Free Pathways to Running Linux Right
Not only are more than half of OpenStack cloud deployments built on Ubuntu Linux, but Linux powers many of the fastest supercomputers. The fact is, the influence of Linux extends far beyond the day-to-day tasks of average desktop users. Desktop Linux users are still a very powerful force as well, though, and Linux developers continue innovating.
If you're new or relatively new to Linux, you may be looking around for good educational resources and perhaps some tutorials. Whether you're new to Linux or looking to become a more advanced user, there are a lot of free online books and tutorials that can give you guidance. In this post, you'll find our newly updated collection of many good Linux reference guides and tools online--all available at no cost.
If you're goal is simply to get started with Linux as quickly as possible, you can start with PC World's step-by-step guide. It's very easy to follow and includes videos to guide you.
Total Linux beginners can easily dive into The Linux Starter Pack. It's a guide that caters to newbies and provides numerous useful resources.
We've covered Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference before here, and you can download it for free here. The online book is mostly identical to the fee-based print version, and the author, Keir Thomas, has written a number of books on Linux. There are more than seven chapters in the reference guide, with many screenshots, and information on how to move from installation to advanced steps such as securing your Ubuntu system. In the appendix, you'll find a lot of reference information and documentation for what is easily one of the most popular Linux distributions.
Linuxtopia has a huge number of online manuals available for particular Linux distros, as we covered here. There are reference guides on OpenSuse, Fedora, and many more titles. There are also reference guides available for many non-Linux open source applications.
Test Driving Linux: From Windows to Linux in 60 Seconds is a free online book that can get you started with both Linux and several open source programs. Beginners will find it approachable, and it covers everything from basic Linux commands to user interface conventions that differ between Linux and Windows.
What if you want to put Linux and Linux applications on your USB thumb drive? Here, you'll find instructions and a huge collection of useful tools for making it work.
Among educational Linux sites, my favorite remains Unix-Tutorials.com. Check out the long list of Linux topics you can dig into down the left rail of the home page, with content aggregated from around the web. These include nearly every popular Linux distro, in addition to other Unix-based titles such as Solaris.
Finally, beginning and intermediate Linux users should check out Open CourseWare for Linux from College@Home. This is a good find. The site offers free online courses on many Linux-related topics. You can take concise courses on using Ubuntu, GnuCash (finance software for Linux), FreeMind (mind mapping software), Gentoo Linux, GIMP, and more.