These webpages are designed to help a new user of a Raspberry Pi using the Rasbian Operating System learn to manipulate basic functions of the computer from the command prompt.

The Raspberry Pi was invented as an inexpensive computer with which to teach children about computers. In the 1980's, home computers were dual purpose in that kids could play games and also write programming code in BASIC. These computer systems included the Commodore-64, the Tandy TRS-80, the Atari 2600, and the Apple llc, among many others. I remember, in about 1987, playing Downland on my 'trash-80' after which I would write programs for games. It was also common for students in high school and college to share mail with each other over Bulletin Board Systems (BBS), before email protocols were invented. This pattern of life changed with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), the Sony Playstation, and the Microsoft GameCube. These systems came with no keyboard. Kids played more game and wrote less code. Today, the U.S. and Europe are experincing a generation gap of programmers due, in part, to the poplulation not being exposed to computer science as children. The Raspberry Pi was invented as a way to introduce children to many aspects of computers. The Raspberry Pi is being used to teach Python programming, computer networking, robotics, and network security. All for a cost of about $35 per unit.

The Raspberry Pi can run on a variety of operating systems. Linux is one of the is an Operating System (OS) that can run on the Pi. Linux also operates many of the devices in our lives that we use today. From Apple Computers, to Android Cell Phones to smart televisions to web connected refridgerators all run on Linux Operating Systems.

Linux is unique in that it is a free operating system. You are free to change it and sell what you change. However, by the terms of the license, you are required to make available any code that you received for free. Becuase users are free to change the code however they want to, there are hundreds of distributions of the Linux Operating System. Early in the Linux life cycle, there was a major split in the way that the code was written. Even though there are many flavors, these distributions can be traced back to either an RPM or a Debian distribution.

This text is based on the Debian distribution and is refered to as Rasbian, as it is designed to work with the Raspberry Pi. Many of the instructions and commands will apply to Debain, Ubuntu and Rasbian distributions, with few exceptions.

There are a number of reasons to use the Linux Operating Systems. First and foremost, a user has the ability have complete control of every aspect of their computer's actions. There is no data collection happening in the back ground. There are no updates that are going to destroy your system. There is no licensing fees. Users can choose to use an effective Graphical User Interface (GUI) or all systems can be run from the Command Line Interface (CLI).

There is a large number software applications available for Linux Operating Systems. These applications are stored in repositories that are ether controlled by the distribution or are available on the web. Most times these applications are free and reliable. Many users that have come to use Linux have become disenchanted with paying taxes to Microsoft and Apple or disenchanged with losing all of their privacy to Google.

Using a Linux Operating System is not for everyone.

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