Introduction to Linux

In this six-week online course, you'll learn how to use the free Linux desktop system to perform all of the functions you currently do with Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh. You'll learn the basics of the Linux desktop, such as how to use its graphical environment to manipulate files and folders, create user accounts, and set up hardware devices.

Besides learning how to use the Linux desktop environment, you'll learn how to use the many free programs that come preinstalled on your Linux system. Learn how to use the popular office productivity software, which allows you to read and write word documents, spreadsheets, and presentation graphics compatible with the Microsoft Office suite. You'll also learn how to use the Linux multimedia programs to play, rip and burn CDs, play DVDs and video files, and use audio editing tools to create your own masterpieces.

Finally, the course walks you through using your Linux desktop to access the Internet. You'll learn how to connect to your ISP, and use your ISP to read and send mail messages using the e-mail software provided with Linux. You'll also learn how to keep in touch with friends and family using common Internet Messaging hosts, as well as browsing your favorite web sites using the popular Mozilla Firefox web browser.

To enroll in this course, click the Enroll Now button below:


This course requires that you have a basic knowledge of using Windows or Macintosh, and are comfortable with working in a graphical PC environment. You must have a PC available to run the SimplyMEPIS version 6.5 Linux operating system, either from the hard disk or from a live CD. That PC must meet the minimum requirements for the SimplyMEPIS version 6.5 Linux distribution: A PC with an Intel Pentium or equivalent processor, a bootable CDROM drive, at least 2GB hard drive, and at least 64MB of RAM. If you have a high-speed Internet connection, such as a cable or DSL modem, you can download a file of the SimplyMEPIS version 6.5 CD free of charge. If you have a dial-up Internet connection, you can order the SimplyMEPIS version 6.5 CD for a minimal cost—approximately $15. You will receive further instructions when your class begins. To access your lessons, you will need Internet access, e-mail, and either Internet Explorer, Netscape, or Firefox Web browser.


All courses run for six weeks, with a two-week grace period at the end. Two lessons are released each week for the six-week duration of the course. You do not have to be present when the lesson is released, but you must complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

A new section of each course starts on the second or third Wednesday of each month. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.

Week One
Wednesday - Lesson 01
The Linux desktop operating system is quickly becoming a popular choice for both computer professionals and casual home users. In our first lesson, you'll find out the reasons for its popularity. You'll learn exactly what Linux is and why there are so many different Linux packages available. Then you'll discover how to select the Linux package that's right for you. And finally, we'll walk through installing and running the SimplyMEPIS version 6.5 Linux distribution, examining how to avoid some of the pitfalls associated with Linux.
Friday - Lesson 02
Now that you have Linux installed on your PC, you have a desktop full of unfamiliar icons and menus. So in this lesson, we'll explore the SimplyMEPIS version 6.5 KDE desktop environment. You'll see how a Linux desktop differs from Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh. You'll also learn how to customize your desktop with shortcuts and menus so you can always have the items you need right at your fingertips.
Week Two
Wednesday - Lesson 03
No matter what programs you run on your computer, at some point you'll probably need to work with files. Today's lesson describes how Linux handles files and folders and shows you how to access them using Linux's graphical tools. The way Linux handles files is different from Microsoft Windows, and knowing about these differences is crucial to enjoying your Linux experience.
Friday - Lesson 04
In this lesson, we'll delve into how Linux manages file security. We'll discuss users and groups, and how you can set permissions to files and folders. You'll use various Linux tools to create new users and groups, and assign them permissions on your Linux desktop. You'll find out how to restrict access to your personal files, and then you'll set up a group to share files among several users.
Week Three
Wednesday - Lesson 05
Today, you'll learn how Linux handles desktop printers. You'll see how to configure Linux to support your printer, and how to use your printer with common Linux applications.
Friday - Lesson 06
In this lesson, you'll find out how Linux's packages can replace all Microsoft Office software products. Not only will you be able to create word processing documents, spreadsheets, and presentation graphic documents, you'll be able to read and modify existing documents that were created using Microsoft Office software.
Week Four
Wednesday - Lesson 07
We live in a multimedia world. No modern computer would be complete without the ability to play audio and video files. So today we'll cover how to use the tools available in Linux to perform all of your multimedia needs. You'll learn how to play CDs and DVDs on your Linux system, how to rip music, and how to burn your own CDs.
Friday - Lesson 08
This lesson is about using your Linux PC to connect to the Internet. There are many ways to connect to it, and Linux supports them all. If you already have a dial-up or high-speed connection, today you'll find out how to use it with your Linux PC. We'll also walk through the software available on your Linux PC to surf, chat, and transfer files.
Week Five
Wednesday - Lesson 09
To many people, the most important feature of the Internet is e-mail. Today, you'll learn how to connect your Linux PC to your ISP e-mail mailbox. We'll discuss setting up and using Linux's popular KMail package.
Friday - Lesson 10
In this lesson, we'll dig a little deeper into the Linux world. We're going to explore using command lines. By using system commands, you can manually extract information about your operating system. This is often easier and faster than relying on fancy graphical tools. So we'll go over a few simple commands you can use to examine your file system and see all of the applications that your system is currently running.
Week Six
Wednesday - Lesson 11
Even though Linux distributions generally include lots of software, at some point, most users come across additional software they'd like to have. So today, we'll discuss the various ways you can install software on your Linux PC. We'll cover installing it manually, as well as installing it by using graphical installation programs
Friday - Lesson 12
In our final lesson, you'll learn some basic system administration techniques to help you when things go awry with your Linux system. We'll talk about backing up data and file archiving. You'll discover how Linux logs system events, and how to examine the log files to help troubleshoot any problems that occur. We'll also examine an interactive tool for watching system resources in real-time mode—seeing how the CPU and memory are performing, and how the programs you're running affect your system's resources.

To enroll in this course, click the Enroll Now button below:

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