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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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Think of linux like DOS and win 3.1 if you like. Linux is just the kernel and bash makes it like DOS (only far more powerful due to the kernel and the apps available.
XWindows and the window manger on that could be likened to win 3.1, only the windowing system in linux (and nix's in general) is they are layered and network oriented.
Linux OS as a whole is the result of many contributions from many sources like the FSF and BSD and MIT - stuff like qt, gtk, xfree, etc... Even the kernel is the work of a great many people these days...
It's a $15 subscription to get the easy downloads, but well worth it, and winex/cedega runs a fair selection of games - luckily some of the ones I like - like half-life, CS and some jedi knight ones... There is a compatibility list on the web site.