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Introduction to Linux

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A brief and opinionated introduction to Linux presented to the Bainbridge BARN

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Introduction to Linux

  1. 1. Introduction to Linux and Open Source Software Ehren J. Brav
  2. 2. What is Linux? ● An operating system ● It's free! ● It can run pretty much on anything ● Infinitely customizable ● The ultimate Swiss Army Knife of software
  3. 3. What is Linux? An operating system – Originally based on Unix – Does all the normal stuff you'd expect an operating system to do – Works on basically anything with a processor and some memory
  4. 4. What is Linux? It's free! – Anyone can install, run, and customize Linux completely for free – Generally, it's free in the sense that “free beer” means beer that you don't need to pay for – But more importantly, you're free to modify, use, and distribute it as well, so long as you play by some basic rules
  5. 5. What is Linux? It can run pretty much on anything – It can be a big, powerful, energy guzzling beast like a Humvee (ex – a data center)
  6. 6. What is Linux? It can run pretty much on anything – It can be tiny, simple, and efficient like a solar- powered long-range glider (ex – automated plant watering widget)
  7. 7. What is Linux? It can run pretty much on anything – Oh, by the way, Apple's OS X runs on a version of Linux – ...and Android too – ...and most of the Internet
  8. 8. What is Linux? Infinitely customizable – Because Linux is open source, you can make any changes you want – But you don't need to be a software engineer to customize it – there's a huge community of users out there who have tweaked Linux in numerous ways – If you want change something about how your computer works, chances are someone out there has already done it and published his or her work
  9. 9. What is Linux? The ultimate Swiss Army Knife of software – When we talk about Linux, we're really talking about is the universe of open-source software that Linux distributions put at your fingertips...
  10. 10. The Distribution System In the olden days, to get software... – You'd have to find it – You might have to pay for it – You probably didn't get its source code – You probably wouldn't know when it was updated – You wouldn't be sure it would be compatible with your machine
  11. 11. The Distribution System ● The Linux “distro” system largely solves these problems ● A distro is a huge collection of free, open- source software that is kept up-to-date by a community of users much like us ● If I need, say, a 3D CAD program, it takes a single command to get and install on my machine!
  12. 12. The Distribution System There are a number of popular distros out there, each with its own personality: ● Stability ● Philosophical Purity
  13. 13. The Distribution System There are a number of popular distros out there, each with its own personality: ● User-Friendly ● Great for Beginners
  14. 14. The Distribution System There are a number of popular distros out there, each with its own personality: ● “Woah – I'm compiling everything!
  15. 15. The Distribution System There are a number of popular distros out there, each with its own personality: ● Lean and mean ● Focus on performance
  16. 16. The Distribution System There are a number of popular distros out there, each with its own personality: ● The “Enterprise” Linux ● Used by Linus Torvalds, the Father of Linux
  17. 17. The Distribution System There are a number of popular distros out there, each with its own personality: ● Easy to Learn ● Fun
  18. 18. The Distribution System There are a number of popular distros out there, each with its own personality: ● Security Testing ● The Hacker's Distro
  19. 19. Installing Linux You'll need some sort of computer (or a reasonable approximation thereof) – It can be shockingly old and clunky...people have gotten Linux to run on surprising things – Any old laptop can run Linux, which is probably the best way to get started
  20. 20. Installing Linux You'll need some sort of computer (or a reasonable approximation thereof) – A Raspberry Pi can run Linux, which is cool for making stuff like...homemade weather balloons and robots... – You can even make a 100% ephemeral computer using a Linux-booted USB stick
  21. 21. So Why Use Linux? It's the ultimate tool for creative hacking Cool Interesting Stuff Normal Desktop Computer Stuff Robotics Web Browsing 3D Rendering Email Clients Circuit Design Graphical User Interfaces Machine Learning Word Processing Develop Web Apps Photo Viewing Home Automation Spreadsheets Amateur Radio Presentations Etc., Etc., Etc. Etc., Etc., Etc.
  22. 22. So Why Use Linux? – Security ● Linux can be made, and generally is by default, highly secure (though anyone can make even the best machine insecure through carelessness or poor judgment) ● Anyone can review and audit open source software – you're not dependent on a vendor to do this for you and create a patch – Freedom ● Do whatever you want – install 50 copies on 50 machines if you want ● Improve the software and distribute at will – Control ● You can configure every piece of your system WARNING – EDITORIAL CONTENT BELOW!
  23. 23. So Why Use Linux? – Flexibility ● Install on anything ● Modify everything – Nothing is hidden from you by a software vendor ● You're not locked into any particular way of doing things ● But with great power comes great responsibility – you can nuke your entire system with a single command (“sudo rm -rf /*) – Fun ● Open source hackers are a global community of people passionate about technology WARNING – EDITORIAL CONTENT BELOW!
  24. 24. Where To Go From Here ● Once you get Linux installed, you'll have a bit of a learning curve ● Do Not Fear The Command Line!
  25. 25. Where To Go From Here ● Start Here: linuxsurvival.com ● Next, learn the basics of the package management system of your chosen distro (ie – apt-get, yum, portage, etc.) ● Google is your friend – pay attention to excellent sites like stackoverflow.com
  26. 26. So Why Use Linux? OK enough with these stupid slides – let's see some demos!

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