Linux is an Unix-like Operating System, which may be regarded as an open source development, which can be modified in a customized way and redistributed to any user. The Linux Kernel was first introduced on 17th of September 1991. The Kernel was characterized and featured with system utilities and libraries from GNU to create a usable operating system. This further propelled a new name in the computing world, which came to be known as GNU/Linux.
Linux was primarily known for its application in the usage of servers. Linux is supported by blue chip and MNC companies like IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, Oracle Corporation, Dell, and Novel and so on. It is used as an Operating System including super computers, desktop computers, Laptops and so on. It is also implemented in different arcade games, and also in embedded devices such as network routers and mobile phones.
UNIX as an Operating System was first conceived and incorporated in the 1960s and was first released in the year 1970. Its stable and robust application, availability and portability meant that it became widely accepted, copied and modified by different business entities and academic institutions.
Linux- The historical significance
The GNU/Linux began in 1984, which focused on creating a complete software system that will be compatible with UNIX. In 1985, Richard Stallman designed and developed the Free Software Foundation and developed the GNU General Public License.
Commercialism of Linux
In modern day computing technology, Linux is being used in numerous domains, which include supercomputers and embedded systems. It has significantly found its importance in server installations, with popular LAMP application stack. Lamp is basically a solution stack of software usually an open source program that is used to run dynamic websites or servers like in Linux. During the gradual evolution of technological innovation, corporations as well as individuals started to develop third-party non-GNU components. These third-party components consist of a vast body of work, which may include user applications and libraries as well as kernel modules. Linux vendors and communities combine and distribute the GNU and non-GNU components, Kernel with additional package management softwares in the form of Linux distribution.
Development of Linux
The basic and probably the most striking difference between Linux and other operating systems in recent times is that the Linux kernel and other components are free and open source software. Linux is the best-known and most popular Operating System that is widely used. The most common free software license is the GNU GPL that is used for the Linux kernel and many of the components from the GNU project. Linux has always focused on interoperability with other operating systems thereby establishing computing standards. Linux systems strictly abide by certain standards, which include ISO, POSIX, and ANSI standards.
A Linux distribution is also popularly called a “distro”, is a type of project that manages a remote collection of Linux-based software, and enhances the necessary installation of a Linux operating system. Distributions are managed and maintained by volunteer organizations, individuals, business entities and commercial organizations. They include application and system software in the form of distribution-specific software for the initial configuration and installation as well as up-gradation of later packages and other installations. A distribution is responsible for the default configuration of Installed Linux system security and integrity and more general integration of different software packages into one.
The Technical Aspect of Linux
1. Programming on Linux
Most Linux distributions support many programming languages and their applications. The most common collection of programming application needed for developing both Linux operating system and application programs are found within the GNU tool-chain, which includes the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) and the GNU build system. Other compilers provided by GCC are for Fortran, Java, C++, C and ADA. The Linux kernel itself is written and designed to be compiled with GCC. Proprietary solution compilers for Linux include the Intel C++ Compiler.
The two most important and major frameworks required for developing graphical applications in Linux are KDE and GNOME. These projects are based on the GTK+ and Qt widget toolkits, respectively, which can also be used independently for a larger framework. There are different Integrated development environmental elements available that include Kdevelop, NetBeans, Omnis Studio, and Eclipse while the traditional editors like Emacs and Vim has remained extensively popular.
2. Design and Interface of Linux
Linux is a modular Unix-like Operating System that uses a Linux kernel as well as a monolithic kernel that maintains and executes networking and process control and peripheral and file system access. Device drivers are integrated directly with the kernel.
Linux can be controlled by one or more text based command line interface or CUI, graphical user interface or GUI. On desktop machines GNOME, Xfce and KDE are the most popular user interface. Most of the popular and common user interfaces run on top of X Windows System, which provides clarity in network and enabling graphical applications.
Other GUIs include X Window Managers such as Window Maker, FVWM and Enlightenment. The window manager offers controlling the placement and appearance of individual application windows, and interacts with the X window system.
Uses of Linux
Linux is widely used in different specialized purposes that include embedded systems, security, localization and stability of a specific language or religion targeting specific user groups, computer architecture support and so on. In addition some distributions include only free software. Currently, over three hundred distributions are actively developed, with about a dozen distributions being most popular for the purpose of general usage. The kernel also runs on architectures that are manufacturer-created operating system such as Video game consoles, Macintosh computers, Mobile phones and PDAs and so on.