Linux

Installing Linux defining distros which version should you choose

Which version of Linux should you choose?In April 1991, Linus Torvalds, at the time a 21 year old computer science student at the University of Helsinki, Finland, started working on some simple ideas for an operating system. Although the desktop computer market exploded throughout the 1990s, the Linux Operating System remained pretty much the domain of geeks who like to build their own computers. I really believed that more than 20 years later we would have Linux computers in our home as common as Windows or Apple varieties.

The only dent in the domination of Windows or Apple desktop computers in recent years has been the introduction of the Chromebook as a personal computer in 2011. The Chrome operating system is a strange mix of the Linux kernel and using the Google Chrome web browser as a user interface.

The Linux operating system has come a long way since the mid 1990s. From painful experiences with using floppy disks and hunting down hardware drivers, my experiences with installing many distributions of Linux in recent years has been pretty painless.

What is the best desktop computer operating system?

Which operating system is best?There is no one size fits all answer to " what is the best desktop computer operating system?" Let me first tackle the differences between Linux, Microsoft, and Apple. Hopefully the tech purists won't beat me up too much for generalizing here.

The arguments of which operating system (OS) is best often focuses on the GUI (graphical user interface). Apple focused on being graphical from the start, and Apple focused on a creating single poweruser desktop computer. They have created their own very successful world.

I work in the world of enterprise computers, that's where many computers are talking together, working together, on local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs). Some might say I have gone over to the dark side and become a Microsoft fan boy. I bashed Microsoft quite a bit over the years for inefficient operating systems. After spending more than 20 years working with Microsoft products in the enterprise environment I have come to appreciate Microsoft and all the technology they have created.

Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system. When I was teaching I always remember a line from a song when I described Unix, "It wasn't build for comfort it was built for speed." Command line functions, the non GUI stuff, is important to the people who use Unix. A lot of Linux, like Unix, is used by people running it on servers, they don't care about the GUI. That's why there are so many distributions of Linux, some are geared to people using it mainly for server based applications, and some Linux Distros focus on a pretty GUI. Distro is a shortened version of the term distribution. We will discuss popular Linux distros in our next article.

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