Linux is an Operating System just like Windows, OSX, Android etc. Linux is almost everywhere, it’s on your phones, cars, supercomputers, refrigerators etc.Linux is powering more than half of the internet, that’s how powerful Linux is. It was(and still is) one of the most reliable, secure, worry-free operating system around the globe.
That was just a simple introduction to Linux now let’s dive deep into its ocean.
What is Linux?
Linux is a free and open source computer Operating System, those who are new to FOSS(Free and Open Source Software) then consider the following example:- you built a software and out of generosity you made it available for free and anyone who gets it can modify it to suit their own needs now it’s both Free and Open Source.
What is an OS?
An Operating System or OS is a Software which is simply responsible for the communication between your computer’s software and hardware.
If you consider a standard laptop the hardware managed by the OS includes CPU, Main Memory, Graphics Card, Keyboard, Mouse and almost each and everything which is inside your cabinet and connected to your CPU.
In addition to this, an Operating System also manage the software which is being used, it makes sure that each application has enough memory to execute, it also prioritises the software applications means it decides which application is more important and needs to be executed first.
Before talking about Linux kernel you should know what a Kernel is. A kernel is a computer program which is the core of an operating system.In simple words, the work of kernel is to simply connect the Application Software(Your PC Softwares like Word, Notepad, Chrome) to the Computers hardware.
Linux kernel is the defining component of the Linux OS, the kernel was first released in September 1991 and it is the only component of the whole Linux OS which was coded by Linus Torvalds. The “Linux” OS uses the name “GNU/Linux” to describe the complete Operating System.
GNU(GNU’s not Unix)
GNU(Ga-new) is a set of free tools which are used in Combination with the Linux Kernel to form a complete Operating System called as “GNU/Linux” or commonly known as Linux.GNU tools consist of GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), the GNU C library (glibc), and GNU Core Utilities (coreutils), but also the GNU Debugger (GDB), GNU Binary Utilities (binutils), the GNU Bash shell and the GNOME desktop environment.
GPL(General Public License)
The Linux Operating System is Licensed under GPL(GNU General Public License). The GPL is unique software license which protects the freedom of a user, it is actually the opposite of how a copyright works. A copyright is an enforceable designation of ownership and restriction of ownership by any other person but when a software is licensed under GPL the users are bounded by the law to respect the freedom of anyone else to use the software in any way they choose. Software licensed with GPL are also known as copyleft software(opposite of copyright).
If you still do not get it then consider the following example, you built a software which is free and open source which means it is accessible by anyone in this world, now an XYZ company came and copyrighted your software as the company have everything of your software which means your software is no more Open Source, so to preserve the freedom of free and Open Source software Open Source software are licensed under GPL(General Public License) so that no other person can snatch its freedom.
Why use Linux?
Stability: Linux is one of the most stable Operating System on the Globe.The Linux kernel has achieved the level of maturity that makes most software developers envious.
Multiplatform: Linux currently runs on more than 24 platforms including OSX, Android, Microsoft Xbox.
Free!: The best part about Linux is that it’s free and open source, anyone can use it to build its own Linux distribution.
Security: Linux is much less vulnerable to viruses and malware as compared to Windows and other Operating Systems. As Linux does not allow programs to change the configuration and system settings unless the user is logged in as root(Administrator user).
Customisation: Users have a large variety to choose when it comes to the customisation of your system.There are numerous choices for wallpapers, themes, panels. There are more than half-a-dozen of desktop environments to choose from GNOME, KDE etc.