A computer operating system is a program, or rather a collection of programs, running on a computer that enables people to interact with it. It allows the computer to be controlled, it presents information to the user, and it permits the user to pass information and issue instructions.
Windows is an operating system. Apple's OSX is an operating system, as is iOS on iPhones.
Linux is an operating system that is used on many high performance computing machines, as well as smaller computers. There are versions of Linux that use graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and those that just use a command line (typing) interface. Most of the interactions with our HPC platforms are via a command line interface.
After you get a feel for Linux you will be comfortable at just about any high performance computing site. You will be surprised that you will feel more comfortable using the lower level features of the Mac’s OSX. As far as Windows, you may feel a bit more comfortable or you may even want to start using Linux on your laptop.￼
There are many tutorials available on Linux. Here is a short list.
We also have a rather extensive presentation developed locally. It can be found at:
There are three versions available. A slide show, a PDF version that you can print, and a movie version. You may want to print out the PDF version before watching the movie.
You may also be interested in our local scripting tutorials "Advanced Scripts" also under the "How can I get help" section of our documentation.
Finally, you may also be interested in the "How do I connect" section of our documentation. It describes the basics of connecting to our HPC platforms as well as some advanced techniques to make your life easier, showing how you can "hop" from one machine to another without needing to enter a password.