[This is MY opinion of this marvellous Operating System(OS). This post is not to start another Windows vs Linux war [trust me, there are already lots of them]. This is just an eye opener for those looking @ Linux and wondering “is there something in it for me?”. It also is a thank you note to the awesome Linux community.]

Why Linux? to answer this question effectively its essential to know what is Linux?. Linux is an OS that’s free, highly customizable, stable, secure and advanced. It’s free of cost and its also free to be modified according to the users whims and fancies.

Before we dive into the “Linux-ic” ocean here are a few terms that you should be familiar with in Linux world.

1. Kernel: The kernel is the CORE of the Linux OS. It contains device drivers, manages memory, processes and handles file systems. In short it is the “heart” of the Linux OS. It is created and maintained by Linus Torvalds (the creator of Linux).
2. Distro/Distribution:A Distro or Distribution is in simple terms Linux Kernel + applications [including Desktop Environments, Window managers, commands, word processing, cd burner, media player etc.]
3. Command Line Interface[CLI] / Terminal: These are the most Powerful yet less advertised and unfortunately less used tools. Many beginners and even a few intermediate users are intimidated by these tools for no reason at all

Now coming to ‘WHY LINUX?’. Its Linux because its YOU. You can tweak your Linux to your heart’s content from the way it looks to how it behaves, YOU are in complete control.

Definitely there are some pre-requisites to use linux.When I say pre-requisite, the first thing many of my friends tell me “oh God! I can’t or don’t wanna upgrade my Machine” I tell you again, it’s not about your machine it’s about YOU
1. You must be ready for change
2. You must be ready to learn.
3. You must be ready to spend time
4. You must take that extra step and interact with the ever helpful Linux Community or search the internet to fix that problem than just re-installing the OS

Now that “YOU” are ready lets take that first step into the Linux World.The first question that pops up into anyone new to Linux is ‘Which is the Best Distribution?’

Well, ‘The first impression is the BEST impression’ so, the first distribution you should try is ‘Linux Mint’. Yes.. NOT UBUNTU, this might surprise many Linux users too, but from experience of teaching many people Linux, I can tell you that Mint is something that works out of the box for almost all users and add to that all the codecs for multimedia usage are available with your install itself.

Remember Linux is not something that you can learn overnight. It takes time, now head over to the Download Linux Mint site and download the Linux mint LIVE CD image and burn it and reboot your system. LIVE CD’s are those that you can try on your system without making any changes to your already existing setup. Keep in mind that the LIVE CD mode is slower than the installed version.

Now that you have booted into your Linux Mint LIVE CD, just try everything get a hold of concepts, especially the file system hierarchy, the root user or the super user, command usage in the Linux terminal, mounting and un-mounting file systems etc

It wasnt as daunting as you thought right? Now you are ready for the NEXT big step, play around with your Linux mint install and try other distro’s and settle for the one you find yourself comfortable with. Remember the BEST distribution for other’s may not be the same to you.

Your next stop would be DistroWatch

This site lists all the Distros available to linux users with up-to-date release information, info on page hit rankings and a lot more useful info

Hope this was an eye opener for you into the Linux world. I will try to post more info on Linux in the coming days.

Let me know your views, comments, criticisms and your opinions in the comments section. Thank you for your time.


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