An intro to Debian website
I'm a fairly new Debian user, but I've been using various linux
distros off and on since 1995. I've found my home with Debian, but I
feel that the Debian community is lacking a web site aimed at new
users that gives an adequate introduction to debian.
Since I've only been using Debian for about a month, I still have a
good recollection of all my first experiences with it. And I've kept
a decent log of the information I've found helpful. In particular, I
think Debian is missing a broad introduction, something that would be
read prior to the installation guide, and a "now what" guide to follow
Some of the things to include in the intro would be:
- An introduction to the linux "attitude" (free speech as opposed to
- Links to some good writing of the unix philosophy, such as:
I found writings like this very motivating, and helped motivate me to
get through frustrating problems.
- Advocacy of good books, such as O'Reilly's _Running Linux_ and the
importance of reading for learning linux (this isn't obvious to win users)
- A good run-down of the advantages of Debian over other distros
- A good explanation of why to run Debian over any other OS
This section wouldn't be terribly long, and could be read in one
sitting. Basically, it's point would be to motivate someone to run
Debian while giving them a feel for what lies ahead. It is
important for a newbie to understand that Debian is much more than
(and has little resemblance to) a more stable and free (beer)
windows-like OS. Many newbies expect linux to be like windows, and
need to be properly informed.
Then, they could be introduced to the Debian Installation guide to get
a Debian box up and running. This could be supplemented with a
install FAQ (where to get cd's, what modules to load for what
Then, they be given an introduction to using Debian. The current
guides do little to help a newbie along at this point. debian.org has
a FAQ that covers some material, but I think it would be better if the
newbie's hand was held tighter.
They would need to be introduced to "The Debian Way"-- dpkg, apt-get,
update-alternatives, update-rc.d, make-kpkg, etc. This would be
extremely helpful for converts from other distros as well.
Show them the debian-user list and the proper way to ask for help.
This is the best resource for all Debian users IMO. 80% of what I've
learned has come directly from reading this list.
Help them get basic workstation functionality working-- X, netscape,
email, printing, etc. Also, a brief intro to server functionality--
apache, exim, ssh...
I'm sure there's other information that would be valuable, but that's
all I can think of right now.
Do you guys think this is something worth pursuing? A project like
this would only be successful if it had the support of the Debian
community. Does something like this already started that I'm not aware of?
Using Debian is extremely fun, but there's too many newbies out there
that just don't "get it". This resource could be exactly what they