Linux.com: The Value of a Community in Learning Linux

“One of the most difficult things about Linux is the learning
curve. For people who are accustomed to user interfaces that
attempt to do everything for them, an interface that does exactly
what you tell it to do with minimal fuss (graphical or command
line) can be an invigorating breath of fresh air or a hard slap in
the unsuspecting face.”

“The command line is a good example: the utter proliferation of
tiny little tools and software, each with their own distinct
purpose, syntax, and idiosyncrasies, can be extremely overwhelming
at first. Yet it is also very powerful, allowing you to accomplish
tasks easily in the Unix environment that would often be impossible
or exceedingly difficult in any other environment….”

“The single most formidable problem with exploiting all these
tools to their maximum effectiveness is not their syntax, nor their
speed, nor any other of the seemingly large factors, but rather
finding out about these tools in the first place. Start up bash and
hit “Tab” a couple times at the prompt. A typical Linux
distribution has well over a thousand distinct executable programs
at your call, and your “vocabulary” at the beginning is limited
mostly to “ls,” “mv,” “cp,” and (let’s say) “pico.” The question
quickly arises: with all these programs and no time to poke through
them, how is one to find out how to accomplish what they need to
do? Unix is goal-oriented, designed first and foremost to
produce a result. And without that basic vocabulary of commands,
without an essential grammar of how they string together, your
linguistic competence in Linux will be limited to a frightening