checked it out.

ps. enjoyed your website. I must email about it one day... v. busy lately.
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PaulBx1

Joined: 16 Jun 2006
Posts: 2308
Location: Wyoming, USA

PostPosted: Tue 17 Jul 2007, 23:20    Post_subject:  

Amen to all of the above. Documentation is a mess, people still ask questions about why they can't find a usr-cram.fs (or whatever it was) file in their 2.16 Puppy.

I should note though, that all books about operating systems, even paid-for ones, seem to have plenty of errors.

Thanks jeff for the tip and the idiot-proof instructions, which I shall test. Laughing
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drongo


Joined: 10 Dec 2005
Posts: 354
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed 18 Jul 2007, 03:30    Post_subject:  

Documentation is messy everywhere, not just in Open Source projects. For it to be kept up to date there has to be some form of central authority which monitors all changes and their implications for procedures and the documentation of those procedures.

If you can get more than commented code you're doing quite well with most programmers.

Notwithstanding any errors therein, the Rute book is generally regarded as the "least worst" Linux document available. It's not updated that often as far as I remember and the Puppy file structure is somewhat unorthodox anyway, so there may be areas where it doesn't really describe Puppy that well. Documentation of CLI is generally excellent as are the explanations of how Linux works.


Until we get someone with the patience, free time and skill to write proper documentation for Puppy the Rute book and the various enthusiast-written Puppy docs are all we are likely to get.

Writing a Puppy manual is likely to be a pretty thankless task anyway. You will need to do major revisions of the "How Puppy Works" chapter every 6-8 weeks. Everyone will complain if the new version isn't out at the very same instant the ISO gets to ibiblio despite the fact that Barry usually makes major changes between the alpha and beta versions. Nobody (except Lobster) will say thankyou. You will be bombarded with messages pointing out typos which you have obviously introduced deliberately with malicious intent.

Lastly, who would you write the book for? A book intended for BarryK, GuestToo, MU et al might be slightly different in tone and content from one for someone who has just tried Linux for the first time on his Win 95 machine.

That's not to say we don't need decent up-to-date documentation but it's going to be a lot of effort. It might help if people posted tips and info with a disclaimer stating which version of Puppy they applied to. Until you get that sort of disciplined posting it is going to be impossible for a newcomer to sort the wheat from the chaff in either the Forum or the wiki.

I must go and lie down now, I think I almost agreed with alienjeff about something.

drongo

Laughing
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mcewanw

Joined: 16 Aug 2007
Posts: 2349
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue 25 Sep 2007, 22:35    Post_subject:  

Getnikar wrote:
It looks interesting. I had a quick look.

Unfortunatley I found 2 errors within 30 seconds of reading a couple of bits, so based in that I would be a bit wary of its authority.


According to http://rute.2038bug.com/node4.html.gz#SECTION00480000000000000000

"1.8 Updates and Errata

Corrections to this book will be posted on http://www.icon.co.za/~psheer/rute-errata.html. Please check this web page before notifying [Paul Sheer] of errors".

However, that seems to be a mistake too, because when I tried to look there it redirected to page: http://new.mweb.co.za/
which had nothing, it seems, to do with Rute. Smile
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alienjeff


Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 2291
Location: Winsted, CT - USA

PostPosted: Tue 25 Sep 2007, 23:19    Post_subject:  

Sigh. My heart was in the right place. Really it was. Paul Sheer and I will now pick up these crosses and drag them up the hill ...
_________________
hangout: ##b0rked on irc.freenode.net
diversion: http://alienjeff.net - visit The Fringe
quote: "The foundation of authority is based upon the consent of the people." - Thomas Hooker

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mcewanw

Joined: 16 Aug 2007
Posts: 2349
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed 26 Sep 2007, 03:16    Post_subject: Additional current and maintained "free" Linux texts  

Rute is good and still useful for commandline info (it's hard to beat when it comes to breadth AND depth). I used to use it when teaching linux from 2001-2004, but it is no longer maintained, so some of it is a bit dated now. It certainly is worth creating a local desktop documentation resource as suggested by aj. New users might also find the following current/maintained texts useful (from Linux Documentation Project at http://www.tldp.org/guides.html):
----------------------------------------------------------

Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide version: 1.25
author: Machtelt Garrels, last update: Sep 2007

"This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter. For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. We hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own" (quoted from http://www.tldp.org/guides.html).
--------------------------------------------------

Bash Guide for Beginners version: 1.8
author: Machtelt Garrels, last update: Mar 2006

available formats for both the above include: html, pdf, text, pluckerDB

The LDP "Linux System Admin Guide" is also well-respected (from www.tldp.org or homesite: http://www.draxeman.com/sag.html)

Too many books boil the brain, but it may also be worth checking out the offerings of: http://www.oreilly.com/openbook/
---------------------------

In addition, the major Linux distributions usually provide some good regularly maintained docs/books that contain info which is not only distribution specific. These are particularly useful when needing more info about common X applications:

For example:

"Debian GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide" at http://www.togaware.com/linux/survivor/

"The Revised Slackware Book Project" at http://www.slackbook.org/html/book.html
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