Linux is a Free and Open-source Operating System which is similar to Windows, macOS, Android, IOS on your PC, Mac, MacBook and mobile phones. Before knowing about Linux, let me answer the question.
What is an Operating System?
In simpler words,
An Operating System is a software that sits beneath all other software and applications in the computer, receiving requests from these applications above continuously and assign tasks to the Hardware accordingly. As shown in the illustration below
As you see here OS is the master of your computer who controls all that is going on the Computer. Linux is one such Operating System.
What does the word “Linux” mean? Well, Linux refers to the Linux kernel, the core of a computer and it is also a set of programs, tools, and services that are bundled together with the Linux kernel, which can support a fully functional Operating System(Ubuntu). It is also called a Linux distribution, and there are many Linux distros(distributions) around the world.
What is a Linux distro(distribution)?
“A Linux distribution (often abbreviated as distro) is an operating system made from a software collection, which is based upon the Linux kernel and, often, a package management system. The software is usually adapted to the distribution and then packaged into software packages by the distribution’s maintainers” — wikipaedia
To know how much vast the Linux network is, check this timeline of some Linux distros used around the world and their origin — Linux_distro_TimeLine.
SOME POPULAR LINUX DISTROS:
- Arch Linux
- Cent OS
- Red Hat
What is Kernel?
Assume an Operating System as a nut, Kernel as the softer and edible internal part of the nut(OS).
Here the Operating system is the nutshell which has all the software packages and contains kernel (the inner seed) inside it. So the kernel is the part of Operating System. The Operating System is the software package that communicates directly with the hardware and the applications we use over the OS. A kernel is the core part of an Operating System which communicates with the hardware, and also it is also a part of OS responsible for translating a command given by us humans, into something that can be understood by the computer( the CPU).
We will get to know in detail about several parts of Operating Systems in later posts. You may get this doubt,
“While there are many Operating Systems around the world, why Linux? And who all can use it? How is it different from other Operating Systems ?”
Let us get answers to all the above questions,
Who all can use Linux?
Linux is suitable for any user from kids to adults, and from developers to businessmen. But sorry gamers Linux can’t play games like GTA V for you, but you can make it play by some modifications.
How is Linux different from other Operating Systems?
Linux runs on any system, Laptop, pc, mobile, tab, notebook, ….. Most of the android phones in the world run on Linux-kernel. Linux is the best OS for the server systems. If you are going to build a server the OS which everyone suggests is LINUX. Linux is also very secure, it is purely buildup from ‘C-language’ and doesn’t have many vulnerabilities which other Operating Systems has.
What makes Linux so special? Why should one choose Linux?
When you think of choosing an OS you will first search for the one which you can modify at your will that suits you.
These are some reasons why one should use Linux:
- Linux is free of charge and the user has every right on the OS Source code
- Linux distros will give full access to change or update it’s source code to it’s users. Because of which you can configure your OS according to your will, and the way you want it to be.
- You can customize your OS the way you want to it to look like.
- Enterprise Linux
- Some Linux distros like Red Hat are paid and used by many enterprises because, it is stable, supported and certified by many developers. When your systems in your business crashes. Red Hat gives you services for fixing them up and make your work more safe and less loss.
- Linux is the most secure server in the world
- Almost every server in this world presently runs on Linux, it is secure and fast as well. One of the best advantages is you need not spend lots of money on antivirus software to secure your servers or PCs.
- Linux also has the best and strong community with millions of developers working together every single day to bring new features and improve security. You cannot see such an active and strong community for any other Operating System.
- Working with Linux is faster and easier
- In Linux, most of the work is done by terminal so most of the time is saved working with mouse clicks and you can even access, delete, execute single/multiple files with single lined commands.
- You can customize your OS packages their versions and packages depending on the work you do.
- Linux is compatible with any hardware
- You need not worry whether the hardware of your computer supports Linux or not? Because Linux works on any hardware from 1GB RAM to 16GB RAM and any architecture.
With all these knowledge I conclude Linux is an Operating System which works as you need it to be. Every Linux is your own OS with some unique characteristics and some differences from other.
“Linux gives you freedom. Freedom to explore, create, modify and publish your own version of the OS”.
Thanks to “Linus Torvalds”, the creator of Linux for giving us such a freedom.