Linux, together with a set of GNU programs, is an operating system. That is, Linux is not a single program or a suite of tools.  Most "versions" of Linux, known as "distributions", are available to download free of charge. However, there are some things you should know about downloading and installing some vendor's or individual's Linux product:


  • You should have a high-speed Internet connection (T3, T1, xDSL, cable modem, ISDN). Trying to download a major vendor's version of Linux will probably be a frustrating experience with a dial-up modem connection.

  • You'll need the ISO images for the distribution you want to download which you must then copy or "burn" into a CD.

  • If you already run another operating system, you must re-partition your hard disk in order to install a "standard" Linux distribution. There are some "mini" distributions that are designed to run as if it were a "program" under other operating systems (eg. Windows). If you are interested in trying Linux, this may be an option.

  • When you download Linux from the Internet. You are not entitled to that particular vendor's technical support. You will have to look for the documentation that you need in order to resolve any problems you might run into or seek appropriate help on websites or in other Internet forums.


In other words, if you don't have a high-speed connection to Internet or a drive that writes to blank CDs then downloading is probably not the best way for you to get a full-featured Linux distribution. You can, though, depending on your location, get Linux free in magazines or from retailers that will sell you a distribution on one or more CDs at very low cost. Distributions obtained in this way do not usually include documentation or support. There are also many books that include a Linux distribution.


If you don't know how to partition a hard disk or you have very little experience with installing and maintaining an operating system, you can still install Linux fairly easily by purchasing a boxed set. In this case, the cost of Linux system increases, but on the other hand, you will be provided full documentation, step by step installation instructions and in many cases free technical support for up to 90 days by phone or e-mail.


Regardless of the way in which you obtain a Linux distribution, we at Linux Online feel that switching to Linux will be a positive experience. You will see your knowledge of computing increase at the same time as your productivity. You will be able to do much more with your computer and at a fraction of the cost of proprietary operating systems.


Interview: Martin Taylor, Microsoft's Top Anti-Linux General (0), Feb 25 2004

Linux Gets Security Boost from NSA (0), Feb 25 2004

Expanding the playing field for Linux users (0), Feb 25 2004

Open source to run 50 per cent IT infrastructure in 5 years: MAIT (0), Feb 25 2004

Linuxant wrapper lets users run Linux on Centrino (0), Feb 25 2004

SCO's year of living litigiously (0), Feb 25 2004

Riding SuSE, Novell Reports First-Quarter Growth (0), Feb 25 2004

Europe may make Microsoft offer two Windows versions (0), Feb 25 2004

Kernel release: 2.2.26 (0), Feb 24 2004

MandrakeSoft ordered to drop trademark (2),




Linux is a free Unix-type operating system originally created by Linus Torvalds with the assistance of developers around the world. Developed under the GNU General Public License , the source code for Linux is freely available to everyone. Click on the link below to find out more about the operating system that is causing a revolution in the world of computers.


SCO Controversy

On March 7, 2003, The SCO Group filed suit against IBM, claiming it improperly inserted proprietary Unix code in the Linux kernel. The case has diverted the attention of the entire IT industry. As a service to our visitors, Linux Online has devoted a section of our news area to provide more information on SCO controversy. 



LINX 101

Are you thinking about switching to Linux and want to learn how to use it? Have you been using Linux for some time and want to learn even more? Then Linux Online's classroom can help! Two courses - one for beginners and another intermediate level course - is available to our visitors free of charge. We also have a new section with short lessons on various aspects of Linux use. 





The Linux kernel provides the basic services and device drivers used by all other programs running on a Linux OS system. The latest kernels available are:







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