Learn Linux -1 Overview

Aim of the article : Introduce the user to the world of Linux.

History and Features:

  • Linux is an open source Operating system, which means you can view the source code of the operating system, edit it do what ever you feel like ( at your own risk ;-) ).
  • Linux was created out of Minix(another operating system) by Linus Trovalds in 1992.
  • Linus created the OS just as a hobby.
  • Its official Mascot is the Tux the penguin ( said to be derived from Trovalds and Linux )
  • Linux is a multiuser  and multitasking operating system , it supports 6 default  consoles at a time.
  • The Linux kernel is monolithic.
  • You can download the Linux kernel source code from

The superuser
Every Linux system has a superuser called as a root. A superuser is like an administrator who can do any thing in the system, edit any of the system files and do all other administrative tasks.
Linux being open source, the root can also modify the kernel source files and hence one has to be very careful while working as root.

To make the systems more secure the newer distributions of Linux come with the root user disabled. Any user can become the root , if he has the administrative privileges, by using the command sudo. This ensures that any one who is running a command or a script becomes a root only when it is necessary and prevents any accidental damage to the system.

Linux Modes:

You can work in two modes in any linux system

  • Text Mode
  • Graphical Mode
In text mode, you can work only with commands and the mouse is not available, where as the graphical modes is the one in which have the graphical windows to work with and also the mouse is available for use.

If you are not looking for programming or scripting in Linux then this info should be enough for you to start using the system. The newer ubutnu versions as very user friendly and you should not face much problems in it.

In case you want to learn to use the powerful commands available with linux, and learn how to write scripts then move to the second chapter.

Reference Books: 

As a Beginner one of the best books available for Linux is
A Practical Guide to Linux by Mark G Sobell

If you want to learn specifically about Ubuntu or Redhat , then the same author also has written books for it also.
A Practical Guide to Ubuntu Linuxby Mark G Sobell 

A Practical Guide to Fedora and Redhat Linux Linuxby Mark G Sobell 

Some more books Specifically on Ubuntu
Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference

Ubuntu Kung Fu: Tips, Tricks, Hints, and Hacks

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