Why Unix/Linux Skills ?
Many computing subjects also rely on tools which were originally developed on Unix, and run best on this operating system. Therefore good Unix skills make it easier for a student to get work done in such subjects, and this means better results for the same effort put in.
What you learn on one variety of Unix you can nearly always put to use
on another. Therefore these are skills which are portable between jobs,
which makes it easier for you to move to more interesting jobs once you
are in industry.
Why Linux or BSD ?
Another nice feature is that you can get versions to run not only on
Intel PC hardware, but also on Apple Macintosh and other hardware. In fact,
most of the software tools which run on Linux or BSD will also run on large
commercial Unix machines, so that most of the skills you develop using
Linux or BSD will be very useful once you are out in industry. Favourites
like Netscape and Acroread, desktop packages like StarOffice (Word clone),
are available free, and many commercial tools like FrameMaker are now also
becoming available for Linux, or BSD.
The Most Important Reason of All ?
How to Install and Set Up Linux or BSD ?
Dozens of websites for beginners exist on the Internet - here is small collection of links to find help. Browse them, read them, and become familiar with what is out there.
Documentation on UNIX software