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The Knowledge of Operating System is vital for any IT professional. Operating System is the host of any application and it is the Operating System that serves as an interface between the hardware and the user. It handles the I/O operations, the system interrupts and manages the hardware so that an application works in the desired manner and executes the user’s instructions without any problem. The application code sits on top of this Operating System and passes on its System calls to the Operating System itself and it is the Operating System that does the task for the application.

Had it not been the Operating System, the developer had to include all these hardware routines and kernel coding in his program code. The basic knowledge about Operating system would help developer in creating an application that interacts smoothly with the Operating System resulting in quicker transaction cycles ,boosting the performance of the system altogether. There are a number of Operating Systems like Windows , Unix , Linux etc . In recent times Linux is emerging as a popular choice amongst developers and IT enthusiasts due to its open-source and freeware nature .

This essay briefs some features of Linux and how it can be learned . Introduction Linux is an open- source Operating system, built by Linus Torvalds in 1991 with the help of developers all around the world. Unlike the proprietary Windows Operating System , which is controlled ,owned and distributed by Software Giant Microsoft , Linux is not solely owned by any company , different companies role out their own versions of Linux like ubuntu , Red Hat ,SuSE, Linspire ,which are termed as distributions ,often referred to as distros rather than versions .

Evolution and Features Linux does share a lot in common with Unix , which came almost three decades prior to Linux , but differs in may other key concepts and applications . While Unix can be categorised as a typical Operating System , Linux is more of a Kernel than an operating system per se . Unix is installed on Servers, typically Mainframes or mid range processors with advanced hardware configurations, on the other hand Linux does not impose any such restriction and can be easily installed on any typical x86 Personal Computer. The features of Linux can be customized as per the intended use, thanks to its open source feature .

Besides this one more reason for its popularity lies in its free download feature. Linux has emerged as popular choice for development of applications by developers because of its ease of availability and flexibility. Linux can be tinkered as it is open source and therefore it keeps on getting better and better with a wide pool of developers continuously endeavouring to make it more friendly, efficient and faster. Learning Linux : Owing to the popularity of Linux , there is no dearth of material and relevant literature that aids the users to learn Linux .

There are many reputed training programs , e-training programs , books , articles but two popular methods that are favoured by many Linux enthusiasts are the IBM e-training program and the Linux Learn from Scratch by Gerard Beekmans . Both the options are excellent depending upon the objective of the learning per se. The following section throws lights on the basic features of these two training methods. Linux Learn From Scratch : Linux learn from scratch is basically a book ,that can be read online , downloaded or purchased as a hard copy . It has total nine chapters divided into three section .

The course as the name suggests teaches you Linux from the scratch i. e the objective of the course is to built your fundamentals . The course requires the reader to dedicate his seven days to read the book itself . After successful completion of the course , you can build a Linux System that in itself is adequate to run an Apache Server in as little space as 8MB . Linux Course from IBM : The Linux course from IBM is a sleek , sophisticated and advanced e-training program , that on an average costs about $2000. The course is LPI and ProCert approved.

The course is divided into modules , each module fostering a different aspect of learning . There is remote lab login , where the student can practice the Linux commands on the IBM Linux Server , without having to install one on his own workstation . There are online tests to pace the learning . If the objective of learning Linux is just to gain a basic understanding of Linux Operating System within a short span of time ,say two to three days then the training program from IBM gains an advantage over Linux Learn from scratch, because the course is sleek , covering what is required and skipping the unnecessary details .

The course is approved by reputed institutions and adds a lot of value to the resume of the learner . The course is paced at a fast speed and gives you a good understanding of the Linux System in small period of time where as the Linux Learn from scratch is a more voluminous course that teaches you everything about Linux and obviously takes more time to learn . Besides this the student of the IBM e-training course can avail the help from IBM’s reputed training faculty .

They can schedule remote Labs and get hands on practice of Linux commands and features . Therefore if the objective is to learn Linux in a small period of time than IBM e-training program definitely outweighs the course benefits of Linux Learn from Scratch. References : Linux Learn From Scratch (n. d. ). Retrieved May 3, 2009, http://www. linuxfromscratch. org/lfs/ The Linux Experience (n. d. ). Retrieved May 3, 2009, http://www. cgselearning. com/marketing/linux/movie. html