Certiology’s free Linux tutorial, notes and study guide. Learn linux for free.
Linux is an open-source computer operating system. An operating system is a structure of language code that works with the hardware on a computer. It recognizes the hardware and is able to translate that information into software programs so that they run more smoothly. Software is created with a particular operating system in mind. Operating systems cannot recognize software that is not meant for it. Linus Torvalds came up with the idea for this system in 1991 while he was an undergraduate in Finland. He continues to improve in its development with the help of volunteer programmers. All users are allowed to copy and distribute the source code of this system as they please.
Linux is similar to UNIX, which is the ultimate operating system. An operating system that is the most recognizable today is called Microsoft Windows. One should make note of the crucial differences between Windows and Linux. Firstly, Linux is open-source, while Windows isn’t. This means that the source code is always open to the public for people to inspect and improve. There are several advantages to an open-source system like the fact that programmers from all over the world can contribute their creativity. With the source code being public, open-source systems can constantly and thoroughly be tested by any programmer.
The second biggest difference is that Linux is based off of the UNIX system while Windows stands alone. If anyone is thinking about switching to Linux, they will not be able to run Windows software. Linux and Windows were not created to work together. They are separate units. Occasionally, one may come across free or paid interfaces that provide a solution to run Windows software on Linux machines. The results, however, will not always be the same. Many enthusiasts have encouraged consumers to switch to alternate programs that are actually designed for Linux.
There’s no way to know for sure how many Linux users there are. This system does not require its users to complete a registration process. The number of users can be estimated, and it is in the millions. Deciding which operating system to use is all about preference. People may find that Linux is more useful for them than Windows. The only way to know for sure which one will work is if a person tries both of them for themselves. People can consult with their friends, but ultimately the decision lies with the individual.