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Never tried Linux before? Read this!

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#1 Naught McNoone

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Posted 29 May 2015 - 12:13 PM

What is Linux?
Linux is an Open Source operating system for computers and other devices that has evolved from an original project by Linus Torvalds in 1991.
Is Linux really free?
Because Linux is Open Source, anyone can use it without paying a license fee.  However, you cannot "own" Linux, in that the same way you cannot own any copyright material.  You can own a copy of a novel, but you cannot own the story it's self.  That belongs to the author.  Linux will always belong to Linus, but he has stated that any one can use it for free.
Who uses Linux?
Statistics on Linux use are very skewed.  
If you go by market share, Linux is at the bottom of the pile, because most desktops and notebooks are sold with Windows or MacOS already installed.
But if you include other devices, the you may see that Linux if far more spread than you think.  Adroid based phones are number one and Android is Google's version of Linux.  
As well, many routers, set top boxes, satellite receivers, and other small devices use Linux.
For a more accurate view of "Who in the World Uses Linux?" go to "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_adopters"
Is Linux better than Windows or MacOS?
Wow!  What a loaded question.  The straight answer is NO.  Linux is not better, or worse.  It is differant!  It is an alternative to either of the other two.  (Yes, you can put Linux on your Mac!)
All three operating systems have their advantages, and disadvantages.
Fortunately, you can "Preview" Linux on your computer before you commit to a full install.  In addition, Linux will co-exist on a PC without interfering with the original operating system.  This is commonly known as a "Dual Boot" system.
What do I need to if I want to try Linux?
An internet connection, which you most likely have is you are reading this! :busy:
A computer, with either an Optical Drive (CD/DVD-ROM drive,) or a USB port, both of which can be configured as boot devices.
A copy of a Linux Distribution or "Distro" for short.  They are generally distributed as .iso files.
Which "Distro" is best for me?
That will depend mostly on your hardware.  Because it is always evolving, many newer Linux distro's are designed to run on newer computers.  
However, there are many distro's out there that are suitable for older computers, as well.  
My grand daughters P4 Notebook, with 1GB RAM runs very well under lbuntu Linux version 14.04.  And the notebook is older than she is!
If you are not sure, go to this link, and follow the instructions there.
How do I get started right now?
Go to this link here and download the Universal USB Installer.
Follow the instructions and it will automatically download and install Linux on a USB Stick or SD Card for you.  You can then boot from the USB stick and run a trial version of Linux.
If you decide to go a step further and are looking for advice, than come back to this site and post a new topic.  (Please do not reply to this one.  Start a new topic if you need help!)
Naught McNoone

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#2 computerxpds


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Posted 29 May 2015 - 01:34 PM

Awesome post and I see this helping many new comers to linux. I will pin this and then unpin this topic here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/100007/an-introductory-guide-to-linux/ <-- this topic still has some relevance and should be reviewed by others as well.


This topic covers the basics which is great! Thank you for writing this post. :)

Edited by computerxpds, 29 May 2015 - 01:37 PM.

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