Diving into Linux

So I have been very tied up with summer courses as of late, but I have learned a lot and would like to share a little of what I have learned with everyone.

First, if you are not familiar with Linux then you will need to do a little research to understand what I am going to be covering here.

Linux was created to be an open-source Operating system. Now open-source and free are not quite the same thing, so be sure to do your research. There are multiple versions of Linux called distributions or distros for short. Each one is different in its own way. Most will differ in the user interface(UI) mainly. However, there are a few distributions made different for specific purposes. Some are for personal use and others are meant to be used by businesses. A little research will give away what a distro is meant for. The pre-installed software also tells a lot about what you are expected to be using the distro for.

A consumer edition can include lots of music players, social media integration software, instant messengers and more. These are things that most businesses wouldn’t use enough to justify incorporating them into the enterprise editions.

Linux DistrosLinux is growing more popular each day. The most well known consumer distros are Ubuntu and Linux Mint. If you are use to Windows and don’t want to use 8.1 or Windows 10 (to be released July 29th), You should definitely try out Linux Mint. I use this distro my self and it works great for me.

There are a lot of things that you must re-learn. One being that you don’t have to hunt down specific websites to install all your applications. You have what is called the Software Manager that allows you to install new applications. It’s a little like an app store. You search for the applications you need and install it from the repository provided by the distribution you chose to use.  However, I, personally, find it easier to use the command line with “sudo apt-get install”. This is something you will learn later if you decide to put in the time to research it.

A lot of tasks can be done in the command line. You can also copy and paste snippets from online resources into the command window as long as you are sure you understand the command.

If you don’t know what it does, or don’t trust the source do not run it! 

Just stick with the Software Manager of your distro.

For instructions on creating a bootable USB drive click here. *The steps will be the same for all distributions provided that you have the ‘.iso’ file already.

To download Linux Mint click here.

To download Ubuntu Desktop click here.

You will have lots of options once you boot your PC from the USB you just made.

  1. Live Boot
    • This would give you the opportunity to try out either distribution without actually installing it or affecting your Windows installation. Everything you do would be “instanced” to the USB drive.
  2. Dual Boot
    • This type of install would allow you to take full advantage of Linux as if it were completely installed. The only difference would be you maintain you old OS. Basically you are able to partition your hard drive and allocate how much space you want to dedicate to Linux.
    • Essentially, both Operating Systems would be “side by side”  on a single PC  allowing you to freely switch back and forth without interference from either OS.
  3. Full install
    • This option deletes the current OS and replaces it with the Linux distribution you chose to use.
    • All data is deleted as well, so be sure to backup any vital documents/files into a cloud or external hard drive that will work with your chosen Linux distribution.

If you would like to learn more about the power of Linux, it’s distributions, and the command line, be sure to check out Linux HowTos with Tecmint. There a lots of tutorials on Linux Shell commands that you can use  to automate certain tasks for yourself.

I know this is just the tip of the iceberg. Please share your own thoughts in the comments section. And remember, we’re here to learn together.

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Diving into Linux

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