What Is Linux


New Member
I am having trouble downloading Linux Lite to a thumb drive. I am using a core2duo E4400 chip with 2Gig ram and 72Gig hard drive still using Win7 but hoping to format and replace with said Distro. I downloaded a program to install it (not Rufus the other one ) but cannot get the Distro onto my thumb drive. Will I have to download the Distro to my computer hard drive first and then on to the thumb drive? Can you purchase thumb drives with this stuff pre-loaded? Does the fact that I turned off Internet Explorer 11 in my Windows7 affect downloading to the E: removable drive? I am using Brave browser.


Well-Known Member
1. You have downloaded the ISO file to your PC

2. Use rufus or Etcher, or unetbootin

Better still....READ this a few times until you get the gist



Super Moderator
Staff member
Gold Supporter
g'day @Robbo303 and welcome :)

sounds like an aussie name - both brian above and i are aussies

just a note or two to the above -

1. brian's link will work for linux lite, just substitute where appropriate

2. go to getting started and post a new thread there, and paste your question if you wish


chris turner


New Member
Beginners Level Course: What is Linux?

Linux is an operating system that evolved from a kernel created by Linus Torvalds when he was a student at the University of Helsinki. Generally, it is obvious to most people what Linux is. However, both for political and practical reasons, it needs to be explained further. To say that Linux is an operating system means that it's meant to be used as an alternative to other operating systems, Windows, Mac OS, MS-DOS, Solaris and others. Linux is not a program like a word processor and is not a set of programs like an office suite. Linux is an interface between computer/server hardware, and the programs which run on it.

A brief history of Linux
When Linus Torvalds was studying at the University of Helsinki, he was using a version of the UNIX operating system called 'Minix'. Linus and other users sent requests for modifications and improvements to Minix's creator, Andrew Tanenbaum, but he felt that they weren't necessary. That's when Linus decided to create his own operating system that would take into account users' comments and suggestions for improvements.

Free Software pre-Linux
This philosophy of asking for users' comments and suggestions and using them to improve computer programs was not new. Richard Stallman, who worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, had been advocating just such an approach to computer programming and use since the early 1970's. He was a pioneer in the concept of 'free software', always pointing out that 'free' means 'freedom', not zero cost. Finding it difficult to continue working under conditions that he felt went against his concept of 'free software' he left MIT in 1984 and founded GNU. The goal of GNU was to produce software that was free to use, distribute and modify. Linus Torvalds' goal 6 years later was basically the same: to produce an operating system that took into account user feedback.

The kernel
We should point out here that the focal point of any operating system is its 'kernel'. Without going into great detail, the kernel is what tells the big chip that controls your computer to do what you want the program that you're using to do. To use a metaphor, if you go to your favorite Italian restaurant and order 'Spaghetti alla Bolognese', this dish is like your operating system. There are a lot of things that go into making that dish like pasta, tomato sauce, meatballs and cheese. Well, the kernel is like the pasta. Without pasta, that dish doesn't exist. You might as well find some bread and make a sandwich. A plate of just pasta is fairly unappetizing.
Without a kernel, an operating system doesn't exist. Without programs, a kernel is useless.

1991, a fateful year
In 1991, ideal conditions existed that would create Linux. In essence, Linus Torvalds had a kernel but no programs of his own, Richard Stallman and GNU had programs but no working kernel. Read the two men's own words about this:

Linux is introduced
Late in 1991, Linus Torvalds had his kernel and a few GNU programs wrapped around it so it would work well enough to show other people what he had done. And that's what he did. The first people to see Linux knew that Linus was on to something. At this point, though, he needed more people to help him. Here's what Linus had to say back in 1991.

People all over the world decided to take him up on it. At first, only people with extensive computer programming knowledge would be able to do anything with that early public version of Linux. These people started to offer their help. The version numbers of Linux were getting higher and higher. People began writing programs specifically to be run under Linux. Developers began writing drivers for different video cards, sound cards and other gadgets inside and outside your computer could use Linux. Nevertheless, throughout most of first part of the 1990's Linux did not get out of the 'GURU' stage. GURU is a term that has evolved to mean anyone who has special expertise in a particular subject. That is, you had to have special expertise in how computers worked to be able to install Linux in those days.
Linux, at first, was not for everybody

Other popular software companies sold you a CD or a set of floppies and a brief instruction booklet and in probably less than a half an hour, you could install a fully working operating system on your PC. The only ability you needed was knowing how to read. Those companies had that intention when they actually sat down and developed their operating systems. Linus Torvalds didn't have that in mind when he developed Linux. It was just a hobby for him. Later on, companies like Red Hat made it their goal to bring Linux to the point where it could be installed just like any other operating system; by anyone who can follow a set of simple instructions, and they have succeeded. For some reason, though, Linux hasn't completely lost its 'Gurus only' image. This is largely because of the popular tech press' inability to explain in a meaningful way what Linux is. The truth is that few tech reporters have real life experience with Linux and it is reflected in their writing.

Where Linux is Today
Today, Linux is enjoying a favorable press for the most part. This comes from the fact that Linux has proven to be a tremendously stable and versatile operating system, particularly as a network server. When Linux is deployed as a web server or in corporate networks, its down-time is almost negligible. There have been cases when Linux servers have been running for more than a year without re-booting and then only taken down for a brief period for routine maintenance. Its cost effectiveness has sold it more than anything else. Linux can be installed on a home PC as well as a network server for a fraction of the cost of other companies' software packages. More reliability and less cost - it's ideal.

If you're reading this, you're obviously here to learn how to use Linux. Any learning experience means opening up to new ideas and new ways of doing things. As mentioned before, Linux is in the UNIX family of operating systems. UNIX is primarily designed to be used by professionals. You will have to learn some UNIX concepts in this lesson, but that doesn't mean that Linux is a professionals-only operating system. In fact, most major versions of Linux are designed to be as user-friendly and as easy to install as any other operating system on the market today.

Now that you know what Linux is and how good it is, there's one more thing we have to do - install Linux!
Thank you, this is an interesting read and easy to understand. I will keep reading a few more posts before I install though. Newbie here and scared to mess up with my ignorance.


Well-Known Member
G'day sicilyshortstay, and Welcome to linux.org

Open a Topic of your own...probably HERE ...and you can then type in that topic when you need to understand something/get help with something etc etc etc There is a POST TOPIC icon over on the right hand side....just click on that, give your topic a name and away you go !.....Any answers to your topic will be automatically be sent to your email inbox.

No.1 rule.......don't be scared.

The worst thing that can happen is Linux will get completely screwed and inoperable.
In that case, you simply reinsert your live usb stick and reboot again. (we can explain that process in more detail later) Nothing lost. Nothing damaged beyond repair. Remember, the OS (operating system....Linux) is Free. You can download it as many times as you like.

A good place to start is to perhaps tell us what pc/laptop etc you are using

1. Is there any other (windows) OS still on the pc
2. Do you intend to try and keep that other OS......or are you going to completely replace it with Linux
3.Tell us what your PC is....model, brand, ram, ghz (processor speed), hard drive size, ....anything and everything.

When you are first starting, getting all the ducks in a row is a challenge.

First, can your pc run linux........your SPECS will tell us the answer
Second, my question 1. & 2. above
Third, which 'distro' of linux will you run....the simplest/easiest has got to be Linux Mint. Start simple, and then you can play around with others later. (I still use Linux Mint, 5 years after starting with Linux)
Fourth. Learn the steps to put Linux Mint on a USB stick(pendrive/thumb drive) and to run it "LIVE"....wrap your mind around that word....it means that you will boot your pc to that USB stick, and you will then be able to run Linux Mint in the ram of your pc (scary huh ?)....all that means is that is is NOT installed on your hard drive....therefore it can do no harm to whatever is still on the hard drive. Simple, effective and above all Safe.

more later....bring us to date by 1.starting a new topic....2. Give us the requested info 3. Ask questions.

continue reading if you feel more comfortable doing that


New Member
RMS: said:
The GNU Hurd is not ready for production use. Fortunately, another kernel is available. [It is called] Linux.So combining the necessary programs provided by GNU in Cambridge, Massachusetts and a kernel, developed by Linus Torvalds in Helsinki, Finland, Linux was born. Due to the physical distances involved, the means used to get Linus' kernel together with the GNU programs was the Internet, then in its infancy. We can say then that Linux is an operating system that came to life on the Internet. The Internet would also be crucial in Linux's subsequent development as the means of coordinating the work of all the developers that have made Linux into what it is today.
Problematic quote, since RMS would never call the GNU/Linux system just "Linux".


I'd suggest to fix this part.


Super Moderator
Staff member
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Oi pessoal sou nova por aqui:)
Sorry, but this is an English-only site. Please use a translator and post comments/threads to the most appropriate section - and this forum has a member's introduction section.
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