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A brief introduction from http://www.getgnulinux.org/linux

What is GNU/Linux?

When you hear the word Linux, you may think of programmers with a beard typing obscure code on a black screen. Good news! things have changed.

The picture

a view of a Fedora Linux desktop Linux is an operating system, a large piece of software that manages a computer. It is similar to Microsoft Windows, but it is entirely free. The accurate name is GNU/Linux but "Linux" is used more often.

Linux is not one company's product, but a number of companies and groups of people contribute to it. In fact, the GNU/Linux system is a core component, which is branched off into many different products. They are called distributions.

Distributions change the appearance and function of Linux completely. They range from large, fully supported complete systems (endorsed by companies) to lightweight ones that fit on a USB memory stick or run on old computers (often developed by volunteers).
A prominent, complete and friendly distribution to step into GNU/Linux is Ubuntu.

Using Linux

a view of a Ubuntu Linux desktop GNU/Linux is no harder to use than Windows, and has many more capabilities. It just takes a dozen minutes to get familiar with a distribution like Ubuntu or Fedora, which come in with many programs installed.

If you need commercial-quality software to work with business documents, Internet/networking, or multimedia and graphics, it's there right out of the box. Want more than that? Linux can do – there are many hundreds of free, high quality applications you can find, install and uninstall neatly and easily.

You shouldn't assume however, that Linux is a clone of Windows. To know what to expect when stepping into it, we suggest you read our Making the switch page.

The larger picture

When you get a distribution of GNU/Linux, you also get the freedom to study, copy, change, and redistribute it – that's what makes it truly free software.

Many companies develop their own operating system based on the core GNU software: products they do not have exclusive rights on. How does the wheel turn?

  • Most companies make a profit by selling support and services around their GNU/Linux distribution. Corporate customers buy guaranteed security updates and assistance. Other services often include training and on-demand improvements to software.
  • Some companies, such as HP or IBM, contribute to Linux because they pre-install it on servers they sell.
  • An extremely wide community participates in the development and improvement of software, decreasing costs and improving efficiency.

In the end, individual end-users often get the software at zero cost, while corporate customers are often happy to pay for more support.

What Is Linux?

Linux is an operating system just like Macintosh Lepord, Windows XP, or Windows Vista. The difference is that it does not get viruses like Windows and Mac do, it does not get fragmented (as long as yo don't fill a partition over 95% full), and it is smaller and faster even though it has more software. For most hardware you won't need to install drivers because Linux already has most of the drivers for your devices. Any music you rip from a CD onto your Linux computer can be put on your iPod, iPhone, Zune, MyPod, or whatever .mp3 player you have that hooks up to the PC directly. There are over 6999+ free software packages like gnucash = quicken and quickbooks, Legends = Microsoft's Halo, Frets on Fire = Guitar Hero, and OpenOffice = Microsoft Office just to name a few.

Now at this point your either saying something like "but windows works for me and I understand it so whats wrong with Vista?" or your saying something like "wow Linux sounds great I want to see it for myself"

So what about security? You probably have a kid don't you or maybe you are a kid who is always getting into things he or she should not and screwing the comptuer up? Does that sound like anyone that you may have using this comptuer? No problem. Linux requires passwords to change any of the vital system settings, or remove any programs or components. You also need a password to install programs (not windows programs which you can install without a password).

Yes thats right thanks to a new product called WINE you can install a lot of your Windows programs right on Linux. Check at www.winehq.com or just try it yourself.

Windows Games In Linux!

Linux Games.

Linux Media Center Edition or Linux MCE
Linux MPX

Of course their's always those of you that want to take over the world. I'm not that kind of guy but if you are you need to see this.

Have more questions? Then click here.