The Basics of Linux


The Linux kernel is the core of a family of open source Unix-like operating systems created by Linus Torvalds. It is the backbone of many devices you use, including your phone, tablet and computer. You can also find it running in your car, digital camera, video recorder and even your TV. Linux is free and licensed under the GNU General Public License, which allows anyone to modify its code and share those changes.

Unlike popular desktop operating systems like Windows or macOS (formerly OS X), linux is an advanced system that includes a command line interface, as well as graphical tools that make system-level tasks easy to perform. Users can choose from a wide range of desktop environments and applications, which are known as apps. These include desktop programs for work, play and entertainment, as well as text editors and other software development tools.

You can download and install Linux on your computer by following the installation instructions provided by your chosen distribution. Most offer a “live” mode that lets you run Linux directly from a USB or DVD without installing it, which can be useful for testing hardware compatibility and getting familiar with the system. Once installed, you can run Linux alongside your existing operating system or replace it completely.

Linux gained popularity among hobbyists throughout the 1990s. It is an efficient and reliable system that runs on a variety of hardware, from cellular phones to supercomputers. It also powers most of the Internet’s Web servers, along with a large number of corporate and individual computers.

Because it is so widely used, there are numerous Linux communities and support organizations to help you get started. In addition, many Linux distributors—including Red Hat, SUSE and Canonical—offer support contracts and other services to businesses that need to ensure uptime of their mission-critical systems.

There are also a number of Linux “cloud” images available on the major cloud platforms, including Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. The correct choice of Linux for your server depends on your use case and the type of work you plan to do with it.

There are many Linux distributions to choose from, and it can be difficult to decide which one is right for your needs. Each one has its own unique set of features and is optimized for a particular task. Many of them are available for free, but some are commercialized and require a licensing fee to use. The choice of a Linux distribution is therefore a matter of choosing the one that best suits your purposes and fits within your budget. Then, once you’ve settled on a distribution, explore the community forums and online tutorials to learn how to get the most out of it. You can even join a wiki to create your own documentation or help improve the Linux ecosystem. Ultimately, the only limit is your imagination.

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