Want to know how to learn linux?
Well if you’re currently a Microsoft Windows user then this guide will take you through possibly the easiest way to do it.
When I started learning linux I was around 15 years old back in 1999 and I can honestly say that there has never been an easier time to learn linux than in 2020 and beyond.
I remember downloading floppy disk images of linux over a dial-up internet connection and booting up into a linux terminal.
Not a graphical interface or desktop environment in sight.
Of course I used the internet to learn as much as possible about using the linux terminal as well as reading many manual pages in the operating system itself.
But that’s not what I’m going to suggest to you here in this post as times have moved on from then!
You Will Need:
You will of course need a few things before we get started:
- A laptop or PC running Microsoft Windows
- An empty USB thumb/pen drive (at least 16GB of storage to be safe)
- A stable internet connection
1. Install Ventoy In Windows & Setup USB Device
Ventoy is a software program that currently works for Windows and Linux. Sorry MacOS fanboys, this post isn’t for you at the time of writing this.
Ventoy will install a linux boot system onto our USB drive.
Get yourself over to Ventoy.net and download the Windows executable file and install it.. go on, I’ll wait.. 😉
Here is the Ventoy setup guide. Just follow the Windows section to get your USB device ready for the next section.
2. Download Linux & Copy/Move It To USB Drive (ISO Folder Created By Ventoy)
If you would like a quick 101 on downloading linux then I have just the post for you right here.
TLDR: Most of us will be downloading x86_64 (64bit) linux.
If you download the wrong architecture then the world will not end, it simply will not boot up.
Other download options such as desktop environment doesn’t matter for the purpose of this post. Take your pick from MATE, XFCE, KDE, Cinnamon and so on.
Also Ubuntu has “LTS” option. This is “Long-Term Support” and this option simply doesn’t matter for the purpose of this post either.
Once you have downloaded your linux operating system distributions just check that they have a file extension of .iso which they should, then copy or move these image files over to the ISO folder on the USB device that Ventoy created.
3. Boot Ventoy, Then Select Linux From USB Drive (May Require BIOS Settings Change)
This next section covers booting up our brand new linux distribution.
Leave the USB device plugged into the PC/laptop and reboot your Windows system.
Next we wait..
What we want to happen here is that we want to see the Ventoy boot menu which is running on the USB device.
If the Ventoy boot menu shows up then great! Select your linux operating system and it should start to boot up.
HOWEVER.. if Windows boots up again then we will need to perform an extra step once Windows loads back to the desktop.
This extra step is configuring the BIOS boot sequence so it boots our Ventoy USB device rather than Windows from the hard drive.
If this sounds complex then don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds. BUT make sure you only change the boot priority and don’t touch any other settings.
4. Changing BIOS Settings If Needed
In order to boot up a bootable USB device we need to make it the first priority in the boot sequence.
This is configured in the BIOS settings.
If you’re unfamiliar with the BIOS or how to change the boot sequence then check out my BIOS for beginner’s post.
In section 11 I take you through the process of configuring this setting.
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5. Follow Linux Professional Institute Certification (LPIC-1) To Gain Foundation Knowledge
Before you freak out about me suggesting that you follow a Linux System Administrator certification course just hear me out on this one.
The Linux Professional Institute Certification (LPIC-1 for short) is an excellent blueprint to gain all the needed foundational knowledge of working in linux.
You can follow along with my LPIC-1 topics where I assume the reader is an absolute beginner.
Another excellent resource is TheUrbanPenguin.com who also covers each LPIC-1 topic in detail.
Before starting any Linux LPIC-1 course material however and you’re unfamiliar with the command line then I would suggest that you read my post that explains what the linux command line is.
There’s ONE problem that I’ve found with the LPIC-1 certification outline when teaching beginners.. and this is the order in which each topic is presented.
Let me explain for a second:
The 2nd topic in PART 1 is “Boot The System”. However, in order to successfully master this topic would require more basic knowledge such as working on the command line.
And for this reason, here is my recommended order of topics in which to proceed learning through:
Note: 104.4 has been removed from part 1 of the LPIC-1 exam (101-500)
|Recommended Order||Topics||LPIC-1 Order||installtekz.com|
|1||Work on the command line||103.1||Link|
|2||Basic file editing||103.8||Link|
|3||Use streams, pipes and redirects||103.4||Link|
|4||Create and change hard and symbolic links||104.6||Link|
|5||Manage file permissions and ownership||104.5|
|6||Customize or write simple scripts||105.2|
|7||Manage user and group accounts and related system files||107.1|
|8||Manage printers and printing||108.4|
|9||Find system files and place files in the correct location||104.7||Link|
|10||Control mounting and unmounting of filesystems||104.3|
|11||Determine and configure hardware settings||101.1|
|12||Perform basic file management||103.3|
|13||Create, monitor and kill processes||103.5||Link|
|14||Maintain the integrity of filesystems||104.2|
|15||Localisation and internationalisation||107.3|
|16||Maintain system time||108.1|
|17||Change runlevels / boot targets and shutdown or reboot system||101.3|
|18||Manage shared libraries||102.3|
|19||Use Debian package management||102.4|
|20||Use RPM and YUM package management||102.5|
|21||Modify process execution priorities||103.6||Link|
|23||Automate system administration tasks by scheduling jobs||107.2|
|24||Process text streams using filters||103.2|
|25||Search text files using regular expressions||103.7|
|26||Customize and use the shell environment||105.1|
|28||Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) basics||108.3|
|29||Linux as a virtualization guest||102.6|
|30||Securing data with encryption||110.3|
|32||Install and configure X11||106.1|
|33||Design hard disk layout||102.1|
|34||Create partitions and filesystems||104.1|
|35||Install a boot manager||102.2|
|36||Boot the system||101.2|
|37||Fundamentals of internet protocols||109.1|
|38||Persistent network configuration||109.2|
|39||Configure client side DNS||109.4|
|40||Basic network troubleshooting||109.3|
|41||Setup host security||110.2|
|42||Perform security administration tasks||110.1|
I found that one of the greatest ways to learn many linux commands safely while still having fun was editing text.
Yes I realize how geeky that sounds but it’s true.
Practicing commands to perform tasks such as splitting large files and manipulating text is incredibly useful as well as great training.
If you would like more information about text manipulation then I have a post on that subject too.
So this is my guide on how to learn linux as a Microsoft Windows user and I hope you found it helpful and informative.
Studying the LPIC-1 certification will not happen over night and it may even take many years to master it.
That being said though, it’s all laid out here for you. Just put in the hard work and the rewards are sure to follow.
And don’t forget: if you’re not having fun then you’re doing it wrong.
Good Luck with your new-found ninja linux skillz 😉