What is Linux Operating System?

Linux is a free and open-source operating system based on the Unix operating system. It is widely used for servers, supercomputers, and embedded systems, and it is also popular among developers and computer enthusiasts.

The Linux operating system is composed of several components, including the kernel, system libraries, user-space utilities, and graphical user interface (GUI) components.

The kernel is the core component of the operating system and provides the interface between the hardware and software layers. It is responsible for managing system resources, including memory, processing power, and input/output devices.

Understanding Linux Operating System

Linux Operating System

Linux OS is that which has revolutionized the computer world since its launch in 1991.

This Unix-like open source operating system has given birth to new industries, helped several new programmers to come up with other operating systems designed on its kernel, and empowered the startups.

As for the consumers, they have got new gizmos, gadgets and gateways to use.

Therefore, it can be rightly said that Linux is everywhere in this modern world of computers making it an omnipresent and most powerful tool for daily digital use.

It is the most dominant operating system in different sectors of this digital world including:

Not surprisingly, this operating system is also used for several complex jobs such as powering up those high-end super computers and high-speed trains.

It is also used in routers that need to be extremely secure as well as in those space managing robots.

However, it still has to overdo the plethora of its competitors in the desktop world but that does not take away the fact that it has influenced its competitors with its freely available and collaborative nature.

There are some particular networking applications for Linux that may have graphical interfaces but much less in number as compared to those for the desktops and servers.

These networking applications include those used for:

Most of the programs that are and may be received from the common line are already included in most of the installations of this operating system.

Therefore, if you use Linux OS you will gain significantly in the operation and functionality of the system just as you need.

Most of these GUI based graphical applications are more familiar as compared to those programs that are run by the CLI.

This means that now you will not need to use a package manager, which by itself is a program, for that matter. This program will download the necessary and freely available software packages easily from the software libraries.

Though Linux OS is somewhat similar to MINIX, the Linux kernel is starkly different. This is because:

The significant advantage of having such a privileged kernel is that you will not need to upgrade the programs if you want to upgrade your computer to use Linux.

This is because the interface between the user space and the kernel space where the applications of individual users are executed remains fairly stable even if the internal workings of the operating system evolve over time.

All these features and advantages of using Linux has helped it to build a distinct, diverse and a huge community.

There are several good reasons for this operating system having a GNU Public License to be so popular. These are:

Perhaps, the most significant reason for its popularity is that this is an open source operating system and there is no secret for maintaining the kernel held behind closed doors of the corporate lab for this community based and developed project.

All debates on proposed updates are available for the public to see through a public email list.

Contributing to and participating in this email list allows anyone to join this community which, literally, goes over and beyond the kernel alone.

The open nature of this operating system encourages a large number of enthusiasts and professionals to get involved actively in finding out newer and better ways to use it.

This, in the process, helps the operating system to evolve due to community development.

The ecosystem of Linux operating system is excellent as is its agile network stack and mature APIs.

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This helps in optimizing and modernizing the data center with dedicated planes for data forwarding and a separate control feature that helps in dropping networking architecture easily that is software defined.

The foundation of SDN is the separation of these planes.

As far as the distribution of Linux operating system is concerned, there is no particular vendor for it because this is essentially an open source operating system.

You can download and install the desktop environment, the kernel and different other apps and utilities yourself.

Linux distribution is ideally done by different companies as well as nonprofit organizations, though you can do it yourself as well.

The commercial distributors may offer optional support service that may be paid if they offer it to you for free or even charge a fee for distribution.

Some of the most common Linux distributions are:

This list keeps on changing and growing. DistroWatch keeps a track of the changes and also assesses the pros and cons before adding a particular name in the list.

It is all these factors and features of the Linux operating system that has made it so successful in the enterprise level. It is not going anywhere too soon.

Therefore, if you are into network or system administration, this is the operating system that you should get acquainted with and use it.


Linux is the brainchild of Linus Torvalds. He designed this unique operating system when he was just a computer science student.

The idea came to him when he was working on the proprietary software, Unix OS. He thought that the program needed some serious upgrades to make it more functional and useful.

He placed his suggestions and opinions to the designers who, obviously, rejected everything he said or tried to say.

It is then he came up with this bright idea of launching a specialized operating system that will be responsive, adaptable, and receptive to modifications suggested by the end-users.

And, the world saw a new operating system called Linux, in 1991.

In the early days, the operating system was not easy to use and, naturally, was not an instant hit amongst the users.

This is because the operating system required some additional programs such as:

Over the time, Linus discussed the matters with several expert programmers and collaborated with them to do away with the drawbacks of the operating system.

This was the time when several applications for running this operating system began to appear and was officially launched in 1991. It is then that Linux started to get its due attention.

It is these applications that made the creation of Linus the most coveted and favored open source operating system.

Even today, the Linux operating system is loved by a large number of users.

This is because the upgraded operating system is now more user-friendly than it was initially when it was launched.

After commercializing the operating system, this is now used not only by the computer programmers like before but also by the regular users of a computer.

Ideally, it is the open-source facet of this operating system that has made it so robust and popular.

The best part about this operating system is that the kernel allowed different computer programmers to design custom operating systems of their own.

As a result, the market saw a huge influx of new range of operating systems over time that are considered to be user-friendly.

As a matter of fact, the Linux kernel now is the most popular and widely used to the extent of it becoming the backbone of a large number of other popular operating systems. The list includes:

All these operating systems offer a wide range of features, functions and opportunities but everything is based on one specific kernel, that of Linux.

However, all modern distributions of Linux are normally a combination of GNU projects designed by Dr. Richard Stallman.

Features of Linux Operating System

It is the features of this useful operating system and the peripherals that are customizable that helps the enterprises to upgrade their data center and networking infrastructure and performance.

This is these most significant features that is loved by the IT industry as well that makes the best of their skills using Linux to develop new technologies that are linked with DevOps such as:

Linux is made from different components very much like most of the other operating systems that resemble Unix. These are:

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Apart from the similarities of Linux and Unix in terms of their components, Linux can work on a diverse range of desktop environments beyond the shell. It works more like the GUIs of Windows and window-based Mac operating system.

However, contrasting these specific operating systems, Linux has all those necessary features that will enable you to set it with any one type desktop environment from a wide and varied range.

These features help the operating system to meet every need and taste of the users, no matter how diverse or complex it is.

The facts of this extensively supportive and most commonly used operating system is as interesting as its journey till date.

The Linux operating system is the epitome of maturity, diverse applications, security and longevity which are the most important factors that make it the most reliable operating systems that are available today.

It is not only good to use by everyday users but also by the enterprises in any type of computing and commercial network equipment.

As for the popularity and potential of Linux operating system, it can be assessed easily by the fact that in 2000 Steve Jobs once offered a job to Linus Torvalds but he declined because the condition laid was that he would not be able to make any further development to Linux.

Another proof of success of Linux is that Microsoft, its arch rival for a long time, which tried to stop this project several times in the late 1990s and early 2000s, now uses this platform for their server business and even contributes to the development of its kernel.

Finally, Android, one of the second-most successful OS with over two billion active monthly users all over the world, according to Google, runs on the Linux kernel!

What is Linux Used for?

Linux is not at all difficult to use. It is also not highly technical. It is as user-friendly as other operating systems such as Windows.

Offering state of the art security and a whole lot of applications, and all of it for free, this open source operating system is used by developers, servers and regular users of a computer.

Therefore, after 29 years of its existence, the open source and community developed Linux operating system has now made its presence felt and dominance shown in different fields.

This is now extensively used for diverse purposes by different users in different devices such as:

The best part about this operating system is that it is compatible with almost any available computer platform, whether it is ARM, SPARC, or x86.

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Some of the other applications for Linux include:

When it comes to the networking sector, it has been comparatively slow in adopting Linux operating system. However, over time when businesses became excessively network oriented, there were a lot of servers and networking domains used.

This demand for newer and better domains encouraged the network developers and engineers to use the Linux operating system more extensively, thanks to the easy access to its native Linux shell.

This helped the engineers to make the best use of the available tools, features, and software that were only available for the servers initially.

These tools and software enabled them to make the necessary changes to the servers and different applications to successfully orchestrate the network services.

The Pros

1. It is free

The most significant aspect of this operating system is also the most significant benefit of using it.

This being an open source OS, it is free to download and used by anyone from common users to high-end programmers.

2. Savings

Using the Linux operating system does not only mean that it will save you hundreds of dollars but will also save you a lot of time as you will be able to modify it with basic programming knowledge easily.

3. Options

You can choose one particular version that will suit your purpose from a large variety of options, in fact millions, of apps and programs, and all of them are available for free.

4. Antivirus

You will also not need to pay for and install an antivirus in your computer once you install the Linux operating system.

This is because Linux itself is an extremely secure and safe operating system to use.

5. Development

This operating system is being developed constantly by the global community of Linux.

With every upgrade made into this system, the security features are enhanced and the system itself becomes more robust.

6. Reliability

Linux is one of the most reliable and stable operating systems available today which makes it the first choice for server companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and more.

7. Performance

Whether it is used by the servers or the space stations, Linux operating system can run for a long time continuously without needing a reboot.

8. Customization

One of the most significant benefits of using the Linux operating system, especially by the programmers, is that they can use its kernel to build a more customized operating system on their own for them.

The Cons

9. Non-compatible software

Sometimes you may find a few software that may not be compatible in a computer that has Linux software installed in it.

Since the choice of a proper software is limited it will take time to find the most suitable one.

10. Unsupported hardware

There may also be some specific hardware in your computer that may not support running the Linux operating system on it in the first place.

Therefore, you should look for a proper hardware support to use the Linux operating system on your computer.

11. Incomplete operating system

Though referred to as Linux operating system, this is far from the truth. It is just a kernel and therefore it is not a complete operating system.

The missing components of a complete operating system such as user interface and system management software are added by the Linux distributions, which are different and incompatible most of the time.

12. Tuning

It is very difficult to tune, configure and personalize this operating system for a common person without any programming knowledge because it involves editing scripts and configuration of files of different texts.

13. Tech support

Though you will have a large number of Linux users in the chat rooms and discussion forums, it may be hard to get any real assistance and tech support for your specific issues.

There is no immediate help and you will have to wait for someone to answer, which, eventually, you may not understand due to your lack of technical knowledge.


Linux is a free and open-source operating system that is widely used in various sectors, including cloud computing, IoT, and smartphones.

The operating system is composed of several components, including the kernel, system libraries, user-space utilities, and GUI components.

The kernel is the core component and provides an interface between hardware and software layers. The monolithic kernel of Linux allows different functions to happen in one place.

Linux is customizable, easily installed and upgraded, and available in various versions, which makes it popular among developers and computer enthusiasts.

Additionally, the open-source nature of Linux encourages a large number of enthusiasts and professionals to get involved in finding newer and better ways to use it, which helps the operating system evolve due to community development.