What Is Linux ? Why Use Linux Instead of Windows? Basic Linux Command
Just like Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Mac OS X, Linux is an operating system. An operating system is software that manages all of the hardware resources associated with your desktop or laptop. To put it simply – the operating system manages the communication between your software and your hardware. Without the operating system (often referred to as the “OS”), the software wouldn’t function.
Linux is a Unix-like, open source and community-developed operating system for computers, servers, mainframes, mobile devices and embedded devices. It is supported on almost every major computer platform including x86, ARM and SPARC, making it one of the most widely supported operating systems.
Why Use Linux Instead of Windows?
There are many reasons why you would use Linux instead of Windows and here are just a few of them.
- Linux is supported on older computers. While Windows XP will still run on older hardware it is no longer supported, so there are no security updates. There are a number of Linux distributions that are created specifically for older hardware and are maintained and updated regularly.
- Some Linux distributions and desktop environments are now more familiar to traditional computer users than Windows 8 and Windows 10. If you like the Windows 7 look and feel why not try Linux Mint for instance.
- The Windows 10 download size is huge. A typical Linux distribution comes in at just over 1 gigabyte although you can get some which are just a few hundred megabytes. Windows requires at least a DVD’s worth of bandwidth.
- Linux ships with free to use software and you can change and use that software as you please.
- Linux has always been more secure than Windows and there are very few viruses for Linux, although the Internet of things has been targeted lately.
- Linux performs better than Windows in many ways and you can squeeze more out of the last drop of resources for older and restricted hardware
- Privacy. Windows regularly phones home with data gathered via Cortana and search in general. While not a new thing and clearly Google does the same thing you can be more assured that Linux isn’t doing the same especially if you choose a free community distribution.
- Reliability. When a program hangs in Linux you can kill it quite easily. When a program hangs in Windows even when you try and run task manager to kill it the offending program doesn’t always let go.
- Updates. Windows is very intrusive with its update policy. How many times have you turned on the computer to print out concert tickets or other important information to see the words installing update 1 of 450?
- Variety. You can make Linux look, feel and behave exactly as you want it to. With Windows, the computer behaves exactly as Microsoft think you want it to.
Basic Linux Command
You will fall in love with Linux Operating System when you start using it. At first, it might be quiet hard for new user to be familiar with Linux but eventually you will like it. Here are few Linux commands for newbies.
The ls command – the list command – functions in the Linux terminal to show all of the major directories filed under a given file system. For example, the command:
…will show the user all of the folders stored in the overall applications folder. The ls command is used for viewing files, folders and directories.
The cd command – change directory – will allow the user to change between file directories. As the name command name suggest, you would use the cd command to circulate between two different directories. For example, if you wanted to change from the home directory to the Arora directory, you would input the following command:
As you might have noted, the path name listed lists in reverse order. Logically cd/arora/applications reads change to the arora directory which is stored in the applications directory. All Linux commands follow a logical path.
The mv command – move – allows a user to move a file to another folder or directory. Just like dragging a file located on a PC desktop to a folder stored within the “Documents” folder, the mv command functions in the same manner. An example of the mv command is:
The first part of the command mv/arora/applications/majorapps lists the application to be moved. In this case, arora. The second part of the command /arora/applications/minorapps lists where arora will be moved to – from majorapps to minorapps.
The man command – the manual command – is used to show the manual of the inputted command. Just like a film on the nature of film, the man command is the meta command of the Linux CLI. Inputting the man command will show you all information about the command you are using. An example:
The inputting command will show the manual or all relevant information for the change directory command.
The mkdir – make directory – command allows the user to make a new directory. Just like making a new directory within a PC or Mac desktop environment, the mkdir command makes new directories in a Linux environment. An example of the mkdir command
The example command made the directory “testdirectory”.
The rmdir – remove directory – command allows the user to remove an existing command using the Linux CLI. An example of the rmdir command:
The example command removed the directory “testdirectory”.
It should be noted: both the mkdir and rmdir commands make and remove directories. They do not make files and they will also not remove a directory which has files in it. The mkdir will make an empty directory and the rmdir command will remove an empty directory.
The touch command – a.k.a. the make file command – allows users to make files using the Linux CLI. Just as the mkdir command makes directories, the touch command makes files. Just as you would make a .doc or a .txt using a PC desktop, the touch command makes empty files. An example of the touch command:
The example touch command effectively created the file testfile.txt. As noted by the extension, the file created is a .txt or text file. To equate, a .txt file in Linux is akin to a .txt notebook file within a Window or Mac OS.
The rm command – remove – like the rmdir command is meant to remove files from your Linux OS. Whereas the rmdir command will remove directories and files held within, the rm command will delete created files. An example of the rm command:
The aforementioned command removed testfile.txt. Interestingly, whereas the rmdir command will only delete an empty directory, the rm command will remove both files and directories with files in it. This said, the rm command carries more weight than the rmdir command and should be used with more specificity.
The locate – a.k.a. find – command is meant to find a file within the Linux OS. If you don’t know the name of a certain file or you aren’t sure where the file is saved and stored, the locate command comes in handy. A locate command example:
locate -i *red*house**city*
The stated command will locate an file with the a file name containing “Red”, “House” and “City”. A note on the input: the use of “-i” tells the system to search for a file unspecific of capitalization (Linux functions in lower case). The use of the asterik “*” signifies searching for a wildcard. A wildcard tells the system to pull any and all files containing the search criteria. By specifying -i with wildcards, the locate CLI command will pull back all files containing your search criteria effectivley casting the widest search net the system will allow.
The clear command does exactly what it says. When your Linux CLI gets all mucked up with various readouts and information, the clear command clears the screen and wipes the board clean. Using the clear command will take the user back to the start prompt of whatever directory you are currently operating in. To use the clear command simply type clear.