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Total N00b


I want to teach myself a programming language and how to use linux systems.

I would to be able to read and write my own programs... im not sure whether this is developer or programmer. anyways im teaching myself and will be getting textbooks and such from my library about programming languages.

i was thinking C++ but not sure if this is a good place to start? is this what linux uses?

Which language should i start with and which distro would be good for a beginner to mess around with?

also do distros come with their own "compilers" or do i have to download one of them as well... any recommendations are helpful.

if you can help or even let me know if im on the right track or not it would be much appreciated.


  • saqman2060
    It depends on what you are trying to create. Most of the linux programs are built using python, which was said to be an easy programming language to learn. C++ is pretty complex yet very powerful. And linux does compile C++ sourc code. Since you are a beginner, start with a programming language that's easy to learn, familiarize yourself with it, master it then move to something harder.

    Yes you will have to download a compiler. For linuc it is gcc. You can also lookup compilers online to get a list of what type of compilers are used for certain programming langauges.

    As for a distro for newbies, try ubuntu or fedora. These distros are very user freindly in regards to teaching new beginners the power of liunx. In ubuntu, yu can download python. You can also use gedit which supports programming langauges form python to C++ and others. Also, subscribe to a programmers mailing list to get more help from actual programmers.
  • gomer
    gomer Posts: 158
    A couple things to remember / consider:

    Not all programmers use Linux.

    Not all Linux users are programmers.

    Once you know HOW to program, going to another language is not dificult. Learn what is available to you, or what you have a need / use for.

    C / C++ is pretty universal, and might be a good place to start. A LOT of applications today are written in those languages. The Linux kernel itself is largely written in C.

    As was pointed out, the GNU C compiler / tool chain is what is most commonly used in Linux, though there are plenty of other compiles and development suites available for Linux.

    Scripting languages like Python, Perl, Ruby, TCL, etc, do not require a compiler, and generally use an interpreter. Think of each language as a variation on a tool For example, I have several things in garage I call a "hammer", but they all look a little different, and I'm not necessarily going to drive a nail into my wall to hang a picture using my 30lb sledge hammer. :) but all the hammers work the same basic way. You kinda of just aim and swing. Eachis well suited for a different job.

    As far as distro's go, I usually recommend Ubuntu to firt time Linux users. If you really want to get a feel for every little nook and cranny, and what makes it sll work together (and you don't mind a little pain in the learning process), then you can try Gentoo, too. Actually, I would run Ubuntu for a couple weeks. Then install Gentoo and run that for a couple weeks, and then just before you're ready to throw away the computer, go back to Ubuntu. You'll have a good appreciation of how all the software on your computer interacts, and what the programmers / developers do to make it all painless for end users. :)
  • myposts
    I am saying, start learning C and start using Linux, especially its command line interface. When you make some progress in both, you start see how they meant one for another. I went this route some years ago and it gives much better understanding of Linux.
    There's plenty of c/c++ stuff online, the same goes for Linux too. There are some videos on youtube that you may find helpful, type something like "linux training" or "learn linux" or alike. There's bunch of crappy videos, but there are some great too. Don't expect to make a progress overnight, or you will be greatly discouraged. To tell the truth, it really doesn't matter what will you pick for a training guide, just follow it and don't stop. Many people think that it is something they can grab on first attempt, in most cases, it is not. C is very complete and complex language and it takes time to digest all of its ways. Linux is a bunch of zillion projects, many with they own unorthodox ways of accomplishing tasks, it takes TIME, before you get into it.Take a look on C/C++ and Linux set , it may be exactly what you need, for basic command line training I was using DVD course from UnixAcademy.com, I also followed recommendation of the video, and got Evi Nemeth's "Handbook" which is very helpful, but it is not for a beginner; you must get some basic training before you can read it.

    Hope it helps...


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