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A Beginners Approach

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OS is the interface between hardware and user
All computers need an OS
OSes are used to run applications and control
hardware
Popular OSes include Windows, Linux, Mac OSX
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Developed in 1991 by a University of Finland student Linus
Torvalds.
Basically a kernel, it was combined with the various software
and compilers from GNU Project to form an OS, called
GNU/Linux
Linux is a full-fledged OS available in the form of various Linux
Distributions
RedHat, Fedora, SuSE, Ubuntu, Debian are examples of Linux
distros
Linux is supported by big names as IBM, Google, Sun, Novell,
Oracle, HP, Dell, and many more
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Inspired by the UNIX OS, the Linux kernel was developed as
a clone of UNIX
GNU was started in 1984 with a mission to develop a free
UNIX-like OS
Linux was the best fit as the kernel for the GNU Project
Linux kernel was passed onto many interested developers
throughout the Internet
Linux today is a result of efforts of thousands of individuals,
apart from Torvalds
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Can be controlled through command-line (CLI) or Graphical
User Interface (GUI)
GUI run through Desktop Environments (DE)
KDE, GNOME, Xfce, E17 are popular Des
The GUI interface is easy-to-use and much like that of
Windows and Mac OSX
The CLI is similar to that of UNIX/BSD
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Modern languages are cross-platform, like Python, Ruby,
Perl, Java
Most Linux distros support these languages and have their
runtimes pre-installed
GTK+ and Qt are widely used to design applications for
Linux
IDEs like NetBeans, Anjuta, KDevelop, MonoDevelop, Eclipse
are available for Linux too
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Linux is desktop computer ready
Large number of distros targeted at Desktop users are
available
Linux desktop distros come with many commonly used pre-
installed softwares
The modern Linux interface is user-friendly and makes the
interaction with computer easy
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It is possible to install/run Windows software on Linux
Wine helps run a wide range of Windows applications
Cedega helps run huge number of Windows games flawlessly
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Many native games are available, both 3D and 2D
Wine and Cedega help run Windows-only games
Popular games for Linux are: Quake, Unreal Tournament,
Counter Strike, Doom, Cube, CodeRED, Wesnoth, OpenArena,
SuperTux, Frozen Bubble, Medal of Honor, and many more.
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Linux is the most used OS on servers
5 out of 10 reliable web hosting companies use Linux
Linux is the cornerstone of the LAMP server-software combination (Linux,
Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP/Python) which has achieved popularity among
developers
Out of top 500 supercomputers, Linux is deployed on 426 of them
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16.7% of smartphones worldwide use Linux as OS
Linux poses a major competition to the most popular
OS is this segment Symbian
Nokia, Openmoko supply Linux on their select
smartphones
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Linux can be used on a wide range of
electronic devices, like
PC,
PDAs,
Smartphones,
iPods,
MP3 Players,
PlayStation 2 & 3,
mission critical servers and so on
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1983 (September): GNU project was announced publicly
1991 (September): first version of the Linux kernel was released to the Internet
2001 (second quarter): Linux server unit shipments at 15% annual growth rate
2004: Linux shipped on approximately 50% of the worldwide server blade units, and 20%
of all rack-optimized servers
2005: Microsoft representatives accuse Brazilian college using Famelix of pirating
Microsoft Windows
2007: Dell announces it will ship select models with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed
2007: Lenovo announces it will ship select models with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
10 pre-installed
2007: HP announces that it will begin shipping computers preinstalled with Red Hat
Linux in Australia
2007: ASUS launches the linux-based ASUS Eee PC
2008: Dell announces it will begin shipping Ubuntu based computers to Canada and Latin
America
2008: Dell is shipping systems with Ubuntu pre-installed in China
2008: Acer launches the linux-based Acer Aspire One
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Governments of many countries around the
world are shifting to Linux from Windows
due to the many benefits it offer.

Countries like India, France, Pakistan, Czech
Republic, Brazil, Germany, USA, Austria,
Spain, China, and Peru already use Linux.
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The widely popular OLPC (One Laptop Per
Child) Projects XO Laptop runs on Linux.

Universities in countries, like USA, Germany,
Netherlands, Philippines, Brazil, Russia,
Switzerland, India, use Linux on their
workstations and servers.
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No threat of viruses
Linux systems are extremely stable
Linux is Free
Linux comes with most of the required software pre-installed
Update all your software with minimum fuss
Linux never gets slow
Linux does not need defragmentation
Linux can even run on oldest hardware
Adding more software is a matter of a few clicks
Most Windows-only apps have their either their native
version or alternatives for Linux
With Linux, you get the highest degree of possible
customizability
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Security has always been the number one priority
with Linux
Linux has a robust security system
There do not exist viruses for the Linux platform
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Have you ever lost your precious work because Windows crashed?
Have you ever gotten the "blue screen of death" or error messages telling
you that the computer needs to be shut down for obscure reasons?

Crashes or freezes are not prevalent in Linux
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Linux is free and always will be as compared to the very
costly Windows and Mac OSX

Using pirated Windows is a bad thing !!!
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When the system has installed, why would you still need to install
stuff ?

Common software such as music player, web browser, video player,
image editor, PDF reader, chat messenger, office apps
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Just like Windows Update tool, Linux has a more better
alternative to it to update all your system in a few clicks
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As Linux is impervious to viruses, trojans, spywares,
which are the main reasons to slow down the PC,
systems based on it do not get slower.

Linux consumes lesser system resources
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If you already know what fragmentation is, and are
already used to defragmenting your disk every
month or so, here is the short version : Linux
doesn't need defragmenting.

Whereas Windows-based system get fragmented
frequently and need attention in this regard.
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Windows requires more and more hardware power
as its version number increases (95, 98, 2000, Me,
XP, etc.).
So if you want to keep running Windows, you need to
constantly buy new hardware.

Linux runs perfectly well on older hardware, on
which Windows XP would probably even refuse to
install, or let you wait 20 seconds after each click.
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With Linux, everything is much simpler.
Linux has what is called a "package manager":
each piece of software is contained in its own "package".

If you need some new software, just open the package
manager, type a few keywords, choose which software you
want to install and press "Apply" or "OK".

Or you can just browse existing software (that's a lot of
choice!) in categories.

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Due to the various options available in Linux, like a
lot of DEs, themes, Window Managers, and the
modular nature of DEs, Linux is very customizable.

The extent of customizability is clearly implied by
the fact that some people have gone as far as to
customize their Linux OS to make them look and feel
like Mac OSX and Windows
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