I am your typical newbie, and I have a few questions.

I come from an MS world and I am looking to convert. I recently installed RedHat 7.2 with a workstation install and chose select packages to install. I then proceeded to load every available package, so I can learn. I updated all packages (500 Megs of downloading - good thing I have a cable modem) after the install and created a few new users. I also purchased RedHat Linux Second Edition The Complete Reference (I tend to disagree).

1) I wanted to see what IP address I was allocated to my PC so I opened a terminal and typed "ifconfig --help" as suggested in another thread here. The response was "command not found." I figured I didn't have permission so I typed "su" and entered the password. I tried again. Same results. From here I searched for the file and found it in the /sbin directory. I changed to that directory and tried again. Same results. Yet I see "ifconfig" listed in the directory in green (by the way what are the color associations) if I do an ls. Same issue if I try linuxconf. What gives?

2) I was downloading some additional programs that I wanted to try, and there seems to be no standard for dowloaded programs. Some are .gz, .tar, .tar.gz, .tgz, .zip, .bzip, .sh. How do I know what command to use to open all of these and what are the most common options? In some cases I can click on the download and it opens a folder with other files and directories, but I cannot click on the "install" and have it run. Then if I go to the terminal and go to the folder it was downloaded to, I cannot see the folder that was created by clicking on the original download. I see it in the GUI but not at the command line. Wierd?

3) How do I run programs? Most programs do not install an entry into the K menu after install. Some programs work by going to the directory and typing "./program", while others don't. What is the standard?

4) Dependencies. I have tried going to rpmfind and a host of others to find dependencies to install programs. These seems so tedious, is there a workaround? Debian "apt-get" is not the answer.

It seems that simple tasks like downloading, installing, and running programs is tedious, time consuming, and difficult.

I refuse to upgrade to Windows XP, and would really like to become a Linux guru. Where do I start?