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What Is Linux: An Overview of the Linux Operating System - The Code

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The Code

Linux is also unique from other operating systems in that it has no single owner. Torvalds still manages the development of the Linux kernel, but commercial and private developers contribute other software to make the whole Linux operating system.

In this section, the parts of the Linux operating system will be examined.

The Kernel

All operating systems have kernels, built around the architectural metaphor that there must be a central set of instructions to direct device hardware, surrounded by various modular layers of functionality. The Linux kernel is unique and flexible because it is also modular in nature.

Modularity is desirable because it allows developers to shed parts of the kernel they don't need to use. Typically a smaller kernel is a faster kernel, because it isn't running processes it does not need.

If a device developer wants a version of Linux to run on a cell phone, she does not need the kernel functionality that deals with disk drives, Ethernet devices, or big monitor screens. She can pull out those pieces (and others), leaving just the optimized kernel to use for the phone.

 


The kernel of the Window operating system (which few people outside of Microsoft are allowed to look at without paying for the privilege) is a solidly connected piece of code, unable to be easily broken up into pieces. It is difficult (if not impossible) to pare down the Windows kernel to fit on a phone.

This modularity is significant to the success of Linux. The ability to scale down (or up) to meet the needs of a specific platform is a big advantage over other operating systems constrained to just a few possible platforms.

Modularity also effects stability and security as well. If one piece of the kernel code happens to fail, the rest of the kernel will not crash. Similarly, an illicit attack on one part of the kernel (or the rest of the operating system) might hamper that part of the code, but should not compromise the security of the whole device.

The Operating System

Developers need special tools (like the compilers and command lines found in GNU) to write applications that can talk to the kernel. They also need tools and applications to make it easy for outside applications to access the kernel after the application is written and installed.

This collective set of tools, combined with a kernel, is known as the operating system. It is generally the lowest layer of the computer's software that is accessible by the average user. General users get to the operating system when they access the command line.

Linux provides powerful tools with which to write their applications: developer environments, editors, and compilers are designed to take a developer's code and convert it to something that can access the kernel and get tasks done.

Like the kernel, the Linux operating system is also modular. Developers can pick and choose the operating tools to provide users and developers with a new flavor of Linux designed to meet specific tasks.

The Environments

The windows, menus, and dialog boxes most people think of as part of the operating system are actually separate layers, known as the windowing system and the desktop environment.

These layers provide the human-oriented graphical user interface (GUI) that enables users to easily work with applications in the operating system and third-party applications to be installed on the operating system.

In Linux, there a lot of choices for which windowing system and desktop environment can be used, something that Linux allows users to decide. This cannot be done in Windows and it's difficult to do in OS X.

Like the operating system and kernel, there are tools and code libraries available that let application developers to more readily work with these environments (e.g., gtk+ for GNOME, Qt for KDE).

The Applications

Operating systems have two kinds of applications: those that are essential components of the operating system itself, and those that users will install later. Closed operating systems, like Windows and OS X, will not let users (or developers) pick and choose the essential component applications they can use. Windows developers must use Microsoft's compiler, windowing system, and so on.

Linux application developers have a larger set of choices to develop their application. This allows more flexibility to build an application, but it does mean a developer will need to decide which Linux components to use.

The Distributions

This is the highest layer of the Linux operating system: the container for all of the aforementioned layers. A distribution's makers have decided which kernel, operating system tools, environments, and applications to include and ship to users.

Distributions are maintained by private individuals and commercial entities. A distribution can be installed using a CD that contains distribution-specific software for initial system installation and configuration. For the users, most popular distributions offer mature application management systems that allow users to search, find, and install new applications with just a few clicks of the mouse.

There are, at last count, over 350 distinct distributions of Linux.



 

Comments

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  • Ambrish Said:

    Its me also lot of helpful by the by what r u studying

  • babar khan Said:

    A want to totell u something msg me Or on skype babar.khan849) we can online

  • mr x Said:

    i want to fuck you do you like to fuck with me my thick is bick and black it is nice do you want?

  • alex Said:

    please this is an intellectual matter for insufficient intelligence matters please visit another site, ignore this comment and mr x comment all along, sorry for my sudden rush.

  • wamblewire Said:

    Arrogant. And entirely not proven. Unabsolved. Linux is the windows of yesterday. You know it, I know it, and we know it.

  • austin Said:

    linux is one of the best for a reason. only 500 known virus's that are possible to harm your computer. and if you get a windows or a mac virus on linux it wont do anything. its like putting gas in a diesel truck, you had the right idea but nothing is going to happen.

  • STEVE Said:

    If you put gas in a diesel truck, the engine will blow-up!

  • Colin Said:

    Not strictly true, if you put a limited ratio with little or no harm!

  • Kthulu Said:

    Well, /somebody/ works for another company.

  • jagdish Said:

    This tutorial is most important to learn.

  • bill hunt Said:

    if the comments below are any indication of people intelligence we are FUCKR+ED

  • RAJU.R.K Said:

    dis is a very important to made up use the people and hence i think its a superb operating system of a computer........ Thank u......

  • AlagZ Said:

    Cloud computing is nothing but storing the data in a central pool where multiple users can store and retrieve their data through the internet. This system is useful to store confidential data and also to reduce the space used in the personal system .

  • Abhishek Said:

    Hi I am confused for totaly for linux. and what is future of linux

  • joseph.muruthi Said:

    linux is a vry good os and u r jst required to read more about it and understand n u will enjoy it

  • Lucie Said:

    I'm confused about linux i really wont to know how it work.

  • KOBI Said:

    LINUX IS GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Roberto Pizano Said:

    Linux may be good but, is not so easy to understand at the beginning, be honest is not a piece of cake.

  • Junior. Ombi Said:

    I want to know the procedures to install ,Configure and Use it

  • raghuvendra Said:

    you can get from this website----- www.torentz.eu

  • ammrin Said:

    cloud computing doesn't relate to the content published above but fr the sake of knowledge , it is a service provided 2 u through internet based on pay as u go paradigm

  • Don 1 Said:

    Hmmmm dis people wll kill as wth their Technology oo

  • Zoix Said:

    Zoix: It is nice that you include examples on where to use Linux OS.

  • johnny Said:

    Will have to try this Linux out, sounds like you have more control of your device or PC, maybe I could get to enjoy PCs again, so fed up with that other system.

  • deenachandra kshetri Said:

    ITZ 2 SHOT.................. I WAN MORE DETAILS

  • supun sudarsha batuwaththa Said:

    boruwadA GANDA APA

  • me Said:

    "In THE simplest terms" it is an operating system kernel, the most important component of an OS. But it isn't a whole operating system yet.

  • amit Said:

    Its a nice operating system to work on....

  • HITESH BANASURE Said:

    Excellent pltform for network......

  • Darshan Ram Said:

    The problem with linux is they have too many version unlike windows.They also need to brighten up by advertising or something.Create something that windows or mac doesnt have and for sure it will be a sucess.

  • aditi singh Said:

    whats the difference between linux and unix..?

  • Bazza Said:

    Is Linux an operating system? I thought it is the KERNEL.

  • Aizenmyou Said:

    @Bazza Stallman likes to confuse people. Linux is by definition the operating system layer. GNU's programs are the userland or application layer.

  • andraexs Said:

    live freedom with linux.. i love it

  • Deepak Bawa Said:

    Ubuntu E-mail this Term A community-developed Linux-based operating system that can be used on desktops, laptops and servers. The operating system includes a variety of applications including those for word processing, e-mail applications, Web server software and also programming tools. Ubuntu is free of charge, including enterprise releases and security updates. It also comes with full commercial support from Canonical. Ubuntu is available in both a desktop and server edition. here's the link http://thepiratebay.se/torrent/7739177/

  • Akanksha Kalla Said:

    I found some more relevant questions with their appropriate answers on linux. http://blog.oureducation.in/linux-os/ this site is really helpful. I suggest you all to just check this site once.

  • lori38 Said:

    First of all I have a Samsung Tablet 8.1 and alot of applications that I'd like to download just wont happen. I click on the "download" button, but when I go to open the app./file it tells me "cannot open file". My first question is WHY? Why will it not open, cause i know it downloaded cause when I go into my account before the download it shows me my data usage and after the download is complete I recheck my data usage and its exactly the amount of the app. more. Second ques. I went to download a tool bar from swagbucks and at the top of the page it says "wont work on Linux". What does this mean? I've tried downoading toolbars when I first got my tablet but they just never took. I never could figure out why. Maybe someone out there can help me with my dilema. Plz and Tk U.

  • abzgal'z Said:

    I want more about LINUX for my report. about their capacity, and how many application can apply or install... thank you!

  • Ratiranjan nayak Said:

    LInux is very good . I like linux very much............ I want to know much more about u.......................

  • LEIGH BARTON Said:

    LINUX is what an operating system is supposed to be, bootable from a live operating system disk, easily installed, the newer versions have graphical user interfaces that make them manageable for unaccustomed users like me, that were taught on basic dos systems. The inclusion of the technically minded in the development approach may hopefully lead to the standardization of operating system function to permit normal people the opportunity to improve the potential of their own computers, and by extension the capability of personal computers in general, unlike Windows, which seems bent on making it impossible for even the best technicians to keep the boat-anchors from sinking. I've already used the live operating system disk to repair failed windows systems for people that would otherwise not have been able to afford the necessary technical support. Windows keeps failing more frequently, and getting progressively more expensive to service. LINUX seems to be the TIMEX of operating systems, ("takes a licking and keeps on ticking") and seems to be the next step in the chain if people like me are going to be able to keep using computers without a million dollar bankroll. It's a premium technical asset, and it seems a lot of catching-up is on my own plate in order to learn how to use it properly. To the creators of LINUX, well done, that's one small step for man, and one giant leap for mankind. compliments.

  • granpa Said:

    Dear leight, will you be so kind and explaine ,,I have OS windows 7 can i dowloded OS. Linux and whot I can got? Thanks. Trgards.Andrew

  • Ez Said:

    Nice Can you Help me on how to install,configure,and to use it?

  • TechTr Said:

    Since when linux is a OS? even though this is for newbies but you should not mislead people. Linux is only the kernel, the other things which makes up the OS is not linux!

  • durjan rathore barmer Said:

    explain the concept of linux its components ?

  • haddey.hms Said:

    oh my god am totally confused..,1 wat z the purposes of linux

  • Aizenmyou Said:

    As I said above, Stallman likes to confuse people. Linux is by definition the operating system layer. GNU's programs are the userland or application layer. Anyone who is not a newb knows this. (People with actual computer science degrees)

  • fast1 Said:

    Linux is great...I've just bought a 10inch tablet running Linux. 64bit. SW

  • Jason Cooke Said:

    Will all 64-Bit software run on Ubuntu without issue? I'm new to Linux but fancy a crack at it. W8 is doing my tits in.

  • bir kumar Said:

    kattai madarchod ho tumlog jo ye jhatu os use kr rahe ho..

  • vk sharma Said:

    very nice and helpful in btech cs subject this topic of linux in cs subject

  • icarolongo Said:

    Linux is a kernel. I use GNU + Hurd, kFreeBSD, kNetBSD, Darwin and Linux-libre (upstream Linux have blobs). The same commands, the same tools, the same system. But different kernel. Why do you (linux.com) lie?

  • A pagio Said:

    Am I to understand if i purchase a linux OS as mentioned above, i can install it on a clean hardrive, same as one would do if they had a microsoft OS system? I am interested in new programs other than microsoft. Thanks for any help and advice. Not a fan of Macintoch either.

  • Arnold Said:

    okay if I understand this correctly that linux is just a based kernel... Then what is linux mint and then do u have to havd GNU as a add on for linux to work... And one more thing that bugs me is that y if linux is so great y do they then nt advertise it like mac and microsoft to or are the still working on n beter kernel for linux? Plz answer it wil be very vitial info for me

  • vijay Said:

    the mater is nice... but i don't no understant so pls user gaide formet

  • Helz of the world Said:

    yes its very important to my life that linux...

  • Randunu Said:

    This is too long!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mike Said:

    way too loooong getting confused........................

  • Kaxa Said:

    It is very nice matter... It helps me a lot... Thank uuuuuu

  • Dinesh Rao Said:

    Dear Sir , LINUX is what an operating system is supposed to be, bootable from a live operating system disk, easily installed, the newer versions have graphical user interfaces that make them manageable for unaccustomed users like me, that were taught on basic dos systems. The inclusion of the technically minded in the development approach may hopefully lead to the standardization of operating system function to permit normal people the opportunity to improve the potential of their own computers, and by extension the capability of personal computers in general, unlike Windows, which seems bent on making it impossible for even the best technicians to keep the boat-anchors from sinking. Thanks & Regards Dinesh Rao Ph : 09729676868

  • shiva Said:

    Can give me clear explanation about linux commands

  • Pricie Said:

    i want the step to install the linux operating system?

  • ashwini Said:

    nice linux free antiverous operting system

  • Gooont Said:

    -_- if you put gas in a diesel truck it will ruin the engine... and anything can get a virus: https://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/284124-myth-busting-is-linux-immune-to-viruses

  • VINOD KUMAR Said:

    LINUX IS A VERY POWERFUL OPERATING SYSTEM. SO I LIKE THIS OPERATING SOFTWARE

  • Pianist Alpha Said:

    I like it mostly in Yamaha Motif Keyboards. Nice one

  • Jorge Garza Said:

    You miss our new Weight Scale =P. http://www.tor-rey.com/world/electronic-scales-WLS.php

  • ashish Said:

    admin kindly update the intro stuff...........its almost 2014

  • Chico Said:

    Just get on with explaining the different 'flavors' of the Linux OS. Just a lot of babble here!!!

  • Patrisha Said:

    How do i go by getting this Operation System called Linux

  • sumith victor.j Said:

    admin kindly update the intro stuff...........its almost 2014

  • KD Said:

    yippppppppppppppppppppie.............. itz nice. i completed m projct......................

  • Bob Said:

    What an unbelievable amount of barely readable gibberish in these posts.

  • Vicky Said:

    I need information abt a how to install linux os in pc.....and how to use it......thn how to install apps software in linux pls....reply soon

  • Evelyn Said:

    Which application can I develop for an organisation to improve the quality of processing information

  • kyle Said:

    Dear Sir , LINUX is what an operating system is supposed to be, bootable from a live operating system disk, easily installed, the newer versions have graphical user interfaces that make them manageable for unaccustomed users like me, that were taught on basic dos systems. The inclusion of the technically minded in the development approach may hopefully lead to the standardization of operating system function to permit normal people the opportunity to improve the potential of their own computers, and by extension the capability of personal computers in general, unlike Windows, which seems bent on making it impossible for even the best technicians to keep the boat-anchors from sinking. Thanks & Regards Dinesh Rao Ph : 09729676868

  • peter Said:

    I have a pc with Windows OS. I am interested in Linux primarily because of possible access to Openfoam free CFD software that requires a Linux operating system. If I download Linux OS will it take over exclusively as the operating system, will my Windows related software function as usual, will I have much of a learning process to become familiar with Linux?

  • T.L.W Said:

    It sounds like a "trojan horse" program. Make it interchangable between as many systems and devices as possible, make it as affordable as possible, ; free would suffice", that way people will want it to work, and as such would overlook obviouse anomalies that would normaly draw attention.then let it saturate throu the market, and products for a number of years to let it get such a hold on the situation that it can't be reversed... classic "TROJAN HORSE" material.

  • Rakesh Bagade Said:

    Linux operating system is the best lang. as compare to other languages.

  • kingsmoks Said:

    hi , every body. I think, i have been trouble with Linux OS. the way u talk about. too. 1. in my phone have the word (Linux ) too. 2. i think , i will share this knowlauage to the other too in our land . 3 .. Communication in the world wide , all knowlauage is false .nothing can be true. And now , i don't know what is true knowlauage and what words is false. Thanks. for the Answer of Linux. God bless all.

  • kingsmoks Said:

    And i think so , Linux OS is the best one in the world. and want to thank to Xdadaveloper forum.push me to know about the OS .

  • Patricia mahwibila Said:

    This was a very good way to have a better understanding about the linux.. I really appreciate, I had also found it easly to study using the information provided!

  • youjizz Said:

    Unnecessary to say, Beatrice is a nominal 'radiating', and warned by her testor (Maggie Q) that she must keep this notice cryptic lest she be the make subordinate youjizz of a witchhunt led by the conductor of the snobbish Lettered clique Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet).

  • arun Said:

    Is LINUX a free OS ? Will it meet all requirements which Windows provides ? what is equivalent to Microsoft Office ?

  • ravina Said:

    what are the different user interface provided by linux?

  • Linux Said:

    Learning a new skill can be a challenge, especially when the topic seems so vast. I visit this website and it's very good website http://www.linuxtrainingacademy.com.

  • S K G Rao Said:

    Now that Windows XP is going out from 8th April how to switch over to Linux operating system since no other system is in any way superior to Linux and free.

  • snotyy face Said:

    what is windows...whats a computer please I have no clue????

  • fred Said:

    can this system be used on a Dell Inspiron 530s, i have windows xp which is no longer supported

  • vijay Said:

    Is it helpful In taking job ..... nd from where I have to learn dis I have persuing in btech 4th yr

  • oliver Said:

    I never seen as much poor spelling and gram in a forum such as this. You people sound like a bunch of retards.

  • donald Said:

    i want to linux backward and forwards top to bottom left to right without having a lot of technical understanding is this a doable thing? what is the latest operating system available and what is the cost of the program?

  • Suraj Said:

    Hey guys have you know about ubuntu? Then please tell, Which company made this operating system. And how to check the status of wifi and how to connect with wifi?

  • ThatGuy Said:

    Alright. So basically Linux is just an operating system layer and not an entire operating system?

  • rashid Said:

    This is really helpful for the people....

  • al_imran_akanda Said:

    Is Linux better than other OS? Such as: Windows, Mac, Unix etc. http://virtualaia.com

  • al_imran_akanda Said:

    Is Linux better than other OS? Such as: Windows, Mac, Unix etc. http://virtualaia.com

  • Tony Said:

    witch is best to use..windows or Linux..???

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