Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open-source software development and distribution.
The defining component of Linux is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991 by Linus Torvalds. The Free Software Foundation uses the name GNU/Linux to describe the operating system, which has led to some controversy.
Linux was originally developed for personal computers based on the Intel x86 architecture, but has since been ported to more platforms than any other operating system. Because of the dominance of Android on smartphones, Linux has the largest installed base of all general-purpose operating systems.
Linux is also the leading operating system on servers and other big iron systems such as mainframe computers, and is used on 99.6% of the TOP 500 supercomputers. It is used by around 2.3% of desktop computers. The Chromebook, which runs on Chrome OS, dominates the US K–12 education market and represents nearly 20% of the sub-$300 notebook sales in the US.
Linux also runs on embedded systems – devices whose operating system is typically built into the firmware and is highly tailored to the system. This includes;
TiVo and similar DVR devices.
facility automation controls.
Video game consoles and smartwatches.
Smartphones and tablet computers.
The development of Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free and open-source software collaboration. The underlying source code may be used, modified and distributed—
Desktop Linux distributions include a windowing system, such as X11, Mir or a Wayland implementation, and an accompanying desktop environment such as GNOME or the KDE Software Compilation; some distributions may also include a less resource-intensive desktop, such as LXDE or Xfce. Distributions intended to run on servers may omit all graphical environments from the standard install, and instead include other software to set up and operate a solution stack such as LAMP. Because Linux is freely re-distributable, anyone may create a distribution for any intended use.
Important features of Linux Operating System
Following are some of the important features of Linux Operating System.
- Portable – Portability means softwares can works on different types of hardwares in same way.Linux kernel and application programs supports their installation on any kind of hardware platform.
- Open Source – Linux source code is freely available and it is community based development project. Multiple teams works in collaboration to enhance the capability of Linux operating system and it is continuously evolving.
- Multi-User – Linux is a multi-user system means multiple users can access system resources like memory/ ram/ application programs at same time.
- Multi-programming – Linux is a multi-programming system means multiple applications can run at same time.
- Hierarchical File System – Linux provides a standard file structure in which system files/ user files are arranged.
- Shell – Linux provides a special interpreter program which can be used to execute commands of the operating system. It can be used to do various types of operations, call application programs etc.
- Security – Linux provides user security using authentication features like password protection/ controlled access to specific files/ encryption of data.
Linux is fast, free and easy to use, power laptops and servers around the world. Linux has many more features to amaze its users such as:
- Live CD/USB: Almost all Linux distributions have Live CD/USB feature by which user can run/try the OS even without installing it on the system.
- Graphical user interface (X Window System): People think that Linux is a command line OS, somewhere its true also but not necessarily, Linux have packages which can be installed to make the whole OS graphics based as Windows.
- Support’s most national or customized keyboards: Linux is used worldwide and hence available in multiple languages, and supports most of their custom national keyboards.
- Application Support: Linux has its own software repository from where users can download and install thousands of applications just by issuing a command in Linux Terminal or Shell. Linux can also run Windows applications if needed.