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Microsoft Windows and Linux are not like oil and water—these two operating systems can be mixed and matched with relative ease. This is particularly true when you add VMWare tools into the mix. It's no longer the case that you have to use just Windows—Linux can be deployed inside a Windows-centric IT infrastructure. I don't consider myself in any way an expert in Linux, but it is relatively straightforward to get Linux installed inside VMware. You can then use WinSCP and PuTTY to interact with the Linux image.

You can get started with Linux by creating folders and using it as a storage repository for Windows or Linux files. WinSCP and PuTTY makes this a fairly easy thing to do. Then, as your confidence grows, you can start to do more ambitious things, such as hosting Java software on the Linux machine. I've always found that getting started with toolkits is the hard part. Once I'm past the starting line I find my confidence grows and I call this the process of moving up the value chain.

You can and should also keep your Linux platform up-to-date by running the appropriate apt-get commands. The latter is a natural candidate for being run from some simple shell scripts.

So, do I think a Windows-centric user can incorporate Linux into their infrastructure? Definitely! It's all part of moving up the value chain and getting the most out of your computing experience.

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