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Introduction to Linux
What is Operating System?
Every time you switch on your computer, you see a screen where you can perform different activities like write, browse the internet or watch a video. What is it that makes the computer hardware work like that? How does the processor on your computer know that you are asking it to run a mp3 file?
Well, it is the operating system or the kernel which does this work. A kernel is a program at the heart of any operating system that takes care of fundamental stuff, like letting hardware communicate with software.
So, to work on your computer, you need an Operating System(OS). In fact, you are using one as you read this on your computer. Now, you may have used popular OS’s like Windows, Apple OS X but here we will learn what Linux is and what benefits it offers over other OS choices.
Linux is a member of Open-Source family. Linux is basically UNIX based Operating System. Which is Developed by Linus Torvalds in 1991 during his project. Just like Windows, iOS, and Mac OS, Linux is an operating system. In fact, one of the most popular platforms on the planet, Android, is powered by the Linux operating system. The linux has many features like:- Open source(Means Source code is freely available for everyone) linux has great security, free distribution services, free software, less maintainance.
The Linux operating system comprises several different pieces:
- Bootloader – The software that manages the boot process of your computer. For most users, this will simply be a splash screen that pops up and eventually goes away to boot into the operating system.
- Kernel – This is the one piece of the whole that is actually called ?Linux?. The kernel is the core of the system and manages the CPU, memory, and peripheral devices. The kernel is the lowest level of the OS.
- Init system – This is a sub-system that bootstraps the user space and is charged with controlling daemons. One of the most widely used init systems is systemd? which also happens to be one of the most controversial. It is the init system that manages the boot process, once the initial booting is handed over from the bootloader (i.e., GRUB or GRand Unified Bootloader).
- Daemons – These are background services (printing, sound, scheduling, etc.) that either start up during boot or after you log into the desktop.
- Graphical server – This is the sub-system that displays the graphics on your monitor. It is commonly referred to as the X server or just X.
- Desktop environment – This is the piece that the users actually interact with. There are many desktop environments to choose from (GNOME, Cinnamon, Mate, Pantheon, Enlightenment, KDE, Xfce, etc.). Each desktop environment includes built-in applications (such as file managers, configuration tools, web browsers, and games).
- Applications – Desktop environments do not offer the full array of apps. Just like Windows and macOS, Linux offers thousands upon thousands of high-quality software titles that can be easily found and installed. Most modern Linux distributions (more on this below) include App Store-like tools that centralize and simplify application installation. For example, Ubuntu Linux has the Ubuntu Software Center (a rebrand of GNOME Software? Figure 1) which allows you to quickly search among the thousands of apps and install them from one centralized location.
Why use Linux?
This is the one question that most people ask. Why bother learning a completely different computing environment, when the operating system that ships with most desktops, laptops, and servers works just fine?
To answer that question, I would pose another question. Does that operating system you’re currently using really work ?just fine?? Or, do you find yourself battling obstacles like viruses, malware, slow downs, crashes, costly repairs, and licensing fees?
If you struggle with the above, Linux might be the perfect platform for you. Linux has evolved into one of the most reliable computer ecosystems on the planet. Combine that reliability with zero cost of entry and you have the perfect solution for a desktop platform.
That’s right, zero cost of entry… as in free. You can install Linux on as many computers as you like without paying a cent for software or server licensing.
Let’s take a look at the cost of a Linux server in comparison to Windows Server 2016. The price of the Windows Server 2016 Standard edition is $882.00 USD (purchased directly from Microsoft). That doesn’t include Client Access License (CALs) and licenses for other software you may need to run (such as a database, a web server, mail server, etc.). For example, a single user CAL, for Windows Server 2016, costs $38.00. If you need to add 10 users, for example, that’s $388.00 more dollars for server software licensing. With the Linux server, it?s all free and easy to install.
Linux is used extensively on servers in businesses, and has been for a long time. Linux is also used in some corporate environments as the desktop platform for their employees, with commercially available solutions including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, and Ubuntu. Free I.T.
Linux is also distributed under an open source license. Open source follows these key tenants:
- The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.
- The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish.
- The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
- The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others.
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