Linux operating system

Linux Penguin (sort of)

Linux Penguin (sort of)


[last updated 2010.6.14]

While Linux is not a usual system at the Boreham Library, there is increasing interest in this alternate operating system.

Linux is often represented by some form of penguin logo (but not necessarily the one shown here!).

The latest posts on this topic are available by clicking here.

Linux Described

For those just getting started, check out the Ultimate Linux Newbie Guide.

Gizmo Richards has a columnist covering his experiences with Ubuntu in The Battle for the Desktop, part 2.

Dave’s Computer Tips Newsletter has a section on learning Linux, starting with the March 15, 2008 issue.

Linux in 30 Days is a blog designed to teach newcomers.

What would it take to switch to linux?

Part 1:
Part 2:

Linux How-Tos are at the Linux Documentation Project.

Linux distros may have different GUIs (Graphic User Interfaces), the best known of which are KDE and Gnome.  Which do you want?  This article compares them.

Setting Up Linux

If you don’t want to go too far in committing to Linux, you can try it out using a virtual machine created inside your normal operating system.

One freeware program for creating a virtual machine is VirtualBox.

You can create a VirtualBox setup on a USB flash drive and then install another operating system (Linux, Windows, etc.) on the USB flash drive, making it completely portable.

How to set up Linux:

IT Dojo video: Common mistakes to avoid when you’re installing Linux software:

partitioning Vista hard drive:

install Ubuntu on a flash drive:

MobaLiveCD emulator

Netbootin universal netboot installer.  UNetbootin allows for the installation of various Linux/BSD distributions to a partition or USB drive, so it’s no different from a standard install, only it doesn’t need a CD. It can create a dual-boot install, or replace the existing OS entirely.


Linux comes in many distributions (or “distros” for short) from many people and groups.

linux distros:

10 things to consider when choosing a Linux distribution

64-bit version is available at

battle of the thumb drive Linux distros:

Windows Secrets covers putting Linux on a USB Flash drive so you can Carry an entire operating system in your pocket which covers Linux and gives useful details on which version to use.

For those accustomed to Windows Vista, your best choice may be KDE 4.x (although be sure to skip the .0 release and go straight to .1 or better.)

Those distributions often found by users to be the most accepting of hardware are Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, and Ubuntu.


user look at Ubuntu 8.10 intrepid ibex:

With Ubuntu, Wubi is considered by many to be the way to go for fuss-free installation. It allows you to install Ubuntu as a series of virtual hard disk files within the Windows file system, with no need to partition your hard drive. You can also use the dedicated Wubi installer and which doesn’t need an install CD.

Wubi: allows you to install and uninstall Ubuntu as any other Windows application, in a simple and safe way.

It is possible to install Ubuntu from a USB Flash drive; this will create a copy of the installation CD on the Flash drive. You will need to select Try Ubuntu from the boot menu each time you boot. However, any files you save or preferences you change should be retained and stored on the drive (which is called “persistence”). Using a USB Flash drive to run Ubuntu (or any other system) isn’t fast, but once the desktop has booted it will give you an idea of how it works for you.

Xubuntu 8.04 is Basically the Ubuntu platform, optimized to run the lighter Xfce desktop manager.  Basically, anybody who favors an Ubuntu system, but would like a slimmed-down version run from a USB Flash drive, with a few of its programs remixed.


Fedora is a Linux distro.  Download Squad says about version 10:  “One of the few live distros that didn’t have any trouble with the hardware on my MSI Wind netbook. My acid test: can it properly suspend and wake? Yes – and it does it faster than Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7. OpenSUSE and Ubuntu both failed to resume properly.”

Damn Small Linux

Download Squad says about Damn Small Linux: “pretty amazing what you can do with a whole OS that’s not much bigger than most Windows antivirus applications. 50mb gets you Firefox, XMMS, VNCViewer, MS Office Viewer, and much more. It’s also easily extendable through the MyDSL service or by using the apt command.”


5 tweaks for your Ubuntu desktop:

101 linux how-tos

Make Linux desktop more productive:

running Linux using same data store as Windows:

run Windows apps using Wine:


TechRepublic has a post on finding the right applications.

MakeUseOf recommends LinuxAppFinder.

keepassx is the linux version of keepass

Free Ubuntu apps

Anti-Virus for Linux

If you’d prefer a commercial antivirus software, try the Linux version of Grisoft’s renowned AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition.

Avira free version of commercial software

Clam open source anti-virus

Media Support

64 Studio – If you’re into digital content creation of any kind – audio, video, or graphics – 64 Studio is a distro worth downloading. It’s packed full of awesome multimedia apps and, contrary to the name, is available for 32-bit platforms as well. (From Download Squad)

Games – One of the big complaints about Linux is “Where are the games?” If you’d like to see some, why not download a live DVD that contains a truckload that you can run without even installing anything? FPS, racing, platformer, you name it – this disc has it covered. (from Download Squad)


K3b ( ) K3b backs up to CDs, which is simple. Multiple backup types (audio, data cd, data dvd, copy cd, iso cd, iso dvd) or save the backup information to a file. If you do the same backup regularly, all you need to do is open up the particular backup file and click burn. (No more having to drag and drop or hunt for particular files/folders to back up.) K3b can also blank CDR-Ws, retrieve TOCs, and write cue/bin files. K3b is available only for Linux and has been optimized for KDE.

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