The Linux Foundation's free Introduction to Linux class starts today

In today's open source roundup: The free Introduction to Linux class starts today and you can still register. Plus: Can LibreOffice 4.3 beat Microsoft Office, and Debian 8 will ship with Linux 3.16

Linux has opened a world of career possibilities to many people over the years. If you're interested in learning about Linux or you know someone who wants to learn about it, then there's still time to take a free class. The Linux Foundation's course "Introduction to Linux" starts today, and you can still register for it. The course usually costs $2400 but it's free on the edX site.

According to edX:

This course explores the various tools and techniques commonly used by Linux programmers, system administrators and end users to achieve their day-to-day work in a Linux environment. It is designed for experienced computer users who have limited or no previous exposure to Linux, whether they are working in an individual or Enterprise environment.

Upon completion of this training you should have a good working knowledge of Linux, from both a graphical and command line perspective, allowing you to easily navigate through any of the major Linux distributions. You will be able to continue your progress as either a user, system administrator or developer using the acquired skill set.

Course description:


Linux Philosophy and Components

Graphical Interface

System Configuration from the Graphical Interface

Command-line Operations

Finding Linux Documentation

File Operations

User Environment

Text Editors

Network Operations

Manipulating Text


Bash Shell Scripting

Advanced Bash Shell Scripting


Common Applications

Local Security Principles


More at edX
Free Introduction to Linux Class

There's also a guide on how to prepare your computer for the LFS101x class. The guide is in PDF format and should be of use to folks who are new to Linux. It includes information about which distributions to use, as well as install methods. Experienced Linux users will not need to read the guide, but newer folks should read through it carefully.

So far there are thirty two reviews of the class on the CourseTalk site. I'm assuming that those reviews are from the Linux Foundation's previous classes as this is the first time the course has been taught on edX. It has a four star rating based on those reviews.

Unfortunately, only three reviews can be read without having a CourseTalk membership and I was too lazy to bother signing up for one. But the overall star rating and the comments I saw seem to indicate that there's some positive buzz about the class.

Plus it's free so if you're interested then why not register today and give it a shot?

Can LibreOffice beat Microsoft Office?

CNet reports on the latest version of LibreOffice and wonders if it has what it takes to displace Microsoft Office.

According to CNet:

"Our compatibility with legacy Microsoft Office documents and actually Microsoft Office docs is now extremely good," Vignoli said. He added that developers have cleaned up the code base from the first four releases of the product and that only 130 of the 10,000 documents used in compatability testing of the latest incarnation of the product with MS Office broke.

The question is whether that will be enough to reel in MS Office users of long standing. Even though the competition with Microsoft Office reaches back several years, Office continues to have a strong hold with businesses as the competition has moved to the cloud. Part of the challenge is the message -- on in this case, making that message resonate.

More at CNet

I hate how compatibility with Microsoft Office is still so important to some organizations. Really, isn't it time to make a clean break from the past and transition completely to the ODF format? Why would anyone want to remain bound in the chains of Microsoft's office suite in 2014?

At some point companies and governments have to simply resolve to transition away from Microsoft Office and then make it happen. Clinging to MS Office compatibility is just dragging out the process for longer than it should take. At some point Microsoft Office needs to fade away and be remembered as part of the Dark Ages of computing.

The longest journey starts with a single step...

Debian 8 Jesse will include Linux 3.16 reports that Debian 8 will ship with Linux 3.16.

According to

The Debian Linux kernel team has discussed and chosen the kernel version to use as a basis for Debian 8 'jessie'. This will be Linux 3.16, due to be released in early August. Release candidates for Linux 3.16 are already packaged and available in the experimental suite.

If you maintain a package that is closely bound to the kernel version - a kernel module or a userland application that depends on an unstable API - please ensure that it is compatible with Linux 3.16 prior to the freeze date (5th November, 2014). Incompatible packages are very likely to be removed from testing and not included in 'jessie'.

More at

I'm very much looking forward to checking out Debian 8 Jesse. The last version of Debian I reviewed for Desktop Linux Reviews was Debian 7 Wheezy, back in May 2013. So it should be great fun to have a new release of Debian to sift through and savor.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

The opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views of ITworld.

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