I want to learn some basic things using Matlab. I'd prefer a lightweight one in Linux. Is there any alternative?
There are several alternatives:
If you like to program and has a use for the large number of extension libraries available in Python, I would definitely choose Python/Scipy/etc. If you need a simple monolithic package with linear algebra capabilities and syntax identical to Matlab then use Octave. You can find many other alternatives here. 


You can start Matlab with the 

