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How to Understand the Basics of Linux

If you’re considering switching your computer’s operating system from Windows to Linux, learn the basics first.


  • Step 1: Take an inventory of your computer’s programs Take an inventory of your computer’s programs. Before deciding to switch from Windows to Linux, find out which programs won’t automatically work when running Linux.
  • TIP: You can keep Windows on your computer and download Linux if there’s enough space for both operating systems.
  • Step 2: Visit web sites that list Linux distribution sites Visit web sites that list and describe Linux distribution sites. Go to the sites with the largest number of users and download Linux.
  • TIP: Consider buying a version of Linux that offers more personalized customer support.
  • Step 3: Learn about software made for Linux Learn about the wide variety of free software made for Linux, such as the web browser Firefox; Open Office, a free alternative to Microsoft Office; and GIMP, a graphics software alternative to Photoshop.
  • Step 4: Learn about the Linux file system Learn about the Linux file system. Data, executable programs, and peripherals like printers and keyboards are displayed in a tree-like hierarchical structure as files and directories in Linux.
  • Step 5: Learn about Linux file directory names Learn about common Linux file directory names. "/bin" contains Linux system commands and programs, "/usr" contains software programs for general users, and "/home" contains the user’s personal files and preferences.
  • Step 6: Learn common Linux commands Learn common Linux commands. "ls" lists the file names in a directory, The "cp" command is used to copy files from place to another, "mv" is used to move or rename files, and "rm" removes or deletes files.
  • FACT: Linux was developed In the 1990s by Linus Torvalds, a University of Helsinki college student.

You Will Need

  • Internet access

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