Linux Basics

The Linux is a free, Open Source, portable, multi-user, command-based (CUI) secured Operating system. Linux OS based on Linux Kernel which is capable of handling activities from multiple users at the same time. The first Linux Operating System Kernel was released on September 17, 1991, by Linus Torvalds. 

History Of Linux OS

The Linux kernel was created in 1991 by Linus Torvalds, a Finnish computer science student. At the time, Torvalds was a student at the University of Helsinki and he was working on a project to create a free operating system that could run on a PC.

Torvalds started the Linux project by writing a kernel (the central part of an operating system that manages the hardware and software resources of the system) from scratch. He based the kernel on the Unix operating system, but he wrote it entirely from scratch to make it more portable and easier to modify.

The Linux kernel was released under the GNU General Public License (GPL), which allowed anyone to modify and redistribute the kernel as long as they made the source code available. This led to the widespread adoption of Linux by developers around the world, who began creating their own versions of the kernel and other operating system components.

Over the years, the Linux kernel has evolved and grown in size and complexity. It is now used in a wide variety of environments, including servers, desktops, embedded systems, and mobile devices. The Linux kernel is maintained and developed by a large community of volunteers and is released regularly with new features and bug fixes.

Linux System Architecture

  1. User Space
  2. CLI Space.
  3. Kernel Space

Linux OS Flavours

The main advantage of Linux was that programmers were able to use the Linux Kernel to design their own custom operating systems. With time, a new range of user-friendly OS’s stormed the computer world. Now, it is one of the most popular and widely used Kernel, and it is the backbone of popular operating systems like Debian, Knoppix, Ubuntu, Fedora, and Android (Mobile OS). Nevertheless, the list does not end here as there are thousands of OSs based on Linux which offer a variety of functions to the users.

Typically, the Linux Operating System Software is supposed to be distributed as a software package and it will be released with different versions for software feature reference to the Linux user. This Linux distributed packaged software called Linux distribution or in short name as a distro. These distributions include the Linux kernel, supporting system software and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project. Many Linux distributions use the word “Linux” in their name, but the Free Software Foundation uses the name GNU or Linux to emphasize the importance of GNU software, causing some controversy.

Features of Linux Operating System:

There are many features of the Linux Operating System for which it is being used from a small device to a high-end computer system. The main features of the Linux operating system are:

  • Portable: The Linux operating system can work on different types of hardware’s as well as Linux kernel supports the installation of any kind of hardware platform.
  • Open Source: The Source code of the LINUX operating system is freely available and, to enhance the ability of the LINUX operating system, many teams work in collaboration.
  • Multi-user: The Linux operating system is a multi-user system, which means, multiple users can access the system resources like RAM, Memory, or Application programs at the same time.
  • Multi-programming: The Linux operating system is a multi-programming system, which means multiple applications can run at the same time.
  • Hierarchical File System: The Linux operating system affords a standard file structure in which system files or user files are arranged.
  • Shell: The Linux operating system offers a special interpreter program, that can be used to execute commands of the OS. It can be used to do several types of operations like call application programs, and so on.
  • Security: The Linux operating system offers user security systems using authentication features like encryption of data or password protection or controlled access to particular files.

Difference Between UNIX & LINUX?

UNIX is called the mother of operating systems which laid out the foundation for Linux. Unix is designed mainly for mainframes and is in enterprises and universities. While Linux is fast becoming a household name for computer users, developers, and server environments. You may have to pay for a Unix kernel while in Linux it is free. But, the commands used on both the operating systems are usually the same. There is not much difference between UNIX and Linux. Though they might seem different, at the core, they are essentially the same. Since Linux is a clone of UNIX. So learning one is the same as learning another.

What is a Linux Distribution?

Well, now as you know that Linux is open-source, free to use kernel. It is used by programmers, organizations, profit and non-profit companies around the world to create Operating systems to suit their individual requirements. These versions/ types /kinds of Linux operating systems are called Distributions.

How many Linux distributions are there?

There are hundreds of Linux operating systems or Distributions available these days. Many of them are designed with a specific purpose in mind. For example, to run a web server or to run on network switches like routers, modems, etc. The latest example of one of the most popular smartphone-based Linux Distribution is Android which famous all over the world as for mobile Operating systems.

Here, are a few popular Linux Distributions (also called Linux Distro) –

  1. Ubuntu: A user-friendly distribution that is popular with beginners and is based on the Debian distribution.
  2. Fedora: A distribution that is sponsored by Red Hat and is known for its focus on free and open-source software.
  3. CentOS: A distribution that is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and is popular in the enterprise market.
  4. Debian: A distribution that is known for its stability and adherence to free and open-source software principles.
  5. Mint: A distribution that is based on Ubuntu and is known for its ease of use and attractive user interface.
  6. Arch Linux: A distribution that is known for its simplicity and flexibility, and is popular with advanced users who want to customize their systems.
  7. Manjaro: A distribution that is based on Arch Linux and is known for its user-friendliness and simplicity.

The desktop Distributions are available for free on their respective websites. You might want to try them one by one till you get to know which Distribution you like the most. Each one of them offers its own unique design, applications, and security.

The Linux Operating System is how much famous in the Computer system is not sufficient because the windows Operating System is providing a Graphical User Interface (GUI) based Operating system. This GUI based Operating system is really very user friendly that can be used from a small child to an older grandfather. But still, due to its security safety, it is being a part of most of the scientific computer to a server-based computer system. In going forward, to stay in the market, the Linux Ubuntu also started designing GUI based Operating System with GNOME Theme. The Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is released April 23, 2020, having a nice GUI which might take a bigger part in the computer world Operating System market. Up to now what we discussed, it is all about the standard computer system with specific Design. But let’s go discuss the Linux Operating system as to how it is used in a customized Computer system nothing but Embedded System based computer.

Linux OS in Embedded Linux

The Embedded System based customized computer system products is now very famous instead of using a normal standardized computer system. Because these are high cost, low speed, specific task, it can also hang like you can not give guarantee to run a specific task. To prevent all these, embedded products are very good. Even you can design your own real-time system as per your requirement which can not be done by the domestic computer system. Basically, most of the products which are for the purpose of a small task, we can use an RTOS for this. But in the current edge having IoT, machine learning, Artificial Intelligence, etc are having a complex algorithm that can not be done in small RTOS. Even if most of the latest networking based internet protocols are not available in RTOS based OS.

So to prevent this, the Linux OS also releasing with a different version for Embedded System-based products. This is basically we are supposed to say the Linux Kernel-2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, and till date 5.2 is the latest version. Suppose you want to design any device like amazon echo or any kind of product from mobile to anything. Nowadays, 60% of the embedded product is having a Linux Operating System due to its open-source and best online support.

To make it simple for application developers for a small embedded computer system, some organizations also developed the custom Operating System like Android Operating System used in Mobile. The Android Operating System that is being used in most of the Embedded System based products, is originated or used the Linux Operating System.

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