The Linux operating system (OS) is becoming increasingly popular today, as it works on servers, desktop computers, laptops, and various mobile devices and provides a system basis for Android, Tizen, and Sailfish OS. Major computer hardware vendors, such as IBM and Dell, support Linux, and principal software developers like Oracle run their programs on Linux. As a result, Linux has become a genuinely competitive operating system.
The Linux OS is usually distributed as source code. This makes the system convenient for learning because everyone can analyze the details of the implementation of system mechanisms and interfaces, as well as improve their own level by exploring specific technical solutions of professional developers.
Although learning Linux is easy, writing papers about this operating system can be challenging for students, and there can be a lot of challenges that students face. One of the biggest challenges is writing papers about an operating system. This can be difficult because there is so much technical information that needs to be included. In addition, students need to make sure that they are able to articulate their thoughts and ideas in a clear and concise manner. However, by taking the time to plan and outline their paper, students can increase their chances of success. In addition, there are a number of resources that students can consult for help, including online forums and websites devoted to academic writing. By taking advantage of these resources, for example, essaywritinghelp students can make the process of writing a paper about an operating system much more straightforward.
History of Creation and General Characteristics of the Linux OS
Linux is an operating system that is based on the well-known Unix system. Unix has a history of over 30 years, while Linux goes back to 1991. That year, Finnish student Linus Torvalds wrote a small system program that allowed him to manage the processes and RAM of a computer and encouraged all programmers to continue his work.
A few months later, thanks to the efforts of many enthusiasts worldwide, a ready operating system of the Unix family was created. Today, Linux stands in a row with the most powerful operating systems and continues to develop and expand its functionality. No serious software company can ignore this operating system, and therefore, most software packages have versions for Linux as well.
Linux runs on almost all hardware platforms and supports more types of processors and software systems than any other operating system. Linux works equally well on personal computers and on computer networks.
The high mobility of the operating system is due both to the inheritance from Unix and thanks to the broad support of many programmers. Linux has a full implementation of the TCP/IP network interface, which ensures connection to the Internet and the provision of a full range of services of this worldwide network.
Linux is not only a multitasking operating system, but it is also a multi-user system. You can work simultaneously on six text consoles and one graphic one, using even one computer. It is worth noting two characteristic features of Linux: free and open code.
Most of the software for Linux is developed under the GNU project of the FSF (Free Software Foundation), so this operating system can be distributed freely. Unlike licenses for commercial products, the GPL (GNU Generic Program License) for Linux protects the copyrights of all developers while simultaneously requiring them to make their programs and source code publicly available.
The openness of the software code also provides a unique opportunity for independent study of new trends in modern system programming. That is why Linux is the best base to use in the educational process.
Any programmer can write a program from scratch or make changes to existing programs included in the Linux operating system. Of course, new programs do not always go through rigorous testing for many months, as happens with new products from well-known companies. However, practice confirms the fairly high reliability of Linux.
Use of Linux by Famous Global Corporations
Linux OS is used by many very famous corporations today. Let’s consider several examples.
Novell is a well-known company that develops software and provides network services. In 2006, it announced that it was making a large-scale migration of the workstations of employees of the entire company from Windows to Linux.
As of November 2021, approximately 80% of Novell’s workplaces have migrated to Linux. About a year passed from the moment of the announcement of the start of migration to the appearance of its economic effect.
In addition to participating in the development of Linux, IBM uses it internally, both on workstations and on servers. In 2006, IBM also ran an advertising campaign on television under the slogan “IBM 100% supports Linux”.
Over the last decade, IBM has remained the leader in the volume of support for Linux, both in terms of financial contributions and in terms of participation in its development.
Cisco Systems is a giant company in the field of equipment for computer networks and routers. It switched to Linux, although it promised to be a company that uses only Microsoft products. After an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, when the company’s IT staff could not get the printers to work correctly in the Windows NT network, a decision was made to migrate to Linux.
In 2007, the well-known European car manufacturer Peugeot announced that about 20 thousand copies of Novell Linux Desktop and 2.5 thousand copies of SuSe Linux Enterprise Server were installed inside the company. A representative of Peugeot’s IT department noted that everyone was pleasantly surprised after testing Linux and seeing how user-friendly it is and what support it provides.
These are just some of the world-class companies that use Linux OS in their operations, in fact, the list is much larger. Switching to Linux is quite logical and justified, as it has many important features and advantages. Read more about it below.
Features of the Linux Operating System
The Linux OS is based on the following basic rules:
- One task – one program. A Linux program is not designed to do everything at once. It performs one simple action, but it does it well;
- There are many ways to solve the problem. Everyone has the right to choose own set of simple components for the solution to a specific complex task;
- Everything is a file. Indeed, in Linux, everything is presented in the form of files – programs, settings, system data, and even devices. It is possible to work with devices like simple files.
It is necessary to be ready to learn not just new programs, but new methods of working on a computer. From a technical point of view, the following features of Linux can be distinguished:
- Real multitasking – Linux uses the time-sharing system of the central processor. That is, the scheduler allocates each process a fixed interval for execution, suspends the execution of the process, and transfers control to another process after the allotted time. In other OSes, the mode of “multitasking that is pushed out” is used, that is, the process itself suspends its execution and transfers the right not to execute to another process;
- Multi-user access – Linux is not only a multitasking operating system but also designed for many users;
- Page organization of memory – memory in Linux is organized in the form of pages of 4 KB each. When the physical RAM runs out, the swap mechanism is turned on and unused data is dumped into the swap area on the hard disk;
- On-demand loading of executable modules – you need to add software code to the system kernel so that it supports a particular device or function (such as a protocol). Linux solves this problem by loading modules that add support for specific devices. At the same time, only those modules that are necessary for the full operation of a specific system are loaded into the memory, which ensures the optimization of the use of computer resources;
- Shared use of executable programs – if several users run the same program, only one copy of this program is loaded into memory. This saves RAM;
- Common libraries – libraries contain sets of procedures that are used by different applications. Instead of compiling all procedures into one executable file, the application uses a library (which can also be used by other applications), which allows saving disk space significantly;
- Support for different file systems – Linux supports many different file systems, as well as Windows file systems;
- Support for various hardware platforms – Linux can work not only on x86 / x64 platforms. Hardware platforms ARM, DEC Alpha, SUN Sparc, M68000 (Atari and Amiga), MIPS, PowerPC, and others are also supported.
The Linux OS consists of three main groups of code – the kernel, system libraries, and system utilities. The most important is the distinction between the kernel and all other components.
The Linux kernel is the main part of the operating system. It is responsible for supporting the main concepts (abstractions) of the OS.
The kernel code runs in privileged mode and has full access to all computer hardware. All kernel code and data structures are stored and executed in a single address space.
The Linux kernel supports many file systems, including FAT and FAT32. Linux’s native file systems (ext3fs and ext4fs) are designed for optimal use of disk space.
System libraries define a standard set of functions through which applications interact with the kernel and which implement the bulk of OS functionality that needs to run in privileged mode.
System utilities perform individual-specific tasks.
The Main Differences Between Linux and Windows
Windows and Linux are compared for several reasons. Firstly, these two systems have fundamental differences in software construction. Secondly, Linux is open source, so its market strategies are of a different origin.
While Microsoft Windows works according to a standard digital marketing model, where a product is produced and sold to the end user, Linux works with an open-source software model. As open-source software, its source code is published and available to the general public.
Let’s consider the most significant differences between the Linux and Windows operating systems in more detail.
Access to Source Code
Access to the source code is completely closed on Windows and open on Linux. What are the benefits?
Each user can personally change and customize the system to his own needs. With open-source code, there is a high probability of hacker attacks on the system. But at the same time, the chances of resistance increase.
Windows OS is paid. One OS per license can be installed on one computer. Only in this case the software written with its help can be legally used for commercial purposes.
The Linux OS has an open license agreement. This allows you to install one version on an unlimited number of machines and use it for your own development. The only condition is that the kernel must remain open.
One of the advantages of Windows distribution is paid official support. This attracts most users, as it guarantees timely troubleshooting by the company’s specialists.
Linux support is based on the activities of enthusiasts. Although there is currently enough information on various problems and ways to eliminate them in this operating system, few corporate clients are willing to risk abandoning official Windows support.
Compatibility with Hardware
Windows OS has long been a leader in this matter. Many users were put off by the prospect of manually selecting and configuring individual system components that would be compatible with the Linux OS. Now this problem is almost eliminated.
Linux is the first in this aspect. It has multi-level access to settings, which are characterized by extreme flexibility. You can fully customize the operation of the OS according to your preferences.
Using Windows, you are limited to the set of options provided by the developers.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Linux
As mentioned earlier, learning the Linux operating system is not difficult at all. Due to this, it has become widespread in various fields today.
Education is one such field. Educational institutions of various accreditation levels use Linux.
Even facing difficulties not only in mastering this OS but also in writing essays or papers about it, everyone can get help from essay writing service usa, a custom writing company. Writing essays, doing homework, creating winning branded content, and other types of services are provided at reasonable.
Here is the complete list of benefits of using Linux:
- Open-source codes allow you to make changes and create your own software products based on existing ones. And this is quite an important aspect when learning to program;
- Ease of use. The operating systems of Microsoft and Apple have gained great popularity thanks to the use of a simple and convenient graphical interface. The KDE and Gnome graphical interfaces that are included in most Linux distributions are in no way inferior to the graphical interfaces of other popular operating systems;
- Most Linux software and distributions are free;
- Most Linux software products are distributed with a distribution. All other software can be downloaded free of charge from the Internet (fee only for provider services). There are also paid products, but these are quite specific programs, the presence of which is not necessary for an ordinary PC user;
- Administration and separation of user access in the Linux system are implemented at a much higher level than in other systems;
- Protection from most known computer viruses that affect users of other operating systems.
Consider the disadvantages of Linux that the user may face:
- Incomplete hardware support. Hardware developers often make interface specifications closed and refuse software support for Linux, so enthusiasts have to write the driver to the best of their ability, but this is not always possible. Based on this, when buying new equipment, it is necessary to make sure that it is compatible with the Linux operating system;
- Insufficiently professional software. There is an ideology in the Linux world: if you need a program, write it yourself. Therefore, some industries remain unclaimed;
- There is no technical support. The program is extended free of charge, so there is no support for users. But some companies still provide paid support for their distributions;
- Difficulty in use. A customized system is no more difficult to use than any other operating system. But since users most often learn to work on a Windows computer, difficulties in learning Linux may arise.
6 Reasons to Learn Linux
We have finally reached the main question of this article: “What are the reasons to love Linux?”. Let’s summarize everything described above and consider 6 main reasons why it is worth mastering this operating system.
Almost all Linux distributions and their software are available for free. In addition to free versions, there are a number of paid distributions and programs, which, as a rule, are used by large companies and organizations. They are designed to perform certain specific tasks.
For comparison, all versions of OS Windows and most of the applications for them are paid.
Linux distributions are highly reliable. If there are any errors in the operation of the computer, it is often necessary to reinstall the operating system, and this can take a lot of time. In addition, it is also important to reinstall all necessary programs.
Linux doesn’t have that problem. Linux distributions are arranged in such a way that they can work without reinstallation for up to 10 years, and at the same time, there are no hangs and errors.
If you suddenly need to reinstall the system, then all program settings, wallpapers, files, and folders on the desktop will remain intact. They are stored in a separate section (/home).
It is also possible that the user accidentally deletes some important system file, after which Windows does not start, and the system needs to be reinstalled again. Linux will not allow you to delete or edit an important system file just like that. Before that, the system will definitely ask you to enter the password specified during the OS installation.
Linux is not susceptible to viruses. There is no virus for it. This cannot be said about Windows, for which hackers from all over the world have written a huge amount of malicious software.
An important feature of operating systems of the Linux family is their speed. Linux has a huge number of settings that allow you to disable unnecessary components, which in turn makes it possible to run the operating system on hardware with low performance. Windows OS, on the contrary, is very demanding on hardware.
Using the Linux OS is very convenient. The user interface of the system is very friendly and intuitive. All that is displayed on the computer screen is the GNOME desktop.
In fact, GNOME is a graphical system shell. But unlike the Windows operating system, there are several such shells for Linux (for example, KDE, Xfce, etc.). The user chooses which shell to use.
Another convenient feature of Linux is the ease of installing software. All programs are installed through the “Application Center” (in the main menu) by pressing the “Install” button. At the same time, the system itself installs or downloads the necessary codecs and drivers.
Variety of Software
Linux has a wide variety of free software. All programs in Linux are installed with one keystroke. The main thing is to have access to the Internet or a disk with software.
For almost any Windows program, there is a similar application (or even several) in Linux. In addition, there is a special Wine emulator that allows you to use applications created for Windows on a Linux computer.
As an example, let’s consider several Linux programs-analogs for Windows programs:
- ABBYY FineReader Engine for Linux is a multifunctional developer’s toolbox for embedding advanced technologies of recognition, conversion, and classification of documents;
- LibreOffice is a free, independent, open-source office suite developed by The Document Foundation as a fork of OpenOffice.org. LibreOffice.org includes six components:
- the Writer text editor and web page editor;
- the Calc spreadsheet editor;
- the Impress tool for creating and demonstrating Impress presentations;
- the Draw vector editor;
- the Base database management system;
- the Math system for creating and editing formulas;
- Kingsoft Presentation Free 2012 – an application designed to create beautiful, functional slides and presentations in the style of Microsoft PowerPoint.
All these programs work both with their own formats and with document formats created in Windows applications.
Linux is a modern POSIX-compliant and Unix-like 32-bit (64-bit on the DEC AXP platform) operating system for personal computers and workstations. The Linux OS supports open system standards and Internet protocols and is compatible with Unix, DOS, and MS Windows systems. All components of the system, including the initial texts, are distributed with a license for free copying and installation for an unlimited number of users.
Linux makes it possible to have a legal and free modern OS for use both at work and at home. It has high speed. Works reliably, stably, and absolutely without hangs.
In addition, Linux is resistant to viruses. It effectively manages multitasking and priorities.
Background tasks (long calculations, modem e-mail transmission, diskette formatting, etc.) do not interfere with interactive work. This OS allows the user to easily integrate the computer into local and global networks, including the Internet.
Be sure that you are making the right decision if you plan to learn Linux. Knowledge of this operating system will definitely come in handy. Linux is easy to learn, so most likely, there will be no problems.
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