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Fast track to linux
 

Fast track to linux

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Fast track to linux

Fast track to linux

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    Fast track to linux Fast track to linux Document Transcript

    • FAST TRACK TO LINUX We gave a Fast Track to Linux; Linux was still something only for geeks, and a fairly complicated undertaking. Linux has changed a lot since then, and evolved furiously as an OS that can give competition to the likes of Windows and OS X. Most prominently, the Ubuntu distribution (or distro) has become one of the most widely used Linux distributions. If any Windows user wants to switch to a Linux distro, Ubuntu is the distro that person is most likely to try out. Ubuntu lives up to its claim as being Linux for human beings, but what has helped the proliferation most are the free DVDs and CDs that are mailed to users by the parent company. Almost any net user moderately interested in technology has tried out a Live CD of Ubuntu at one point of time or another. At the same time, other important distributions have evolved too. This includes OpenSUSE, Mandriva (formerly Mandrake) and Sabayon. Gone are the days when running a Linux operating system meant that most of the operations had to be managed through the command line? The Linux Desktop, in other words, the GUIs have also evolved, with Gnome, KDE and XFCE establishing them, and providing as much eye candy as Vista or OS X in their latest releases. The onset of Web 2.0 has provided the open source community with more tools to converge and co-ordinate their efforts, which has increased the amount of tools available for Linux by leaps and bounds. What this means for the end user is that Linux has arrived. There are versions of Linux that are idiot friendly, versions of Linux that make you feel at home in a Windows-like environment, and even versions of Linux that come with propriety codecs included. One of the biggest apprehensions about Linux is that its free so it must be bad. This is untrue. Consider the work on the source codes of Linux distros and programs as a large wiki. Since mistakes and bugs can be seen by everyone, they get ironed out quickly. A passion for working at it, and creating software that can outdo a commercial version has resulted in a lot of quality software for Linux. These vary from multimedia editing, enterprise management, Database management, scientific tools, computer aided design (CAD) to highly specialized software for niche requirements. You may have noticed the dramatic exclusion of games from the list. If you want to play a lot of games on your computer, Linux is not for you. Very few big publishers release games for Linux and this is mostly because the market for Linux games is very small. That does not mean that there are no games for Linux, but games with the bells and whistles that can exploit your graphics card to the fullest do not exist. Linux is also not for some specialized professional use. This includes layout artists, graphic designers and multimedia editors. Although competent programs are available for home use, Gimp or Inkscape do not really measure up to Photoshop or Corel Draw, and there is definitely nothing that comes close to the utility of Quark Xpress and InDesign. There are ways to emulate the windows environment to get some of these programs to work on Linux. You can also purchase some software for Linux, like Corel Draw and Maya. These are small issues. There is plenty of reason why you should use Linux. Linux is no longer the domain of the technological elite. There are many distros that can be used by “human beings” for regular day-to-day purposes. It is a great and cheap solution for office use. Linux can be used to revive and use an outdated computer system that no longer supports the latest release of Windows. The upgrades are regular, and easily manageable. You can carry around your system on a portable hard disk, and use it on every system you connect it to, without changing the system. This is technically possible for Windows too, but is illegal. Most importantly, Linux is free, and you own your copy. You can do whatever you want with it, install it on as many machines as you please, and not bother to read the fine print in the process. You certainly cannot be on the wrong side of the law when you Run Linux.