Linux is an operating system that resembles UNIX, it combines the power of
UNIX and [ease of use??] and it's considered hackers playground. Linux is free, very
powerful, and easy to install and maintain by an individuals. Linux is not such a beast
like other UNIXes could be; It is small, fast, and flexible. And it is very close to a
reliable and stable system.
It's named after its creator Linus Torvalds (November 1991)
at the University of Helsinki, Finland, (first version was 0.10).
And continuously developed by hundreds of UNIX hackers across the Internet. But
Linus still is [!] the man in charge in the Linux development since the Linux
kernel is copyrighted to him.
Just how to pronounce Linux?
According to Linus , it should be pronounced with a short ih sound, like print,
minimal, etc. should rhyme with Minix, another Unix clone. It should not be pronounced like
(American pronunciation of) the ``Peanuts'' character, Linus, but rather LIH-nucks.
And the u is sharp as in rule, not soft as in ducks.
Many people says Linux is not real UNIX since it's written from scratch and
not derived from the one of main UNIX flavors [more].
Real UNIX for Intel machines are Solaris, SCO OpenServer, SCO UnixWare since
they are derived from AT&T SysV [Not sure of that]. (also SVR4 from NCR, IBM, Sequent)
But IMO you are using UNIX when u are using Linux, all *real* UNIXes has
differences somehow [more]. (Officially, anybody can create a UNIX operating
system, as long as it passes tests from X/Open. Since the tests haven't been
created yet and are likely to cost money, Linux is currently not a ``real''
inux has gained large popularity last few years because
- It's more easy to use than most UNIX distributions/clones.
but you still have to dig and read the docs to get things working (it's
still UNIX after all)
- It's a UNIX clone, and UNIX has been around since 1969, (was written "Unics"
at first -- UNiplexed Information and Computing System) and its very known to
its power, stability, large support base and distribution. UNIX is one of the most popular
operating systems worldwide.
- It's much more stable than various Windows versions.
he number of Linux users is increasing dramatically. It's estimated by the
Linux Counter Organization http://www.linuxcounter.org
to be 40 millions (second quarter, 2000). The maintainer of the counter Harald Tveit has his
for that number.
Linux is a free operating system, you can download it from the Internet free of
charges, or you can buy it from many vendors for a small packaging fees. Some
times they charge you for utilities they write or may be technical support.
but any way you will find a great support for managing Linux. There are a *lot*
of mailing lists, web sites, books, documentation, and people who want to
share their knowledge. If you drop by any search engine and searched for the
word Linux, you will encounter *huge* number of pages, even more than the
number of pages that contain the word Windows!
Linux is distributed under the General Public License, GPL, which permits
distribution, copying, or changing of packages freely with their source code.
without imposing any restrictions on further distribution.
Linux has a graphical user interface that are pretty much customizable than
any other operating system. You can mostly run any Desktop environment on the
X Window System, like KDE, GNOME, Motif, CDE?. And many window managers that gives the look
and feel of other operating system like Solaris, NeXTStep, OS/2, and Windows
Most UNIX programs, if it was not all of them, run under Linux, besides a
large number of other programs. Including StarOffice (a package from Sun Microsystems that
IMO is much more powerful and cleaner than MS office), GIMP which is a graphic
manipulation program like Adobe Photoshop, dosemu which is an emulation system
to run DOS programs, WINE to run Windows 16-bit application (IIRC), and many
Linux is mostly System V, mostly BSD compatible and mostly POSIX-1 (a document trying to
standardize operating systems) compliant. Linux probably complies with much of POSIX-2,
another document from the IEEE [what is it??] to standardize operating systems. It's a mix of all three
standards: BSD, System V, and POSIX.
ome technical specifications:
- Full multitasking and 32-bit support.
- TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) support.
- The X Window System. The X Window System is the de facto industry-standard graphics
system for UNIX machines.
- Virtual memory and shared libraries. Linux can use a portion of your hard drive as
virtual memory, expanding your total amount of available RAM. Linux also implements
shared libraries, allowing programs that use standard subroutines to find the code for
these subroutines in the libraries at runtime.
- Linux supports (almost) all of the features of commercial versions of UNIX. In fact,
some of the features found in Linux may not be available on other proprietary UNIX systems.
- The Linux kernel uses no code from AT&T or any other proprietary source.
a large number of utilities in Linux are developed by the GNU project at the
Free Software Foundation in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Linux is compatible with the IEEE POSIX.1 standard.
- Virtual memory support.
- Built-in support for networking, multitasking, and other features. You'll see
this touted as "New Technology" in systems such as Windows NT. In fact, UNIX
(and now, Linux) has implemented this "new technology" for more than 15 years.
here is a huge distinction between commercial versions of UNIX and Linux:
Commercial versions of UNIX are designed for customers and will work out of
the box, whereas Linux is not guaranteed to work at all on your system. You
are indeed on your own.
efore you get started with Linux
- - Get organized.
- - Educate yourself about Linux and UNIX.
- - Be patient :-).
* UNIX is trade mark for X/Open Group.
* Linux is regiestered trade mark for Linus Torvalds.
- Linux User's Guide 1993-94.
- Red Hat Linux Unleashed.
- Misc documents.
Kernel 2.4 Is out now
Wednesday, Jan 17, 2001