Many of us have heard of an operating system called Linux. Many of us also know that this Linux has given birth to the most widely used Android operating system today. Honestly, Linux is everywhere. It has an important role, starting from your mobile phone to laptop, desktop, server, and even supercomputer. Today we will learn about this Linux based operating system.
Before learning about Linux, we need to have a basic idea about computer operating systems.
We computer users never think about how computers work. We just command the computer to do the task, and instead, the computer completes our work. The computer has to complete many processes to do every task given by us.
Programs that allow us to perform various tasks on a computer, such as playing music, videos, creating documents, email, etc. are basically called applications.
And the place where all these applications run is called the operating system.
According to Wikipedia, Operating System is:
“An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware, software resources, and provides common services for computer programs.”
The operating system performs all the basic tasks of the computer. As we give instructions to the computer, the computer does our work. Besides, when the computer’s processor heats up at different times, the automatic cooling fan is turned on, and the operating system mainly performs these tasks. Applications basically work by following our instructions and making connections to different types of hardware by forcing work on the operating system.
There are many operating systems in the world today, such as- Android, Windows, Mac-OS, iOS, etc. Linux is just like that.
The father of Linux is Linus Torvalds. In fact, Linux itself is not an operating system. This is basically a kernel. It is a specialized program that integrates between hardware and software, and this is a significant part of any operating system. All operating systems have kernels. For example, Windows NT kernel used in Windows, XNU/Darwin kernel in Mac OS. The Linux kernel, along with GNU and other software programs, is a complete operating system.
GNU is an open-source project or the result of the so-called open-source movement, initiated by Richard Stallman. This two generous geniuses of the technology world made their great deeds open to all; as a result, the world got a unique creation called GNU/Linux.
This GNU/Linux is a complete Linux operating system. In general, Linux does not mean a kernel or a single operating system, but all Linux-based operating systems. So if someone says that he is using Linux on his computer, it means that he uses Linux kernel and runs applications/packages written on that kernel on PC.
As we learned a little earlier, the kernel is an essential part of any operating system. It is at the core of the operating system. It can also be called the lifeblood of the operating system.
So creating this kernel is not an easy task at all. Not all operating system kernels are open-source; Rather, they are closed-source and stored with extreme security. So anyone who wants to work with all the kernels can not create a new operating system.
For example, even if you try a thousand times and pay billions, you will never see the kernel source of Windows.
But it is here that Linux sets itself apart from the rest. Because Linux is entirely open-source, anyone can not only view its kernel source but also work with it; They can even build their operating system based on that kernel. If you want you can build your own operating system based on Linux, no one will stop you.
Because of Linux’s generosity and independence, we can see a lot of Linux-based operating systems. There are currently thousands of Linux-based operating systems in the world.
Since all of these operating systems are based on Linux, they often referred to as Linux ‘distros’ rather than separate operating systems. Those who use Linux and are familiar with Linux enjoy this distro.
Some of these operating systems or distros are very popular, such as Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, Arch-Linux, etc.
[Honestly, the world today only understands Linux as Linux. But GNU should have meant Linux because Linux is all GNU except for the kernel. Without Richard Stallman, the world would not have access to today’s open-source software.]
Most of the people who first entered the world of Linux started with Ubuntu or Linux Mint.
Ubuntu or Linux Mint is extremely user-friendly and suitable for beginners, especially for those who have used Windows before. If you ask any computer expert in the world today, “What is Microsoft’s biggest Nightmare?”
The answer is, Linux Mint or Ubuntu – one of the two names.
History of GNU / GNU / Linux
The time was around 1971.
The tide of free software has begun in the world today for a man named Richard Stallman, who started his career in MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab. In the early eighties, commercial software companies began to hire brilliant programmers in the Artificial Intelligence Lab with large sums of money. They also began to hide the source code of their software. In short, ordinary people like you and me have no right to know how software was created.
If anyone wants to know that, they will fall into the trap of law; Because they are again under copyright. If you have enough money, you can buy and use it; otherwise, the software is not for you.
But Richard Stallman’s point of view was different. According to him, blocking software management with these rigid rules is completely inappropriate and unethical.
He wanted the software to be free, so anyone could customize the software so that the software development would be faster. From this idea, he started the free software movement, formed an organization with like-minded people, named ‘GNU.’ The work of writing free software started. But a free operating system was needed to accelerate this movement. But that requires more software, especially a compiler.
To that end, Stallman began writing C compilers. With his legendary programming skills, he soon completed the task of writing a compiler, named GNU C Compiler or GCC. GCC considered being one of the most powerful and efficient compilers. Then GNU started writing the operating system. There are also plans to create a kernel called GNU ‘Hard.’ But that fails to attract developers. As a result, GNU remains incomplete without an operating system.
GNU needs a free operating system to complete it, and an open kernel before that. Otherwise, the whole movement of free software is going to stop!
The time is 1991.
Linus was then a second-year student at the University of Helsinki. At that time, he bought a personal computer with IBM’s Intel 368 processor. This processor was much more advanced than previous Intel processors. At that time, the MSDS operating system was available with IBM. Linus was completely disappointed with the use of MSDs, as it could not fully utilize Intel’s 368 processors. Linus wanted to use a more powerful Unix operating system. But he gave up trying to get Unix when he saw that Unix cost $5,000!
He then read Minix. Minix was an operating system similar to Unix, written by Dutch professor Andrew Tanenbaum. Minix is basically a minor clone of Unix, but not a complete clone. The professor used Minix to explain the operating system’s ins and outs while taking classes about the operating system. Minix’s code was somewhat open. But the problem was that Minix did not have the license to change the code at will.
Moreover, it was just a tool to teach students, not what is meant by a complete operating system. However, while working on the Minix, Linus realized that even Minix was not suitable for his needs.
Then Linus decided to establish an operating system himself. Again, from scratch, a completely new operating system, like Minix and Unix. Did he realize before making this decision that his decision would change not only his IBM PC but also his life and the whole world?
Linus began working on its operating system in April 1991. By setting up a rough structure, he informed everyone on the Minix team about his new operating system.
Gradually others began to gather. They downloaded the OST and sent the modified version to Linus at their convenience. Linus’s new operating system is being developed. The first official release version 0.02, was released on October 5. Version 0.03 came out in a few weeks. Version 0.10 was released in December of that year. In this way, Linux continues to move faster.
This time it is 2004.
This time it is 2004.Born in the home of a surgeon’s father and a schoolteacher’s mother, Mark Shuttleworth did what everyone thought was nothing but madness. Because, with his money, Mark started a company called “Canonical” in England to spread Linux to the world of desktops. The incident was quite ridiculous at that time because many companies have tried to create a Linux based operating system for the desktop. Even though they were able to create many operating systems, but could not make them popular in that sense. Now it’s Mark’s turn. Mark’s Canonical went on to create a new operating system called “Ubuntu.”
‘Ubuntu’ is a South African word meaning ‘Humanity to Others.’ Ubuntu’s operating system aims to allow people to use the computer operating system for free.
Not only that, but Ubuntu, inspired by the Moto of open source, believes that no one can own computer software, everyone has the right to use it freely. That’s why you don’t have to pay to use or license Ubuntu. It is perfectly legal to use Ubuntu for free. Ubuntu’s slogan is “Linux for Human Beings.” That is, removing Linux from the complex world of computer experts to make it more accessible to ordinary computer users.
After monopolizing the world of supercomputers and servers, Linux also entered the world of personal computers through Ubuntu. Being said that, ‘If there is anyone to carry the Linux flag, it is Ubuntu.’ Ubuntu has made it much easier for PC users to get a taste of open source free software. Anyone who does not know computers can use Ubuntu quite easily. And once you install Ubuntu, you can install all the necessary software from the office to audio-video player. And for a typical desktop user, his PC is perfectly usable.
Should you use Linux?
The answer is, of course, and of course!
Even if you are a regular computer user, you should try using Linux at least once; you should visit the enormous world of Linux at least once.
And if you are a person who is aware of the security of your personal information, then Linux should be your first choice. On the other hand, if you are a student of this subject, then you must have a good idea about Linux. Because Linux gives a student a realistic idea about the open-source world. Linux users can learn and understand many important things about a computer. Linux is an excellent help to students, especially those studying science, technology, and computer science.
Most of the people of the third world country who run Windows they use pirated copy illegally. The actual price of a Windows OS is around $150 to $200, so there are enough reasons to think of yourself as a thief when using Windows illegally. Interestingly, Microsoft itself supports the use of pirated or stolen Windows by people in less developed countries! If you think that Microsoft is too generous, then you will make a big mistake!
Many big business plans and strategies work behind it. Developed or middle-income countries also have strict laws on the use of pirated Windows, and in most cases, the software we think we use for free has to be bought and used, and they cost a lot more. In the least developed countries, the law is not so strict that they are allowed to use pirated software to become accustomed to using it. Because of this habit, they do not want to go beyond that. As a result, they are stuck in a particular product or system, from which the company makes a profit in various ways and acquires a single dominance in the market. As a result, it has no competitors in that market.
Also, in our country, Windows has built its exclusive network. The common people have become accustomed to it, so they don’t want to take anything new. They prefer to stay in that familiar network.
That’s why people use Windows, even though Linux is better than Windows in many ways. Unfortunately, Windows is also used in educational institutions in our country, but educational institutions should always make students interested in using free software.
Come back to the discussion on why you should use Linux.
Take a look-
Linux is completely free and open-source. If anyone wants, he can also contribute to it again. And everything that can do Windows can be done in Linux. The added benefit is that you will find greater freedom and security here.
You can start with Linux Mint or Ubuntu if you want. Another great advantage of Linux is that everything here is free except for a few applications. Maximum Linux applications are open-source, they are built with skilled and helpful people, whereas multi-billionaires and data-hungry organizations manage windows software.
Linux can be customized and configured; This is one of the biggest strengths of Linux. You can customize the desktop to your liking.
There is no specific pattern like Windows here. If you’re tired of the monotonous look of Windows, then Linux is waiting for you.
You can give Linux any look. Some of the distros in Linux are similar to Windows, which is perfect for new users.
Linux distributions are made absolutely for everything. Immediately after installation, you got built-in popular open-source software ‘Gimp’ for editing images, Inkscape for vector graphic editing, LibreOffice or OpenOffice as an office suite, Firefox as a browser, email client, Torrent Client, Popular OpenSource media player VLC. And the command-line editor is available in Vim, Emax, or Nano. Everything a regular user needs is built-in with Linux.
Linux is a very lightweight system. If you set it up 15 years earlier configuration pc with a Pentium 4 processor and 512 MB of RAM or even a low-configuration computer, it will also work well there. Linux will never slow down your computer unless you do something very heavy with it.
Linux is very stable, like Windows does not crash at all. Boot-up time is also comparatively much less. Linux’s maintenance and customization options are hundreds of times better than Windows, so setting up your workspace is much more comfortable.
*If you want to use Windows software exclusively, you can easily use Windows applications on Linux using wine. Some Linux distros have built-in wine facilities; in those distros, you can use Windows software just like Windows.
You can also use dual-boot Windows as well as Linux on your computer. This process will not have the slightest effect on the performance of your computer.
To use Linux, you never have to skip Windows. I use both Linux and Windows in dual-boot.
Linux is very secure; by using it, you will get rid of viruses, Trojans, etc. There is no virus in Linux. Linux protects your system from the kernel level.
The Linux firewall works at the kernel level. As a result, if there is an attack, it cannot reach other programs; it is already blocked. Also, with SELinux, you can turn your system into the most impregnable fortress in the world. The program is executed by double-clicking on Windows, so if someone sends you a virus with an image’s appearance, you will be infected if you open it. In Linux, the system will show that,
“This file does not have permissions to execute. Are you sure this file is safe?”
Understand then, why there is no virus in Linux?
On top of that, Linux never interferes with your security. Linux never collects your personal information like Windows does and makes you an advertising product.
Open-source software is fast patching. It is always true that ‘ten sticks is a burden,’ the same is true of software. If an error occurs in Linux, community members immediately report the bug. As a result, a large community of experienced volunteer programmers works together to fix bugs and release new security patches quickly.
Linux has a live USB facility. You don’t even have to install it to run Linux on your computer. Just download an ISO of Linux from the Internet and boot to a pen drive. Then plug that pen drive into your machine, and you can use it when you play. Later, if you want, you can permanently set up Linux on your computer. Linux never imposed an installation obligation. Linux has several distros so that you can choose your favorite distro. But Windows will never give you such benefits.
There are not many reasons to use Linux. The infinite freedom and convenience that Linux will give you, you will not find anywhere else. If you’ve been using Linux for a while now and understand Linux’s real fun, you won’t want to miss out on Linux anymore! And there is no need to think of Linux as an alternative to Windows. Linux itself is an autonomous operating system that has no conflict with Windows. No problem if you use Linux and Windows side by side.
Linux is an outstanding gift to the world from many generous people. All of us who use computers or Windows should use Linux at least once or get out of the world of Linux.