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Beginners Guides: Linux Part 1: Getting Familiar

Beginners Guides: Linux Part 1: Getting Familiar - PCSTATS
Abstract: Since its creation in 1991 by Linus Torvalds to the present day, Linux has been half operating system and half symbol. PCSTATS introduces you to Linux in this, the first part of a 3-part series focusing on Linux.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Apr 21 2008   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS Beginners Guides

Is Linux is the same as Windows then?

OK, this is a leading question, but no, Linux is not the same as Windows. The underlying mechanics of the two operating systems are completely different for one thing, and the cultures behind the separate operating systems also differ radically. As Linux is open source code, anyone is free to develop their own operating system out of it, provided they make a version of it available for free. This has led to hundreds of Linux 'distributions' being created for various purposes.

Navigating the web of available Linux options could take a good chunk out of your life. Fortunately, Darwinian theory triumphed as usual, and several 'major distributions' like Mandrake and Debian gained enough of a following to allow stability and constant improvement. Many of the larger Linux distributions are run by companies that make a living selling packaged and supported copies of their distribution to business users. Of these, Redhat is probably the most well known.

Installing these 'mainstream' Linux distributions is not a difficult process, but the most popular (and thus most stable and supported) Linux distributions are large, and generally require at least as much space on disk as Windows XP. We thought it would be better to give our readers a 'preview' of the Linux KDE interface and what they can expect from it by using a live-CD Linux distribution, a version of the operating system that runs off a single CD-ROM disk and does not require installation.

In this article, PCstats will introduce you to the Linux file system, the popular KDE desktop environment and some useful applications for getting your daily work done. All this will be accomplished without requiring you to install a single thing on your hard drive. The version of Linux we use loads entirely from CD to your system's memory.

For this article, we will use the most popular 'live-CD' Linux distribution, Knoppix. You can download an ISO image of the CD from here which you will then need to burn onto a CD. Be aware that the ISO-image file is extremely large, so it's not really feasible for modem users. You can order Knoppix CDs directly from the website if you wish. If you need instructions for creating a CD from an ISO image, see our guide here for help.

Knoppix is constantly being updated as newer versions of the software it uses become available in the Linux community. To create this article we used English Version 3.7. Any recent version will suffice for this tutorial however.

Once you have downloaded the Knoppix ISO image and created a CD from it, we can proceed.

Presenting the KDE desktop

Place your Knoppix CD in your system and boot from it. The first thing you'll see is a little Penguin (Linux mascot, more or less) and a 'boot:' prompt. Just hit ENTER to continue loading Knoppix (or leave it alone and it will load by itself in a few seconds). Once the operating system has loaded, you will be presented with the KDE desktop.

Close the help window that opens automatically (or take the time to go through it for a more in-depth introduction to Knoppix.) Doesn't look too unfamiliar, does it?

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS Beginners Guides
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Linux Part 1: Getting Familiar
 Pg 2.  — Is Linux is the same as Windows then?
 Pg 3.  Linux KDE Desktop
 Pg 4.  Major Linux differences take 1: The file system
 Pg 5.  Various folders
 Pg 6.  Your 'home' Directory
 Pg 7.  Knoppix home directory
 Pg 8.  Setting up network connections with Knoppix Linux

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