Linux (also known as GNU/Linux) is an open source monolithic Unix-like POSIX-compliant kernel created by Linus Torvalds. Unlike some complete operating systems, Linux is a base for OS developers to create an OS with the software of their own while using a pre-made widely-supported kernel. It would no longer be a single kernel 2 years later by Richard Stallman when GNU and Linux were both combined into one.

Everything is a file[edit | edit source]

In Linux, even things like hardware are represented as files that can be written to. For example, the file for the first hard drive is /dev/sda. This means that if you want to write bytes directly to the drive you can use an app that lays bytes (like dd) to write directly to that file. This can be done by using the app named echo to output something and piping the output to dd which you specify the hard disk's file too.

There are also more liberal concepts of devices in /dev. /dev/null, when written to, discards all data sent to it. If you write to /dev/null and then open it it will still be empty.

There is also another directory, called /proc, that manages other devices. The directory /proc/acpi contains all sorts of subtle devices like the power button and battery.

Freedom[edit | edit source]

Unlike other operating systems, Linux lets you do what you want out of the box with no restrictions provided. From changing the appearance, to downloading programs that let you edit the operating system, and to view the source code for the purpose of building a custom operating system from scratch.

"Keep it simple, stupid"[edit | edit source]

Distributions like Arch Linux, Linux Mint, etc. follow a policy called the "Keep it simple, stupid" which means that if possible, complexity should be avoided. This is often seen with distributions that aim to provide Windows and macOS users an alternative with no learning curve needed or with distributions that aim to be minimalist.

Terminal shells[edit | edit source]

The community provides various shells for the terminal. Each having different functions and features.

GUIs[edit | edit source]

Here provides a list of GUIs that can be used on Linux.

Desktop environments[edit | edit source]

Various desktop environments offer unique appearances, icon themes, different ability of customization, and many more. A user can switch from one to another by downloading them from the default package manager provided.

Standalone window managers[edit | edit source]

Unlike desktop environments, standalone window managers are only software that controls the appearance and position of windows within a windowing system.

Package managers[edit | edit source]

Each Linux distribution comes with the specific package manager to download the software. It is either provided by default or can be downloaded as an alternate option.

Unofficial[edit | edit source]

Init systems[edit | edit source]

All Linux distributions have an init program, which is controlled by specific init system. Many Linux distributions use systemd as their default init system, but there are distributions that use another init systems.

Distributions[edit | edit source]

Linux comes in several distributions with their own package managers and other implementations of things. Many Linux distributions include the GNU suite of essential software, however, a notable few (such as Google's Android) omit GNU and instead opt for their own custom suite of software.

Debian and derivatives[edit | edit source]

Ubuntu and derivatives[edit | edit source]

Fedora, Red Hat and derivatives[edit | edit source]

Arch Linux and derivatives[edit | edit source]

Gentoo and derivatives[edit | edit source]

Mandriva and derivatives[edit | edit source]

Slackware and derivatives[edit | edit source]

Others[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Linus Torvalds originally meant to call Linux "Freax". One of Linus' coworkers didn't like that name and uploaded the software to the FTP server as "Linux".
  • Linus was bitten by a penguin one time, and that is the reason that the logo of Linux is a penguin.
  • Linux runs most of the servers, and is supported by a large community around the globe, as well as technology giants such as Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, and more.

External links[edit | edit source]