I am trying to follow this guide: en.wikibooks.org/wiki/LaTeX/Basics, so I ran sudo apt-get install texlive-latex-base to prep my linux environment for our first realistic steps into Mr. Knuth’s word processing apparatus.

Our template.tex file:

% <- this character begins comments

%article is one of any document classs

%we can change the document class to
% change the appearance of this document

%everything above this line is the preamble
%document is considered an environment
Hello World!

Output of latex template.tex

~/Scripts/LaTeX$ latex template.tex 
This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-1.40.10 (TeX Live 2009/Debian)
entering extended mode
LaTeX2e <2009/09/24>
Babel <v3.8l> and hyphenation patterns for english, usenglishmax, dumylang, noh
yphenation, loaded.
Document Class: article 2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
No file template.aux.
[1] (./template.aux) )
Output written on template.dvi (1 page, 232 bytes).
Transcript written on template.log.