Some Information on GNU/Linux

Below are some graphics that show more detail about the GNU/Linux operating system. Linux is actually much less complicated than Windows in the way it's structured.

Quite briefly; while Windows has its database registry and the GUI (graphical user interface) is basically an integral part of the operating system, a GNU/Linux OS is layered. Above the kernel is the device manager, (udev with Systemd; replacing HAL). The X Window System (with Wayland in developement to replace it) provides the framework for a GUI; with that there is the choice of a Desktop Enviroment and/or Window Manager. A desktop enviroment (such as Gnome, KDE, XFCE, LXDE, Ubuntu's Unity etc.) will have a window manager but there are also independent WMs like IceWM and Fluxbox. The various Linux distributions often have versions available with different desktop enviroments. Also of note is that the window managers (and applications) may utilize toolkit libraries like GTK+ and Qt.

Another great advantage modern Linux distros have over Windows is the package management system handles the installation and removal of programs (Debian based distros use Apt). All the updates for the operating system and installed software are handled by the package manager as well; not separately and independently as they are in Windows. (The late Ed Quillen gave a nod to that in one of his articles!)


Linux File Structure


Linux File System


Linux File System


Linux Layers


"Very Basic Linux Tree"


X11 Colors

One thing that is helpful for me is knowing how to set up /etc/fstab to mount partitions at boot. I dual-boot my laptop with Win7 and Linux and have another NTFS "Data" partition accessible from both operating systems. I've also set up partitions for two separate Linux installs, and a shared 4GB swap for them. I've made a brief guide on setting up /etc/fstab.

Here is a Grub UEFI installation example on Arch Linux (on a Lenovo Ideapad 100-15IBY).

I also created a Bash script that takes a simple list of vocabulary words and creates a .pdf with a word and definition on each page useful for studying on an e-reader, etc. It uses Stardict's command-line tool "sdcv", as well as LaTeX (using the latex-beamer package), and pdftk. Script and info available here.

Below are a few of my favorite Linux programs; some of the ones I find most useful but might not be well-known.

Note: I have some extra dictionaries for Stardict (that would also work with GoldenDict). Download the archive here: stardict_dicts.tar.gz (~92.7 MB).

My collected Home directory fonts (~/.fonts). (~7.3 MB).

ubuntu - linux for human beings

Back to Top