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What is linux

Beautiful Ubuntu Linux with Beryl effects

It’s a free operating system available to download but you have to pay a tiny bit to mail
order it or buy it from a company. Linux came into being about 11 years ago- it
was developed by Linus Torvalds of Finland along with a group of programmers
from the open source software movement.

Linux is growing steadily year after year. With a passionate community backing it, with big
companies Like IBM and HP pledging their support for it, it’s no wonder Linux-
the wonder operating system for servers of the past, has also made it to the
desktops of today.

Linux is based on the commercial OS, UNIX. All the operating systems try to pack in command line
management of systems. System administrators of companies use command lines all
the times as their lifeline, but it’s not really meant for regulars users.

Tips for Home


If you want to
get comfortable with Linux, you don’t have to let go of windows. Get Linux
installed on a separate partition and you can switch between Windows and
Linux. For new users who don’t have any computer background learning windows
or Linux both takes same time and sitting.

It is suggested that new PC buyers should get both operating systems installed and
should use them equally. If you’re getting Linux for more than 2-3 PCs, you
can also get training and support at a small free, if you choose to have it.
Else it’s the Linux community on the Net to your rescue.

You don’t have to be a great computer user to work with Linux. There are Desktop environments
that let you work in Linux as you work in Windows. As you work with windows,
same is the case with Linux.

Linux hands in decreasing PC prices.

PC prices are already on their way down. And you get more choice with operating systems and
pplications. From being an OS only computer professionals had heard about,
Linux, in a short time, has made a transition into the lucrative and high
profile home PC segment.

The PCs bundle the operating system. Linux being a free open source operating system means that
the code that runs is open for everyone to see, work with, modify and develop
their own innovative applications for it. But this is nothing compared to the
money people spend on Operating Systems like windows. And a company bundles
Linux and applications based on it with a computer, quite a bit of the PC cost
comes down. Presently some branded PC’s coming with Linux are available for Rs:
25000/- (US$600)onwards.

Linux is
better than other OS
Linux users won’t
even bat an eyelid before they say an emphasis comes from a deep dislike of
Microsoft’s practice of changing the earth for software. But a lot of it comes
from the fact they are ready to swear upon-that Linux is more stable. According
to a latest survey Web Hosts are using Linux Based Servers for hosting purposes.

One note here
though: the free in Linux stands for freedom of choice, to redistribute, to
install a feature, freedom to modify the source code. That’s the spirit of Linux
being free.

Linux has a
better security support for multi-users, lets you set up a stable server,
internet gateways etc, and still lets it-self to be used as a desktop
workstation. There are no blue screens and no viruses to speak of. It is rarely
attacked by any viruses and there are very less number of viruses written for
Linux. It can be given 10+ points on a 10 point scale for security.

A partition is a way of organizing space on your hard disk by creating virtual sections that are
separate from each other. Most computers that are running Windows or MS DOS have
one large chunk of space holding the OS. This space is the C drive. If you have
a large hard disk, it’s likely that it has been divided up into smaller bits
called partitions to help you organize your data better. These partitions are
usually called D:, E: etc. you could have Linux on any of these.

Myths about Linux

Linux is hard to install, isn’t it? Not really. Most people haven’t ever installed Windows on
their computers either-since it comes preloaded. Linux is as easy-some say
easier-to install compared to Windows. You can install it through a graphical
user interface like Windows. These days Linux Versions are easier to install
than Windows. But what really stumps most people in installing Linux on a second
partition on their hard disk, when they want to be able to use both operating

Linux is very difficult and based on text command
Linux has come a long way from being the system of brilliant computer users. It has extremely
advanced X Windows systems that have a complete graphical user interface-you
know, like Windows. It also has a large number of window manager that let you
work with different levels of customization of your desktop.

Linux has a robust character-cell interface where commands need to be typed in. x Windows is
a free program that runs with Linux to provide a GUI where the mouse and
keyboard can be used extensively. But the X system itself is quite primitive and
needs a window manager, or a desktop environment- like GNOME or KDE- to be
really usable. Window managers are programs that let you interact with the
underlying X system and Linux OS by relaying commands. The popular window
Managers are Sawfish, Enlightenment, Black box, after step and Window maker.

As for desktop managers, they have their own window manager and other tools that make you feel
that you are working in Window! GNOME and KDE are the most popular of these.
GNOME stands for GNU Network Model Environment and KDE for K desktop
Environment. They have tools that allow drag and drop, have panels and taskbar-
almost like clones of windows.

Hardware compatibility problem and few applications that run on Linux

Well, most new
distributions will detect and configure your hardware in a jiffy, unless you
have some really old or exotic piece of hardware. All hardware are properly
detected and their drivers installed. Only Win modems (internal modems driven by
Window drivers) face problems.

As for software, there’s plenty. And most of it comes free-free for you to use, modify and
configure according to your needs. Almost all excellent software for Linux is
free and you don’t lose anything by giving it a try. You get free support on the
Net quickly on any query you may have. And you don’t even have to wipe out your
Windows. Just get Linux on a different hard disk partition and free to switch
between them as you please.

Other packages
are commercial and you have to buy the software-but this is mostly for the
software and training you need, and not for the software itself. Sometimes, if
you have the Windows version (as a doom) you can download a small program that
will allow you to play the game in Linux. The games in Linux are of very high
quality and features. You’ll enjoy them. Here what’s available?

Office suites:

Star Office, Open Office, Applixware, Corel WordPerfect


GIMP, Corel Photo paint


XMMS, Free amp, Real Player


MTV, Xine


FreeCiv, Tux racer, Doom, Quake, Heretic, Unreal And the list is growing.

Windows applications in Linux
Some applications
have been ported over to Linux, other run with a program called WINE (Wine is
Not an Emulator). Crossover, commercially available software also lets you use
your Windows programs on Linux. VMWare is another program that lets you run
Windows under Linux. Now many software companies have started developing high
end software for Linux.

Bottom Line:

The cool thing
about Linux is that most software is free, and you can legitimately use them
without worrying about piracy. If you’re worried that Linux won‘t look as pretty
as windows can, all you have to do is check out some of the cool Linux
interfaces and Window managers. But you don’t find a lot of multimedia titles
for Linux. And if you’re into a lot of these, Windows is in the way to go. So if
you have a PC that runs both, you can easily switch between the two, and get the
best of both worlds.