Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What is the most basic linux operating system?

Q. What linux distro is the most basic?

I am looking for an operating system that includes:

-command line
-no splash screen when booted
-nothing else.

A. There's no one answer to this question. There are many small Linux distributions. Take your pick.

There's one called Tiny Linux which is pretty small (~7mb).
SmallLinux may fit your bill.
MuLinux is a minimal distro. It fits on a floppy (1.44mb). Desktop is optional.
Here's a few lists of other distros that may be what you want. Most of them fit on a floppy disk.

If you really want something smaller than that you can make your own distro. But I can't tell you how to do that.

Generally, what are the most commonly used programming languages?
Q. I know my way around Python and Visual Basic. That's about it. I also know some about the Linux command line, especially in Ubuntu context.

Can anyone help me to determine, what are the next several languages I should concern myself with studying?

A. It really shouldn't matter what languages you learn. What's really important is that you learn the patterns and data structures that span all languages. Once you do this, you'll pick up any language in about a couple weeks with no problem. As far as resume building is concerned, I would feel completely confident in landing a development job anywhere with C/C++ skills and a web job with PHP/SQL skills. Generally, C++ is so versatile because you don't have to rely on the underlying runtime frameworks (JRE for java, and .NET for VB/C#) that many companies try to avoid.

Saying that, Java is also a good one to dabble in if you haven't already, though I would not steer too clear of learning how do deal with memory in C/C++.

It's good you know Python, though you'll definitely need a more powerful language if your going to be serious about a career in software.

Get to know how to build makefiles and construct classes and such in C++ on ubuntu. Get to know how to do everything with a command prompt and vi. Once you understand all of this, you become much more powerful as a developer in general.

What is the best linux distribution for learning to use many?
Q. First, a bit about my background.. I currently work as a Network Engineer, mainly with Cisco routers/switches and VPN devices. I am throughly familiar with Windows, both as a workstation and server, and have one more test to go to complete my MCSE. However, I have no real experience with Linux, and feel like this is both a hole in my personal knowledge and in my resume. :) I can do basic user stuff both from a command line and in Xwindows, but have no real command of it.

That said, I intend to rectify this. I want to start using Linux as my primary operating system on my personal PC, as I feel this is a great first step to really force myself to learn it. I need to know what distribution would be best for me to use. My concern is some of them seem to have alot of propriatary tools that are not found in other linux distros, I want to find one to learn on that will best allow me to be comfortable on any linux distro I run into in the future. Thanks much for your advice!

A. Linux truly is a wonderful operating system! If I'm using a PC, I greatly prefer using it to Windows. It's much more stable, secure, etc. But you already knew that. =]

Personally, I would suggest you start out with OpenSuSE. It's easy to use, yet it is very powerful. Its installer is also pretty easy. I recommend that because a lot of businesses that run Linux on their client systems use SuSE (the only difference between that and OpenSuSE is that SuSE contains closed-source programs; therefore, you have to pay for that distro).

I hope this helps! Good luck!

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