Re-learning Unix - need some advice.

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# 1  
Old 01-19-2007
Re-learning Unix - need some advice.

I learned Unix about 6 years ago, I think it was the System V version back then.

My course taught me, Unix commands, shell scripting, Vi editor, and probably more stuff.

I wanted to stick with Unix but life didn't allow me to, my college back then used Windows 95 and then my job as a programmer mostly involved Windows OS.

I remember vaguely some Unix commands like cd, ls, tail -f <filename> and such, and I know that the man command brings up details about commands.

But I've forgotten almost everything else about Unix.

I want to re-learn Unix because most programming jobs mention Unix as one of the required skills.

I want to start with a good book but, before I leap to research on a good Unix book I'm a bit confused about so many different versions of Unix and now there's Linux.

I searched on "Difference between Unix and Linux" and read some high-level replies. That leaves me wondering, should I learn Unix or should I learn Linux.

Many companies are still using Unix, and I feel like learning Unix instead of Linux.

But before I learn either Unix or Linux, I will have to set up my environment with that OS and then buy a book to practice stuff.

But first I need to decide on one of them (Unix or Linux) and stick to it.

I don't know if commands, shell scripts and Vi editor and it's clones that work on Unix also work on Linux and vice versa.

Any thoughts or advice on my situation is appreciated.
# 2  
Old 01-20-2007
go unix


you must go first install unix/linux as you want. then purchase entry level
unix book it will help you better.
and all member with you only.

comman very simple
win unix
copy cp
move mv
md mkdir
cd cd

use apropos comman with what you think about comman like
# appropos printer

it will reply, how many command use printer as a word

# 3  
Old 01-20-2007
Why make the choice? Try both!

Today I just read on some live CD/DVD-based BSD and Solaris distributions. IMO they are the best way to start exploring without messing up your hard drive. Of course, many more live CD/DVD Linux distributions are also available.

Linux is for sure very popular, but as Solaris has been more open with its platform and more activities are also going on in the BSD world, as a long time Linux user, I think I may also be trying Solaris on CD soon.
# 4  
Old 01-20-2007
Thanks to both for your replies.

The CD/DVD based OS seems appealing.

But, I'm guessing (as I'm new to the CD/DVD OS) that a CD/DVD based OS exposes limited features as opposed to hard-drive based OS.

Would one be able to write to a file, using Vi Editor on a CD/DVD based OS?

Yesterday we installed Fedora Linux by partitioning the hard drive of my old laptop which had Windows XP on it. The install crashed a few times. It's not fully installed yet.

On a side note, I also heard from some people that Mac OS comes with Unix by default.

I do want a stable system that I could use to practice Linux or Unix. So I'm thinking whether I should wipe out windows XP and replace it with Linux, or buy a new one etc.
# 5  
Old 01-20-2007
While a Live CD does have limitations, you can mount your windows drive under Linux plus you have a temporary space you can write to. In addition, you can use a thumb drive to save data to. It's a common way of saving your settings on a Live disk. On boot, you just tell the system to load settings from the thumb drive. I do that with a couple of Live distros I use.

With that said, that's fine for testing the waters, I wouldn't do that all the time. Especially since you're trying to gain experience working in Unix. You'd want to be able to customize your environment a bit more and install packages that may not be installed on the Live CD. You can install them via the thumb as well, just storing the libraries on the thumb drive. Another issue that bogs me down is the slowness of the CD based system. It's fine for a quick boot and rummage around but again, I wouldn't use it for more than just that.

As to your last question, removing Windows. If you're not using Windows on the system any more and of course your data's been saved Smilie then yea, I'd just punt the whole system and install one of the available Unix distributions.

The problem is that it's a laptop. In my experience, laptops are pretty unique beasts. It can limit your choices of Unix that you can install. Try the Live CD method first, make sure your laptop works as expected in the environment you're looking at and then you'll be reasonably assured it'll work for you as a programmer. You don't want to spend all your time chasing down drivers and tweaking things to get them working.

As to which Unix? Well there's a wide variety that's available to you. I'm not sure you could install Solaris on a laptop. If it's possible and if you want to try, go for it. A better choice might be FreeBSD. I believe it has some pretty good support for laptops. But there are Live CDs for quite a few distributions. Ubuntu seems to get a lot of thumbs up from people.

And the Mac uses OS X which is a FreeBSD based system but using a Mach kernel and Apple's proprietary user interface.

# 6  
Old 01-20-2007
Originally Posted by BOFH
I'm not sure you could install Solaris on a laptop.
You can, I have it running on one and Perderabo had solaris in his octave project.

Not to mention nextenta, an opensolaris OS with GNU tools, it's essentially a GNU/Solaris system. there is even a specialist opensolaris laptop group if you go that route.
# 7  
Old 01-20-2007
Thanks for the detailed response Carl and about the info you provided on installing through a CD, and MacOS.

As a programmer I don't really know much about installing OSs, but my husband is a n/w admin so he's doing all the install and config. We finally installed Linux Fedora and I was able to play with the command line mode.

The command line interface of Linux looks and behaves very similar to Unix.
Most commands that I knew (ls, chmod) also work on Linux. and it has the Vi editor and I think I can also write shell scripts on it.

By learning the Linux command line interface I think it will bring me up to speed with Unix as far as job requirements are concerned.

I have some data on Windows, I think I'll back them up on a CD and make the old laptop a full Linux system. The old laptop only has 256MB or RAM, I think I can upgrade it to 512MB, then things should probably stop crashing.

So for now I'll stick with Linux at home , and Unix at work (when I land on a job).
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