A dear one is looking to get started on Linux. She's open to learning but a total beginner. She'd prefer a physical book, does anyone have suggestions on something really good?

Some more context: She's likely going to be using Mint because that's the distro I use and I know it so I can help more easily when she gets stuck. She also just likes the look of it from seeing mine.

It's unclear what she'll eventually want to be doing. atm she's going to be building her own machine, dual boot Mint and Windows like mine (yay more stuff I already know). After a decade on Macs, she's excited about having control over her system again.

Show thread

@pixelpaperyarn Unfortunately there's few that I would recommend. A lot of them seem to require some a-priori knowledge of come other machine's workflow.

The ones that I have that might aid a beginner are

though they come with the caveat that they're best used with someone that is willing to ask questions when they get stuck, because they will get stuck.

I wish there was a better way to introduce folks to Linux,.

@craigmaloney Thanks! I'm bookmarking those two for her. TBH, the Dummies guide looks pretty good to get her started from basically nothing, at least from the table of contents.

And she'll have me to answer questions, so hopefully that will help. I'm no expert but I can bash my way through things well enough. I wish there were better resources for beginners, too.


Linux mint has a users guide PDF available, its not a physical book, but if you load it on a tablet its almost as good

Jay LaCroix did a good series of videos about Mint on his 'Learn Linux TV' YouTube channel. I'd suggest checking out his website for detail

Ive also noticed a few Mint centric books on Amazon that may be with a look

@pixelpaperyarn this might be an odd recommendation, or perhaps an odd learning path to recommend, but I was very well served by starting with the O'Reilly books about Bash, Learning the Vi Editor, Sed & Awk, and Mastering Regular Expressions. Those were the tools I used the most often at first, and learning them deeply really helped me understand how to use everything else thereafter.

Also, I'm at your/her service if anything odd or mystifying crops up! Please ping me anytime!

@gnomon oh thank you! both for the offer and recommendations! that’s an interesting starting point. i’ve always been a “learn what i need as i go” person so it’s challenging figuring out where to point someone who prefers something more formal.

@pixelpaperyarn What background does she have with computers presently? What does she want to do with computers?

Honestly, if she's used Windows or a Mac, then she can use (say) XFCE and LibreOffice pretty easily to open files and write documents.

@mpjgregoire She has basic computer skills and wants to rekindle the love she had for getting her hands dirty as a kid playing with BASIC. So she actively wants to learn about the command line and might get into some basic web dev and python stuff.
Enthusiastic beginner power user. :D

@pixelpaperyarn Command line, Python, basic web dev. Hmm.

One of the O'Reilly books is probably good for Python. I'm not sure what is best for a general introduction to a Unix-like OS.

You'll probably think this is crazy, but don't rule out trying #Emacs as a bridge between the GUI world and the command line, with programming and web development. I read O'Reilly's *Learning GNU Emacs*.

@mpjgregoire I've tried Emacs and had a really tough time with it personally, but I won't rule it out for her.

@pixelpaperyarn I saw you mentioned she wanted to learned a little python scripting, this is one of my favorite books on the topic

@mhmd I've had that on my to-acquire list for ages. It looks good. Thanks!

Sign in to participate in the conversation

A bunch of technomancers in the fediverse. Keep it fairly clean please. This arcology is for all who wash up upon it's digital shore.