What is Linux

What is Linux?

Linux is a family of operating systems based on the kernel of the same name. There is no one Linux operating system, but rather many distributions that perform specific tasks.

The Linux distribution is the core of the system, which is supplemented by a set of programs: shells, compilers, drivers, etc. These products can be developed by a company or a programmer and become a full-fledged operating system (RedHat, Ubuntu, Mint Linux, etc.).

Linux was created in the early 90s as an open source alternative to Unix (a commercial operating system). Linux borrows many of the principles and mechanisms of Unix, but that’s where the similarities end. The Linux system code is completely different, plus, it is open source. Anyone can read the code and customize the system for themselves.

The Linux kernel is responsible for the basic commands and operations that the system can perform:

  • Storage Management (allocating, limiting, or clearing space for the program)
  • Process Management (launching, resource allocation, killing)
  • Hardware Management (drivers for certain equipment are built into the kernel)
  • Exchange of information between processes, services and programs (programs can send requests to the internet, write data to the disk, read from the disk, access the system, etc.)

Drivers for new devices are either integrated into the kernel or added as modules that load while the operating system is running. Any driver can be written independently and run in the kernel.

Among Linux distributions, there are builds for home use, company servers, old or, on the contrary, supercomputers, security systems, alarm maintenance, robots, etc.

The freedom of Linux software has garnered widespread adoption and interest from developers The main programs are released under a GNU General Public License, which not only guarantees freedom, but also protects it. Programs can be further distributed under the same license. Therefore, the source code for the Linux kernel, compilers, glibc library, KDE and GNOME user shells cannot be used to build closed source applications.

The Linux operating system is most in demand in the following fields:

  • Web Servers
  • Mobile Apps (Android operates on a Linux kernel)
  • Supercomputers (specialized computers that surpass most conventional computers in their technical parameters and computation speed)
  • Game Consoles
  • Smart Technology (most operating systems for smart technology are based on Linux, such as Samsung’s Tizen)
  • Aviation and Transportation (in the USA, air traffic is tracked and administered on Linux, as are the embedded computers in Tesla vehicles)
  • The features of Linux include:

    • Execution of most actions through the terminal
    • Multitasking and support for multiple users
    • Support for various file systems (ext4, xfs, NTFS, fat32)

    Most Linux users are programmers and system administrators, who usually use it for work purposes.

    Advantages of Linux

    1. Free distribution of the system and its programs
    2. Almost entirely virus-free
    3. Many graphical shells (KDE, GNOME, etc.)
    4. Decent protection against information hacking
    5. Operational stability
    6. High speed and performance due to low resource consumption
    7. An extensive list of programs

    Disadvantages of Linux

    1. Difficult to master
    2. A lack of familiar programs for working in Windows (Microsoft Office, Photoshop, etc.)
    3. Problems with transferring programs between different versions of Linux
    4. A limited number of games due to the system being designed for work

    Linux Security

    Applications in Linux are secured by a firewall built into the kernel, and Snort is the standard for intrusion protection systems. Linux network security includes IPSec as an open standard for cryptographic protection of the IP protocol. IPSec checks for any modifications to the information transmitted over the network and encrypts it. OpenSSH, OpenSSL, and OpenLDAP are implemented on Linux.

    The operating system inherited the reliability and excellent security system of UNIX. The file access control system is very effective at defending against viruses. However, Linux is not without its bugs. But since the code is open source, it can easily be audited by a specialist. The developer and free software communities have created many ways to report bugs and fix them. Thanks to the availability of the Internet and open source code, an independent programmer or even a user can report a bug and help correct it. Thus, protection errors are efficiently detected and quickly corrected.

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