Right from your Smartphone, Smart TV, Servers to the Spacecraft we use for exploration has Linux in it. So it’s a must for almost everyone to learn it. Turn around and have a look, I am sure you will have at least one Linux powered Machine. I hope that’s enough to convince you why you need to learn Linux. To be short,
“Linux is Everywhere”
Is Linux Hard to Learn?
Not that hard. We will take you through a series of articles that will make your life easier. At the end of this series, you will be able to get a good command over Linux.
Now let’s taste some Linux !!!
History of Linux
The man behind such a revolutionizing Operating System is Andrew S. Tenenbaum, who taught Computer Science. To make it easy to understand for his students he designed an Operating System which is a clone of Mr Linus Torvalds. Initially, Linus was taking courses at a University under his professor Unix called Minix. Why can’t they use Unix? Because Unix, at that time, was a proprietary software and not every student was able to afford it. So to ease the pain of students, Tenenbaum came up with Minix, so that students can get hands-on experience in Minix before getting into Unix.
Inspired by his professor’s work, Linus started to design his own cloned Operating System. He went on to write his own kernel code and named his Operating System after him, Linux. Adding to that, he released the source code of his OS for free, which we call, “Open-Sourced”. Why for free? Because at that time, he designed Linux for hobby and never had any intention to commercialize it. He even called people to add additional features and improve his Operating System. This paved the way for Linux to revolutionize the world. As people started to contribute more and more to Linux, it got fixed up, earned new features and tools and gained the ability to run on different hardware. Don’t forget that Linus, initially designed Linux for personal computers. But owing to its popularity and potential, professionals started to use it.
Before getting into Linux, you should also get to know about Open Source. What is Open Source? To be simple Open Source Softwares are those whose source codes have been released for free. People can download, modify and redistribute it for free. Let’s see more about Open Source in an Upcoming article in this series. Stay tuned for it.
Since Linux is an Open Source Operating System, anyone can download it and modify for their own benefit. Due to this, unlike Windows which has no cloned derived operating systems, Linux has a number of derived Operating Systems. To be precise, there are about 600 Linux Distributions today. That’s huge, isn’t? You may wonder why these many distros are there? Each distro has its own use case and it is particularly tailored for it. Let’s see what makes a distribution.
Even you can create your own Linux once you get familiar with it. You just need a Kernel, library, drivers and some utils. That’s it.
You can classify the distros based on how they manage the software. You can classify them as follows,
▶ RPM (RedHat Package Manager) based Distros
▶ Debian based Distros
▶ Pacman based Distros
▶ Gentoo based Distros
▶ Slackware based Distros
▶ Source-based Distros
These are just package managers. Package managers in simple terms are those that handle the software in an Operating System. Among these, the most popular ones are RPM and Debian.
RPM Based Distributions
RPM packages have an extension of .rpm or .spm/.src.rpm
Some of the features of RPM-based distributions include Installing, Updating and Uninstalling Softwares. RPM packages can also be verified with GPG and MD5 hash. Based on this package manager RedHat, Slackware and Mageia are some of the popular Operating Systems.
RedHat has its own commercial Operating System called RedHat Enterprise Linux ( RHEL ). And out of that Fedora and CentOS are derived and supported by RedHat. CentOS is a replica of RHEL but its not commercialized. From the source code of RedHat, Oracle came up with its own OS called Oracle Unbreakable Linux.
Another important and older distro based on RPM is Slackware. From Slackware, the Operating System SUSE came up. SUSE Linux was originally developed by Germans and later became popular in Europe. It also has an enterprise version called SUSE Enterprise Linux.
Debian Based Distributions
Debian packages have an extension of .deb or .dpkg.
Debian based Operating Systems rely on Older versions of the software which is more stable and reliable. Some of the popular Debian based Operating Systems are Ubuntu and Kali Linux.
Elementary OS and Linux Mint are some of the popular OS derived from Ubuntu.
Usage of Linux
Usage of Linux can be broadly classified into Personal Computing, Server Systems, Mobile Devices, Cloud Infrastructure and Embedded Systems.
▶ Web Servers: Apache and Nginx
▶ Email Servers: Postfix, Dovecot
▶ Database Servers: MariaDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL
▶ Virtualization: Xen, KVM
▶ Containers: Docker, Kubernetes
▶ Compatibility with DOS using DOSBox, FreeDOS
▶ Compatibility with Windows using Samba, WINE and Steam
Though people say Android is based on Linux, only 25% of it has modified Linux kernel, whereas the rest 75% are proprietary drivers/codes.
And when it comes to iOS, it is based on UNIX. And if you remember, Linux is derived from UNIX.
About 90% of the entire cloud infrastructure is powered by Linux Machines.
Operating Systems based on Linux Kernel is used in several Embedded systems. For example consumer electronics like Set-top box, Smart TVs, In-Vehicle Infotainment, etc.,
So far we have seen a high-level view of What Linux is. So don’t get confused if you don’t understand certain topics. More posts dedicated to Package Managers and Open Source will be posted soon for a detailed understanding.
Hope you got an idea on Linux. See you in the next article. Take Care and Stay Safe.
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Originally published at http://www.justhackitnow.com.