• Install Linux without messing with your current operating system
  • Poke around your new and shiny Linux directory tree
  • Feel great about yourself having an open-source operating system on your box, running in a virtual machine

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Front-Cover Texts, no Back-Cover Texts and an Invariant Section entitled Preface; with Aleksander Korzynski as the proxy for deciding if a later version of the license can be used. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.

Linux® is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries. UNIX® is a registered trademark of The Open Group.

This edition has been published by KZS Press, trading name of KZS Commerce Ltd, 7 Kings Avenue, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M8 5AS, United Kingdom, Company No. 12242538.


Do you want to get up and running on Linux by the end of tonight? You can do this with this book.

We’re going to walk you step-by-step through installing Linux on your computer without affecting your current operating system. You’ll install Linux in a virtual machine, the simplest way to use Linux alongside your current environment. We’ll then show you how to poke around the system, keeping you busy until dawn, if you want us to :]

Why would you want to have Linux on your computer? There’re plenty of reasons. Maybe you’re thinking about a lucrative career as a systems administrator – we can get you started on that path. Or maybe you want to get the liberating feeling, the pride of having an open-source operating system on your computer, free from the lock-in of proprietary systems – we can help you with that. Or perhaps you just want to get your job done with Linux – we’ll show you how to get it done fast, whether you’re a student or a professional.

By the end of this book, you’re going to have a working Linux environment, will know how to find the information you need in the standard Linux manuals and how to poke around files and directories – plenty of information to manage files on a real-world web hosting account, for instance.

Still have questions? We can help you on a live video call using the CodeMentor platform – the first 15 minutes is free!

Hungry for more? This book is the first in the Userbie series, a set of six books that will take you for the full journey to becoming a Linux expert. The remaining books are currently a work in progress. Sign up at the Userbie website to get the latest news on the series.

And the best part is – the book is available online without any charge whatsoever – it’s Open Source like Linux itself. Ready? Then let’s dive in.


George is a friend of mine and a business owner and a few months ago he asked me for advice. He employs a junior developer called Martin who complained he was missing a senior developer on the team. Martin said that he didn’t know if he was coding properly or not. He wished there was someone to provide feedback. George asked me if I could help. I said I could give a try for free and if Martin liked it, we could talk about some sort of paid mentoring.

I read Martin’s code and it was good, but there was opportunity of improvement. I spoke with Martin, but I didn’t tell him all my ideas right away. Instead, asked him questions that helped him come up with his own ways to improve the code. A few days later George told me that Martin was ecstatic! George hired me to mentor Martin and I realised I could do more of this. I needed to write some course materials as well.

I’d had the idea for this book for months before that. Linux documentation is scattered around the web, often out of date, incorrect or incomplete. On the one hand, there’re some quality books, but they cost money and readers cannot contribute to them. On the other hand, there’re wikis, but they’re unreliable and tend to be a chaotic. I wanted to try another model.

Here is how it works: the online version of this book has a [feedback] link located at the end of every paragraph, a simple way to provide feedback to the editors. If you provide feedback and your suggested changes are incorporated into the book, your name will feature as a contributor to the book. In this model we combine the collaborative creativity of a wiki with the quality of a curated book!

To demonstrate the power of collaborative writing, I haven’t written this book from scratch. Paul Cobbaut has written a great series of books entitled Linux Training. Unfortunately, the books are now out of date, as they last received modest updates in 2015. The Userbie series is an updated, restructured and partially rewritten version of the original series, created by myself and the Userbie team.

The book is completely Open Access – you don’t have to pay to read it online. So how do we make money? You can purchase live help over a video link or make a purchase from Amazon using our affiliate link, so that we earn a commission. Find out more in the boxes below.

Stuck? Get Live Help

If you’re stuck anywhere in the book, you can get live help over a video link, using the CodeMentor platform. You can also get live long-term mentoring. You won’t get charged for the first 15 minutes.

Don’t Want To Troubleshoot?

Don’t want to be bothered with troubleshooting Linux installation issues? Purchase a pre-installed Linux laptop. If you click on that link and make any purchase on Amazon afterwards, we’ll receive a commission, which will help with the development and maintenance of the series.

In case you’re curious about the origin of the name Userbie, the Old Norse suffix -bie means a village or settlement. Userbie then means a village of users. The word Userbie also rhymes with the word newbie.

I’ve put a lot of heart into preparing this book and I hope you’re going to get a lot of value out of it. Please let me know about your experiences with it. Has it helped you land a lucrative job? Have you felt proud for what you’ve achieved with Linux? I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

– Aleksander Korzyński: ak AT