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Linux Pocket Guide, 2nd Edition by Daniel J. Barrett

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What’s Linux?

Linux is a popular, open source operating system that competes with Microsoft Windows and the Apple Macintosh. There are two ways to work with a Linux system:

  • A graphical user interface with windows, icons, and mouse control.

  • A command-line interface, called the shell, for typing and running commands like the preceding wc.

Windows and Mac OS computers can be operated by command line as well (Windows with its cmd and PowerShell command tools, and OS X with its Terminal application), but most of their users can survive without typing commands. On Linux, however, the shell is critical. If you use Linux without the shell, you are missing out.

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