Updated April 15, 2023
Introduction To Linux
In this topic, we are going to discuss the basic introduction of Linux with the following concepts.
What Is An Operating System?
Whenever we switch on our computer/laptop, we get a screen where we can perform many activities like editing a document, browsing the internet, playing videos, installing software, etc. But now we have a curiosity, how all these activities are supported by electronic devices? How does the processor of our device help us with the activities to be performed? It is the operating system that helps us to interact with the hardware.
Operating System(OS) is what we need to work on our electronic devices. As you are reading this on your electronic device, you are utilizing the benefits of OS. Many of us have used many popular OS such as Windows and Apple’s OS, but here we will discuss LINUX.
What is Linux?
Linux is an operating system; it is just like Windows and Mac OS X. Operating system is software that leverages the hardware of the devices such as the laptop, desktop, or tabs the most. In a simple way, we can say the operating system is a bridge between the software and the hardware. Without OS, it is not possible to run or execute software or program.
Components of Linux
In the above section, we have studied the introduction to Linux, so now we are going to learn the components of Linux. As Linux architecture primarily has these components: Hardware, Kernel, Shell, and Utilities
- Hardware: Peripheral devices such as RAM, HDD, and CPU together constitute the Hardware layer for the LINUX operating system.
- Kernel: The Core part of the Linux OS is called the Kernel; it is responsible for many activities of the LINUX operating system. It interacts directly with hardware, which provides low-level services like providing hardware details to the system. We have two types of kernels – Monolithic Kernel and MicroKernel.
- Shell: The shell is an interface between the user and the kernel; it hides the complexity of functions of the kernel from the user. It accepts commands from the user and performs the action.
- Utilities: Operating system functions are granted to the user from the Utilities. Individual and specialized functions are can be utilized from the System utilities.
Characteristics of Linux
After learning the Introduction to Linux and the main components of Linux, we are going to learn the Characteristics of Linux. Linux can be utilized using commands which does the following functions:
- Linux commands are used to perform one or multiple tasks, e.g. copy, paste, find, etc.
- Using commands, tasks can be carried out efficiently and effectively for executing some programs.
Commands are supposed to be typed in a shell; this is like a communicator between the core Linux and us, which converts the human code to be executed by hardware. We can execute the code to find something in a file, as well as we can write code to execute the more complex codes, like we can execute a command on the output of one command for this, we need to use the “|” (pipe separator) between two or more commands. This i.e. pipe operator acts as a joint for the two commands. Below we have examples of both single commands and the multiple commands joint using the pipe.
- grep – Search for a pattern in a file
- sort – Sort into order
- uniq – Only shows one copy of identical things this is the example of the single, these commands can work individually, or we can utilize them to fetch something using all of them as one, e.g. grep ARC *txt | sort | uniq > output.txt
The above command will search all the files having the extension with ‘txt’ for the word “ARC”, and it will save a copy of a record to a new file, “output.txt”.
These were the few examples of commands where we can utilize them to achieve our functionality.
Current Application of Linux Systems
Developers of Linux had a full concentration on networking services at the early stage, but the real block for Linux was to support the office applications such as MS-compatible office applications like word processors, spreadsheets, presentations, and the like. After getting all the roadblocks, we received a very stable freeware OS. Linux is highly used on the server side as it is considered the most stable and reliable platform, providing database and trading services for companies like Amazon, the well-known online bookshop, US Post Office, the German army, and many others. Internet service providers have found a firewall, proxy, web server, and services of Linux very useful, and you can find a Linux box within reach of every UNIX system administrator, as it has a very friendly, comfortable management system. Linux is not only used in personal computers and laptops but also in small gadgets like PDAs, mobile phones, smart watches, etc.
Thousands of companies and governments around the world are using Linux OS due to affordability, lower licensing fees, and time and money.
Linux is used in many electronic devices; a list of a few is given below:
- Dell Inspiron Mini 9 and 12
- Garmin Nuvi 860, 880, and 5000
- Google Android Dev Phone 1
- HP Mini 1000
- Lenovo IdeaPad S9
- Motorola MotoRokr EM35 Phone
- One Laptop Per Child XO2
- Sony Bravia Television
- Sony Reader
Advantages and Disadvantages of Linux
After going through all the components, characteristics, and the wide Introduction to Linux, we are going to explore the advantages and disadvantages of Linux:
Below are mentioned the advantages:
- Linux is free and can be downloaded from the internet; there is no hidden cost for registration, updates, or anything.
- Linux is flexible, i.e. Linux can be installed on any hardware; if a user is not sure what OS on his/her machine can be installed, he can go with Linux.
- Linux is developed so that it can run all the time without rebooting, and because of this feature, many applications can be scheduled at calm hours.
- The security model implemented for Linux is based on Unix; it is very secure against the internet and other attacks as well.
- Linux can be customized as per requirement, and bug fixes are very fast as it is open source, and we can find many people available on the internet for solutions.
Below are mentioned the disadvantages:
- Linux is licensed under GNU Public License (GPL), which suggests anyone can change and distribute a changed version. So it is a bit confusing to find a suitable for our need version.
- Linux is not very user-friendly, and it can be a bit confusing for beginners.
This has been a guide on introduction to Linux. Here we have discussed the operating system, working of Linux, architecture and commands executions, and advantages and disadvantages. you may also look at the following article to learn more –