Linux OS : Get to know it !!

Posted by Unknown on Apr 14, 2009

I have been thinking of giving a specific direction to the " Tech Tuesday " posts. We have discussed a number of " well heard but not fully understood " technologies like the one on wifi, dSLR cameras, megapixel and images, touchscreen, netbooks and so on....

The big question is what is it we will be discussing then. Let's break the news : It will be Linux OS (atleast for a number of Tuesdays ).
Since this is the first post in this direction, let's keep it simple.

All of us have heard about Linux and many of us might be thinking of trying it or taking a plunge into the world of Linux. But there are a few myths that keep us from doing it.

Linux and Unix : What's the difference ?

Unix is an operating system developed by AT&T in 1969. Official trademark of Unix is with " The Open Group ".
It's a text based ( terminal ) OS and not the graphic based Windows and Macs we are used to.

Linux : Linux is a Unix like OS developed by free and open source software collaboration. Linus Torvalds wrote the original Linux Kernel ( read system files) in 1991 while rest of the utilities and libraries come from GNU OS by Richard Stallman ( hence the name GNU/Linux).

It's cliche but true : Linux is not Unix.

Do we need technical and programming experience to use it ?

No, the Linux distributions ( different versions since it's open source ) now a days like Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse, Debian and the likes comes with graphical user interface ( X window interface ) much like the Windows and Macs and in some cases even better.

Just have a look at the 3d linux desktop

Earlier Linux was mostly used as a server and programming purposes . Those willing can really see what goes on under the hood of an OS. Programming from scratch with ease has been it's USP.

Now it's really commonplace with a number of laptops and desktops coming with Linux distros

The very fact that it's open source ( the source codes are open to public to develop it) means it's updating all the time.

I have been using Fedora Linux (Fedora 4 onwards ) and let me tell you it's a beauty. It's like having a fully customised OS of your own. It's this " control in the hands of user " aspect that makes Linux special.

I also carry with myself Knoppix Linux live CD. Just boot with it into any system and it becomes your own, do your work and get going.

Once you discover the world of Linux, you will be hooked. Much of my Tech Tuesday future posts will be in the direction of getting you hooked to THE OS and simplifying the how to use part.