Linux. What Is It? Should I Try It?

  1. UNIX Operating Systems
  2. Linux - Who Cares Anyway?
  3. A Word About Free Software
  4. Distributions
  5. Programs, Documentation, and Help
  6. Technology - Multitasking, Multiuser, Multiprocessing
  7. Strengths and weaknesses of Linux
  8. Should You Try Linux?
  9. Linux Demo (Red Hat 6.0)


UNIX Operating Systems

Bell Labs, 1969

AT&T UNIX System V, Release 4

Berkeley, SCO, HP-UX, AIX, Solaris, FreeBSD

Linus Torvalds, Linux (and how is it pronounced?)

Linux - Who Cares Anyway?

IBM - servers pre-loaded with Linux

Kernel hackers


Microsoft haters

Compaq - Intel, Alpha hardware

Intel - hardware, Red Hat

People with old computers - Linux runs on a 386

The press - Infoworld 1998 technology of the year

IBM, Oracle, Sybase - database engines

SAP - Enterprise Resource Planning servers

Corel - WordPerfect 8

Sun (formerly Star Division Corp) - StarOffice

S.u.S.e - Office Suite 99

Free Software Foundation

The Apache Group


A Word About Free Software

The Free Software Foundation

GNU (Gnu's Not Unix)

GPL (GNU Public License)

Copyleft - Free to acquire, change, distribute

The Linux kernel and most programs for Linux are free.


You can download Linux and most Linux applications from the internet, but a distribution makes things easier.

A distribution includes a Linux kernel, applications, online documentation, and an installation procedure, usually on CD.

Some distributions include a book. Some books include a distribution.

Red Hat - most popular

Mandrake - enhnaced Red Hat

Caldera - business-oriented

Debian - nonprofit

S.u.S.e - German

Slackware - the original

Corel - coming soon

Programs, Documentation, and Help

A Linux distribution typically includes hundreds of programs. Many more can be downloaded from the internet

Get documentation and help from