From fujairah on Thu, 20 May 1999
To william smith
I have read about your answers on different linux sites. We are interested in LINUX and wish to see how it works, If it is fine we will be interested to go for it.
If you could kindly give us some info about LINUX it will be really useful to us.
- P.GOWRI SHANKAR
Um. That's pretty open-ended. It took me over a minute to format this replay and trim up the portions of your message that I'm quoting for context.
Linux is an independent and free implementation of the POSIX and UNIX programming APIs and conventions. Most UNIX software can be ported to Linux with ease.
Because all of the core parts of a Linux/GNU system are open source) it should be possible to port any UNIX software to it.
What else is there to say on the subject. You found back issues of the "Answer Guy" so you must have found numerous other links to Linux web sites. It is one of the most popular subjects on the Internet.
You are obviously already "interested" in it (enough to look around on the web to find me and enough to write to me). So you best strategy is to get a copy of Linux to play with (it's free after all, though you're best option is to pay for a copy of one of the popular distributions, to save you the trouble, time and expense of downloading a whole suite for yourself).
As for matching Linux features to your needs: Only you can do that. Certainly you can, and probably should, hire a consultant (or contract with a consulting firm) to perform a requirements analysis process.
From what you've said here, all I can say is:
Well, I like it.
As for how it works.
Well you install it, usually by booting from your CD or a specially written floppy, then you follow a number of installation dialogs, answering mysterious questions with obscure parameters. A bit later after much disk activity, often accompanied by "informative" progress indicator dialogs, you reboot. Then you log in to either a text or graphic session and you issues commands by typing them at a command prompt, selecting them from text menus or using a mouse.
In other words, Linux works just like any other microcomputer operating system. I can't be more specific (because your minute is up, but also because there are many different distributions of Linux and most of them have many different options --- so you can choose almost any aspect of your user interface, for yourself).