How Linux Operates

Linux, also known as Linux OS, is a UNIX-based operating system. Unlike most operating systems, Linux is freely distributable, it is developed collaboratively, and it is cross-platform (meaning, it can be installed on a variety of computers such as PCs, tablets, servers, video game consoles, etc.). There are several Linux operating system distributions, the most popular being Red Hat, Debian, Fedora, and Ubuntu. The Linux kernel was created by Linus Torvalds in 1991 and was distributed for free. After making Linux public and free, Linus Torvalds made Linux open-source, thereby inviting others to contribute to the kernel. His one provision was that their contributions to the operating system were also free. Astonishingly, thousands of programmers worldwide contributed to enhance Linux, making the operating system what it is today. Linux is more complicated to use than Windows or OS X, but it is also more flexible, customizable, and configurable.

The Kernel

A kernel is a fundamental part of an operating system. It mediates access to system resources and is responsible for managing the applications' sharing of hardware by controlling access to the central processing unit, memory, or disk inputs and outputs. It translates input and output requests from software into data-processing instructions. The difference between an operating system and a kernel is that an operating system is the kernel AND the applications that enable users to perform actions on a computer. The Linux kernel is like no other operating system because it is so modular. The kernel of Microsoft Windows is a solid chunk of code whereas the kernel for Linux can be broken down into pieces, thereby preventing the entire kernel to crash if one code happens to fail.


The Operating System

Linux is a modular operating system. This means that developers can select which components they want to include in the operating system to provide users with a different version of Linux to meet their specific needs.

The Environments

Windows, menus, and dialog boxes are not actually part of the operating system. They are a separate layer from the operating system known as desktop environments. In Linux, users and developers can choose which windowing system or desktop environment they want to use.

The growth and popularity of Linux over the years has increased, with both hardware and software developers contributing to the overall development of Linux. Hardware developers, or vendors, want to ensure that their hardware is compatible with Linux; application developers, or vendors, want to ensure that Linux is both capable and well-suited for running the applications. Linux has become a powerful force in computing, and every year it grows in popularity and market share in the world of operating systems.