There are many reasons for this, however the main one is the our main output industry is VFX and the majority of (large) VFX houses use linux / unix. This is due to a number of reasons, however mainly stability, scalability and ease of customisation.
Learning to use the linux command line and linux in general is quite a daunting task for a new user, and many people often wonder why they should bother when there is a perfectly good GUI. However as I shall explain in the following videos it will make you a more efficient / better operator if you can master some of the basic shell commands.
Also it has the added benefit that once you have learnt them, most of them will also be available in both shell scripts, python programs and C / C++ programs so you are learning valuable transferable skills all in one go.
Whilst these videos will concentrate on the university lab setup they will also be relevant to other linux distributions and linux in general and are mainly a repetition of what we do in the introduction lab sessions.
There is a link to a workbook and other resources here
(for more info on ssh see here)
alias ls='ls --color' alias ll='ls -al' alias rm='rm -i'
some useful information on the prompt