*nix Guide


June 29th 2015

Welcome to *nix Guide, a place to find more information on UNIX like operating systems. We cover Linux, OSX, BSD, and Solaris. If IRIX gets an interest I'll add it in there too. This guide was spawned out of the /g/ Friendly Linux threads that I started to help people get started in Linux/BSD. This is a collection of information that came out of those threads and will have information added as more threads are made. A lot of the common stuff is in here, but if you don't find something, or you think there's something that's worth adding give me an email (at the footer). This site is being updated daily so check back often. This web site is still under construction however so there's test pages here and there while I fill it in. Here's some music while you wait.


June 29th 2015

>I just want a distro to do simple stuff or I'm just starting out
Use Mint, any of the *buntu's, Fedora etc.
Apparently one anon found Antergos to be good for this too.

>...but I want a lightweight DE
Use anything with LXDE, or XFCE

>I've got a good system though and I want it to look nice
Use anything with GNOME, Cinnamon, MATE, or KDE (Plasma 5 especially)

>...but I like tiling WMs and ricing
You can replace the WM in a DE with i3, Awesome, Openbox etc. or just use them by themselves

>...but I use Wayland
KDE and GNOME/Cinnamon support Wayland. If you want to do the WM thing look at Orbment (formerly loliwm) at https://github.com/Cloudef/orbment

>...so now what do I do?
Use your chosen OS to accomplish what you were trying to do with your old one. Learn shell scripting and regex to automate things. If you picked Linux this book will help in learning the CLI http://sourceforge.net/projects/linuxcommand/files/TLCL/13.07/TLCL-13.07.pdf/download

>My video doesn't work on my laptop
Use the open drivers instead (epescially if you have Nvidia graphics)

>What's the difference between BSD and Linux?
See https://www.over-yonder.net/~fullermd/rants/bsd4linux/01

>Help me with dual booting
Use a spare laptop, a spare hard drive, or a VM instead

>Arch Linux installs suck
Use Antergos or the Evolution installer

>My printer doesn't work
Check out https://www.openprinting.org/printers and see if your printer is compatible

>Linux audio stuff (i.e. ALSA/PulseAudio/JACK)
ALSA should be fine for most people but if you need network audio transport, dbus integration, or just need to consolidate regular applications into their own JACK sink PulseAudio may be for you. PulseAudio comes with a lot of distros already so if you have it already don't worry about it. JACK2dbus is what you want for pro audio.

>I got my WM set up but the colors are crap
Modify your Xresources file to change the colors and fonts. Where you want to go is https://terminal.sexy which supports exporting too once you've decided on a scheme (or had one randomy generated). For other color schemes check https://github.com/chriskempson/base16 which has a preview link for all of them and config files for a lot of editors. Use xrdb /path/to/your/Xresources/here to affect the changes. Only new terminals will be effected.
for more

>I got my DE set up but the theme sucks
KDE: http://kde-look.org/
GNOME/MATE/Cinnamon/GTK2 and 3: http://gnome-look.org/
XFCE: http://xfce-look.org/
*box: http://box-look.org/

>What about games?
Steam is on Linux with some, you can keep a spare Windows install on another drive, or try GPU passthrough with KVM+QEMU.
Check: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=162768

>I have a Broadcom card!
See https://askubuntu.com/questions/55868/installing-broadcom-wireless-drivers about setting it up

>How do I hand out fine grained permissions instead of running as root all the time?
Make sure you have Polkit running and you booted with it.
See https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Polkit for more

>I'm wanting to do kernel dev, driver dev, and I like Emacs (below is from another anon)
http://www.howardism.org/Technical/Emacs/new-window-manager.html in Xorg you simply put "emacs" instead of "fvm" or whatever windows default manager is there (for openbsd anyway).

Kernel dev I got into from just reading the Kernel Developer's Guide man pages that come with every Linux/BSD distro, but there's good books and courses like this: https://www.coursera.org/course/hwswinterface (there's a 2015 updated 3rd edition book for it you can pirate or buy) and there's this kernel mod challenge: http://eudyptula-challenge.org/

This is a good site for emacs intro for development (like prelude defaults, package managers ect). http://tuhdo.github.io/emacs-tutor.html and of course the original Stallman manual.

Driver development I mainly learned from reversing drivers http://www.linuxvoice.com/drive-it-yourself-usb-car-6/ as I never had a reason to write my own drivers until I came across an crypto USB stick that wouldn't work on OpenBSD. I would look at existing open source drivers, then reverse them and compare. Then I would go reverse the proprietary driver and use an open driver as a skeleton/template. Fill in the blanks and done (for something easy like USB).

If you are interested in reverse engineering this is possibly, the most insane work ever created. A guy in Russia wrote a huge, HUGE "Beginner's guide to Reverse Engineering" http://beginners.re/ I am reversing everything these days, like the dropbox binary so I could roll my own OpenBSD version to test some things (I abandoned it for tarsnap backup).

>I need time management advice because I'm tired of being unproductive
Read: http://matt.might.net/articles/productivity-tips-hints-hacks-tricks-for-grad-students-academics/