Learn Linux online for free with Linux Foundation Courses from edX


The Linux Foundation and edX are making a self-paced, open-source course on container technology available to students anywhere in the world.

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edX is a provider of massively open online courses (MOOCs), most of which are free, with the option to pay to receive a certification. edX was originally started by Harvard and MIT and has now partnered with dozens of education and non-profit organizations to bring university-level online courses to people all over the world.

One of those organizations is the Linux Foundation, which offers more than 50 courses about Linux and other open-source softwares topics on the edX website.

What is the Linux Foundation?

The Linux Foundation is a non-profit technology consortium that promotes the use of the open-source operating system Linux. It originally began in 2000 as the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and later became the Linux Foundation when OSDL merged with the Free Standards Group (FSG).

The Linux Foundation works to promote the growth and commercial adoption of the Linux operating system. It also facilitates collaboration on open-source software projects and promotes diversity and inclusion in the Linux community. As part of its mission, the Linux Foundation offers various training courses and resources to help amateurs and experts alike learn more about Linux.

SEE: 40+ open source and Linux terms you need to know (TechRepublic Premium)

How are edX and the Linux Foundation associated?

The Linux Foundation has partnered with edX to host its Linux courses on the edX website. Because edX is largely free, it fits well with the Linux Foundation’s mission to promote open-source software and make it as accessible to as many people as possible.

All told, the Linux Foundation offers more than 50 courses on the edX website, ranging from beginner to advanced. The topics aren’t just confined to Linux and cover multiple other subjects, including DevOps and FinOps and open-source software platforms such Kubernetes, Jenkins, GraphQl and more. The foundation also offers seven professional Linux certifications that bundle related Linux Foundation courses into a targeted education experience.

Best Linux foundation courses on edX

It’s impossible to cover all of the 50+ Linux Foundation courses hosted on edX, but we wanted to highlight a few of them here to give you a sense of the depth and diversity of the course offerings currently available. For this list, we will specifically be focusing on the Linux classes, but there are many other excellent courses offered by the Linux Foundation that are also worth exploring.

Introduction to Linux

If you are brand new to the world of Linux, then you can’t go wrong with this Introduction to Linux course, which boasts more than 1 million in enrollment; there is also a Spanish language version available as well. The self-paced class is designed to be spaced across 14 weeks, with approximately five to seven hours of lessons and homework each week.

Topics covered include how to navigate through major Linux distributions, system configurations and graphical interface of Linux, basic command-line operations, and common applications of Linux. By the end, participants should have a good working knowledge of Linux and be ready to move onto more advanced lessons.

Linux tools for software development

This self-paced course on Linux Tools for Software Development is designed to take place over 14 weeks for one to two hours a week. While this course is still classified as an introductory level, the instructions say that in order to make the most of it, you should ideally have experience as a developer on any operating system, though not necessarily Linux. Experience in working at the command line is not necessary but would be helpful.

In this course, participants will learn how to use essential command-line tools for everyday tasks as well as construct scripts and perform complicated tasks in an automated way. They will also discuss how Linux works with various types of file systems, compile programs in Linux, and use different types of shared and static libraries. Finally, they will build packages out of software in Linux in both RPM and Debian systems, so it can be distributed to other developers of Linux distributions.

Open Source Software Development: Linux for Developers

This self-paced course on Open Source Software Development: Linux for Developers is designed to take place over 14 weeks for one to two hours a week. While this course is still classified as an introductory level, the instructions say that in order to make the most of it, you should ideally have experience as a developer on any operating system, not necessarily Linux. Experience in working at the command line is not necessary but would also be helpful. You will also need a computer installed with a current Linux distribution, either a physical computer or a Linux virtual machine.

Participants will leave the course with a good understanding of Linux systems and utilities. They should be able to work comfortably at the command line and discuss the key concepts involved in developing open-source software. The course will also review open-source software licensing issues and cover the known best practices for long term sustainability of projects.

Don’t have an edX account and want another way to learn about Linux? Check out our roundups of Linux courses on LinkedIn Learning, Pluralsight, Skillshare, and more.



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