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Learn the ways of Linux-fu, for free (linuxjourney.com)
565 points by indatawetrust on June 2, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 75 comments

This is one of those HN 'anti-exemplar' posts where I can't tell if the people are serious and sincere or whether they are all involved in a satirical group troll or a self-promotion ring. Or both.

In broad strokes:

"Finally! After 20+ years now there's a way I can learn Linux!"

"If only a way I could 'save' this and revisit later... or a way to 'share' it with others... hmmmm..."

and someone just asked how to wipe a hard drive (?!)


and 415 upvotes?

It is not April 1st, and I'm not on The Onion. If everyone is sincere, great, and good for you, but I'd love to know that.

Is it because school is out for the summer now? At least here in the US.

And I'm curious: did any one else have a similar reaction?

Actually I find that page relatively nice and well structured, not looking like some concated man pages from the 80s. And there are probably lots of experienced people (I know some) who had relatively little Linux contact before, who somehow ended up on it, doing web development exclusively on the app layer with occasional contact with the rest of the environment, who would be happy to have such a resource. It has an ok balance of in-depth understanding and concrete examples, which is not always true for man pages, and it is structured differently ("problem -> understanding -> solution" rather than "solutions -> understanding of the solutions -> find the correct problem").

I agree. It looks nice but that's it. It's full of errors and misinformation.

People would be FAR better off with "Linux for Dummies" which despite the name is an excellent book.

And it has a free "cheatsheet" : http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/linux-for-dummies-chea...

Hey what kind of misinformation are you talking about? Can you point out a few instances?

I wish HN had a save post feature similar to Reddit. I'm not really a bookmark guy and this is exactly the kind of site I know would be a life saver some time in the future.

If you upvote a post you can access then later by clicking on "saved stories" in your profile page. There is a "saved comments" too.

I wrote a script to export them:


Thanks, very handy! Just downloaded all my data.

Heh, bookmarks do not help. I am a compulsory bookmarker, but i suck at finding stuff i have bookmarked maybe a month ago...

Personal Opinion: Use pocket. Saving and finding links are very easy with pocket app. Its available as an extension on all browsers. It also has a mobile app. To save, you just right click and select save to pocket. You can even tag your saved links. Give it a try, you might like it.

The trick is to purge the bookmark folders you haven't gone to in awhile and go through each one.

File them into other Bookmark folders if needed, but go through them. You'll notice 1 or 2 (or more) gems that you need to get to, some more you forgot about, but are definitely important, and you'll delete/re-organize any that aren't that important any more (but you thought might be).

I think bookmarks are gold for my scatter brained multi-device using personality.

I have years of helpful bookmarks that stand the test of any computer outage, all easily accessible from any chrome browser i log into.

When i die my kids will be able to access my bookmarks giving them an advantage of getting some finely curated knowledge articles spanning a lifetime from someone they trust.

Good point. Does anyone have a good web based bookmark tool? I hop between a dozen machines on different networks so keeping bookmarks is kind of tedious.

I've been using https://pinboard.in for years and can't recommend it enough - it's brilliant.

I'm a/was fan of Maciej and the 'fight' he's fighting, and signed up for the full-archiving solution (that indexes saved pages) in part because of this. So far I'm rather disappointed in the whole thing. For some reason I get an error message when I try to do a full-text search, and I've 1) approached the pinboard twitter account, 2) sent two emails to support spaced > 1 week apart, and 3) asked multiple times in the IRC channel.

Honestly it actually affects the support I had for the the anti-startup 'I can run a business on my own and grow it myself' narrative that pinboard represents.

Basically, don't use pinboard if you expect any kind of support.

EDIT: plus, for some bizarre reason the full-text search doesn't work on pinboard's own notes features, which was something I just assumed would be the case. Big letdown.

Oh crap, I forgot there even was an IRC channel!

I'll fix this and credit you for a year due to the fact that you had to come to HN for actual support. The underlying issue is sometimes I burn out and flee to the woods/southern ocean for a while. But my bad work habits shouldn't be your problem.

Ha, thanks for responding. And my apologies, I was frustrated and not in the best of moods, and I don't really stand behind what I said (completely). The truth is that I think a big 'problem' in my society is not just the business-side, but the consumer-side expectations/demands too.

I don't actually mind that sometimes things don't run as smoothly as they would for a product that has an entire team and/or dedicated support behind it (or appear do so to at least), and in fact I think it's part of the agreement, in a way. If I like the fact that you're a one-man shop, I should also accept some of the downsides.

Anyways, things are working now, thanks! I'm curious: what happened there? Was it just my account?

Also, turns out pinboard does index notes. Awesome!

Wait, pinboard indexes notes? I really doubt that. Is it possible it's indexing the bookmarks pointing to the notes? Those get pre-populated with the first N characters of the note content.

Could you email me your pinboard username? I appreciate your kind words but am serious about comping you.

I fixed fulltext search that was falling over on a caching server, so it affected a bunch of users besides you.

Yeah, you're right. I did a search for a word in the first sentence of a note and that works, but searching further down doesn't work. Consider the notes indexing a feature request :).

I'll email you my details, thanks.

I read your earlier comment last night and noticed that feature didn't work for me either. I was just about to email support this morning when I saw the replies, so I double-checked and it's now fixed for me too. So it wasn't just your account.

that quote from the economist on the pinboard site is great. cheers.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience; I've contacted Maciej twice in the past for questions related to the API and he answered swiftly.


Certainly not bad, but there are hostable solutions that would work on $15/year VPSs, and that's at consumer pricing and supports multiple users.

On the other hand, this is just penny pinching and <$1/mo is phenomenal.

There's a story behind it - apparently there was a better response from consumers with annual pricing. People often didn't understand the concept of a one-off fee for a web service, and got confused between the once-off and the recurring options

> Right now, users pay a one-time signup fee that grows by a fraction of a penny with each new signup. At the moment, this fee is $10.55. Pinboard also offers archiving accounts, which cost $25/year. Users who upgrade after joining Pinboard can deduct the signup fee from the first year of archiving.

> Under the new scheme, basic Pinboard accounts will cost $11/year, while archiving will continue to cost $25/year.

> My main reason for making the change is so that I don't have to keep explaining how pricing works. An astonishing number of people already believe that they're paying annually for Pinboard. Others accuse me of baiting and switching them when they upgrade to archiving and get a renewal notice. Note how much easier it is to describe the new policy than the old one.


So he changed it from a one-time cost of ~$11, to a recurring annual cost of $11? That seems like a pretty big change.

I built my own with an off-the -shelf CMS (Textpattern) and a bookmarklet. Works great, almost 3000 links in there, searchable, etc. I wrote a tutorial on it for txptips.com.

> but there are hostable solutions that would work on $15/year VPSs

Can you recommend any?


Pocket is pretty good IMHO https://getpocket.com/

It's also built-in to Firefox, even though a lot of people hate that idea.

kifi (https://www.kifi.com/) by far the best i have ever used. its a little icon that you can position anywhere on the side of your screen. you just click it when you want to save the current page.

the great thing about it is that it indexs with your google searches. So if you had saved a link about "Sphinx Admin Configuration" that you really liked, you could forget about it and then on a google search it would pull it to the top of the list and show it as a kifi saved site.

Also cool is the social network effect, the people in your "network" you can see what searches they saved.


Not exactly what you're asking for but, seriously, if you sign-in to the browser you can access the same history and bookmarks on Android, Linux (desktop), Win, Mac OSX, etc.

Firefox Sync seems to offer the same sort of thing.

exactly. I just use chrome. I've tried to use pocket (and still do, but not as my primary resource).

I use google.com/save and the corresponding extension https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/save-to-google/meo...

I use pocket. And HN has a pocket link... It's just awesome. https://getpocket.com

Actually, it's the Pocket chrome extension that adds the "save to pocket" button.

Ahhh... We'll regardless it's great. I've been using it since almost inception. Many thousands of saved and tagged sites. It's the tags that make it great.

I have been a happy user of pinboard for years (pinboard.in).

I'm using Pocket, and am in the process of switching from Readability (~2,000 articles archived there) as well as adding more articles.

It's got some positives and negatives, though I'm fairly impressed so far (this is rare, so that alone is high praise).

1. Tags. Lots and lots of tags. It doesn't tell me how man I've got, though >1,000 wouldn't surprise me. I tend to organise stuff heavily.

2. Title, tag, and FULL TEXT search. This alone is a huge win over Readability, which lacked text-based search. The bad news: search appears to be OR rather than AND, meaning that lots of search terms increase rather than narrow search scope. If that's true, it's fucking idiotic. (Ello's search has a similar failure.)

3. Pretty good rendering. Overall the Pocket Android app is far better than the Readability app.

4. Responsive support. I've filed a mass of suggestions through the Pocket web form, plus a few through email. The latter have elicited responses, which is promising. No actual bugs fixed yet, though I'm hoping this will happen.

5. Good presentation defaults. Essentially preferable to ALL default Web design. White, sepia, and night-mode options, with font face and size controls.

6. Active development, support, communications. Readability appears to have entirely ceased public activity as of ~December 2012, with a (fairly annoying) set of feature changes. I suspect it's not long for this world.

What's missing from Pocket:

1. Counts. Count everything, at least on request.

2. User stats. Overviews of article counts, add, archive, read, and delete rates would be helpful.

3. Multi-tag search. My tagging pays off most if I can filter to specific sets of topics. Generally, the tag system wants a lot of UI/UX love.

Some longer comments on how tags might be improved: https://plus.google.com/104092656004159577193/posts/crEFWvoG...

Evernote is my preference, since it lets you capture the content as well as the link. It's been helpful when blogs change structure or when I'm trying to remember the link based on content vs site/title.

Does no one use Diigo? My favorite part about it is how easy it makes it to add tags when you bookmark a page. You can easily call up things you've saved many years ago with a simple tag search. It's kind of like a better Delicious, back when Delicious was actually good. But I imagine it's also like a free version of Pinboard.

Plus it doesn't have that ridiculously large "modern" UI style that takes up so much space. Just a simple, no-frills interface with superb tagging and search.

I've been using https://www.google.com/bookmarks/ for years.

I use Instapaper to save articles that I want to read later.

What ever happened to Delicious?

It keeps getting sold, reinvented by another company, then sold again. I've had an account for nearly 10 years and it's probably been through 4 or 5 different owners. It reached the point for me where the bookmarklet or extension would keep breaking and since I was using browser syncing, I just never got around the fixing it.

bought by Yahoo, everyone forgot it exists.

That was a long time ago. It has changed hands several times since then.

I used to love delicious. I loved seeing who bookmarked the same thing and following them for more similar content.

Indeed. It was, in a way, quite similar to Pinterest. Shame Yahoo screwed it up :(

There's a really nice web-based bookmarking tool called Pinboard. You might have heard of it.

Cut and paste.

>By default the echo command takes the input (standard input or stdin) from the keyboard and returns the output (standard output or stdout) to the screen.

This isn't right is it? Echo doesn't read anything from stdin:

    echo <<< HelloWorld
Does this command makes any sense?

    $ ls | grep *.txt /tmp
    grep: /tmp: Is a directory
I found the whole text-fu section quite confusing...

This doesn't work either:

    $ echo The quick brown; fox jumps over the lazydog > sample.txt
    The quick brown
    bash: fox: command not found

You're terminating the command at ; so bash is looking for the fox command, which it can't find. Quote the text.

Yes I wouldn't recommend this one. And the emacs part is useless (it's a half baked cut and paste of the tutorial)

This is a beautiful site for teaching the command line, while not being too over the top in its aesthetic...I'm on my iPad so I'm not seeing the issues others are having on mobile

"During this time other efforts such as BSD, MINIX, etc were developed to be UNIX like-systems. However, one thing that all these UNIX like-systems had in common was the lack of a unified kernel."

BSD and MINIX lack a Unified kernel? What?

Learn the CSS foo. Layout and navigation completely broken on mobile

That's because this is the year of the Linux desktop. /s

(Yes, I know Android is linux, but you know what I mean you pedantic know-it-alls).

This is for OP if its their project. Feedback your mobile version needs work. I see that it's responsive, but a lot of the content is off the screen.

Don't teach people ifconfig! It's all about ip now.

Yes, I can't stress this enough. I teach all the users at my company to use ip instead of ifconfig.

think some keys got mixed up here:

h or the left arrow - will move you left one character

j or the up arrow - will move you up one line

k or the down arrow - will move you down one line

l or the right arrow - will move you right one character

There are a lot of little typos (such as stating '..' and '-' arguments for 'cd' labeled as "previous directory" or suggesting Ubuntu uses Debian because it's made by Canonical). I wonder the best way to contact the author about revising these small but obviously not terrible errors.

Also, Debian "Testing" and "Development" (which should be "unstable") are not rolling releases. They both experience feature freezes while the next stable is finalized, and "unstable" isn't even a complete release -- it's merely an overlay on top of testing. And the way it's currently worded suggests that you can only use dist-upgrade when you're on testing, which is not true.

There's a "Contact Us" section in the footer that points to - contact@linuxjourney.com

The author is also active in this thread:


Thanks! I need to up the contrast on my monitor because I totally glossed over that light gray on lighter gray.

There doesn't seem to be any mentions about pacman in the package managers section.

It's a shame, I've felt wonderful switching to Arch based distributions just due to pacman.

On my Blackberry the site does not layout well. It might be worth looking at % of users coming from mobile and if you see a lot of that kind of traffic fixing the layout.

The fact your username is IE6 and you mentioned rendering issues makes me smile :)

Renders nicely on my iPhone 6S.

I was just about to jump into the world of Linux and this is perfect.

This is really well done. Can you talk a bit about how you built it?

Good one. Thank you.

Anyone offer advise on a good program for wiping the hard drive on an older PC - pentium / Duo core 2 ; 2009 for a fresh install of Ubuntu or some other Linux distro -install.

Spent ages trying to work out what the hell Linux-FU is ... then eventually realised it's like kung-fu .. wtf.

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