What is Linux?

What is Linux?

Sep 24, 2021

This article is originally posted it here https://dev.to/suchitra_13/what-is-linux-3jnc

Before starting the topic of Linux, I want to ask you something like...

What do you people think about Linux, is it an operating System??

If your answer is Yes!

Then probably you are wrong ❌

So let us discuss ...

Linux is not an operating system, it is basically a kernel.

A kernel means it is a core component of the operating system which directly interacts with the hardware and communicates with the hardware and users. A kernel is a very crucial thing in any operating system.

So, whatever operating system uses Linux kernel those operating system is known as Linux based operating system like Debian, Ubuntu, Linux mint, etc. These are some Linux-based operating systems that are very popular nowadays. These variations of Linux-based Os are also known as Linux distributions or distros.👇

So, let's know about its History

Linux began in 1991 by Linus Torvald who was a university student by his personal interest he created Linux as his final year project and after that, in 1992 he released Linux as an open-source operating system kernel.

Here Open source means it is open for everyone, anyone can see the code, use the code, and if wanted to change or contribute also can contribute to the code and here all are free you don't need to pay for it because it is free for everyone unlike other operating systems Windows and macOS!

History of Linux brand Character

This image is an inspiration of Linux brand character, also it is a favorite image of Linus Torvalds

The concept of the Linux brand character being a penguin came from Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux. Tux was created by Larry Ewing in 1996 after an initial suggestion made by Alan Cox[2] and further refined by Linus Torvalds on the Linux kernel mailing list.[3] Torvalds took his inspiration from an image he found on an FTP site,[4] showing a penguin figurine depicted similarly to the Creature Comforts characters created by Nick Park. The first person to call the penguin "Tux" was James Hughes, who said that it stood for "(T)orvalds (U)ni(X)".

For more, you can follow thishttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tux_(mascot)#:~:text=Tux%20is%20a%20penguin%20character,depict%20Tux%20in%20various%20styles

As we got some idea about what is Linux, so now we should move into some basic features of Linux :

  • It is an open-source

  • Less vulnerable

  • Stable

  • More compatible with any type of hardware

  • Multitasking

  • Multiprogramming

  • Secure

  • Free

Now you are wondered that it has many features

But still many people stick with Windows or macOS, Why?

Linux is free, Open source, and many more, but still, we pay lots of money to buy other operating systems such as Windows or macOS.

It's just because of the complexity of the interface which used in the Linux-based operating system, which is CLI(Command Line Interface). Whereas Windows and macOS use GUI interface(Graphical User Interface).


GUI is easy to use as compared to CLI, common users can use GUI, but it's quite difficult to use CLI for them(because of commands). To use CLI, we should know some commands in the programming language as well.

So, the disadvantage of a Linux-like operating system is that you have to learn programs as well as commands so that you can use it. But if you are a programmer, you are good to go... It's really awesome!! 👩‍💻

Curious to know more: https://www.kernel.org/doc/html/latest/

Now it's time to know about Linux Architecture

Here, by referring to the above picture you can see that it depicts how the internal structure of the operating system looks, in this system architecture Linux kernel is used that's why it is written Linux System Architecture!

Let's discuss one by one

Hardware: It consists of all physical devices attached to your system like hard disk, pen drive, motherboard, RAM, etc.

Kernel: As I already discussed, Kernel is a core component that is used for communication with hardware directly.

Shell: Shell is the interface that takes input from Users and sends instructions to the Kernel, Also takes the output from Kernel and sends the result back to the output shell.

Application: These are the utility programs that run on Shell. This can be any application like Your web browser, media player, text editor, etc.

Suppose, the user requests to play music from the system then, the request 1st goes to the shell here shell takes the user's input as instructions and sends that instruction to the kernel, and here the main task is performed by the kernel which directly tells the hardware what to do??

This means the kernel tells the speaker to get turns on or start functioning the hardware part.

Where Linux is used??

Almost Everywhere 👼🕵️‍♂️👩‍🏫👨‍💻

Aerospace and defense

NASA runs on Linux, The International Space Station switched from

Windows to Linux a few years ago due to the operating

system's reliability.

Scientific instrumentation;

Printing and imaging

Storage (AWS cloud, Azure, etc)

Home Entertainment and multimedia (e.g., set-top boxes, DVRs, and HD/DTV)

The emerging Internet of Things

Telecoms and networking equipment

Network security

EHealth and medical equipment

Even our smartphones and smartwatches run on Linux 🙌

Gaming run on Linux

If you are a gamer, then you might be using Steam OS, which is a Linux-based operating system. Also, if you use any of Google’s myriad services, then you are running on Linux.

Thanks for reading, hope you found it useful and also one request from my side if you have any query, suggestions or anything else you want to tell please comment it here!!

I will be waiting for your responses ❤

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