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Like Windows and macOS, Linux is also a popular operating system for PCs. Linux is one of the most popular versions of the UNIX operating system. It belongs to the UNIX family of operating systems, that’s why its functionality list is quite similar to that of UNIX. Before the advent of Linux, the powerful features of UNIX were not available for home computers. Unlike Windows and macOS, it is an open source software as its source code is freely available and free to use.
Linux, a computer operating system created in the early 1990s by Finnish software engineer Linus Torvalds and the Free Software Foundation (FSF). It is written mostly in C, with some parts in Assembly language. It is an open-source software based on the Linux kernel, first released on September 17, 1991. Linux is typically packaged in a Linux distribution.
- Android is one of the most popular platforms powered by the Linux operating system even NASA and SpaceX ground stations use Linux.
- The global Linux operating system market size stood at USD 3.89 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 15.64 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 19.2% during the forecast period.
Linux is used in our mobile devices, PCs, laptops, and even in supercomputers. Linux has long been the basis of commercial networking devices, but now it’s a mainstay of enterprise infrastructure. It is very much famous among developers and normal computer users.
Here we are going to discuss all the valuable and interesting information about Linux operating system. Let’s get started.
Brief History and Development of LINUX OS
The name Linux comes from the Linux Kernel which was created in the early 1990s by Finnish software engineer ‘Linus Torvalds’ and the Free Software Foundation (FSF). While still a student at the University of Helsinki, Torvalds started developing Linux to create a system similar to MINIX, a UNIX operating system. Firstly he wanted to name it ‘Freax’ but later it became ‘Linux’. The first Linux Kernel released to the public was version 0.01 on May 14, 1991.
To make a complete operating system the other components of an operating system, like libraries, compilers, a UNIX shell, text editors, and a windows system were also incorporated into the system. These components were added from the GNU Project (GNU stands for ‘GNU’s Not Unix’) that was started by Richard Stallman in 1984. Linux uses most of its tools from GNU software and is under the GNU copyright.
GNU programs are all released under a special license called the ‘GNU Public License’ which describes the principles of free and open-source software. The license was written in 1989 after Stallman started the Free Software Foundation (FSF) in 1985 to support the free software movement, which promotes the universal freedom to study, create, distribute and modify computer software. Therefore the aim of the GNU Project was to create complete UNIX compatible software which contained only free software. In 1992, Linus Torvalds released the Linux Kernel under GNU General Public License.
Use of LINUX Operating System
We can use Linux through an interactive user interface as well as from the terminal (Command Line Interface). The LINUX OS communicates between applications and hardware and makes the connection between all of your software and the physical resources that do the work.
The uses of LINUX Operating System: –
- LINUX is a community-developed operating system for computers, servers, mainframes, mobile devices and embedded devices.
- It has long been the basis of commercial networking devices, but now it is a major foundation of enterprise infrastructure.
- Linux systems are used throughout computing, from embedded systems to virtually all supercomputers.
- NASA and SpaceX ground stations use Linux. Also Android operating system based on a modified version of the Linux kernel and other open source software.
- Its use has expanded to underpin systems for cars, phones, web servers and more recently for networking gear.
- Linux is also embedded in other electronic devices such as TVs, cameras, watches, routers, servers, refrigerators, printers etc.
Linux is supported on almost every major computer platform including x86, ARM, and SPARC, making it one of the most widely supported operating systems. The use of Linux distributions in home and enterprise desktops has been growing rapidly.
Features of LINUX OS
There are many features of the Linux operating system that demonstrate that it is a good option as an operating system. Following are some of the important features of the Linux Operating System: –
- Multiple users can access the same system resources like memory, hard disk etc and also be able to run multiple programs and applications together at the same time. More than one function can be performed simultaneously by dividing the CPU time intelligently.
- Linux can works on different types of hardware in the same way. It is a command line based OS but it can be converted to GUI based by installing packages.
- Linux provides user security using three ways – Authentication (by assigning password and login ID), Authorization (by assigning permission to read, write and execute) and Encryption (converts file into an unreadable format).
- As it is used worldwide, hence supports different languages keyboards and also provides hierarchical file system in which files and directories are arranged.
- Almost all Linux distributions provide live CD/USB so that users can run/try it without installing it.
- Linux provides a specialized interpreter program that can be used to execute operating system commands. It can also be used to do various types of operations, call application programs etc.
Advantages of LINUX Operating System
Linux OS is famous among programmers as well as regular computer users around the world. Let’s see the top advantages of Linux OS: –
- It is an Open Source OS that allows programmers to design their own custom operating systems.
- It is a very stable, lightweight, flexible and reliable OS and also good for multitasking. Linux system provides high performance over different networks.
- It is a completely trouble free operating system and don’t have an issue with viruses, malware and slowing down your computer. Once you have Linux installed you no longer need an antivirus.
- Linux is suitable for the developers and programmers, as it supports almost all of the most used programming languages such as C/C++, Java, Python, Ruby and more. Further, it facilitates with a vast range of useful applications for development.
- The Linux security feature is the main reason that it is the most favourable option for developers. With each upgrade, the OS becomes more secure and powerful. It is good for Gaming and also an extremely popular operating system for Hackers.
- There are many Linux distributions available in the market. It provides various options and flavours of Linux to the users. Some popular distros are Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch Linux, Linux Mint, Kali Linux and so on.
Disadvantages of LINUX OS
A Linux user also encounters some difficulties when using it. Let’s take a look at the disadvantages of the Linux operating system: –
- Many Windows programs are not able to run on Linux. But you can also use their alternatives.
- Windows and MacOS are easier to use than Linux. You need to know how to handle the Linux Terminal. It is very similar to the command prompt in Windows.
- There is a smaller selection of peripheral hardware drivers (for printers, scanners, and other devices) in Linux as compared to Windows.
- It is good for gaming but does not have a huge source of different types of games. Popular video games run on Window’s Direct X technology which is not available for Linux.
- Instead of one single edition like Windows and MacOS, Linux has several community-developed editions called Distro or Distributions. No standard edition also means that the communities are divided, so getting support for one special edition of Linux will be even more challenging.
- Hibernation mode is an excellent feature that every operating system must-have, but either Linux distributions miss out on this feature wholly or it is unstable.
Why Do HACKERS Prefer Linux OS?
Linux is an extremely popular operating system for hackers. Let’s take a look at the reasons, why it is so popular among hackers: –
- Linux is typically more secure as compared to any other operating system, so pro hackers always want to work on the operating system which is more secure and also portable.
- Its source code is freely available because it is an open source operating system and only Linux is that OS which doesn’t need to be rebooted occasionally to improve its performance.
- It is highly designed around very powerful and highly integrated command line interface which other operating systems like Windows and Mac don’t have.
- Linux gives infinite control to the users over the system. Due to its portability user can easily make the script in any of script language.
- Boot system of the Linux is very fast as compare to other operating systems. That’s why during the hacking process, it becomes easier to manage the required time.
- Linux is designed in that way it can do many things at the same time. It also has some amazing features that make it more dominating in hacking field than the other operating systems. Due to its many benefits over any other OS, hackers prefer to use Linux.
Kali Linux is the most widely known Linux distro for ethical hacking and penetration testing. It is developed by Offensive Security and previously by BackTrack.
Popular Linux Distributions
Linux has a number of different versions to suit any type of user. Almost every Linux distribution can be downloaded for free, burn into a disk or USB thumb drive, and installed on as many machines as you want.
|DISTRO NAME||YEAR (ABOUT)||CREATED BY / DEVELOPER||SPECIALIZATION|
|LINUX MINT||27 August, 2006||Clement Lefebvre||1. Linux mint is easily accessible in a modern, elegant, powerful, and convenient operating system |
2. It is developed based on Ubuntu, uses dpkg package manager, and is available for x86-64 and arm64.
|MANJARO||10 July, 2011||Manjaro GmbH & Co. KG||1. Manjaro is a user-friendly and open-source Linux distribution. |
2. It comes with preinstalled desktop environments, graphical applications (including a software center), and multimedia codecs to play audio and videos.
|UBUNTU||20 October, 2004||Mark Shuttleworth (Canonical Ltd.)||1. The desktop version of Ubuntu supports all the normal software on Windows such as VLC, Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Office, etc. |
2. It is easy to find content on Ubuntu with a smart searching facility.
|DEBIAN||15 September, 1993||Ian Murdock (The Debian Project)||1. Debian is a stable and secure Linux-based operating system. Users liked its stability and reliability since 1993. |
2. The Debian developers provide security updates for all packages over their lifetime whenever possible.
|FEDORA||6 November, 2003||Fedora Project (sponsored by Red Hat Inc.)||1. Fedora OS offers a complete open-source toolbox with languages, tools, and utilities in all just a click or commands away. |
2. It provides unique security features with a dynamic firewall system.
:: Chart of Popular Linux Distributions
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‘TUX’ (Abbreviation of Tuxedo) is a penguin character, mascot, and the official brand character of the Linux kernel. Originally created as an entry to a Linux logo competition, Tux is the most commonly used icon for Linux, although different Linux distributions depict Tux in various styles.