Learning Linux using Virtualbox, WSL, Books?

I want to know, Can I learn atleast Beginner to Intermediate level of Linux by installing Distributions on Virtualbox, using WSL2, and reading Books?

I don’t understand what’s wrong with my linux installation.
When I live boot, everything works well but when I install it to my system,
Some or the other problem arise. I am too frustated about this.
Is it my USB Drive, Corrupted ISO or hardware incompatibility.
I installed Fedora and Manjaro.Both were working well in Live Session.

Please give some suggestions.
I luckily made a Recovery Drive which helped me to went back to Windows.

Definitely with Virtualbox and some books (or online classes). Also, don’t discount how much you can learn from podcasts/youtube, such as with LearnLinuxTV. If you want to learn fast immerse yourself into the culture.

Start with a VM in Virtualbox. Let that become the beginning of your own home lab.

Now, about your issue, can you provide some details about your hardware? Are you installing to a HDD or an SSD (sometimes there is a difference, especially with NVMe). Also, are you getting an error message? If so, can you post the description of the error or a screen shot here? These items would be helpful in troubleshooting the issue.

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Another option, too, that’s fun and inexpensive (and leaves your lappy unmolested :wink: ) is to get a Raspberry Pi 4B (or 400), which also runs Linux (Raspberry Pi OS is basically Debian+goodies for the RPi).

Plus there’s tons of fun projects you can do with them and a huge educational support system.

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I will describe my issue. (Sorry if there are any Grammatical mistakes, English is not my first language).
First with Fedora, I dual booted Fedora with Windows 11.
My Laptop has one 256GB NVMe SSD(Windows is installed here) and a 1TB HDD, I allocated 50GB of space for Fedora from HDD. I followed a YT Tutorial. an EFI boot partition space was created for the Boot menu.
After installing, I found the Booting speed and while using OS was slow(maybe because of HDD).
After updating Fedora, I started installing my reqd programs. After rebooting, suddenly, Bluetooth was gone(Bluetooth was there during the live session).
After another reboot, the sound was gone. Plus, the microphone had an awful crackling noise while recording.
I thought it was a failed attempt, so I deleted the partition of Fedora.

Second with Manjaro, this time, I tried installing Manjaro on my SSD where Windows was installed.
No problems during the live session, installed it, updated the system via Terminal,
Similar problem, suddenly, USB Drives and Wireless Mouse were not detected. and it was lagging in between.
I thought it was again a failed attempt. Reinstalled Windows 11.

The third option with SolusOS , which was smooth during the live session, I loved the budgie DE and their Customizations.
I installed Solus on SSD. booting time was long, and during bootup, there was some error popping like backlight-display or screen something.
Afraid and frustrated with the problems, reinstalled Windows.

I was reading and watching videos on installation and documentation.
I thought I will be able to install it without any problems.
I believe, I still have inadequate knowledge or my laptop isn’t supporting me to install Linux.

I am planning to learn Linux via WSL2 and Virtualbox and books.
or entirely thinking of buying a Raspberry Pi(leaving my Laptop unaffected).

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What configuration should I buy? like RAM, etc.
4GB RAM is enough?

Can a MicroSD card handle the OS or do I need to buy an SSD or something?
Will I need a Fan for better cooling?

RPi is a bit expensive for me in India. so need to think properly before buying.

For learning on, a 4GB one is fine; I have an 8GB and even doing lots I don’t use 4GB of it. They can get warm, yeah, so if you put even a heat sink type case like the Armor Case (~US$12) that will be nice. It looks like their Armor Case with fans is just US$1 more, so if it’s just a tiny bit more there, too, I think it would be a bit better.

You can run with a good-quality MicroSD or, if you already have an SSD and USB3 adapter cable that does work lots faster.

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Thank you for your reply.
I will see what model is available in my country.

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Good luck and have fun! \o/

@vishalshinde, I would love to see you get Linux running on your current computer without the need to buy anything. The issues you describes with Fedora sound like issues that I have seen with improper drivers for the sound card and such. Manjaro also sounds like driver issues, or some issue with the Bluetooth stack in both Fedora and Manjaro which will tend toward later editions of software. You might have run into a bug in later versions of the Bluetooth stack of drivers and applications. Then the SolusOS issues.

I love Fedora, and I have heard good things about Manjaro and SolusOS from its loyal fans, but I kind of feel that you tried three Linux distros that are for the more advanced Linux user, and tend to need some extra bits and care to trouble shoot the issues you mentioned. Have you considered trying on the Ubuntu Flavors? I kind of feel like Ubuntu has done more testing on laptop hardware than most Linux distros can afford to do, and you might have a better experience with either Ubuntu proper or one of the Ubuntu flavors if you would like to try again in running either Ubuntu by itself on the laptop or in a dual boot with Windows 11. There is an Ubuntu Budgie edition, the main dev is a great guy and he has built a warm and welcoming community. I also love the Ubuntu Mate community, their forums have been wonderful and helpful for me in the past when I was running Ubuntu Mate on my main machines (still have one install at work that runs our old projector).

I believe that finding great Linux communities like this one that @jay has built with his YouTube channel are great ways to learn and grow as a Linux user. Honestly, I run MX Linux and Fedora on most of my machines and servers because I love both of those communities and they have been warm and welcoming to me as a user, just as this community has as well. Thankfully, there are a number of great communities that center on creating wonderful Linux distros too.

One final note, I believe you can go a long way in your Linux journey with WSL. I surprise myself often when I jump onto WSL on my work Windows 10 laptop, and use my CLI knowledge to enjoy using my Windows computer a bit more :slight_smile:

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^^^ This. Good advice.

Thank you for the long reply.
My wifi was not loading the Ubuntu website so it was difficult to install and update Ubuntu. Now it’s working!
maybe, I will try Ubuntu as dual boot.
if everything goes well, I will reinstall Ubuntu on my SSD.
Linux Mint and popos don’t boot on my Laptop.
If still, ubuntu doesn’t work, then I will try other ubuntu-based distros.

Dual boot can indeed work, but isn’t always the best solution IMHO. A Raspberry Pi was also suggested, but those are currently a bit hard to come by here in the USA as well.
Another approach I like is to find an old PC and make it a Linux-only machine. Even a 10-year-old PC can run Linux quite well. My distro of choice is Linux Mint. My rule of thumb for hardware is at least a dual-core processor and 4GB RAM.
I recently installed Linux Mint on a 12-year-old laptop with a Pentium P6200 and 4GB RAM. I’m amazed at how well it runs. I did replace the HDD with an inexpensive 120GB SSD but that’s not absolutely necessary.
Good luck and have fun!

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Thanks for the advice.
An old PC and RPi is difficult for me to buy.

I read that when Dual boot is done in separate drives, then it’s fine.
Fedora, Manjaro and SolusOS were having hardware issues as written in the above threads, Ubuntu seems to be working fine till now.
I will try it for a week if everything works well. I will replace it with Windows 11.

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It’s nice that there are so many ways to get the job done! :slight_smile:

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