Introduction to Linux


Developing the Information Technology, Programming and Development and Literacy learning strands, specifically:

  • Researching information and collecting and presenting data.
  • Investigate the background and context of a specific information technology.
  • Examine technical information of a system to be able to navigate it as a basic user.


Learn It

  • An operating system is software that controls computer hardware and software.
  • There are many different operating systems you can use to control a computer; you're probably familiar with some of these already both on PC and mobile.
    • Microsoft Windows 10
    • Apple MacOS X El Capitan
    • Google Chrome OS
    • Apple iOS
    • Google Android
  • One you may not have heard of is Linux. Unlike all the Operating Systems named above, this one isn't written by a company, but instead is written and maintained by individuals around the world, who collaborate together to produce a free, open-source platform for users.
  • Open source means that anyone can look at the code the operating system runs on, see exactly how it works and modify it to meet their own requirements.

Learn It


  • (Picture courtesy of softpedia)
  • Linux was released to the word in October 1991, when Linus Torvalds released his home-made operating system for others to use.
  • A year after its release, Linus posted on an online newsgroup, requesting that anyone using his new OS should send him a postcard. He was inundated with postcards from around the world very quickly, leading his family to suspect that something big was happening!

Research It

  • Linux can be used in various different desktop environments, so it can be customised to look however you want. Users can install several at once, and have a different experience every time they boot their computer.
  • Find screenshots on four of the following Linux desktop environments, and put them on a word document.
    • GNOME
    • Raspbian (used on Raspberry Pi computers)
    • KDE
    • Unity
    • Xfce
    • Cinnamon
    • Xmonad
    • MATE
    • LXDE

Badge It

  • Answer as many of the following questions as possible to collect the badges.
  • Silver: One Linux graphical desktop environment is 'GNOME'. Find out about three others, and write a sentence about what makes each unique. If you're writing your answers in Word, you could include a screenshot of each.
  • Gold: Write a short piece explaining the history of Linux. Include:
    • What operating system it's based on,
    • When it came out,
    • At least 3 Linux facts.
  • Platinum: Linux users often use the command line. Find out three different commands, and briefly explain what they do.