Linux is the most powerful OS. Because it comes with a variety of tools and customization options. That is why this OS is the most beloved among the developers and coders. And almost all the programmers have this OS installed on their computers and they prefer it over Windows.

If you are a beginner and looking for how to use Linux OS such as Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Fedora, etc, then here is the step-by-step guide on how you do it.

Most Compatible Linux Version For Windows:

Though there are different versions of Linux OS, the best one for the Windows desktop is the ‘Ubuntu’. Not only is this version easy to use, but also it is easy to install and goes perfect with Windows OS. Therefore, Ubuntu is the best option for beginners as well as advanced developers and coders.

Ways To Run Ubuntu On Windows:

When it comes to using a Linux version on Windows computer, there are four ways one of which is to completely replace the Windows OS with Linux. The others include:

  1. Run Linux as a Web App: 
    This method is mostly for the ones who are not sure about the Linux program and looking for just a test-drive. You can get the full access to Ubuntu Linux, through your web browser. Go to edubuntu.org, fill the simple form and you will be granted access to the OS.
  2. Use Linux via USB/CD:
    The second method to run Linux on your Windows computers is to get it via a USB stick or CD. Simply insert the USB flash drive or the CD in your computer. Then reboot it. Another option is to open the BIOS boot menu and alter its boot sequence. Just click on the boot menu. Then select ‘Try Ubuntu without any change to your computer’.
  3. Run Linux via a Virtual Machine:
    Another option that is simple, easy and popular to use an alternate OS is by using virtualization software like Parallel Desktops. For starters, download the Linux setup on your desktop. Then select the file from parallels. Next, double click on ubuntu, and it will open the Linux software within the Windows environment.

Text Editors and IDEs are two different computer software programs.

Some IDEs and Text Editors for Linux desktop include Geany, Emacs, Pico, Vim and Atom allow programmers to edit their codes and files.

Though the basic purpose of both this software is the same, these are in fact two different programs that offer different features.

IDEs – Brief Overview:

An IDE is a computer program that provides all the editing tools and features. These include code editors, compiler, integrated debugger. Moreover, it can also provide syntax highlighting.

Usually, every IDE is linked with a specific programing language or framework.

●     Benefits Of IDEs:

  • The IDEs enable the programmers to collaborate and allows them to work in a group.
  • The features like syntax highlighting and auto-completion increase efficiency, proficiency and increases productivity.
  • The single user-interface saves the programmers to learn different coding tools and how to use it.
  • As every IDE is tied to one specific language or framework, therefore it comes with preinstalled libraries, that helps with the programming language.
  • IDEs support external plugging and provide Console for coding errors. 

Text Editors – Brief Overview:

A Text Editor is a simple computer program that enables the programers to create as well as edit plain and rich text. Unlike the IDEs the Text Editors can work with any programing framework or language.

●     Benefits Of Text Editors:

  • Simple and easy user-interface, with a single toolbar and few editing options.
  • As there is no auto-completion feature in text editors, it provides the programmer to learn HTML and XML.
  • It is best to learn and master the skills of code compilation and execution.

Which One Is Better?

Both programming software have their own benefits.

On one hand, the IDEs are more useful for projects that involve massive programming and uses advanced HTML.

On the other hand, text editors are useful to learn and master programming skills. It is best for beginners and enables them to work with different programming languages and frameworks.

Moreover, with text editors, the programmers can learn to do everything including code writing, editing, compilation and debugging. They can execute the code execution manually.

Linux is a very reliable, more secure and easy to use the operating system. And because of its number of useful features, most developers and programmers choose this OS for their computers. If you are currently using macOS and want to switch to Linux, then here is an ultimate guide on how you can use Linux on macOS.

macOS Shares the Same GUI Heritage as Linux:

Linux and macOS are somehow related to operating systems, which is why it is quite easy to use Linux on a macOS. Just as Linux has a GUI – the UNIX, macOS also shares a similar user interface with the GNU.

Use or Install Linux on macOS

There are two methods with which you can use Linux on macOS – one is using a ‘Virtualisation Software’; and the other one is to completely replace the macOS with the Linux version such as Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux Mint or Kubuntu, etc.

Use Linux on macOS via Virtualisation Software:

The best and easy way to get Linux on your Macbook is through virtualization software. There are many virtualization software such as Parallel Desktop or VirtualBox etc. With the help of this software, you can run Linux within the macOS environment on even on old hardware.

Here are the steps on how you can install Linux on Mac using a Virtualisation Software:

  1. Download the Linux version such as Ubuntu on mac.
  2. Go to the ‘Parallels Desktop’ and from there select ‘File’ and then chose ‘New’.
  3. Now select ‘install windows/another OS’ via a DVD/image file then ‘Continue’.
  4. The parallel Desktop software will automatically locate the OS files on the computer.
  5. Choose the Linux version you want to use and then again hit the continue button.
  6. Now enter your full name, user name, and password and verify your details then click continue.
  7. The file would be saved in the ‘Users’ section. You can change the location of the virtualization or continue from there.

To use Linux within macOS, go to the Control Center of the Parallels and enjoy the best OS on your computer!

What is Shell in Linux?

The Command Line Interface (CLI) is more popularly known as Shell and sometimes also referred to as prompt or terminal. It provides you with a text interface where you can write your command and the Shell will execute the corresponding task. As there are different distributions and flavors of Linux there are also different flavors of Shell. Each flavor has its own specific commands for various tasks and has its own benefits.

The Shell is one of the core features of Linux. You can use it to perform from the simplest of tasks to much complicated tasks.

Types of Linux Shell

Bourne Shell

This shell is fast and simple. However, simplicity means that it has less features than other types of shells. It is suitable for newbies but not experts.

Bash Shell

The Bash Shell, short for Bourne Again Shell, is one of the most popular shells that you may find in many Linux distributions. It provides many features while thriving to be simple.

C Shell

It was created by Bill Joy. It provides many features like aliases and command history for interactive use. Moreover, it also includes features like built-in arithmetic and C-like expression syntax to make programming easier.

TENEX C Shell

It is a modified version of C shell. It has many improvements like better history control, terminal locking, and read only variables. The shell also includes spell check and auto-completion features. Even after these modifications, it is fully compatible with C shell.

Korn Shell

It was developed by David Korn. It includes many features of Bourne shell and C shell. In addition to this, it also has its own unique features that make it even better.

Z Shell

It basically a modified version of Bourne shell. It incorporates features like better option handling, loadable modules and compatibility modes.

Fish Shell

Fish shell, short for friendly-interactive shell, aims to be more user friendly and interactive than any other shell.

What is Arch Linux?

Arch Linux is a free and open-source operating system. It is a Linux distribution which means that a Linux based OS. It is specifically created for computers based on  x86-64 architecture. It is developed by a team of developers, the lead developer of which was Aaron Griffin. The main goal of the organization is to provide an operating system that is simple and lightweight yet also flexible.

You can download Arch Linux by clicking here.

Why do you need to download Arch Linux?

The first thing that you should keep in mind before choosing to download Arch Linux is that it is not for beginners. It is not easy to set up and definitely not easy to run for newbies. However, if you are willing to learn how Linux based environment work or if you have some experience then you should certainly try this OS. Here are the features that make Arch Linux so great.

Features

Detailed Guides and Wiki: For help regarding the OS you can go to its website’s Wiki page which you can access by clicking here. There is a ton of information available there to guide you. Therefore, even if you are a beginner but enthusiastic in learning, with these guides and a bit of googling, you’ll be a pro in no time.

Customization: It takes a lot of time and knowledge just to install the OS. However, this is one of the reasons that makes it so great. All this effort that you spend on setting Arch Linux up means that you can customize it greatly. During the installation process, you can choose whether to add or not many features. Therefore, in the end, you are left with a system that only has things that you want.

Rolling release: What is meant by rolling release? It means that the operating system is continuously updated so the core of the system is always up to date. Consequently, you get the latest software, features and fixes.

Linux system administrators need to configure networking on their systems. On desktop machines, you can use dynamic IP addresses but on server infrastructure, you will need to set up a static IP address for a stable connection.

IP addresses on Linux systems are mostly assigned automatically by Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) servers. These are referred to as “dynamic addresses” and can change any time the system is rebooted. When a system is on a server or will be remotely administered, it is more convenient for these systems to have static addresses, offering stable and consistent connections with users and applications.

Fortunately, the steps required to setup a Linux system’s IP address from dynamic to static are fairly easy, though they will be a little different for the various distribution you are using. In this post, we’ll look at how this task is managed on RHEL/CentOS/Fedora and Debian/Ubuntu systems.

IP address: 192.168.0.100 Netmask: 255.255.255.0 Hostname: node01.linux-documentation.com Domain name: linux-documentation.com Gateway: 192.168.0.1 DNS Server1: 8.8.8.8 DNS Server2: 4.4.4.4

Configure Static IP Address in RHEL/CentOS/Fedora:

To configure the static IP address in RHEL / CentOS / Fedora, you will need to edit these files:

/etc/sysconfig/network
/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0

Where in the above "ifcfg-eth0" answers to your network interface namedeth0. If your interface is named “eth1" then the file that you have to edit is "ifcfg-eth1".

Let’s start editing the first file:

# vi /etc/sysconfig/network

Open that file and set the following:

NETWORKING=yes HOSTNAME=node01.linux-documentation.com GATEWAY=192.168.0.1 NETWORKING_IPV6=no IPV6INIT=no 

Now open next file as shown below:

# vi /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0

Note: Make sure that you have opened the file corresponding to your network interface. You can get your network interface name using command ifconfig -a.

In that file you have to make the following changes:

DEVICE="eth0" BOOTPROTO="static" DNS1="8.8.8.8" DNS2="4.4.4.4" GATEWAY="192.168.0.1" HOSTNAME="node01.linux-documentation.com" HWADDR="00:19:99:A4:46:AB" IPADDR="192.68.0.100" NETMASK="255.255.255.0" NM_CONTROLLED="yes" ONBOOT="yes" TYPE="Ethernet" UUID="8105c095-799b-4f5a-a445-c6d7c3681f07"

You will only need to edit the settings for i.e enter their respective values and save the file:

  1. DNS1 and DNS2
  2. GATEWAY
  3. HOSTNAME
  4. NETMASK
  5. IPADDR

Other settings should have already been predefined.

Next edit resolve.conf file by opening it with a text editor like nano or vi:

# vi /etc/resolv.conf
  
nameserver 8.8.8.8 # Replace with your nameserver ip
nameserver 4.4.4.4 # Replace with your nameserver ip

Once you have made your changes restart the networking with the following commands:

# /etc/init.d/network restart  [On SysVinit] 
# systemctl restart network [On SystemD]

Set Static IP Address in Debian / Ubuntu

To setup static IP address in DebianUbuntu, you have to open the following file:

# nano /etc/network/interfaces

You will see a line looking like this:

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

Change it so it looks like this:

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static 
  address 192.168.0.100
  netmask 255.255.255.0
  gateway 192.168.0.1
  dns-nameservers 4.4.4.4
  dns-nameservers 8.8.8.8

Save the file and then edit /etc/resolv.conf as follows:

# nano /etc/resolv.conf
nameserver 8.8.8.8 # Replace with your nameserver ip 
nameserver 4.4.4.4 # Replace with your nameserver ip

Restart the networking on your system with the following commands:

# /etc/init.d/network restart  [On SysVinit]
# systemctl restart network [On SystemD]

Your static IP address has been successfully configured.

Now, you know how to configure a static IP address on a Linux distro.

An Overview of Ubuntu and Fedora

Both Ubuntu and Fedora are Linux distributions. Ubuntu is developed by Canonical Ltd. and is based on Debian while Fedora is developed by  Fedora Project which is sponsored by Red Hat. Both operating systems are free and open-source software. Now that you have read the introduction to the OS let’s move on to the comparison of Ubuntu and Fedora.

Comparison

Latest technology integration: When it comes to the latest technology Fedora is unmatched. Although Ubuntu also strives to integrate latest technology, Fedora is just faster at it. Fedora claims to be a bleeding-edge operating system. It means that it provides frequent changes as technology progresses which might have some downfalls as explained later.

Stability: When it comes to stability Ubuntu is more stable than Fedora and the reason for that is the priorities of the two organizations. As mentioned above Fedora is an operating system that aims to provide you with the newest software faster than others. Contrary to which Ubuntu aims for stability. That is the reason why Ubuntu falls a bit behind in providing such technology as before any such update is released the developers make sure that it is totally stable, and they take their time in doing so. However, it doesn’t mean that Fedora is unstable. It is just that since it has to provide updates faster sometimes it may have bugs.

Frequency of updates: Fedora has more frequent updates than Ubuntu. This feature has its pros and cons. The advantage that you get from frequent updates is that you get the latest stuff and the disadvantage is that you get a system that is constantly changing, and you must adapt to that. Therefore, it is not suitable for purposes that require consistency such as for server purposes for which you might prefer Ubuntu.

Ease of Use: Although both OS are very user-friendly, there are some things that you will find easier to do on Ubuntu than Fedora such as downloading proprietary software.

An Overview of Debian and Ubuntu

Debian and Ubuntu are both Linux Distributions i.e. Linux based operating systems. Debian is one of the oldest Linux distributions and ‘The Debian Project’ are its developers. As for Ubuntu, it is based on Debian like many modern OS and Canonical Ltd. developed this OS. Both software are free and opensource. Now that you know a bit about them, let’s jump to what you came here for that is the comparison of the two distros (short for Linux Distributions).

Comparison

Stability: Debian is considered more stable than Ubuntu. This is because it has less frequent releases that are thoroughly tested for any errors and bugs before they are made available. As for Ubuntu, it has more frequent releases. Moreover, it is based on the testing branch of Debian rather than stable branch, therefore, it is more susceptible to errors.

Ease of use: When it comes to new users that don’t know much about Linux Ubuntu is better to start off with. It is more user-friendly, and its GUI has a Windows-feel to it. While Debian is more suitable for experienced Linux users. It requires a lot of configuration that newbies wouldn’t understand. Whereas for experts it provides them with an opportunity to tailor the system to their liking.

Releases: Ubuntu has more frequent releases than Debian and its LTS (long term support) releases have support for up to five years. In addition to this, its releases are also regular. This ensures that you get the latest technology timely. On the other hand, Debian releases are less frequent and unscheduled. Its LTS releases have support for three years only. This means that you might not always get the newest stuff on Debian and you do not know when you should expect the updates.

Hardware Requirements: Debian works better on lower-end hardware than Ubuntu. The reason is that Ubuntu adds more features and patches to Debian which makes it heavier. Therefore, Debian is lighter weight and faster than it.

What is Ubuntu and What are Official Ubuntu Flavors?

Ubuntu is a Linux distribution that is open-source and free to download. It is one of the most popular Linux distributions. Official Ubuntu Flavors or Flavors of Ubuntu is just another way of saying different versions of Ubuntu that are released by Canonical Ltd. which is the developer of Ubuntu. Each flavor is developed for different use. Here is a brief overview of each official Ubuntu flavor.

Kubuntu

Kubuntu is popular for its KDE plasma workspace and modern look. It doesn’t require high-end hardware but would not work on very low hardware either. It also lets you customize your desktop.

Lubuntu

It is a lightweight and fast distribution. This OS strives to be user-friendly and energy conserving. It can run smoothly on low-end hardware. It has a Windows-like interface however it isn’t modern looking.

Ubuntu Budgie

As its name implies the distribution uses Budgie desktop environment. It aims to be a simple, user-friendly and elegant OS. It incorporates panel based menu-driven system which is also customizable.

Ubuntu Kylin

This Ubuntu flavor is customized and personalized for the needs of Chinese users. It includes Chinese language and other features to accommodate them.

Ubuntu MATE

This OS also aims for simplicity. It is a replacement of and also the upgraded version of Ubuntu’s previous default desktop that is GNOME 2 desktop. It gives you a lightweight and fast environment with low hardware requirements. Moreover, it provides you with a new interface that gives traditional vibes.

Xubuntu

It incorporates Xfce, which is a desktop environment that is lightweight and stable. Moreover, it is also customizable. The OS can work on low hardware while keeping an elegant and user-friendly interface.

Ubuntu Studio

It also comes with the Xfce desktop environment however, it is aimed at multimedia content creators. The OS includes audio and video tools straight out of the box. It fulfills all the needs for graphic designing, video creation and audio editing that are needed by professionals.  

We have gone through certain Linux Shell Commands in our Part I article. Let’s see a few more basic Linux commands here.

The rm command:

This command is used to remove a file or directory. The -rf option is to remove a file or directory recursively. You must use this command carefully i.e if you run this command in the home directory, or any other important directory, it will delete everything there without confirmation. -f stands for force, it will perform the delete action forcefully. So, please be careful while using this command.

root@monitor:/home# ls
ansible ec2-automate-backup.sh ssbackup.py test
dir1 ssbackup.log ssbackup.py-bak ubuntu
root@monitor:/home# rm -rf test
root@monitor:/home# ls
ansible ec2-automate-backup.sh ssbackup.py ubuntu
dir1 ssbackup.log ssbackup.py-bak
The cp command:

The cp command used to copy a file in the Linux shell. To copy a file/directory recursively use the cp command with the -r flag. For example, we are coping test1.txt to test2.txt

root@monitor:/home# cp test1.txt test2.txt
root@monitor:/home# ls -l
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Jan 23 16:46 test1.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Jan 23 16:46 test2.txt

In the below example we are copying test dir to /tmp folder :

root@monitor:/home# cp test /tmp/
The mv command:

The mv command is used to rename or move a file or a directory. In following example we are renaming test1.txt to test.txt.

root@monitor:/home# mv test1.txt test.txt
root@monitor:/home# ls -l
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Jan 23 16:46 test2.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Jan 23 16:46 test.txt

In the below example we will move file test.txt to /tmp directory.

root@monitor:/home# mv test.txt /tmp/
root@monitor:/home# cd /tmp/
root@monitor:/tmp# ll | grep test.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Jan 23 16:46 test.txt
The wc command:

wc is a useful command to count newline, word and bytes of a file

root@monitor:/home# cat test.txt
HI that is a file.
This is the second line.
And we also have a third line.
root@monitor:/home# wc -l test.txt
3 test.txt
root@monitor:/home# wc -w test.txt
17 test.txt

The -l flag is to find the number of lines in a file, -w is to count the number of words in the file.

The echo command:

The echo command echoes a given string to the display.

 $ echo "Hello"
Hello
Redirecting the command output

we can redirect the command output to a file, or as input to another command. | is the most common way to do so. Using this we can count the number of directories in the root (/) directory very easily.

$ ls / bin boot dev etc home lib lib64 lost+found media mnt opt proc root run ˓→sbin srv sys tmp usr var 
$ ls / | wc -w
20
Using > to redirect output to a file!

You can use > to redirect the output of one command to a file, if the file exists this will remove the old content and only keep the input. We can use >> to append to a file, means it will keep all the old content, and it will add the new input to the end of the file.

$ ls / > details.txt 
$ cat details.txt
bin boot dev etc home lib lib64 lost+found media mnt opt proc root run sbin srv sys tmp usr var $ ls /usr/ > details.txt $ cat details.txt bin games include lib lib64 libexec local sbin share src tmp
$ ls -l /tmp/ >> details.txt
$ cat details.txt
bin games include lib lib64 libexec local sbin share src tmp
total 776
-rwxrwxr-x. 1 fedora fedora 34 Jun 24 07:56 helol.py
-rw-------. 1 fedora fedora 784756 Jun 23 10:49 tmp3lDEho
The man pages.

The man command shows the system’s manual pages. You can use this command to view the help document (manual page) for any command.

Syntax:

man section command. 

Example : man 7 signal.