Master Linux in 5 Days

3 Getting Access to a Linux System

3 Getting Access to a Linux System
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(Auto-generated Video Transcript)
in today's lesson we're going to talk about what a terminal emulator is and a few different methods on how to gain access to a Linux system if you already have access to a Linux system feel free to skip ahead but terminal is a hardware device that allows you to enter data into a computer and for that computer to display data back to you in the past terminals were typically connected to computers or servers via a cable of some sort typically a serial cable terminals themselves actually look like computers they have a keyboard for entering in data a display to display the data back the big difference between a terminal and a computer is that a terminal is worthless unless it's connected to a real computer or server this is why you'll sometimes hear terminals referred to as dumb terminals today terminals are obsolete we still need to enter data into a computer and allow a computer display data back to us but the technology has changed instead of using a terminal to connect to a Linux server what we do today is use a terminal emulator application that acts as if it were the terminal you can use a terminal emulator application to communicate with your local computer for instance if you are running Linux as your primary desktop and you're using a graphical user interface you could start up the terminal emulator application in order to interact with a command line of Linux if you're using Windows as your primary desktop you could start a terminal emulator application and connect to a Linux server over the network in order to practice the skills you'll be gaining in this course you're going to need access to a Linux system one quick and easy way to do that is to open up a web browser and visit simple shell calm simple shell calm allows you to connect to a Linux server you just click start my session and a terminal emulator opens up each session is limited to 15 minutes so if you just want to spend just a couple of minutes trying out a new command that you're learning about this would be a great way to practice that if you have your own website you very well may have access to a Linux account many times shared hosting providers use Linux as the operating system which runs their web servers look at your web hosting companies documentation and look for the words shell access or SSH SSH stands for secure shell and ssh is a network protocol it allows you to take your terminal emulator application and connect it over the network to a Linux server shared web hosting is typically inexpensive it's usually only a few dollars a month some of the same companies that provide web hosting services also provide virtual private servers sometimes called VPS for short these virtual private servers run complete operating systems and they're not shared so only you have an account for this entire operating system and you can do anything with this virtual server that you could a real physical server again since it's not shared and you have full control over the server you can reboot it at will this is not such a good thing if you're in a shared hosting environment that's why your accounts in those environments have limited access if you like the idea of having full control over a virtual server you could look into clock competing as well and cloud speak a virtual server is called an instance you'll hear people talking about spinning up an instance that simply means they've deployed a virtual server running a complete operating system one of the main differences between cloud providers and traditional web hosting providers that provide shared hosting and virtual private servers is that cloud servers or cloud instances can be programmatically deployed that means you can create software that starts cloud instances or stops cloud instances in our case we just want access to a Linux server so you don't have to take advantage of those features if you don't want them just know that VPS a virtual private server or a cloud server or cloud instance are all the same thing another way to get access to a Linux server is to run a live linux distribution a live linux distro typically runs from CD or USB key or a DVD ROM you insert the bootable media start your hardware and in just a few minutes you are placed into a live running linux operating system the reason why they're called live linux distributions is they do not write to your hard drive they are not installed on your computer they're just live so they run as long as the powers on the minute you reboot your computer your operating system is gone the advantage of using a live linux distribution is that you can try something out without modifying your computer the disadvantage of using a live linux distribution is that when you're using it you don't have access to your primary operating system for example if you are watching this course on the windows pc and you wanted to try a few new linux commands that you've learned about you would have to stop your Windows operating system put in a CD and power up the computer again in order to boot into linux it's important to keep in mind that live linux distros shouldn't be used to evaluate performance of linux when you're running a live distro you're typically running it from a storage device that is a lot slower than your normal hard drive a few live linux distributions that are fairly popular include Fedora knoppix Puppy Linux and ubuntu live linux distros by default do not modify your system in any way they won't write to your hard drive for instance however most live linux distributions do include a utility to install the distro to your hard drive if you decide you like it of course you can always install Linux on the computer if you have an extra laptop or an old PC that you're not using anymore then pick a Linux distribution and install it directly on that if you do decide to install Linux yourself don't worry if there are things in the installation process that don't make sense or that you don't fully understand typically the defaults are pretty safe just accept the defaults and you should be good to go the last method I'm going to talk about today is using pre installed linux images with virtualbox this is the message that i recommend you use with this course virtual box is virtualization software it allows you to run entire operating systems within your current operating system your current operating system is called the host or the host operating system and the virtual machines that you'll be creating are called guests like Linux virtual box is free and open source software VirtualBox runs on mac windows and even lennox in the next part of the course i will show you how to install VirtualBox on Windows and also how to install it on Mac from there I will show you how to get the pre installed linux images and how to import those into virtual box then we can get started with the main course content the ways to get access to a Linux system include going to simple she'll calm in your web browser using a hosting provider be that a shared web host VPS host or a cloud host you can install linux on hardware and you can also run linux inside a virtual machine


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