What is an Operating System?

An operating system (OS) is the software which manages hardware and resources, like CPU, storage and memory. The OS bridges the applications and hardware and makes the connections between all of your software and the hardware resources.

” The image that shows position of Linux System”

What is Linux?

Linux is an open-source operating system or a kernel distributed under an open-source license. Its functionality is fairly like UNIX. The kernel is a core program of Linux operating system, which lets the software communicate with hardware.

Meaning of Open-Source Operating System

Most OS are in a compiled format, where the source code is run using a compiler. The compiler translates it into a language known to the computer. Changing this compiled code is a difficult task. Whereas, Open-source is totally different. The source code is included with the compiled version and allows alteration. It gives us the freedom to change the code according to our requirement, to run the program, to share its copies, and to share copies modified by us. Linux is an operating system that is made for people. And everyone can use Linux and install it without paying any charges.

Linus Torvalds and the History of Linux

Linux is another operating system that is "Unix-like". Still Linux, though gives a feel of Unix, but doesn't actually use any of the Unix source code.

Linux can be considered as a grandchild of Unix. Its immediate antecedent was MINIX, which was a small Unix-like OS developed in the late '80s to demonstrate the principles of OS design to students.

In 1991, Linus Torvalds, a 21-year-old student in computer science, announced that a new MINIX inspired but original operating system will be developed so that code can be released under the GNU GPL as open source. He added the MINIX name to his name and labelled the new Linux operating system.

Linux Architecture

”The image that shows architecture of the Linux System”
  1. Kernel: Linux based operating system have Kernel at its core. This virtualizes the computer's common hardware resources to deliver its virtual resources to every process. This seems to be the only process on the machine. The kernel also prevents and mitigates conflicts among various processes.

Different types of the kernel are: 

  • Hybrid kernels
  • Monolithic Kernel
  • Micro kernels
  • Exo kernels

2. System Library: These are the special functions used to implement the overall functionalities of the operating system.

3. Shell: It is an interface between the kernel and the users, which hides the complicated kernel functions from the end users. It takes user commands as inputs and performs the kernel’s functions.

4. Hardware Layer: This layer has all peripheral devices like HDD /RAM/CPU etc.

5. System Utility: It delivers the OS functionalities to the user.

How does Linux Work?

Linux was developed to be identical to UNIX, but has grown to run on a wide range of hardware from phones to supercomputers. The Linux kernel, which manages hardware resources, and a collection of software programmes which make up the rest of the operating system are all part of each Linux based OS.

The operating system contains a number of common core elements, including GNU tools. These applications provide the user with a means of managing the kernel resources, installing new modules, configuring performance and security settings and more. The working operating system is all packed together. Because Linux is an open-source OS, combinations of software can vary between Linux distributions.

Why use Linux?

This is one of the most popular Linux systems queries. If you have a basic operating system like Windows, why are we using another and a bit complicated operating system? There are therefore different aspects of Linux systems that make it entirely different and one of the most used systems. If you want to clear out bugs, ransomware, slowdowns, crashes, expensive fixes and much more, Linux might be a wonderful operating system. In addition, it offers different benefits compared with other operating systems, and we need not pay for it. Let's look at some of the unique features to change the operating system.

It is secure

Linux supports a number of security solutions to protect you from bugs, ransomware, slowdowns, and crashes. It will also protect your records. The key explanation why its protection feature is the most advantageous development choice. It's not entirely safe, but less insecure than most of the software's. Each application needs to authorize by the admin user. The virus cannot be executed until the administrator provides the access password. Linux systems do not require any antivirus software support.

Favourable choice of Developers

Linux supports nearly all of the most commonly used programming languages, including C/C++, Java, Python, Ruby, and more, for the developers. In addition, it supports a wide variety of practical development applications.

Developers find that the Linux terminal is much better than the Windows command line, So, they prefer Linux over the Windows command line. The package manager on Linux system helps programmers to understand how things are done. Bash scripting is also a functional feature for the programmers. Also, the SSH support helps to manage the servers quickly.

A flexible operating system

Linux is a flexible operating system that can be used for notebook, embedded systems and cloud applications. It is suitable for use between watches and supercomputers. It's all in our telephones, printers, desktops, vehicles and refrigerators. In addition, several customization options are supported by Linux.

Linux Community

Linux's code is open source, it is released under the permissive GNU Public License. That means:

  • The Linux OS can be downloaded and installed for free
  • Administrators can study and customize it
  • There are many redistribution privileges of all the versions (original or modified)

One of the clearest signals Linux is a community-based project is that the kernel is kept not in secret in a lab but is shared via a public email list, which contains all the updates and discussions on whether to accept them in the operating system. Anyone who participates and contributes to this mailing list will enter the Linux community.

However, Linux community goes far farther than the kernel. Linux's openness ensures that a large number of professionals and enthusiasts work constantly to discover new ways of using it. Containers, for example, have evolved primarily through community participation.

Though Linux is an open access OS, it does not mean that any platform built on Linux is a "lesser" device. Linux has an impressive ecosystem, advanced APIs and an agile, modern data center networking stack. For example, Linux is designed with separate control and data-forwarding planes making it easy to drop in software-defined networking architectures because separating those planes is the basis of SDN.

Linux Distributions

As Linux is open source, there is no specific seller for it; theoretically, one can download the kernel, a desktop environment and various other applications and utilities, and install it all by themselves. In fact, these OS modules are bundled together into what's called a distribution — essentially, a Linux OS tweaked in a specific way that's ready to use out of the box.

Again, in principle anybody might bring a Linux distribution together, but most are provided by corporations and non-profit organisations. Commercial distributors can charge or provide paid support services optionally. Some of the better-known Linux distributions are:

  • Ubuntu
  • Red Hat
  • CentOS
  • SuSE
  • Fedora
  • Debian
  • Mandriva
  • Arch Linux
  • Oracle Linux


The advantages of the Linux include.

  • Linux is an open-source free OS
  • It is not just an OS, it can also be used as a platform to embedded systems, function servers, and desktops
  • Linux gives different distributions as well as includes a modular design
  • Linux is used in multiple fields like home appliances, cars, servers, smartphones, etc.

Common Mistakes

10 mistakes Linux newbies make

  1. Giving up too early
  2. Not finding software
  3. Avoiding the command line
  4. Thinking that they are using Windows
  5. Logging in as root
  6. Trying to execute exe files
  7. Selecting the incorrect distribution
  8. Sharing OpenOffice documents to Microsoft Office users in the default format
  9. Thinking the Windows directory hierarchy translates to Linux
  10. Skipping updates

Context and Applications

The concept of Linux is used in graduate and postgraduate studies, especially for:  

  • Bachelors in Computer Science 
  • Masters in Computer Science  
  • Operating Systems
  •  Unix
  •  Windows

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