Before learning about the Linux operating system, let’s briefly learn about what is an operating system is.
What is an operating system?
Whenever you switched on any computer, tablet, or mobile phone, you used to do various kinds of activities like surfing the internet, playing music, playing video, or creating notes. Have you thought about how computer hardware and software are performing all these tasks? There is an operating system or kernel which actually gives instruction to the hardware or processor to perform the task given by you.
An operating system is a low-level software that acts as a communicator between your application software and the device hardware.
Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Unix, Linux are a few examples of popular operating systems.
In this lesson, you will learn about the Linux operating system. You will also get to know about the benefits of the Linux operating systems over others like Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X.
What is Linux
Linux is an operating system like Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Mac OS X. Linux is a Unix like operating system that is open source.
Being an open-source operating system, you can use Linux operating system absolutely free of cost.
It is a community-developed operating system for computers, servers, mobile phones, and embedded systems. It is supported on almost all kinds of computer systems, making it one of the most widespread operating systems.
History of Linux
Linux is created by Finnish undergraduate Linus Torvalds, a bright student of computer science while he was studying at university in Finland. He wanted to create an open-source operating system that will support modifications suggested by its users.
Initially, he conveyed his idea to the Unix designer. But his idea was put down.
In 1991 he collaborated with MIT programmers to create the kernel for Linux. In 1991 he successfully created the kernel for Linux which supports file manager, document editor, audio-video program but it was not user-friendly.
The main feature of Linux is that users can modify and customize the kernel to create their customized operating system as per their needs.
Later on, other companies like IBM, HP came forward to developed Linux due to the Monopoly of Microsoft windows in the market.
In today’s market Linux kernel is a backbone of popular operating systems like Debian, Ubuntu, and Fedora.
Benefits of using Linux
Free operating system: If you use an operating system like Microsoft Windows or Unix you may have to pay and some amount for the license but Linux is open-source software so it is totally free of cost.
Anyone can modify: The main advantage of the Linux operating system is anyone can modify the kernel as per their need. So, Linux is a customizable operating system.
Millions of programs: There are millions of open source programs are available which support Linux.
No antivirus: It is very difficult for hackers to hack the Linux system so there is no need for antivirus.
Server environment: LINUX operating system can run year after year without restarting the system so it is a great choice for a server environment.
Linux operating system Architecture
Every operating system has a specific structure and collection of different low-level software, each design for a specific task.
Linux operating system Architecture has the following components.
Hardware refers to all the physical devices within and attached to the system. For example CPU, Motherboard, RAM, Hard Disk Drive.
The kernel is the main component of the Linux operating system which directly interacts with the device hardware. That means it instructs the hardware to perform all tasks which it received from the upper layer.
Shell is the interface between the Users and Kernel that takes input from the Users and executes kernel functions. And gives the result back to the Users after execution.
There are two types of shells are available in an operating system. They are command line shells and graphical shells. A command-line shell provides a command line interface to the users while a Graphical shell provides a graphical interface. Although both perform the same task graphical shell is slower as compared to the command line shell.
There are four kinds of shell available:
- Korn Shell
- Bourne Shell
- POSIX Shell
- C Shell
These are the utility programs used to perform individual and specialized level works. These application programs run on Shell. This can be any text editor, video player, audio player or Web browser.
Is Linux for me?
previously most of the Linux-based operating systems used to run using the command line so it was difficult to work on LINUX operating system on those days. But nowadays there are hundreds of Linux based operating systems which support GUI version which helps user how to work on LINUX operating system just like Windows operating system.
There are hundreds of Linux operating systems available on the market which provides state-of-art security and application and all are free of cost.
Hope you have a basic idea by now what is a Linux operating system and its benefits over other operating systems. It’s time to learn more about Linux. Before that let’s learn how to install Linux in a very simple way.