Either ubuntu or debian would be ok to use.
loading all the tools from bt to another distro would really not be worth your time, nor would it be that easy to do. It may even be impossible.?
As for learning it looks like you are one the right track.
Some pointers to help keep you moving would be to get more comfortable with the command line, making, renaming, copying, and deleting files etc.
Also start looking at the logs and what the info in them contain and mean.
generally @ /var/logs/ or so.
Vi is a good editor, little steeper maybe on the learning curve than say nano but its pretty universal.
Hope that helps out a bit, good luck
@archangel: I actually started with emacs, then moved to pico --> nano over the years. I can use vi, I just can't stand the UI on it. I only use it when on a *nix distro that has nothing else. Maybe my bias from originally using DOS editor for so many years? our of all my *nix associates, they are surprised that I am the only one that does not use vi. And yes, I agree, it is a Chevy vs Ford debate.
I think you are headed down the right path, you are asking the right questions, and in most cases capable of answering them yourself. So, congrats on being one of the few newbies posting on the forum who is willing to take the right path to learning! I also agree with blackfoot, you are quickly getting towards an intermediate user.
Originally Posted by nka389
As you first become familiar with Linux, I suggest (as others have noted) that you learn a single distro - Ubuntu is great for this - and stick with a single editor. Go with vi if you want the best long term results. (I personally *DETEST* vi, but I can use it when forced to, and this is what most Linux users use.) One of the things that you will want to master early is the bash shell. You want to become proficient on the command line as this is where *nix is really powerful.
Once you have the basics fully nailed down, you will find that you can start branching out to almost any other version of Linux, and as you have Mac OS, you can also get some good experience with BSD Unix as well! The Mac OS X bash shell is a great environment, (I am typing this on an iMac). If you learn BSD Unix, and System V Unix, you will be able to master every form of Unix out there with ease.
So, you have a long journey ahead of you, but you are doing the right things, and I applaud you for that. I only wish more new posters were of the same mind as yourself.
I personally use vim for everything but like archangel.amael said its like chevy vs. ford so who cares. I do however firmly belive that being proficiant in a vi editor is mandatory and almost a small rite of passage for Linux users. Years ago I only used nano before I discovered how powerful vim was untill one day I found my self in a situation where I was "Cracking the Perimeter" and my only access was a openwrt wireless router with only one editor. yep you guessed it VI. Ever since that day I made it a mission to learn vi and ever since then I've been using vim (vi improved) for any one who doesn't know. Just my two cents.
Not that I'm any good with Linux yet, but I started with nano much like pureh@te. After taking a few Linux classes for my BS degree, however, I started using vi editor. I'll have to give vim a shot - thanks for the info!
Just burned his ISO
Thanks for the encouragement guys, I really really appreciate it!
I'll keep on learning Linux and vi. I think it will do me good to repeat at least some of the sections of the VTC Linux Courses to really cement everything I've learned. I'm also reading up and going through a video course on networks in general and how the internet works.
So far, however, I've installed Debian 5.0 and managed to update the kernel to 2.6.29! Most of the stuff seems to be working now, so I can rest in peace and explore Linux as much as I want.
If I have any more difficulties I'll make a new post, because this one is going a bit off topic, but thanks a lot for all your help It is very much appreciated!