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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
This guide was created as an overview of the Linux Operating System, geared toward new users as an exploration tour and getting started guide, with exercises at the end of each chapter.
For more advanced trainees it can be a desktop reference, and a collection of the base knowledge needed to proceed with system and network administration. This book contains many real life examples derived from the author's experience as a Linux system and network administrator, trainer and consultant. They hope these examples will help you to get a better understanding of the Linux system and that you feel encouraged to try out things on your own.
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Welcome to linux A good way to start is to burn a cd of a distro, these can then be run as a live cd to test without affecting your pc. Linux is as easy as windows if you want it to be it has all the click and go options like windows, and when you get more confident you can venture into the client side and explore more. But in general it can be used just the same as windows
Distribution: Fedora14,Scientific 6.1?, Mandriva 2010 ;GO MAGEIA!!!Next up Gentoo
Linux is free. Windows is not. Linux is secure. Windows is not.
Linux is sort of a Server O.S that branched out to a desktop O.S but it has come a long way in since Linux applications can be installed with a (Package Manager). Linux is actually easier than Windows but documentation can be garbage. Windows documentation is not that good either. With XP generally if you can use a partition editor (Gparted) etcetera , and can configure a Boot-loader (GRUB) you are almost home free If you are using a friendly Linux Distribution like Ubuntu ,Mint or so on. If you have a Windows O.S that is hammered and you are not concerned with it being usable it is even easier and you can mostly just use a install/live DVD/CD and follow the instructions on the screen and forget about understanding a partition editor and how to configure a bootloader to a large degree. Ubuntu lets you install it on part of the windows partition and you can also boot Linux from a thumb-drive and so on.
Knowing a programing language is not necessary and should not really be that helpful, just a little.
Linux is easy to use as a GUI, but you can also get into it in-depth if you want and its free.
You can find a lot of distros (different variations of Linux) here www.distrowatch.com.
If you want a MSWin type experience, consider Linux Mint.
You may want to read this http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm
If you have a specific project in mind, let us know.
You certainly don't need to be a computer expert or even to wish you were one! In many countries, Linux is used in schools. In some companies (e.g. Google) there are no Windows computers at all. I doubt that the children and office workers are computer programmers.
I see you've listed Red Hat. Is this a copy that you've bought and paid for? I ask because I've seen a lot of Indians here who've been given Red Hat by someone and are then surprised later to find that they have no support with extra software or bug fixes. If you don't pay, then all you have is a demo!
If you're going to try a distro or two, look at
Fuduntu: rolling-release, so it's kept up-to-date by steady changes rather than by releasing new editions, and it pays attention to saving power for laptops.
Mint: very popular.
BOSS: the official Indian Linux, with support for every official Indian language (I wonder how good the Sanskrit is!)