Friday, September 27, 2013

What's Linux?

For many, the word Linux is a new one to them. Not many know about Linux and what it can do, or how to get it. Today I am going to explain to you what it is and what you can do to try it without the risk of screwing up your computer. To start out, I’ll briefly explain what Linux is. It is what’s called an open source operating system for a computer. The operating system of a computer is basically what you see when you turn it on, and open source means you can tinker with it pretty easily. The easiest thing to understand about Linux at first is that its logo is a penguin, so whenever you see that on a computer, you can almost always be sure you’re getting into Linux. Linux at the start does not look that different from Windows or Mac computers. The cool thing about Linux is that you can change it. For example, say you want to see what the weather is and what your calendar has on it. You can put that right on your home screen. You can even do a cool trick where you establish 4 different “workspaces” where you can flip what you see on a screen. To make this easier to understand: imagine you’re working on a paper, but also want to do some social networking, and play some minesweeper on the side. You could put Microsoft Word and the internet on one screen, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram on another, and put minesweeper and a cheat website on the other. All going at the same time, but you only see one of them at a time allowing you to focus only on whatever topic you want. Don’t worry if this is a bit confusing, the error is probably on my part, you really have to see it to fully understand it. Linux is full of things like this, you can basically make your computer show whatever you want it to and make it move around however you want it to. It really brings a new definition to “making a computer your own”. Now for how to get it. In my experience, I’ve found the easiest way to get Linux is through a free provider called Ubuntu. Basically, if you want to put Ubuntu on your computer, you’ll need a flash drive and a computer. First you need to downloadthe .iso file onto your computer. Then you need to create a bootable flash drive. Basically once you’ve gotten to this point, turn off your computer and put the flash drive in. Then turn on the computer again and go to booting options, usually by hitting escape. Then click Try Ubuntu and you’re ready to go. If you do decide to play around with this fun piece of software I hope it works well for you, and if you don’t I hope you’ve enjoyed reading!

              Ubuntu Main Screen

Switching Between Desktops