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You Can Switch to Linux! (Page 1 of 6)
Will Smith writes:


Iíve written about Linux in Maximum PC quite a bit over the last three years. You see, Iím intrigued by the prospect of a free, open operating system, one thatís available for everyone to use and modify to suit their own purposes. Rather than a monolithic operating system vendor telling me that Iím not allowed to do something, thereís an entire community of developers who are working to make whatever features I want possible! To me, thatís the essence of what computing should be aboutóenabling choice.

Which brings me to the biggest problem with Linux: the paralyzing number of choices every user must make. There are literally tens of thousands of apps for Linux, ranging from vital software that every end user needsóweb browsers, word processors, and Wi-Fi driversóto the very trivial. Frequently, youíll find 15 applications that do exactly the same thing, so youíll need to experiment and discover which is best suited for you.

Writing a comprehensive Linux guide is a daunting processóand largely unnecessary. The Linux community does a great job of documenting most of its software, whether itís the developers actually writing docs or the end users figuring things out and sharing the acquired info with their pals. All the information you need to get running is out there, if you know what to search for on Google, that is.

And thatís where I come in. Books have been written with solutions for all the potential pitfalls the Linux-switcher faces. However, those books are outdated the moment a new version of Linux is released. Instead of just telling you what to do, Iím going to tell you how to do things and explain why youíre doing them. Iím going to focus on the things that are truly a challenge (and poorly documented), but still give you a head start on the easy stuff.

Before you get started, you need to be prepared to be your own support system. While you can usually get help with Linux problems on different message boards on the web, before you do that, you need to make the effort to solve your own problems. Linux DIYers donít have much sympathy for people who donít make an effort to help themselves.

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Last Updated Wednesday, June 11 2008 @ 12:04 PM EDT


We have written a range of guides highlighting excellent free books for popular programming languages. Check out the following guides: C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, HTML, Python, Ruby, Perl, Haskell, PHP, Lisp, R, Prolog, Scala, Scheme, Forth, and SQL.


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