Skip to main content

Linux Info

There is a lot of discussion about an alternative opeerating system to Microsoft Windows called Linux. There is a lot of confusion about why it would be free, is it good, and does it really work.

To be complete, Linux is a combination of something called the kernel (or main set of instructions that control the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and how it interfaces with other computer hardware), the particular Graphical User Interface (GUI) (since there are many, each providing different features) and a set of applications. Each distribution is put together by a person or team and supported in different manners. The kernel was developed by a young finnish student named Linus Torvalds as part of his post-baccalauratte work. The utilities used to help manage the system are mostly GNU. For more information about GNU (GNU's Not Unix) can be found at

But if you are really looking for more information about managing (and using) a linux system, the following documentation might help you learn more.

NAG Network Administrator's Guide
SAG System Administrator's Guide
LAME Linux Administration Made Easy

All linux distributions can be managed from the command line (interface or CLI), although some may provide tools to manage all or part of the system through the GUI. Some commands that may of critical interest to you as a Linux user at the command line (terminal) include:

Linux Command Description
info "info" documentation about your linux system. Some commands have a significant amount of information written about the in a format for new users to understand.
man The online manual for many commands. These assume the user already understands the purpose (even though a short purpose is provided). It is more of a syntax reference and is written for experienced users use the command effectively.
apropos This is a command that allows the user to search for a particular command that has a keyword in it's name or short description. This is usually a helpful guide giving the user a place to search for more information.

Try the command apropos zip in your terminal to see several commands that are related to zip file compression.

NOTE: There are several other commands that show up because the word "zip" shows up in the description or name of the command, even if it isn't exactly what you are looking for.

Additional commands can be found from the guides listed above and by exploring The Linux Documentation Project web site (