IN THIS CHAPTER
Getting started with Linux
Linux features and advantages
With Linux, you are free to erase your computer's entire hard disk and run nothing but free (as in freedom) software on it. As an alternative, you could run Linux from a live CD (ignoring your computer's contents without changing them) or install Linux to dual boot with your Windows or Mac OS X system as you choose. The bottom line is that with Linux you are free to do as YOU choose with your computer.
In only a few years, Linux has advanced from being considered a specialty operating system into the mainstream. Precompiled and configured Linux systems can be installed with no technical expertise. Versions of Linux run on all kinds of devices, from PCs to handhelds (see
www.linuxdevices.com) to game consoles (such as PlayStation 3) to supercomputers to Mars rovers. In short, Linux has become a system that almost anyone can run almost anywhere.
On both desktop and server computers Linux has become a formidable operating system across a variety of business applications. Today, large enterprises can deploy thousands of systems using Linux distributions from companies such as Red Hat, Inc. and Novell, Inc. Small businesses can put together the mixture of office and Internet services they need to keep their costs down.
The free and open source software (FOSS) development model that espoused sharing, freedom, and openness is now on a trajectory to surpass the quality of ...