Linux can be obtained in and from a number of sources, but the end result is usually a CD or DVD. These are of two types:
- Live CD/DVDs which should be inserted and rebooted. They run in RAM, do not use the hard disks (or other storage devices) in your computer, and will not alter or affect it in any way unless you specifically instruct this.
- Installation CD/DVDs which, when rebooted, begin an installation process. These will alter your computer if you proceed.
The following links are to websites from which the ISOs (that is, the files needed to burn a CD or DVD) can be downloaded. If you are unsure about this process, you should join the online Discussion Forum of the site from which you downloaded the ISO.
OBTAINING LINUX ONLINE
Knoppix - King of the live CDswww.knoppix.com
Knoppix was the first of the Live CDs to gain acceptance for usability and reliability, and is still one of the most popular. It makes an excellent Rescue CD (although it's now a DVD) and is a good distro to begin with if you're new to Linux. There are better options for installations, but you'll never regret having a copy.
PCLinuxOS - a good distro to start withwww.pclinuxos.com
One of the best distros for a newcomer, PCLOS features a LiveCD for evaluation or installation, a choice of four desktops – LXDE, XFCE, KDE, or Gnome – the OpenOffice word-processor, spreadsheet and other office essentials, a large repository for adding extra software, and an active, friendly online discusions forum and chatroom if you need assistance.
Ubuntu - another good beginner's choicewww.ubuntu.com
One of the most popular distributions and the basis of many others. An easy-to-install, stable and powerful distro, with a clean, simple desktop and plenty of support. Another good choice for those starting out.
VectorLinux - lightweight distro for older machineswww.vectorlinux.com
Vector Linux has a single credo: keep it simple, keep it small and let the end user decide what their operating system is going to be, and is one of the best small distros available. You get a lightening fast desktop, web surfing, sending and receiving email, chatting on ICQ and OpenOffice for writing letters. All the tools needed for compiling programs are included.The small size and memory requirements of the operating system can bring older machines back to life.
Lubuntu - netbooks, mobile devices and older PCs.lubuntu.net
Lubuntu is a fast, lightweight and energy-saving variant of Ubuntu using the LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) desktop. It is intended to have low-resource system requirements and is designed primarily for netbooks, mobile devices and older PCs.
Puppy Linux - small, fast, great for memory stick bootingwww.puppylinux.com
Puppy is extraordinarily small, yet quite full featured. It boots into a 64MB ramdisk and, unlike live CD distros that have to keep pulling stuff off the CD, Puppy in its entirety loads into RAM. All applications start in the blink of an eye and respond to user input instantly. Puppy Linux has the ability to boot off a flash card or any USB memory device, CDROM, or internal hard drive.
Slackware - for technically confident Userswww.slackware.com
The first commercial Linux distribution, Slackware Linux development is headed by Patrick Volkerding. Because of its focus on simplicity and reliability it is often slow to release the latest versions and applications, hence the name. A good choice for those confident with commandline operation and wanting a basis for their personal configuration.
DistroWatch - Guide to Linux Distributionswww.distrowatch.com
An exhaustive listing of major and minor Linux distributions. Includes the latest news, reviews of most distros and easy-to-read charts detailing the specifics of each.
Search Distrowatch for something specialdistrowatch.com/search.php
Looking for a distro for an older machine, a music distro, or a home internet server? This page allows you to filter your search according to several criteria and pick the your needle out of the distro hatstack.
LinuxQuestions.org - Linux Distro ISOs downloadiso.linuxquestions.org/
Another good site for downloading CD/DVD images (ISOs) to burn and boot.
Twelve of the most interesting distroswww.goodgearguide.com.au
If you want something strange, weird, or unusually useful ...
A good selection of useful CDs and DVDs including Live CDs, installation sets, and repository mirrors.
The Linux Documentation Projectwww.tldp.org
The Linux Documentation Project is working on developing free, high quality documentation for the GNU/Linux operating system. This includes the creation of "HOWTOs" and "Guides". The LDP is essentially a loose team of volunteers with minimal central organization. Anyone who would like to help is welcome to join in this effort.
A question-answer site for any and all questions.
Linux FAQ Indexwww.tldp.org/FAQ/Linux-FAQ/x24.html
This index to the FAQs from the University of Helsinki covers most questions that newcomers will have.
Somewhat out-of-date, but a useful collection of information.
All of the major Linux distros maintain online Discussion Forums to provide assistance to Linux Newcomers. To access these, go to the distro Home Page, look for a link to Forum and follow the instructions for joining it.
A "fully independent community website, run by a team of unpaid volunteers, devoted to keeping the public informed about the state of internet access in Australia." Plenty of useful, well-organized information and an active Users' discussion forum.
A friendly, active Linux online community with a strong focus on assisting Newcomers. If you're new to Linux, do yourself a favour, register with the site (it's free, secure, and non-commercial) and drop in on their forums from time to time. When trouble strikes, you'll then have a familiar place to go for some assistance.
If you're running PCLinuxOS you have an immediate source of friendly, helpful advice from the experts who built it. Jump in to find your answers, or just for a general chat about all things Linux. French, German, Italian and other speakers are catered for, too!
Freenode maintain dozens of Internet chatrooms for Linux distros, and most of the major ones have a presence here. If you know how to use IRC you'll have no trouble finding assistance here.
If you've never used IRC before, it's worth taking a bit of time to learn. Nothing very difficult, and you'll have an invaluable source of information available once you do.
Another good site for learning IRC.
LINUX USER GROUPS
List of LUG'swww.linux.org/groups
Linux User Groups are spread across the world, and form one of the best sources of information and help. Here is a list of LUG's worldwide.
List of Australian LUG'swww.linux.org/groups/australia.html
There are ten LUGs registered in Australia, even one in Alice Springs! Email addresses and websites are given, so don't be shy if you're curious. They may be geeks, but they're TAME geeks.
"Tux.Org is an umbrella organization supporting the efforts of Users Groups and Developers. Our primary focus is supporting and advocating the development and use of software and systems whose source code and specifications were openly developed and are freely available to the public.We also provide educational services through public events like User Group meetings and Install-Fests, as well as sharing knowledge via the mailing lists of our member User Groups."
INFORMATION ABOUT LINUX
A good range of information on all things Linux.
A site whose goal is to provide a database with Windows software and the Linux equivalents and alternatives.
Linus Torvalds' Home Pagewww.cs.Helsinki.FI/u/torvalds
The home page of the creator of Linux. Almost certainly not what you'd expect.
The University of Helsinkiwww.cs.helsinki.fi
Linus Torvalds, the original author of the LINUX operating system, studied and worked at the Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki 1988-1997. He began development of Linux in 1991.
How to pronounce "Linux"www.linux.org/info
Refer to a link on this site to hear how Linus Torvalds pronounces "Linux".
The History of Unixwww.bell-labs.com/history/unix
Linux was derived from Unix, the dominant mainframe operating system in the early days of computing. Understanding Unix is essential to a broad comprehension of what Linux is.
Larry Ewing's Penguin Pagewww.isc.tamu.edu/~lewing/linux
The Linux Penguin is now the official logo and mascot of Linux. The stylized image was created by Larry Ewing.
A collection of the more interesting penguins on the Net, with links to the creators' sites. Well worth a look.
The Linux Counter Projectcounter.li.org
The aim of this project is to keep count of the number of Linux users worldwide, currently estimated at around eighteen million. Registration is free, and entitles the user to a copy of the logo at right along with a unique registration number.
Linux User & Developerwww.linuxuser.co.uk
High-quality UK magazine with a range of news, technical and tutorial articles for all levels of Linux ability. Cover DVDs are reliable and well-engineered. Regularly available on Australian news-stands.
Another good UK monthly with a similar format and reliable cover CDs and DVDs. Regularly available on Australian news-stands.
Yet another good UK monthly with reliable cover disks and a good online archive of articles. Regularly available on Australian news-stands.
Australian PC Userwww.magshop.com.au/Australian-PC-User
Just as Australians generally have been slow to understand what FOSS is and how to use it, so, too, are Australian magazines reluctant to promote it, undoubtedly because of their Big Business publishers. This APC offering is basically a monthly sales promo for consumer technology, but can be useful for keeping up-to-date with local products. The magazine's cover DVD occasionally features a custom Linux distro that, unfortunately, cannot be recommended.
APC - Australian Personal Computerwww.magshop.com.au/APC
Another example of why Australia is so technologically backward. APC is a clone of Australian PC User from the same publisher, APC (Packer's PBL media). Blatantly Microsoft-centric, it occasionally features a badly-presented Linux distro as a sop to the Linux community. Not recommended.
Long-running site with a wide range of news, information, books, projects, and other info that Newscomers especially will find useful.
A more commercial site intended for linux professionals rather than Newcomers.
One of the oldest and best-known of news sites on all computing-related issues.
Good site for up-to-date news about Linux matters.
Good site for up-to-date news about Linux matters.
National Geographic Magazine - Diverse and colourfulwww.nationalgeographic.com
Views of the Solar System - The next frontier for Mankindwww.solarviews.com/eng/index.htm Colouful and informative site with many quality astronomical images.
The Hubble Space Telescope - Peering into the furthest reacheshubblesite.org
DISTROS & DESKTOPS
For up-to-date news and reviews about alternatives to your present distro and Desktop.
PUBLIC DOMAIN ACTIVISM
The Open Source movement has been under attack for many years by criminal elements in large corporations and governments, especially Microsoft (whose founder, Bill Gates, is a convicted felon), SCO, the Trans-National Corporations and the CIA. The organizations listed below are just some of those maintaining a defence against these illegal activities.
Microsoft's billions in fines for criminal activityen.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_Microsoft_competition_case
Honest companies do not get slapped with billions of dollars in fines. If you doubt that Microsoft is a criminal organization, read this.
Eben Moglen has been the highest-profile legal defender of FOSS, and his website contains a detailed history of the legal battles that have been, and still are being fought.
The SCO Groupen.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCO_Group
The Santa Cruz Organization was one of the earliest vendors of FOSS products, but was later used as a front by Microsoft in attempts to destroy FOSS. This Wikipedia article contains useful background information.
Cnet article about the 'fear war' against Linuxnews.cnet.com/2010-1071-1007758.html
The large body of information about Microsoft's attempts to destroy Linux and FOSS can easily be discovered by searching "SCO wars Microsoft history" on the Inet. This is a typical response.
Electronic Frontiers Foundationwww.eff.org
The original organization founded to protect the Internet against commercial dominance and unwarranted government restrictions.
Center for the Public Domainwww.centerforthepublicdomain.org
One of the most urgent but unacknowledged challenges of our time is the preservation of a large and robust public domain. The public domain is the cultural space in which we share information, creativity and ideas. Like an ecosystem, the public domain can remain healthy only if its relationship with the market -- as embodied in intellectual property law, technology and social practice -- is in balance. In recent years, sweeping changes in markets, technology and law have upset this balance. The results challenge the vitality of artistic creativity, academic research, technological innovation, and our democratic culture. This affects creators and innovators because new work depends critically upon the body of work that precedes it.
Maintained by the Center for the Public Domain (see above), this site has a large Linux archive and many interesting files available for download.
Opera is one of the best browsers available, with features not found in other browsers. It has an integrated email client, contact manager and download manager, making it an exceptionally efficient online tool. It frequently tops the list of 'fastest rendering engine', and has several features that assist in the design of web pages and sites. Highly recommended and readily available.
The best-known open source browser, Firefox is easy to use and is installed by default in most Linux distros.
Containing an Internet browser, email & newsgroup client with an included web feed reader, HTML editor, IRC chat and web development tools, SeaMonkey is sure to appeal to advanced users, web developers and corporate users and is based on same Mozilla source code which powers such successful siblings as Firefox, Thunderbird, Camino, Sunbird and Miro.
A GNOME web browser based on gecko (the Mozilla rendering engine). It's fast, has a light interface, and is fully standards compliant.
The default browser of the KDE Desktop suite, Konqueror is a web browser, a file manager, a universal file viewer and even a customizable application.
The original browser, with all of the features expected of a professional application.
The Mozilla project has created the Gecko rendering engine. Being the most standards-compatible, Gecko is used by Microsoft, Netscape and others as the basis of their own products.
Arena Web Browserwww.yggdrasil.com/Products/Arena
A graphical web browser comprised entirely of free software.
A Web client that acts both as a browser and as an authoring tool.
A patch to Apache that enables Apache to do UserDir (home directory) lookups from an LDAP database.
A Mozilla-based Web browser that enhances the basic Mozilla application with new functionality.
A web browser written in the GTK+ framework. Right now, it's still in early alpha.
An Open Source multi-user 3D browser with support for persistent virtual worlds and avatars. It is built using Java2, Java3D and Jini. Bang features multi-user chat, voice recognition and navigation (through the JavaSpeech API), 3D object authoring and exchange..
A new web browser disagned to be run in a G.N.O.M.E environment. It uses the GtkHtml component with Bonobo.
Based on Mozilla it contains Navigator - web-browser, Mailnews - email/news client and Composer - web page editor .
An Open Source, cross-platform Web Browser written primarily in Tcl. Tml is our HTML Macro Processor built on top of Tcl; it comes bundled with BrowseX.
A project that has been started to create a fully functional, light-weight, bloat-free web browser for Linux (and other free unix clones) that is not dependant on KDE, GNOME or Mozilla.
A history cleaner for Netscape Navigator and Communicator. It allows a user to choose from deleting the cache, cookies, history and drop-down list.
A free (see GPL) text mode HTML browser package that provides support for tables and forms, a secure environment, suited for public terminals and is only 25% of the size of lynx.
A Web browser that's completely written in C, very fast, and small in code base and binary.
Netscape plug-in; a new document image compression technology from AT&T Labs that allows users to browse through high-resolution scanned documents in color over the Web.
A XML and SGML browser for Linux.
Emacs World Wide Web Browserwww.cs.indiana.edu/elisp/w3/docs.html
A full-featured web browser, written entirely in Emacs-Lisp, that supports all the bells and whistles you will find in use on the web.
A web browser for the Gnome Desktop Environment that uses Bonobo components and a plugin system, lightweight and fast using GtkHTML.
An open source web browser. It is part of the Gnome project, and requires the gtk-XmHTML widget..
Flash 4 Plugin for Netscapewww.macromedia.com
Lets you experience animation and entertainment in your Netscape web browser..
A GNOME VRML browser.
A program that provides world-wide, unconditional, full strength 128-bit cryptography to users of Netscape Navigator (v3 and v4) and Communicator (v4).
A VRML browser written by Tuomas J. Lukka and others, placed under the Gnu Library General Public License..
Glg Netscape Plug-inwww.genlogic1.com/products.html#Glg Netscape Plug-in
A Web plug-in to embed dynamic Glg drawings.
An extensible Internet browser written entirely in the interpreted object-oriented programming language Python.
An easy-use offline browser utility. It allows you to transfer a World Wide Web site from the Internet to a local directory, building recursively all structures, getting html, images, and other files from the server to your computer.
Allows you to view and interact with 3D graphical programs, known as Hypercosm applets.
A plug-in for Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer, enabling the display of TeX, LaTeX, and MathML documents.
A netscape plugin that allows HTML links to execute any kind of program or script..
A WWW browser implemented in Objective Caml using the CamlTk41 library; Supports full HTML 2.0, and some bits of HTML 3.2.
A derivative work of NCSA XMosaic 2.7b4. You can use it as a simple browser. Since 3.2.0, mMosaic can run on an IPv6/IPv4 connected computer. mMosaic has become a free browser since release 3.0.10 (and later) and was buildover Lesstif-0.77 (GNU licence).
A free, Gtk+ based web browser.
To deliver a free, robust and full-featured WAP browser for Windows and Unix platforms.
Designed to take the headache out of configuring Apache (commercial).
Aims to provide a robust, flexible, scalable interface between libglade and the embedded Mozilla/GTK widget, and a user-program to leverage that interface.
A non-WYSIWYG authoring system for web sites and HTML page hierarchies. Multilingual information presentation, Hierarchical information presentation and Unified layout.
NCSA Mosaic for Xwww.ncsa.uiuc.edu/SDG/Software/XMosaic
Now no longer maintained but it was the classic web browser.
A free demonstration/evaluation version of Access' Internet browser specificly designed for Linux-based embedded applications.
A fast, small, free and nice web browser for Unix.
Reads, understands, organizes, and presents Web content in VR. NetReality(TM) harnesses the vast amounts of information available on the World Wide Web. Unlike current technologies, which seem to increase the problem of information overload, NetReality (TM) automatically acquires, reads and organizes information, presenting web sites, documents, searches and bookmark files in an intuitive, personalized VR landscape.
A program for viewing and managing contents of Netscape(tm) browsers cache directory. This program is distributed under terms of GPL.
An offline HTML viewer for PalmOS which comes packaged with a UNIX and Linux conduit.
A multimedia plugin for Unix Netscape 3.0 or later that handles Quicktime, MPEG, MP2, AVI, SGI-movie, Tiff, DL, IFF-anim, MIDI, Soundtracker, AU, WAV and Commodore 64 audio files. And now, with Plugger 3.0, MPEG audio and video can be played streaming.
The Qt based port of Netscape Navigator 5.0 beta.
WWW browser that displays SGML documents according to style sheets.
A Gtk+ Web Browser that embeds Mozilla's rendering component Gecko. It aims to be light and fast with few dependencies.
Works by tracking your browsing session in a file saved on your local hard drive. When you restart Mozilla after a browser crash (or even an operating system crash), the windows that were open before the crash will be displayed to you in a pulldown menu that will allow you to return to one or all of the pages you were viewing.
A cross-platform Web Agent designed to reduce your on-line connect time by letting you automatically download relevant trees of information for offline perusal.
A UNIX plug-in for Netscape Navigator. UMP uses timidity to play MIDI files on many popular UNIX platforms. Timidity is a public domain software tool kit for MIDI. Timidity supports industry standard instrument patch files for ease of upgrade or customization.
Viewable Markup Language: the first freely available, open source web browser targeted specifically at the embedded Linux platform.
Streaming video and audio (commercial).
A browser for 3D worlds and objects modeled in the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML).
A web browser for WAP WML (version 1.1 and 1.2) pages written in PERL/Tk and using libwww-perl as backend. It is primarily designed for debugging WML pages in comparsion to only browsing the WML pages on the web.
An SVGAlib Web browser. It's good for practical purposes like image viewing and viewing Czech texts in unknown encoding. It knows how to display text and gifs and pcxs and jpegs and png formats.
A button on mozilla that will lock the navigator to a paticular domain/website -- useful for stopping kids surfing.
A tool for interfacing between a Netscape (or Mosaic) web browser and the rest of a Unix/X11 environment, via the `netscape -remote` option. It can be used for convenient file or URL loading remote control, and for textual reference HTML markup.
A simple proxy server with special features for use with dial-up internet links.
A web browser for the Linux framebuffer, using the library named oFBis, as well as for X through a GTK+ interface.
TEXT MODE BROWSERS
ELinks is an advanced and well-established feature-rich text mode browser that can render both frames and tables, is highly customizable and can be extended via scripts.
The default text mode browser on Unix and Linux platforms.
A text-mode WWW browser with support for tables.
A pager/text-based WWW browser. It is similar to Lynx, but has several features Lynx doesn't have. It can render tables, frames (by converting frames into tables), display a document given from standard input, and is small and fast.