Introduction to Linux

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Linux is a free operating system - download and install it legally free of cost or at nominal cost. Unlike proprietory sytems- like MSWindows its source code- is legally free and tranferable. It does not have huge price tag.

It can be installed with ease, is simple to use and very sturdy.It has (a) command line, (b) Graphic User Interface- GUI. It is a multiuser, multitask system. All the commands are in small(non-Capital) letters. Usually they are shortened words- "cp" for (copy), "cd" for (change directory), "rm" for (remove).

It has grown into an excellent system capable of handling almost all the aspects of modern society. It can handle work connected with all fields- trade, commerce, business, industry, education, production, science and technology. It has packages for graphics, games, multimedia, printing, office work, internet, software and data base management, scanning, networking- local and wide area, supercomputers and "parallel computing"- distributing heavy work load among several units.

Its Graphic User Interface - is intuitive and similar to or better than what is found in MSWindows. It has a system of checks and balances. Each user has a separate Directory and password to authenticate his access to the system. It is based on permissions- an user can access only to the extent he/she is permitted and only the master of the system- called "root" can add, delete or make changes in the system. It is only the "root" who can add, regulate or remove users. In fact it possible to have fixed time and quota for each user. Linux has capacity to have a system with standby unit to take over if one part fails; to have simultaneous backup ( "rsync" or "raid1-raid5" ) so that the system can restart immediately.

It can be used both ways- solely- "stand-alone" or together with other operating systems- "dual booting". If it is not possible to install it on the computer, there is another method. It can work only on RAM without using the hard disk- "live cd or live usb". Linux on a live cd/usb installs on ram, but is fully working. Once the session is over/computer is switched off- it goes away without any effect on the hard disk. If you want the work can be saved - on USB drive - on CD/DVD or even the hard disk. There are livecds for special needs - and also for all uses.

There are a number of distributions "distros" each with slight difference or for specific purpose. But in all distros, the commands and system are almost same.

Because of its well regulated setup, it very stable and is secure. Some precautions such as- having separate user-id as ordinary user for all regular work, starting with only processes actually needed, running/closing processes as per needs, changing passwords of users and the root regularly, giving access to the users only to the extent needed will improve both the speed and security of the system. Please see the commands and packages and tips.

The website tldpDOTorg has excellent manuals for advanced usage.

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