Ken Hough's Website

Linux For Beginners

What is Linux?

Linux is a mature, flexible, and reliable computer operating system, as evidenced by it's use in the following areas:

-- most of the servers that make up the Internet, including those of Google, Amazon, Facebook, etc
-- most of the supercomputers in the world, including the likes of Cray!
-- scientific applications including most of the computers used to run the Large Hadron Collider at CERN
-- digital TVs, set top boxes, and smart phones. 'Android' is a version of Linux developed by Google     specifically for use on smart phones.
-- government and corporate organisations, including some police operations and even banks.

Linux is NOT “Windows” and in most cases, doesn't look like Windows! I guess this is what many Windows users have greatest difficulty with. Of course, it takes a little effort to become familiar with Linux, but just think how long it took to become familiar with Windows. How many Windows users would be able to use an Apple Mac to best effect without some practice?

Linux is not difficult to use. Recent versions of Linux provide 'windows' (note the small 'w') style desktops that can rival and in some aspects exceed the capabilities of Microsoft Windows. Contrary to some claims, it is not necessary to revert to the command line to manage Linux.

In many ways Linux resembles the older and much respected UNIX operating system and provides similar levels of stability, security, multi-user and networking facilities. However, Linux is much more user friendly than UNIX. Incidentally, the Apple Mac operating system is derived from FreeBSD, which is also a UNIX like operating system.

Linux users do not have to deal with the often reported "driver hell" that can occur under Microsoft Windows. Under Linux, progress tends to be via evolution with continuity rather than via radical changes that prevent existing drivers and hardware from functioning as they should -- as happened, for example, with the transition from Windows XP to Vista/7.

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