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How to try a Linux flavor

Vishal Raj
Experienced with web development, interested in scalability & security.
・2 min read

Whether one is aware or not, nobody's life is untouched by Linux os. We use it in one way or the other. The super power of Linux is that, it reigns from large Super computers to the tiny compuiting machines like Raspberry pi and IOT devices.

Lets talk about, if you want to experience a flavor of linux, what are the different ways to do so.

Using docker

This might seem very odd, but of course, docker will let you experience the CLI version for a linux, say Fedora / Ubuntu / Debian / Alpine. You can use these OS images to build your application. Or just experience it in the CLI.

Using the cloud service providers

Similar to docker, you can launch OS instance in environment provided by the cloud service providers such as AWS, GCP, MS Azure etc. Here also, you get access to the OS via the CLI only.

Using virtual machine

You can use Oracle Virtual Box to install just any flavor of linux, as long as you can download the ISO on your local machine. The installation process is similar to installing the OS on a real machine. You can have the full GUI experience.

Installing on flash drive

You can burn the Linux OS ISO on a flash drive just to have a first hand experience, before you actually put on a machine that you use for daily tasks. Once you have the flash drive ready, put it into a machine (laptop / desktop) and during the boot process, choose the flash drive as boot device. A very common challenge with this process is that if you want to try multiple flavors, then you need to go through the tiring process of installing each flavor separately and then experience it. But nothing much to worry, we have solutions which let us put multilple flavors of linux on single flash drive. And then at the time of boot, you can choose, what OS do you want to boot with.
See Link 1 or Link 2

Installing on the real machine

If you are happy with a Linux, that you tried from the flash drive, you may choose to install it on your machine machine as well. The same flash drive can be used to install the linux on your desktop / laptop. The setup process of most modern linux are fairly simple and fast.

Try it online

Yes, you can experience a Linux OS online, via Distrotest.net. Surprisingly, they have a huge list of Linux OS that you can use. And, you get to see the GUI with this. But note that, the speed might vary depending upon the bandwidth of your network. Since this is a free service, therefore the OS is intialized with limited amount of resources. The default sesion time is 30 minutes and can be extended by 15 minutes.

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