user migrating over from windows - need system details

Asked by David

I have read thru the

1) documentation for 10.04LTS,
2) it's online desktop guide, and
3) quite a bit of the server guide (I need to go back and some sections in more detail, but I've scanned most of it)

Is there anything that discusses the entire file structure, and it's dynamics?

for example, I followed some instructions today to setup some touchscreen drivers to
a)automagically load, and
b)setup the configuration/calibration utilities
       1)by creating some directories
       2)copying files (needed to be told about "gksudo nautilus" to access root owned portions of the file system)
       3) running some scripts
       4) adding commands to some other system scripts (the touchscreen setup instructions led me thru some scripting using the rc.# folders, adding some command lines to some other scripts, and such...)

without being led by the nose by the instructions, and some great responses by folks here, I would not have been have been successful...

man pages are great, if you have an idea of what you are looking for, but I'm not there yet

what I am looking for I guess is a better understanding of how file system structures fit, and how the system works, so I can grasp it better, and not be a burden to all the sharp folks providing support here

do I need to go back to the Debian docs, or is there something else I should go thru?

thanks very much

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Chris (fabricator4) said :

Don't sweat it, it sounds like you're doing great. A lot of Windows users come over thinking it's going to be just like a free version of Windows. Boy do _they_ have trouble. :-D

For a quick overview of the filesystem:

You might want to grab a bash primer, there's plenty to choose from if you Google it. bash is the command line shell that comes set up with Ubuntu and is probably one of the most common (but by no means the only one).

The man(ual) can be puzzling when you first try to use it. Once you get used to the layout and how information is presented it gets easier. You can also get man to search for keywords.

man -k copy
for example will list all the pages that have the word "copy" in the description. Yes there's quite a few of them, more than a page so you might want to pipe it through a utility called 'less'.

man -k copy | less

This will let you scroll up and down with the arrow keys. Press q when you are done.

You might want to be more specific and so try

man -k copy files | less

But this will give 14 something pages because it finds everything with the word copy OR the word files in it. You can instead search for a phrase:

man -k "copy files"

Which will give you just three results, and it's pretty obvious which is the one you're after.

Good luck and enjoy the journey!


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marcobra (Marco Braida) (marcobra) said :
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mycae (mycae) said :

The filesystem is laid out according to the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard,

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David (dfkwild) said :


I'm fine with Standard I/O and all that stuff

this helps a days with SUN OS are far removed, but everytime I read something, it comes back

thanks folks

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David (dfkwild) said :

Hey Marco - I've already read the Ubuntu's request was for sure the FHS as a start...I guess I'll have to start wading thru MAN and start trying things to understand under the hood

thanks again for the response