[scribus] Moving to Linux

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Fri Aug 21 03:09:42 CEST 2009

On Thu, 20 Aug 2009 18:30:12 -0600
StevenD <daytonmeister at gmail.com> dijo:

> D. R. Evans wrote:
> > If you have at least a vague idea of what you're trying to do, then the
> > "apropos" command can often help.

> Is there some kind of documentation or how-to for us beginners on how to 
> work the Terminal and what these lines of code mean and do?

The "apropos" command calls up a list of command related to whatever
you typed after it. For example, if I want a list of commands related
to filesystem issues I can enter the command "apropos filesystem" and
it will bring up a list of commands that one might use for dealing with
the filesystem. You still have to know what the commands do. Plus, in
my experience it brings up too long a list.

There are a ton of websites dedicated to the Linux command line. I
suggest you google around and bookmark a few that you like. Having said
that, most of them are alphabetized wrong. They list the commands in
alphabetical order, but you need an index according to what they do.
You spend a lot of time scrolling through the list or using your
browser's search feature to look for keywords.

There are also books. I bought a couple and rarely used them. It's
faster to find stuff online.

Most commands have a "man page" (manual page). If you want to know all
the options for a command you can type "man <command>." Nowadays I use
the man pages sometimes, but when I was a beginner I found them pretty
useless. They're really designed for someone who already knows the
command and what it does, but has forgotten some of the options and
needs a reminder.

One thing that I did early in my Linux career was to create a simple
text file that I labeled "Cheatsheet." Every time I learned a new
command trick that I knew I would need again just as soon as I forgot
it, I entered it into Cheatsheet. Over time I built up a personal
library. And Ubuntu's text editor (gedit) can use an add-on that splits
the screen into a text editor window on top and a terminal window on
the bottom. I open Cheatsheet in the top window and then I can just
copy and paste the command into the bottom window.

The most awesome resource for newbies is the Ubuntu forums. There is a
forum for absolute beginners where you can ask questions that you'd be
embarassed to ask anywhere else. I strongly recommend you haunt the
Ubuntu forums. Just about every question you can think of has already
been asked and answered there. Tens of thousands of Ubuntians worldwide
read the forums daily, so if you post a question you'll usually get a
quick response. Just remember to answer questions whenever you can as
well, 'cause giving back is what open source software is all about. 

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