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Linux® Bible, 2008 Edition: Boot Up to Ubuntu®, Fedora®, KNOPPIX, Debian®, openSUSE®, and 11 Other Distributions by Christopher Negus

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Chapter 1. Starting with Linux

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • Understanding Linux

  • Using Linux

  • Linux myths, legends, and FUD

In only a few years, Linux has moved from being considered a specialty operating system into the mainstream. Precompiled and configured Linux systems can be installed with no technical expertise. Versions of Linux run on all kinds of devices, from PCs to handhelds (see www.linuxdevices.com) to game consoles (such as PlayStation 3) to supercomputers. In short, Linux has become a system that can be run almost anywhere by almost anyone.

On both desktop and server computers, Linux has become a formidable operating system across a variety of business applications. Today, large enterprises can deploy thousands of systems using Linux distributions from companies such as Red Hat, Inc. and Novell, Inc. Small businesses can put together the mixture of office and Internet services they need to keep their costs down.

The free and open source software (FOSS) development model that espoused sharing, freedom, and openness is now on a trajectory to surpass the quality of other operating systems outside of the traditional Linux servers and technical workstations. What were once weak components of Linux, such as easy-to-use desktops and personal productivity applications, have improved at a rapid pace. In areas of security, usability, connectivity, and network services, Linux has continued to improve and outshine the competition.

Computer industry heavy-hitters such as Microsoft and Oracle have taken ...

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