There are several different options to learn and start using Linux.
- Follow the Remote Linux Desktop instructions to automatically provision a CLAS Linux account (offered to all on campus by the CLAS Linux Group). You can access your Linux account remotely with SSH or with FastX and begin experimenting with Linux in the CLAS Linux group's Fedora desktop environment via a remote session. Read through the CLAS Linux FAQ if you're new to Linux.
- Talk to your local IT resource to inquire about a managed Linux desktop or server. Several colleges across the campus support Linux. ITS also has Linux virtual machines that can be purchased. ITS Research Services maintains high performance Linux compute clusters as well for campus use.
- Load your own system. Comply with the Self-Managed computer guidelines. Select the appropriate distribution of Linux. Usually, these can be downloaded for free. Some of the more popular distributions are:
- CentOS - A free, enterprise-class, community-supported OS compatible with its upstream source Red Hat Enterprise Linux
- RedHat Enterprise Linux - The most popular of the commercial distributions for those needing vendor support. Additional licensing costs apply as of July 2020
- SuSE - Linux from Novell
- Fedora - Free Red Hat incubator of new technologies
- Ubuntu - Debian based distribution targeting personal computers
If you are new to the Linux community you may wish to start with CentOS or Fedora, as both distributions have very good installation programs and help sites geared toward newcomers and are free.