What Is Linux and Why Is It So Popular?
In the short span of recent technological history, linux has gone from being ridiculed as a techie toy to becoming the foundation of many of the world’s most prominent software applications and servers. It has also served as a model for how open source projects should be conducted, inspiring thousands of other developers to follow suit.
The core component of a Linux operating system is the kernel, which manages system input and output and communicates with hardware. Without it, the operating system would not function. Almost everything else is built on top of the kernel. These tools include the base libraries, device drivers, configuration settings, performance and security options, file management functions, user interface components and more. Unlike the proprietary operating systems used on most new computers, Linux allows users to freely customize the components of the operating system to best fit their individual needs.
Originally created in 1991 by Linus Torvalds as a free and open source alternative to Minix, the Linux kernel quickly found support from the kind of individuals who would help it become what it is today. While the Linux community continues to be primarily volunteer-based, it has also attracted significant funding and development efforts from some of the world’s most powerful technology companies. This has led to a degree of commercialization that has allowed some Linux distributions to charge for their software. These specialized Linux distributions often offer more features than their free counterparts and provide more stable and secure operating environments.
Most modern Linux distributions also feature what most people might consider an app store, a centralized location where software can be searched for and installed. For example, Ubuntu Linux has the GNOME Software application center, Elementary OS has its own software center and deepin has its AppCenter. These software centers make it easy for computer users to find and install the specialized programs that turn the Linux operating system into an entire platform.
These apps, and the rest of the underlying operating system, are developed using various programming languages that are supported by Linux, including traditional Unix-like scripting and text processing languages. For example, the command line shell is accessible via a traditional terminal program, and the advanced text editor GNU Emacs uses a Lisp interpreter. Linux also includes a range of other tools for managing and configuring the operating system, such as awk, grep and sed.
Linux has been tested and proven to be an extremely reliable operating system. It is a platform that can easily run for years on end without being rebooted, and it is highly resistant to ransomware and other types of malware. Almost anyone who has worked with Linux for even a few years can attest to the stability and dependability of this operating system. It is one of the primary reasons that businesses choose to deploy Linux on their desktops and servers. It is not unusual for a server running Linux to go years without being rebooted, provided the operating system receives regular updates.