What is Linux?

What is Linux? Seems like more and more people are hearing the name these days. It use to be that only a few technology people were really into it and it required much learning that wasn’t easy for the average person to start learning it. Now it seems colleges and schools are advertising this and even Linux Foundation is pushing online courses to help with the exposure.

So where do we start on this path? There are literally hundreds of “Flavors” or variations of the Linux OS. Which is best for you start? Some think of Linux and associate it with Hackers wearing a hoodie in a dark room and the Matrix style of screen with green code going down the Terminal interface.For some, it can be rather exciting, for others, it can seem quite daunting.


Welcome to the Blog Series, Introduction to Linux! We are very excited you are wanting to learn more about Linux and to begin to understand what so many in the computer world are talking about. Linux can be a big undertaking, but it sure is rewarding.

Linux has so many specialities and focuses in the IT World. Many believe it is the Hacker OS but you will come to find out, more than just Hackers use Linux, and for good reason!

In this course we are going to explore the Linux OS (Operating System) that is most common amongst the corporate world. This will expose us to the root of what Linux has to offer and to start to learn to harness the real power of Linux. The OS that we will be using is called CentOS. This OS is completely free and actually runs a majority of the major supercomputers around the world, not to mention the countless websites, such as the one hosting BytesUnlimited.com.

CentOS – Where to get it?

CentOS has two common versions that are in use right now, version 6 and version 7. CentOS 6 is currently on its last phase of its release and lifecycle and thus we will focus on version 7, though most of what is discussed is version agnostic. Most people have been hesitant to start with CentOS 7 since it made major core changes from past versions, that of adding Systemd or System Management Daemon instead of Init or System V init.

Go ahead and download the Linux OS, CentOS 7 from their website: centos.org. You will want to choose the ‘Everything ISO’ or the ‘Minimal ISO’ download. Either doesn’t matter since we will be focusing on the Terminal, which is included in either release. For this ISO file, you will want to use it with a VM (Virtual Machine) environment and to do so, we can use a free application called, Virtual Box.

To download, go to Oracle’s website: VirtualBox.org. You will want to download the correct version for your computer, MacOS or Windows and also download the Extension Pack just below it on the downloads page.

Launch the Virtual Box app and create a new VM. Use the ISO image we downloaded for CentOS to use as a base image for the VM. Once the VM and parameters are set, launch the VM you just made.

Then, follow the Linux steps to install to drive and configure CentOS. We will want to navigate to the Terminal application to use the rest of this tutorial.

What is Up Next?

Now we are going to talk more about what Linux is, the Terminal, BASH Shell and other Linux topics. Please visit back to continue on our road to learning the basics of Linux.