You want to switch from DOS/Windows to Linux? Good idea, but beware: it might not be useful for you. IMHO, there is no such thing as ``the best computer'' or ``the best operating system'': it depends on what one has to do. That's why I don't believe that Linux is the best solution for everyone, even if it's technically superior to many commercial OS's. You're going to benefit immensely from Linux if what you need is sw for programming, the Internet, TeX... technical sw in general, but if you mostly need commercial sw, or if you don't feel like learning and typing commands, look elsewhere.
Linux is not (for now) as easy to use and configure as Windows or the Mac, so be prepared to hack quite a bit. In spite of these warnings, let me tell you that I'm 100% confident that if you belong to the right user type you'll find in Linux your computer Nirvana. It's up to you. And remember that Linux + DOS/Windows can coexist on the same machine, anyway.
Prerequisites for this howto: I'll assume that
This howto replaces the old ``From DOS to Linux --- Quick!'' mini-howto. Also note that, unless specified, all information in this work is aimed at bad ol' DOS. There's a section about Windows, but bear in mind that Windows and Linux are totally different, unlike DOS which is sort of a UNIX poor relation.
You installed Linux and the programs you needed on the PC. You gave yourself
an account (if not, type
adduser now!) and Linux is running.
You've just entered your name and password, and now you are looking at the
screen thinking: ``Well, now what?''
Now, don't despair. You're almost ready to do the same things you used to do with DOS, and many more. If you were running DOS instead of Linux, you would be doing some of the following tasks:
QBasicand/or C/Pascal programs;
You'll be glad to know that these tasks can be accomplished under Linux in a fashion similar to DOS. Under DOS, the average user uses very few of the 100+ commands available: the same, up to a point, holds for Linux.
A few things to point out before going on:
man commandthat invokes the manual (``man'') page pertinent to
command. Alternatively, type
info commandthat invokes, if available, the info page pertinent to
command. Info is a hypertext-based documentation system, perhaps not intuitive to use at first. Finally, you may try
whatis commandpressing then `q' to exit;
<...>means something that must be specified, while
[...]something optional. Example:
$ tar -tf <file.tar> [> redir_file]
file.tarmust be indicated, but redirection to
Want to strike out? Have a look at this:
DOS Linux Notes ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ BACKUP tar -Mcvf device dir/ completely different CD dirname\ cd dirname/ almost the same syntax COPY file1 file2 cp file1 file2 ditto DEL file rm file beware - no undelete DELTREE dirname rm -R dirname/ ditto DIR ls not exactly the same syntax DIR file /S find . -name file completely different EDIT file vi file I think you won't like it emacs file this is better jstar file feels like dos' edit FORMAT fdformat, mount, umount quite different syntax HELP command man command same philosophy MD dirname mkdir dirname/ almost the same syntax MOVE file1 file2 mv file1 file2 ditto NUL /dev/null ditto PRINT file lpr file ditto PRN /dev/lp0, /dev/lp1 ditto RD dirname rmdir dirname/ almost the same syntax REN file1 file2 mv file1 file2 not for multiple files RESTORE tar -Mxpvf device different syntax TYPE file less file much better WIN startx poles apart!
If you need more than a table of commands, please refer to the following sections.