The Benefits of Linux

Whether you realize it or not, the operating system you use every day is probably based on Linux. It runs most of the Internet, the world’s top supercomputers, and home desktops. It’s in smartphones, cars, thermostats, Roku devices and TVs, and a variety of other gadgets. It also runs the New York Stock Exchange and many cloud-native applications. It’s one of the most reliable and worry-free computer ecosystems on the planet, offering zero cost of entry and no license fees for server or desktop systems.

The core of any operating system is its kernel, and linux’s is the most advanced, secure and feature-rich available. The kernel manages all input and output, handles hardware and file system operations, and enables programs to perform tasks. Linux is also an exceptionally flexible OS, with multiple versions designed to meet a diverse array of user and workload needs. Several commercial versions of the Linux distribution are available, each with its own features and capabilities.

Linus Torvalds wrote the first version of Linux in 1991, while he was working on another Unix clone called MINIX. He released the code under a free and open source license (GNU General Public License) so that anyone could study it, modify it, and redistribute it. From this starting point, a whole variety of other versions of the OS have been developed by individuals and companies. These are collectively known as ‘distributions,’ and you can find a full list on Distrowatch.

Each of these distributions has its own version of the Linux kernel, and a wide array of software for performing various tasks. For example, the Linux desktops offered by Ubuntu and openSUSE offer a very modern user interface, while Fedora and CentOS are more traditional. Many different types of apps are available for linux, from desktop productivity tools to multiuser business suites.

Unlike some other desktop and server operating systems, which require proprietary hardware and software to function, linux works with almost any device, provided the kernel is compiled with the appropriate drivers. Similarly, desktop productivity software like Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop is available for linux systems.

Depending on which survey you look at, between one-third and two-thirds of all web pages are generated by servers running Linux. These servers are often run by companies or individuals, who choose Linux because it is secure, stable and affordable. It’s not uncommon for a Linux server to go years without a reboot, and it is generally far less vulnerable to attacks such as ransomware or malware. In fact, many servers running Linux are managed by teams of professional IT administrators. In this way, linux has become the operating system of choice for a vast range of industries and businesses. It’s used to power everything from Wikipedia to the New York Stock Exchange and a vast array of other websites, applications and services. In the future, you’ll likely find Linux in even more of your devices and infrastructure. And it will continue to be one of the most reliable and worry-free computing platforms available.

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