want to learn Linux

Tim Chase blinux.list at thechases.com
Mon Nov 19 21:53:07 UTC 2007

> Hello I would like to learn linux. 

This mailing-list is an excellent source of help.

> Is there a linux shell or is it better to have the computer Linux? 

There are a number of ways to use Linux depending on what you 
have available:

- install it on a 2nd machine
- install it on a 2nd partition of your main machine
- boot off a live-CD
- install it in a virtual machine under Windows
- use "ssh" to connect from your Windows machine to Linux hosted 

For the true beginner, I highly recommend getting ahold of an old 
machine that you're not afraid to format multiple times while you 
learn.  Or, if you're comfortable with hardware, pick up an old 
hard-drive you can swap in-and-out with your regular Windows 
drive.  A virutal-machine (such as VM-Ware or BOCHS or what have 
you) is a nice alternative if you don't have a 2nd machine 
around.  If there's a live CD that provides everything you need, 
you may want to try that too, as it should leave your system 
untouched when you reboot.

Among the most popular options:

-Oralux from oralux.org
-GRML from grml.org

I believe all three have options for booting to a speaking 
install or at least speaking environment, making use of either 
hardware/external synths or software TTS via the Festival/Flite 
software.  My understanding is that hardware synths are generally 
better quality.  I haven't gotten to try Speakup (with hardware 
or software synth), but have used Yasr with Festival which was 
functional if not fabulous.

As for SSH'ing to a box hosted elsewhere, I've heard wide-ranging 
feedback from folks on the list regarding whether various 
programs are or are not accessible via their current Windows 
screen-readers.  "Putty SSH" is the king of the hill.  There are 
a number of free shell accounts that you can use for 
experimenting, basic email, and browsing, perhaps even hosting a 
few HTML pages.  Just google for "free shell account" and the top 
two hits give oodles of sites hosting SSH access to Linux or BSD 
boxes (which are sufficiently similar for the basics that either 
should serve you well).

Hope this helps and gives you some ideas to try,


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