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From Joseph Ibbitson
Answered By Thomas Adam
I'm an old guy (81) trying to learn Linux with very little computer experience. Strangly, with so much help available online I find it easier to learn Linux than Windows. However, one problem I have is just what does the various icons indicate when left clicking on the file tree. I see gears, folders, screens with and without locks, apparently sheets of paper, some with corners folded over, cubes of assorted colours, etc. etc. I am running Mandrake 7.2. My main problem is that I cannot find any instruction on how to navigate the file system when I don't know anything! I have yet to find a book that explains the very basics. Example-how do I find the proper way to install software. I have installed ,I beleive ,Sane, see it listed but how do I arrange it so I can Use it?
I hope you will exscuse this rambling requests. I really want to master Linux but until I can get over the basics I am having trouble. Any help you can give me will be sincerely appreciated. Thank You.
Judging from your description, I assume that you are using KDE. The icons that you see, are supposed (although I admit, I have trouble with this) to help you understand what KFM (the KFile Manager) is doing.
Cog wheels indicate that the program is executable folders indicate just that, that they are folders screens usually indicate that the program is a script of sorts. Try clicking on it once and opening it in a text editor such as "kwrite" or "kedit"
In really basic term, the Linux File system, has various components to it....
the root of the file system "/" holds folders such as:
etc home usr rootmnt
"etc" holds most of the initialisation scripts that loads as linux is booting (i.e. the output from the kernel)
"home" is the folder which stores the users work that is on the system
"root" is the folder where all of "roots" work is stored. Root is the system admin of a linux computer and has read\write permissions on every file. In other words root controls everything.
"mnt" holds the symbolic links to other partitions on your local machine
"usr" is the folder which stores main executables, man pages, etc.
Using your file manager as before replace what is already entered at the top, and put /usr/bin
here you'll find a lot of cog wheel icons. This is the main folder which will store all your programs.
Since you are using Linux-Mandrake (as do I) installing software is often done by using RPM's (RedHat Package Manager). To install these, insert your CD and at the console, type:
and you'll see a huge long list. To install any RPM (regardless of the path..folder that it is stored in) type:
rpm -i nameofrpm-1.0-0mdk.i586.rpm
and that should install it (assuming there are no module dependencies!)
I know this must seem very vague and confusing, but I believe I have started you off....
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