What Is Linux?

Linux is an operating system (OS) that runs on computers and devices, enabling users to manage hardware resources, install software applications, configure performance and security settings, and more. Its infrastructure is the backbone of many web servers and cloud computing systems, and it fosters a global community of developers and users through open-source principles.

Linux was created in 1991 by Linus Torvalds as a free and open source alternative to Unix, which was proprietary at the time. The kernel and core components of Linux are based on the POSIX standard, but it’s not a direct descendant of Unix source code. Instead, the kernel borrows ideas and concepts from Unix and other operating systems.

The kernel is the heart of a computer’s operating system. It controls all aspects of the computer’s operation, including memory and processes. It is responsible for device drivers, a program that allows the kernel to interact with hardware, and user space, which consists of all programs outside the kernel. The kernel and core components are programmed in the C programming language.

Many graphical user interfaces are available for Linux, such as KDE and Unity. These graphical environments provide a classic desktop experience. Linux also includes a command line, which is used for low-level tasks like configuration and software installation. The dominant shell is the Bourne-Again Shell, or bash.

A file system is a crucial component of the OS. The Linux file system provides a hierarchical directory structure that organizes files and directories. It can store and retrieve information in a very large size, making it suitable for both local and wide area networks. It can be easily configured for different purposes and hardware types, and it is compatible with other file systems.

Most distributions include a package management system, which allows the user to download and install new software. Many also include a software center, which makes it easy to find and install applications. The number of apps is vast — from simple tools for performing common tasks to multiuser business suites.

Many Linux developers use a version control system to track the changes made to the code of an app or piece of software. This helps ensure the consistency and quality of software. A large community of volunteer testers help make sure software works on a variety of hardware and configurations, and report bugs when it doesn’t.

The Linux Foundation is dedicated to promoting the development of open source technology and supporting its users and advocates. It is the primary resource for news and information about the Linux operating system, and it also provides funding to support Linux-based projects. This funding is crucial to the longevity of the Linux operating system and its ecosystem. This operating system continues to play a vital role in the Internet and cloud computing, and it is used by millions of people on desktops and embedded devices. Its scalability, reliability and flexibility make it an excellent choice for businesses and consumers alike.

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