Distributions may be ready-to-use or source code that you must compile locally during initial installation. One of Linux’s unique traits is that it’s open-source. Not impressed yet? A bootloader is responsible for starting the Linux kernel. Linux is clearly much more present in our lives than we realize, but it tends to get overshadowed by its bigger, older cousins Windows and Macintosh. Work on Unix began in 1969, with the first version being completed in 1971. Do Not Sell My Personal Info. Fedora needs no introduction because it is one of the most popular Linux distribution alongside big names like Ubuntu, Debian, and Red Hat.But just in case you are coming across the distro for the first time, you should know that it is a professional, customizable Red Hat-backed Linux distro famous for giving its users the latest features while remaining true to the open source community. The specifics about Linux have been explained, but one question may have been bugging you since the first word of this guide – what is Linux used for and what is its importance? But if you’d prefer to have Linux as your default OS, you could check out an excellent installation tutorial here (note that it’s for Ubuntu, but the procedure for other popular distros like Mint is not that different). The concern I have is whether Linux will run Adobe Photoshop CS5 and CS6 standalone versions, and various plugins to the Photoshop versions. We'll send you an email containing your password. Modern Linux distributions usually feature a nice GUI, similar to the one found in Windows. Linux is a Unix-like, open source and community-developed operating system for computers, servers, mainframes, mobile devices and embedded devices. It is flexible and secure as compared to other hosting servers. If you’re still wondering what an operating system is, you’re probably unaware that you already know the answer. A huge step away from what we’re used to, this new approach could forever change how we look at operating systems. I am considering replacing Microsoft Windows 7 on my desktop computer with Linux. Your email address will not be published. Something called bash (Bourne Again SHell) does just that and can be found on most Linux distributions, but others command processors exist as well, such as ksh and zsh. Such a massive market would be amazing to take part in, but unfortunately, very few games are compatible with the Linux operating systems. Linux would later draw heavily from GNU code to the point where today many consider it a GNU kernel. Torvalds continues to develop the Linux kernel, currently at version 4.9, and a vast developer community continues to create and integrate a wide range of components. Windows takes over 75% of the desktop OS global market share, while Apple’s X OS has a significantly lower, but still impactful share—12%. Yes, but it’s a little more than that. These come in all shapes and sizes, and choosing one really comes down to personal preferences. Apart from Linux, systems like Windows or Mac are the most popular instances of such platforms. But before we proceed to the more complex parts of the story, let’s briefly explain what does “Linux” mean. Android phones and tablets - Android phones and tablets use a form of Linux. The majority of web servers, including ours that is serving you this very page, and cloud infrastructure are Linux-based as well. Without an OS, it would be more difficult to use computers, mobile devices, programmes, and apps. Now that we know a bit more about it, we can provide a more accurate Linux definition: Linux is a series of free to use, open-source operating systems (OS) obtained via distributions or distros. For example, Linux has emerged as a popular operating system for web servers such as Apache, as well as for network operations, scientific computing tasks that require huge compute clusters, running databases, desktop/endpoint computing and running mobile devices with OS versions like Android. Should you want to use Microsoft Office on a Linux computer, you’re in for a bad surprise. It is distributed with the source code so users can view and modify it. There’s even the Linux live distro, which you can store on your flash or CD, insert into a computer, and run an instance of the OS without changing a single thing on the device. Learn the challenges you'll need to overcome with these insights on ... All Rights Reserved, With that out of the way, we can get down to what Linux actually is. And if you’re worried about the installation process being a hassle, current features of the Linux operating system make the process easier than ever. But it is really the many outside developers and GNU projects that offer high-level functions to the Linux kernel to provide a fully realized operating system. It can perform differently depending on how it’s programmed. Package manager software typically adds, updates or removes software components under the Linux operating system. whatis [command]: Display a short blurb about the command. Linux takes the consumer-vendor dynamic and turns it on its head. Here is an example Linux desktop in SUSE: UID (User Identifier) and GID (Group Identifier), Set the default permissions for newly created files, Find out more information about your system. Please check the box if you want to proceed. Advanced users often forego the GUI in favor of direct input of commands that execute programs. Commercial distributions include Fedora by Red Hat, openSUSE from SUSE and Ubuntu from Canonical. That way, anybody with a bit of know-how can adapt a Linux kernel to suit their needs, and can then share this new version with the world. Another term you’ll surely see tossed around is “shell.” The shell is a GUI (Graphical User Interface) that facilitates the communication between the user and the OS through visuals like selectable buttons and images. The GNU kernel (also called GNU Hurd) is a prominent example of such a version, now an essential part of the Free Software Foundation.