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RootFarmer
Desconectado/a
se unió: 08/24/2020

Hey, what's up?
I'm a lifetime Windows user, never bothered about the "linux" thing until I found and read thru gnu.org.
Can you clarify some things to me? What's the equivalent of drive C:\? Equivalent of Program Files? How to launch .exe file? Is shell hard to learn? Something special I should know?

loldier
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/17/2016

Hi, welcome.

In Unices, the drive is a device file. Such as '/dev/sda'. Other drives are '/dev/sdb' '/dev/sdc'. SSD M.2 drives can be '/dev/nvme0x1'.

Linux Bible 9th Edition (2015)

Binaries are installed usually under /usr/bin or /usr/local/bin.

https://askubuntu.com/questions/156392/what-is-the-equivalent-of-an-exe-file

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liberpoolesque
Desconectado/a
se unió: 01/07/2020

>What's the equivalent of drive C:\?

On Windows, partitions have labels like C, D, E and so on. There is no direct equivalent in Gnu/Linux. The a system like Trisquel does however allow you to open, inspect and manipulate partitions (like those on flash drives) like you'd expect on Windows. Such partitions/drives can be opened by clicking on their icon on the desktop or the file browser. That is all that is needed to use the system.

In case you want to know more, here's an example about how it works "behind the scenes":
Let's say you've got a flash drive names "MyFlashDrive" with a file "MyFolder\MyFile.pdf" on it, and your username is "bob". On Windows, the absolute path to that file may be something like "H:\MyFolder\MyFile.pdf". When inserted into a computer running an OS like Trisquel, the system will automatically create a folder with an absolute path like "/media/bob/MyFlashDrive" and 'mount' the flash drive there. This just means that the folder becomes a 'doorway' into the flash drive. In that folder, you can see the contents of the drive and manipulate them. The absolute path to the file mentioned above would in this example be "/media/bob/MyFlashDrive/MyFolder/MyFile.pdf", the slash at the beginning indicates that it is an absolute path. This knowledge is usually not needed for everyday use.

>Equivalent of Program Files?

Nonessential executables are stored in folders like /usr/bin and /usr/lib, but it's unlikely you'll ever need to know this.

>How to launch .exe file?

Not sure how to interpret this question. Are you asking how to start a graphical application that was installed on a Gnu/Linux system? There's usually a startup icon for that in the GUI, on Trisquel they are in the main menu.
Are you asking how to start an executable file that is not part of an application for some unusual reason? If it is marked as executable, simply opening it should work.
Are you asking how to execute executables compiled for Windows? A compatibility layer like "Wine" can do that sometimes. I've heard there are some people using it to run Notepad++ on Gnu/Linux, which is a free software, GPL'd text editor that was only developed for Windows. I'd avoid using Wine however, it may not always work.

The file extension .exe is mostly only used on Windows. On Gnu/Linux, executables have no popular uniform extension.

>Is shell hard to learn?

It depends what you want to do, and how eager you are to learn.
For newcomers, I usually recommend Trisquel above most other distributions since it is one of the easiest to use. Ordinarily, you should not need to use the shell at all.
On the internet, people will sometimes tell you to execute shell commands because it is faster than telling you how to navigate your way through a dozen windows, and it does not depend on which desktop environment or particular distribution you use.

>Something special I should know?

Maybe something about hardware. Hardware components like wifi chips and graphics cards require special firmware. Many of them are not properly supported by a system like Trisquel. Intel integrated GPUs (at least those that are not PowerVR-based) typically work best. Some Nvidia cards are mostly supported (I think it was the cards from the Fermi, Kepler and Maxwell (maybe also Tesla) series, but don't quote me on that), but they can be glitchy on very graphics-heavy applications. I did play some mostly successful experimental rounds of SuperTuxKart/0ad and some other games on one, though.
Most other GPUs are not supported, at least not with graphics acceleration, which can be really painful.

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/24/2010

GNU/Linux has one single file hierarchy, whatever the number of partitions/disks. The so-called "root" partition has the root of that hierarchy: /. A root partition is necessary. It can be the only partition. However, we often have more. For instance, a different partition for user files. The associated sub-hierarchy of files is "mounted", attached at a point (a directory) of the single file hierarchy. For instance, user files are in /home. As a consequence, if user files are on a separate partition (rather than directly in the /home directory of the root partition), its sub-hierarchy of files is mounted at /home (an empty directory in the root partition). Installing Trisquel, you can choose a custom partitioning or you can use the default one (with a separate partition for /home).

The organization of the file hierarchy is kind of arcane: https://refspecs.linuxfoundation.org/FHS_3.0/fhs/index.html (do not read that!).

For the moment (and maybe forever), you need not understand it. You should install "packages". The package manager knows where to install them (well, it is actually the package itself that knows where its files should be copied). Read that: https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/how-software-installation-trisquel-different-windows

An executable file can be launched from a terminal (writing the path to it, or only its name if the executable is in a directory that aims to contain executable files) or from a file manager (double-clicking on it). However, for graphical application, we have "launchers". They are items in a menu. Essentially every package providing a graphical application includes a launcher: after installing that package (with the package manager), the related menu item will appear. You can manage the menu (hide/delete items you do not use, add your own custom items, etc.) from applications such as "Main Menu", by default in Trisquel.

A "shell" is a command line interpreter. It is a programming language. Mastering it is hard. But you do not need to master it to start using GNU/Linux. Nowadays, you never need to open a terminal to use GNU/Linux! Do not get me wrong: learning shell's basics (starting with its interactive use, rather than shell scripting) opens up many possibilities. It is often the most efficient way to complete a repetitive task. But most users can do everything they need never opening a terminal.

My answers are kind of vague. I can make them more precise if you want to. But my point is: nowadays, you need not worry about partionning, system files or the shell to install and administrate a GNU/Linux system! Try it. You need not even install GNU/Linux to play with it (including to try installing applications with the package manager: they are then installed in RAM): we have live systems! See https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/how-create-liveusb and https://trisquel.info/en/wiki/starting-installable-live-system

Magic Banana

I am a member!

Desconectado/a
se unió: 07/24/2010

I forgot: take http://jenkins.trisquel.info/makeiso-etiona/iso/trisquel_9.0_amd64.iso (Trisquel 9) rather than Trisquel 8. Trisquel 9 will be (hopefully soon) the next release of Trisquel, with newer versions of the software. But it already perfectly works.

loldier
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/17/2016

Some resources.

Note: you *don't need* the command line to use the GUI and graphically manipulate files.

http://www.linuxcommand.org/

http://linuxclass.heinz.cmu.edu/doc/tlcl.pdf

Here we, free libre software users, call the system GNU/Linux to give credit to the GNU project. GNU is a free operating system that uses the Linux kernel. Not all people out there agree, and that's fine (see the attachment, a screenshot from the book The Linux Command Line)).

https://www.gnu.org/gnu/why-gnu-linux.en.html

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RootFarmer
Desconectado/a
se unió: 08/24/2020

Everyone here are very informative, thanks! Much appreciated!
I'm trying Trisquel 9 on a Virtual Box for now, I'll be buying a desktop to run it later.

I have a problem I was unable to solve in Windows. I have "papers" folder on my PC, which contains various important printable documents. When I bought a laptop, I copied "papers" folder on it and were manually synchronizing it with the folder on PC, until it got messed up. For 2 years I have 2 "papers" folders out of sync and it's a pain to search for a document on both devices every time.
What if I copy those 2 folders on Trisquel and merge them somehow. Does the shell command exists to do so?
"papers" folder contains other folders which may contain more folders (I'm bad at organizing), inside folders are various docx, pdf, txt, xlsx, rtf files.

loldier
Desconectado/a
se unió: 02/17/2016
liberpoolesque
Desconectado/a
se unió: 01/07/2020

I like the solution in your first link, altough I would also add the update "-u" flag to those commands to make sure that newer files (newer by modification date) don't get overwritten by older files with the same name.

So, if you have source folders named folder_a and folder_b, and an empty destination folder folder_c, then the following two commands will merge the contents of folder_a and folder_b into folder_c:

rsync -auP folder_a/ folder_c/
rsync -auP folder_b/ folder_c/

The trailing slash after folder_a and folder_b is important, by the way. It tells rsync to copy the contents of the directory instead of the directory itself.
And it would probably be good to keep backups of the original folders, in case you suddenly realize that you wanted to keep an older version of a file, for example.

Maybe there is a way to do this with graphical tools, but I don't know any. I've never used file managers like Gnome Commander or Double Commander.

RootFarmer
Desconectado/a
se unió: 08/24/2020

That's good to know!

RootFarmer
Desconectado/a
se unió: 08/24/2020

Thanks, bro! You're a lifesaver!

Malsasa
Desconectado/a
se unió: 12/01/2016

Welcome, RootFarmer!