Linux for Beginners

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2007-03-12 Print this article Print

It's free! You can tailor it to your own needs! There's a distro for every need! Sure, Linux is tempting, but getting started isn't so easy. eWEEK Labs offers advice for getting your head, and your organization, around Linux.

Linux is getting hotter and more mainstream all the time—enough so that even IT administrators who deal primarily with Windows would do well to get their feet wet with Linux.

After all, even Microsoft, through its recent deal with Novell, has begun to cozy up to Linux. However, Linux can be confusing for newcomers, even those who're already quite proficient with other platforms. Whether you're looking to bring Linux into your enterprise, or whether you just want to know what all the fuss is about, learning about Linux is well worth your time. eWEEK Labs has gathered together some advice for striking out into what for many is new terrain.

Understand How Linux Is Different

Some of the greatest benefits, and most confusing aspects of Linux, are rooted in the fact that there's no one Linux—rather, there are many different OSes based on the Linux kernel.

There's not just one Linux kernel, either, but various versions and patched flavors of the kernel. And not every Linux kernel is compiled in the same way: Some are stripped down, while some ship with everything enabled but the kitchen sink.

The good thing about this is that you can tailor Linux to your needs and fix certain problems yourself. (In contrast, most problems with Windows need to be fixed by Microsoft.)

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: eWeek Labs Guide to Linux

Jason has been a member of the Labs staff since 1999, and was previously research and technology coordinator at a French economic development agency. Jason covers the mobile and wireless space, including mobile operating systems such as Palm, Windows CE, Symbian and Linux, as well as the devices that run them. Jason has performed some of the most comprehensive tests published to date of the nascent Bluetooth wireless technology, including interference testing among Bluetooth and other wireless technologies such as 802.11. Jason also provides analysis of the desktop computing area, including Windows, Mac and Linux operating sytems, as well as productivity applications such as Microsoft Office, StarOffice, Lotus Notes, GNOME and KDE. Jason's review of StarOffice received the most hits of any story published on www.eweek.com.

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