Linux Operating System

963 words | 4 page(s)


Linux is one of the most used operating system in the world today. Over 80% of corporate organizations around the world use Linux operating system on their computers. The history of Linux operating system dates back to 1969 at the time when of developing the Unix operating and the C language by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie at the AT&T Bell Labs (Cobbaut, 2015). After many wrangles and wars developed from the way people were using Unix operating system between 1980s and 1990s, Richard Stallman came up with GNU project to allow people access to a free operating system (Cobbaut, 2015). The GNU project later became the base operating tools used by Linux OS today. Between the 1990s and today, Linux operating system has undergone immense transformation including the development of latest versions such as version 4.0 of Linux Kernel that was released back in 2015 (Garrels, 2018).

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Linux Distributions
Linux distributions denote a collection of open source applications or software other than the Linux Kernel (Cobbaut, 2015). Such distributions have the capacity to bundle over system management tools, server software, desktop applications, and documentation among others. Linux distributions are also referred to as distro and aim to offer common look and feel, easy software management, specific operation needs, and system security (Garrels, 2018). The most common Linux Operating System distributions are Ubuntu, Red hat, Debian, and CentOS among others such as Oracle Enterprise Linux.

These distributions are majorly firms that put in immense effort to ensure that they produce better software and system management tools that make using Linux OS easy, secure, and effective. For example, Ubuntu is produced by Canonical that seeks to make using Linux easier by removing the need for command lines. Since its inception, many home users have moved from using other OS applications such as Microsoft and embraced Linux.

Licensing and Software Licenses
Today, there are two main software paradigms, proprietary software, and Free and Open Source Software or (FOSS). The two are differentiated by looking at their control features. For; proprietary software, the control functions are mainly carried out by the vendor. It means that while using this software application, users have minimal access to control activities; the vendor does most of the control work (Garrels, 2018). On the other hand, the users mainly control Free and Open Source Software; vendors have limited access to control functions. However , it is important to note that even the software application differ in the ways they are controlled, one by the user and the other one by the vendors, they both leverage the same copyright laws (Cobbaut, 2015). This means that when buying either of the two software it is always important to look at the content of the copyright regulations that come with them. For example, when using proprietary software, users are prohibited from copying or duplicating the software.

Installation of Linux OS
Installation of Linux OS depends on the distribution one wants to use. Whether one wants to install a debian or Ubuntu distribution will define the installation procedures (Cobbaut, 2015). For instance, assuming that one wants to install Debian 8, which is a distribution of Linux OS; they will start by downloading an image over the internet. After downloading the image over the internet, then user installs Debian 8 in the form of a virtual machine over the virtualbox. This procedure is the same for all other versions of Debian applications such as versions 3, 4, 5, and 7 (Garrels, 2018). Other procedures involved when installing Debian applications include setting hostnames, addition of static IP addresses, Virtualbox networking, and package management. The procedures may differ when installing other Linux distributions such as CentOS 7 applications.

Basic Linux Tools and Commands
Users need to understand basic commands and tools used by Linux OS to allow them ample time and exciting experienced when enjoying the myriad services provided by the system and its distributions.

The find command or tool is common when using Linux OS. This command makes it easier for one to locate files in the system. To make this command more effective, one could add 2>/dev/null to clear away clutter and unnecessary files on the screen (Cobbaut, 2015). With the find command, user can find different file types including those that end with file, .conf or all files by entering find / > allfiles.txt in the command line.

Locate command is another important tool when using Linux. Unlike the find command, it uses an index to identify and locate files in the system (Shotts, 2016). Locate command is faster and more efficient than the find command is when looking for files in a Linux OS enabled system. Other important commands include the data command, which displays dates, time, and the location of the user (Garrels, 2018). Cal command is important when it comes to displaying dates, current months, and days. It highlights the current data and month for easy visibility by the user. Other commands such as gzip – gunzip allow users to save storage spaces by compressing files. Therefore, it is important that one understands the different function of these commands and be able to use them; they make using Linux OS simple and easier.

Linux OS is wide topic that cannot be discussed at an instance. The descriptions and topics above have been condensed to provide a concise summary of the basic Linux functions and specs. Otherwise, there are many other topics such as Linux security features and vulnerabilities to threats that have been discussed in this essay. In addition, technology is changing and some of these features might not remain for long, as developers try to improve the OS and its distributions.

  • Cobbaut, P. (2015, May 24). Linux Fundamentals. Retrieved February 23, 2018, from http://linux-training.be/
  • Garrels, M. (2018). Introduction to Linux: A hand-on guide. Place of publication not identified: Fultus Corp.
  • Shotts, W. E. (2016). The Linux command line: A complete introduction. San Francisco: No Starch Press.

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