Simple Linux questions need answering by beginner
Posted on 2003-03-11
I work in the IT department for a company who solely run Windows based software over a Windows based network. I am however starting to get interested in Linux, although I have no experience using Unix I decided to take a jump. During my installation and first hours of use on the Linux OS (Mandrake Distribution) I came up with a number of questions which I present here. Sorry to all but some of the questions do contain some reference to the Evil Microsoft and Windows OS’s in general, however I would be grateful if somebody would help me convert so that I can get away from MS for once and for all.
I noticed when installing Mandrake that I was asked to select which types of programs that I was going to be running. This screen was divided into 3 sections.
I understand the Workstation and Graphical Env. bit but I was interested in the Server section. Am I to understand that with a distribution of Linux that you can install a server operating system and workstation operation system from the same CD?
For example, under the MS Windows you would install a standard Windows OS (95, 98, 2000, 2000), which would connect to a server such as Windows NT4 or Windows 2000 Server. However the standard workstation OS came on a different CD to the Server CD.
In addition to this am I correct to say that if I want to connect to a network I should install the “Network Computer Server” feature also? And if I don’t and wish to install this later I can install it from the software manager?
WORKING WITH LINUX
A) I have noticed that there are a number of different GUI’s available under Linux namely Gnome and KDE (to name but a few I am sure). Which is the most commonly used, I need to know this so that I can use this one as standard?
C) Windows allows me to auto detect my hardware, in particular sound cards and graphics cards, does Linux provide this type of feature or do I need to keep a close eye on what hardware I am installing? Also under the Windows platform I can easily choose to use any standard driver, is this the case with Linux?
D) I have noticed that I have a directory called home where I also have my user directory. Can I hide this directory (or its contents) or prevent access by other peoples?
E) There are a number of different shell’s available, how do I know which one is default, how do I change the current default shell and what is the most commonly used shell?
G) Other than Emacs (which I don’t like) what is the best text editor available for use with Linux. Would you advise that I just get to know the VI Editor?
H) I would like to create a dial up connection using my modem to connect to the internet? However I can not determine what port my PCI Modem is plugged into and I don’t know if my modem is a win modem or not, any idea how to determine this?
I) In the removable media folder (or the /mnt directory) there is a reference to a CD Rom, even if I un-mount the CD Rom there is still this reference? Should this reference not be removed once I have unmounted the drive?
J) I try to carry out some tasks and I get told that I must be logged in as root to carry out this task, is there a way that I can give a user the same rights as the root user?
Actually, I once read that I could have a (gui) number of sessions running at any one time and I could flick through these sessions. How do I achieve this or is it possible at all. If not is it possible to have a user with the same rights as root?
L) I would like to see what hardware I have set-up on my linux system. Can I view this somewhere?
M) I have heard a lot about a product called Samba for networking? What is this exactly. Do I need it to connect to a windows network. What if my network is a simple pier to pier
N) How do I mount network drives?
O) what is a .rpm file.
P) How do I de-compress tar and zip files in linux?