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Linux 1 - What is Linux?

Linux has a reputation of being just of techies, which might put a lot of people off even looking at this article. But guess what? That is just a common misconception.

Linux is made for everyone not just companies and tech-geeks. It's made for home users, and most of the websites on the internet are hosted on Linux servers. Over the next few months I will cover every aspect of Linux in depth. This includes installing Linux, setting it up, troubleshooting and showing you how to use pretty much every feature in the Operating system. And the best thing? You can try all this for free! You can even test Linux without installing anything on your PC so you really do have nothing to lose.

Linux is a complete replacement for Microsoft Windows that runs on most of the PCs on the planet. As previously mentioned Linux is an Operating System which essentially connects your software and hardware together, making it usable. Linux usually comes with a host of free applications installed, and  many more are available for on demand - most of which are free.

The cost of Linux is amazing, but even better is the security. Most virus writers target Windows, so having Linux means less processing power needs to be wasted on bloated security programs - though this does not mean that you should leave your Linux PC unprotected. Linux, like Unix lets users work with restricted privileges which means viruses cannot do as much damage if they did get in as they do on Windows. The Linux community also has a great track record for fixing security problems quickly and effectively.

Linux also runs a lot faster on a computer than Windows on the same computers, so there'll be no more pauses in which you hear your hard drive crunching, with no idea about what's going on. Linux can also be stripped down so only components you want to use are installed - no more features that will slow down your PC for nothing. Also if an application does crash in Linux it is very unlikely that the whole system would go into meltdown requiring a reboot - unlike Windows.

Linux' source code is available for free which means no incompatible file extensions and extra plug-ins needed for everything. Linux even comes with a free feature-packed alternative to Microsoft Office (OpenOffice.org) and lots of other programs, and if needed more can be installed in seconds.

Linux users also get continued updates to the OS, unlike Windows which took 5 years to move on from XP to Vista. An example of continuous updates is Ubuntu which we will be using throughout the whole of this "course". This version of Linux is updated to a new edition every six months, that means ten updates during the same time that XP only had one - these updates bring new features and stability, with security fixes released every few days to keep things running smoothly, updates are done in minutes and with no nag-screens.

More next week.

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