How Linux Differs From Other Operating Systems
The Linux operating system is found in smartphones, cars and Roku devices as well as the world’s top supercomputers and many home desktops. The OS was created in 1991 by Linus Torvalds and it is open source software, meaning its code can be viewed, modified and, for those with the right skills, contributed to. The Linux kernel performs most of the operating system functions, managing hardware resources and facilitating communication between applications and the hardware. It also includes a command line interface (CLI) that allows commands to be entered and executed from a text window. Linux also supports a variety of software application ecosystems through its centralized package management system.
Linux differs from most other OSes in a few key ways. For example, it is a Unix-like operating system that uses the standard POSIX programming interfaces. This means the Linux kernel can be run on any hardware platform, making it highly versatile and capable of running a wide range of different applications. Linux is also an extremely stable and secure operating system. It is able to run on systems with limited memory and storage capacity, which makes it an excellent choice for use in embedded computing devices like smartphones and smart televisions.
For those who prefer a graphical user interface, Linux supports a wide array of GUI programs that can be used to create and manage data. Most of these programs are based on a common set of libraries, which make it easy for developers to create cross-platform programs. The Linux operating system also includes traditional specific-purpose programming languages targeted for scripting and text processing such as shell scripts, awk, sed and the GNU Emacs advanced text editor.
The most important way in which Linux differs from other operating systems is that it’s open source software. This means that the kernel, applications and any other source code can be viewed, edited and, for those who have the skills, contributed to by anyone. This is in contrast to proprietary software, which requires a license fee to use and distribute.
Despite its open source status, Linux is still a relatively complex operating system to master. In order to get started, the best idea is to download a Linux distribution and try it out. Most of these offer a live version that can be run from a CD or USB flash drive without altering the hard drive.
Once the software is installed, users can choose from a number of different configurations to optimize Linux for their specific needs. Some Linux variants have a focus on modern desktop environments like GNOME and Elementary OS, while others stick with more traditional options such as KDE or openSUSE. The Linux ecosystem also includes a large number of software development tools such as git for distributed source control, vim and emacs for source code editing and compilers and interpreters for nearly every programming language. This allows developers to create custom Linux variants that can be optimized for their particular applications and environments.