Linux. It’s been around since the mid ‘90s, and has since reached a user-base that spans industries and continents. For those in the know, you understand that Linux is actually everywhere. It’s in your phones, in your cars, in your refrigerators, your Roku devices. It runs most of the Internet, the supercomputers making scientific breakthroughs, and the world\’s stock exchanges. But before Linux became the platform to run desktops, servers, and embedded systems across the globe, it was (and still is) one of the most reliable, secure, and worry-free operating systems available.
For those not in the know, worry not – here is all the information you need to get up to speed on the Linux platform.
From smartphones to cars, supercomputers and home appliances, the Linux operating system is everywhere.
What is Linux?
Just like Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Mac OS X, Linux is an operating system. An operating system is software that manages all of the hardware resources associated with your desktop or laptop. To put it simply – the operating system manages the communication between your software and your hardware. Without the operating system (often referred to as the “OS”), the software wouldn’t function.
The OS is comprised of:
- The Bootloader
- The Kernel
- The Shell (Command Line)
- Graphical Server
- Desktop Environment
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 are you constantly battling viruses, malware, slow downs, crashes, costly repairs, and licensing fees?
If you struggle with the above, and want to free yourself from the constant fear of losing data or having to take your computer in for the “yearly clean up,” 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.
With the Linux server…it’s all free and easy to install. In fact, installing a full blown web server (that includes a database server), is just a few clicks or commands away (take a look at “Easy LAMP Server Installation” to get an idea how simple it can be).
If you’re a system administrator, working with Linux is a dream come true. No more daily babysitting servers. In fact, Linux is as close to “set it and forget it” as you will ever find. And, on the off chance, one service on the server requires restarting, re-configuring, upgrading, etc…most likely the rest of the server won’t be affected.
Be it the desktop or a server, if zero cost isn’t enough to win you over – what about having an operating system that will work, trouble free, for as long as you use it? With Linux, you won’t have to worry about issues with malware, viruses, or random computer slow-downs. It’s that stable!
Linux is also distributed under an open source license. Open source follows the following key philosophies:
- 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.
The above are crucial to understanding the community that comes together to create the Linux platform. It is, without a doubt, an operating system that is “by the people, for the people”. These philosophies are also one of the main reasons a large percentage of people use Linux. It’s about freedom and freedom of choice!