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Old 10-27-08, 02:30 PM   #1
MrCrassic 
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I downloaded Debian 4.0.

How much pain can I expect while learning UNIX?
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Old 10-27-08, 02:53 PM   #2
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I have had a few Solaris machines, are you putting it on PC hardware or do you have a SUN machine. Do you have Unix/Linux experience? Coming from a Linux background, and using the editor joe, using Vi was the biggest learning curve for me.
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Old 10-27-08, 03:12 PM   #3
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Let me just put it this way... I hope you've got Justin Long's number on speed dial, so you can call him to come whisper sweet hipster nothings in your ear while you cry into your Crashytime Chamomile tea.
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Old 10-27-08, 03:22 PM   #4
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Why solaris 10? Start with a linux distro like Ubuntu if you want to learn unix. The different unix flavors really only differ in their admin tools.

vi is your friend.
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Old 10-27-08, 03:24 PM   #5
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+1 on that. vi is going to be one of the toughest things to learn. First thing you will bump into is that instead of dir, move, copy, and delete, its ls, mv, cp, and rm. Second, its forward slash, not backslash for directories.

After that, its mainly finding the tools you need to do the job.

Couple meta-tips:

1: Don't run as root unless you have to. Use sudo, or su to root. Save logging in as root directly for emergency repairs or system configuration.

2: X Windows will take a learning curve. First, a "server" is the raw, keyboard, mouse, and display. X clients are the programs that you run that connect and show up on the display.

Raw "X" just has a "X" for a cursor and a cross hatched display. A window manager takes care of window decorations and lets you do tasks.

3: UNIX takes time to learn. sunhelp.org usually has answers for most things.
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Old 10-27-08, 03:32 PM   #6
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i sort of liked vi... oh, and start with linux.
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Old 10-27-08, 03:51 PM   #7
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Well if you don't have any Unix/Linux experience, starting with Unix isn't that bad of an idea, IMO. You will have a strong working knowledge of the shell which you can port to any other Unix/Linux OS.
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Old 10-27-08, 03:54 PM   #8
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How much pain can I expect while learning UNIX?
I'd say Solaris is probably not the place to start...
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Old 10-27-08, 03:56 PM   #9
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+1 on that. vi is going to be one of the toughest things to learn. First thing you will bump into is that instead of dir, move, copy, and delete, its ls, mv, cp, and rm. Second, its forward slash, not backslash for directories.
Actually, learning the basic utilities is the easy part. And vi my favorite editor by a long margin. Among other things, it allows far more sophisticated search and replace patterns than you'll find in any word processor.

The hard part about *nix is understanding what programs/processes do what and how to get the behaviors you want (and diagnose the ones you don't want).

I can use anything, but I prefer something a bit more brainless for a desktop system. You can download a unix subsystem for business versions of vista (or just download cygwin for other windows variants) or run a command prompt on macs when you actually need to do things that would be easier in the shell.
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Old 10-27-08, 04:05 PM   #10
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emacs ftw.

the amount of pain depends on how quickly you want things done. If you want a perfect working system yesterday, have fun. If you're willing to roll with it and learn a few commands here and there as you pick it up, it'll be a blast.

FWIW I run gentoo, always have and love it. I hear ubuntu is good, and the group I work in is Fedora. They all work, and they all work well. It's just a matter of learning a few specifics. The hard thing I found about switching distros is that I don't know what's specific to mine (emerge, rc-update) and what's universal (fstab, for example).
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Old 10-27-08, 04:31 PM   #11
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Solaris kicks ass over any Linux variation, especially on an enterprize server-platform. If you're running a single-desktop with web-browsing and basic apps, you'd never notice the difference. Here's some features:

- ZFS and NFS, if you don't know what these are, well, don't proceed any further
- backend services - about twice as many OPS/s over Linux, Java apps about 25-40% faster
- scalability - similar to above, try hitting Linux machine with 1000 users/sec and see what happens to the network stack.
- high-end hardware - the performance gap gets even bigger when you compare SPARC CPUs to Intel/AMD ones. Solaris is so well optimized, it run rings around Linux. Especially on 16+ CPU machines.
- security - Linux is somewhere between Windows and UNIX for security. Lot of vulnerabilities comes from using open-source compilers like GCC. Solaris10 has IPfilter, one of the toughest firewalls ever made
- Dtrace
- RBAC
- Process rights assignment

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Old 10-27-08, 04:33 PM   #12
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emacs is a good editor. The reason vi is important is in a lot of operating systems, emacs isn't shipped, and people need the ability to edit password and other config files. emacs is usually not statically linked, so if one only has the CD, or the / filesystem available, vi is arguably the only game in town.

The problem with becoming Linux distro (or any UNIX "flavor) dependent is that distributions use different ways to configure stuff. For example, if you are used to Ubuntu and have to log into a RedHat box to fix some network config files without a graphical interface, it will be an uphill battle. Different distros have different package managers. RedHat and Fedora use yum and rpm, ubuntu uses dpkg, Slackware uses pretty much tarballs, AIX uses installp, Solaris uses pkgadd, OS X doesn't seem to have an official one, and Windows uses MSI.
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Old 10-27-08, 04:46 PM   #13
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Solaris kicks ass over any Linux variation, especially on an enterprisze server-platform. If you're running a single-desktop with web-browsing and basic apps, you'd never notice the difference. Here's some features:

- ZFS and NFS, if you don't know what these are, well, don't proceed any further
- backend services - about twice as many OPS/s over Linux, Java apps about 25-40% faster
- scalability - similar to above, try hitting Linux machine with 1000 users/sec and see what happens.
- high-end hardware - the performance gap gets even bigger when you compare SPARC CPUs to Intel/AMD ones. Solaris is so well optimized, it run rings around Linux. Especially on 16+ CPU machines.
- security - Linux is somewhere between Windows and UNIX for security. Lot of vulnerabilities comes from using open-source compilers like GCC. Solaris10 has IPfilter, one of the toughest firewalls ever made
- Dtrace
-
+2

ZFS is to be honest one of the best things seen in UNIX for YEARS. No worries about LVM, excellent file integrity, RAID-Z, etc. In Snow Leopard, Macs are getting this too. Bad thing, because its not GPL licensed, Linux isn't getting it. (No, FUSE stuff doesn't count as you can't use it for a / filesystem.) As of now, this is one of Linux's weak points... no real next gen filesystem. Ext3 is good, but showing its age. Ext4 is a bridge to btrfs, and even btrfs provides nowhere near the features as ZFS.

Its hard to explain the advantages of commercial UNIXes (Solaris, AIX), until you see them in action on high end hardware.
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Old 10-27-08, 06:17 PM   #14
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How much pain can I expect while learning UNIX?
Don't worry about it too much. Solaris10 is a more user-friendly version with many GUI interfaces for traditional UNIX tools.
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Old 10-27-08, 07:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Solaris kicks ass over any Linux variation, especially on an enterprize server-platform. If you're running a single-desktop with web-browsing and basic apps, you'd never notice the difference. Here's some features:

- ZFS and NFS, if you don't know what these are, well, don't proceed any further
- backend services - about twice as many OPS/s over Linux, Java apps about 25-40% faster
- scalability - similar to above, try hitting Linux machine with 1000 users/sec and see what happens to the network stack.
- high-end hardware - the performance gap gets even bigger when you compare SPARC CPUs to Intel/AMD ones. Solaris is so well optimized, it run rings around Linux. Especially on 16+ CPU machines.
- security - Linux is somewhere between Windows and UNIX for security. Lot of vulnerabilities comes from using open-source compilers like GCC. Solaris10 has IPfilter, one of the toughest firewalls ever made
- Dtrace
- RBAC
- Process rights assignment
In that case AIX, HP/UX and Solaris kick ass over Linux. But they are not the place to learn Unix at home. Linux will do. The hardware you learn on the job.

Hell... AIX is amazing when it comes to booting it from SAN. Even during booting the multipath driver is active and you can shut one fabric off, while it's continuing to boot from the 2nd fabric. I've never seen such a thing before until I tried it a few years back on AIX 5.3.

Also LPAR's beat Solaris zoning hands down. That stuff is rock solid and does it's job so well, it's not even funny.
On the other hand, Sun hardware is dirt cheap.
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Old 10-27-08, 08:31 PM   #16
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For how much you'll pay for support contracts for AIX, HP-UX, or Solaris and the iron to run them, "rock solid" shouldn't even begin to cover it. Since the rise of Linux and *BSD, this is what IBM, HP, and Sun have to offer.

To be fair, though, shovel enough money Red Hat's way, and I'm sure they'll make RHEL do as you wish.
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Old 10-27-08, 09:11 PM   #17
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In that case AIX, HP/UX and Solaris kick ass over Linux. But they are not the place to learn Unix at home. Linux will do.
There is also the issue of hardware support. Linux is much better for the home user in that respect.

I've never thought much of the gui tools that ship with the unixes I've used (including Solaris). Except for for people who like to tinker, I would not recommend any self installed *nix variant for home users.
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Old 10-27-08, 10:03 PM   #18
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Seems like I don't need Solaris, since I don't have a honking Sun server/PC to get the performance benefits from...

However, I'm not new with Linux; I've used it on and off for the last six years now. It's just that I haven't really taken the time to learn it with the goal of learning it. I've learned it just enough to be able to use it to my liking, but now I want to dig deeper. Which is why I'm deciding if I even want a user interface. Linux is the kernel, and it's beauty is with the command line. If I want GUI, I have two Windows laptops that are in great working order.

I've used Ubuntu since version 5, and I really like it as an OS. It has a bit of work to do, but a lot of it is not at the fault of the OS. When window manager programmers can get their act together and create one cohesive WM for Linux, then it might actually start gaining more of a presence.

However, for my learning, I'm thinking of really washing myself in a bath of pain. Ubuntu is too simple; even Fedora Core might be too simple. However, I might just need a simple distro, since I'm learning Linux and all of them are alike. Slackware and Gentoo are really customizable, and I hear that you learn a lot, but I'm afraid that all of the learning is distribution-specific and not really cross-applicable.

In regards to vi and emacs, I've used both and I like emacs quite a lot. It's kind of like Notepad, except better. In every possible way.

I'm also probably going to restart learning Python. I tried learning it two years ago, but got lazy and stopped. I already have experience coding in Java and C++ (though I'm nowhere near master proficiency), and I hear that Python isn't that hard to learn.
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Old 10-27-08, 10:09 PM   #19
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Debian is a good way to dig in without subjecting yourself to Gentoo. Ubuntu is based on Debian, but Debian itself offers a lot more flexibility as to what you want set up and how.
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Old 10-28-08, 09:37 AM   #20
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Seems like I don't need Solaris, since I don't have a honking Sun server/PC to get the performance benefits from...

However, I'm not new with Linux; I've used it on and off for the last six years now. It's just that I haven't really taken the time to learn it with the goal of learning it. I've learned it just enough to be able to use it to my liking, but now I want to dig deeper. Which is why I'm deciding if I even want a user interface. Linux is the kernel, and it's beauty is with the command line. If I want GUI, I have two Windows laptops that are in great working order.

I've used Ubuntu since version 5, and I really like it as an OS. It has a bit of work to do, but a lot of it is not at the fault of the OS. When window manager programmers can get their act together and create one cohesive WM for Linux, then it might actually start gaining more of a presence.

However, for my learning, I'm thinking of really washing myself in a bath of pain. Ubuntu is too simple; even Fedora Core might be too simple. However, I might just need a simple distro, since I'm learning Linux and all of them are alike. Slackware and Gentoo are really customizable, and I hear that you learn a lot, but I'm afraid that all of the learning is distribution-specific and not really cross-applicable.

In regards to vi and emacs, I've used both and I like emacs quite a lot. It's kind of like Notepad, except better. In every possible way.

I'm also probably going to restart learning Python. I tried learning it two years ago, but got lazy and stopped. I already have experience coding in Java and C++ (though I'm nowhere near master proficiency), and I hear that Python isn't that hard to learn.
One good way to learn Unix/Linux is to pick a project of interest.
Let's say you want to start virtualizing your environment. Get a distribution and start to learn about Xen for example. That project will throw so many difficulties into your path that you either give up or learn TONS more.
Or get an application like gimp going by trying to compile the latest trunk release from an svn tree. You start digging for the errors it throws and you automatically learn about the system.

Any complex application which doesn't run out of the box and needs tweaking has a great learning factor.
Anyone can install packages with yum install <package name>. But to make a half-assed port work, that takes skill.

Thomas
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Old 10-28-08, 12:33 PM   #21
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also, don't forget to get free codeweavers software today. seriously
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Old 10-28-08, 12:43 PM   #22
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Holy ****, free crossover pro!!!

FOR.
THE.
WIN.
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Old 10-28-08, 12:52 PM   #23
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In regards to vi and emacs, I've used both and I like emacs quite a lot. It's kind of like Notepad, except better. In every possible way.
Thats like needing a tool to cut things and deciding to use a swiss-army knife instead of random bits of shale.
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Old 10-28-08, 12:55 PM   #24
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Thats like needing a tool to cut things and deciding to use a swiss-army knife instead of random bits of shale.
so
swiss army knife = emacs
shale = vi

i thought you could do as much with vi as emacs, it's just easier to learn in emacs or something like that.
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Old 10-28-08, 12:57 PM   #25
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Holy ****, free crossover pro!!!

FOR.
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you're welcome
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