Some friends have asked – and now i will try and give some of my feedback – for people who start out using Linux.
If you have not used Linux before, you should expect a few things to be different from using other operating systems. Here is a brief list of some Linux features that ou might find cool:
- No constant rebooting—Uptime is valued as a matter of pride (remember, inux and other UNIX systems are most often used as servers, which are xpected to stay up 24/7). After the original installation, you can install or remove most software without having to reboot your computer.
- Start/stop services without interrupting others—You can start and stopindividual services (such as Web, file, and e-mail services) without rebooting or even interrupting the work of any other users or features of the computer.
In other words, you should not have to reboot your computer every time omeone sneezes.
- Portable software—You can usually change to another Linux, UNIX, or BSD system and still use the exact same software! Most open source softwareprojects were created to run on any UNIX-like system and many also run onWindows systems, if you need them to. If it won’t run where you want it to, chances are that you, or someone you hire, can port it to the computer you want. (Porting refers to modifying an application or driver so it works in a different computer architecture or operating system.)
- Downloadable applications—If the applications you want are not delivered with your version of Linux, you can often download and install them with a single command, using tools such as apt and yum.
- No settings hidden in code or registries—Once you learn your way aroundLinux, you’ll find that (given the right permissions on your computer) most configuration is done in plain text files that are easy to find and change.
- Mature desktop—The X Window System (providing the framework for your Linux desktop) has been around longer than Microsoft Windows. The KDE and GNOME desktop environments provide graphical interfaces (windows, menus,icons, and so forth) that rival those on Microsoft systems. Ease-of-use problemswith Linux systems are rapidly evaporating.
- Freedom—Linux, in its most basic form, has no corporate agenda or bottom line to meet. You are free to choose the Linux distribution that suits you, look at the code that runs the system, add and remove any software you like, and make your computer do what you want it to do.
There are some aspects of Linux that make it hard for some new users to get tarted. One is that Linux is typically set up to be secure by default, so you need to djust to using an administrative login (root) to make most changes that affect the hole computer system. Although this can be a bit inconvenient, trust me, it makes
your computer safer than just letting anyone do anything.
For the same reason, many services are off by default, so you need to turn them on and do at least minimal configuration to get them going. For someone who is used to Windows, Linux can be difficult just because it is different than Windows. But ecause you’re reading this article, I assume you want to learn about those differences.