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Linux For Absolute Beginners: 3 Easy Ways to Test-Drive Linux

Apr 13, 2009, 22:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Carla Schroder)

"Linux is Like Tortilla Chips

"The Linux world is very large, and there are hundreds of different Linux distributions. You can think of these as different brands of Linux, just like there are different brands of tortilla chips. In fact the tortilla chip is a perfect comparison, because the basic chip is always the same: it is made of corn. Every brand has its own variation on this basic chip: more salt, less salt, more grease, less grease, more crispy, less crispy, thicker, thinner, different shapes, white, blue, yellow corn, different flavorings. Underneath all Linuxes are pretty much the same; the differences are things like bundled software, user interfaces, configuration tools, and customized functionality.

"It runs on everything from tiny embedded devices like wristwatches, robots, and phones, to giant mainframes and clusters. Linux rules the datacenter. Google and Amazon are giant Linux clusters. Pixar Animation Studio uses a Linux-based render farm. The world's top 500 supercomputers are nearly all Linux machines-- Windows and Mac represent 1.2%; Linux owns 87.8%.

"So Linux is very capable and flexible, and it makes a dandy desktop PC. It is powerful, stable, runs fine on modest hardware, and is immune to the mind-boggling tide of Windows malware that is washing over the planet."

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