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8. Introduction to Linux

8. Introduction to Linux

Exploring the fundamentals of Linux: from components and history to distributions and package managers

Bilal Shafiq's photo
Bilal Shafiq
·Jan 12, 2023·

5 min read

Table of contents

  • Components of Linux
  • What is Linux?
  • History of Linux
  • Unix vs Linux
  • Linux vs Mac vs Windows
  • Linux Distributions
  • Linux Package Managers
  • Shell
  • STDIN vs STDOUT vs STDERR
  • OvertheWire
  • Conclusion

Linux is a powerful and versatile operating system that is widely used in the world of DevOps. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the various components of Linux, its history, and how it differs from other popular operating systems. We will also explore some of the most popular Linux distributions and package managers, as well as some of the best resources for learning Linux commands.

Components of Linux

  • Bootloader: The bootloader is responsible for loading the Linux kernel and initializing the operating system.

  • Kernel: The kernel is the core of the Linux operating system and is responsible for managing system resources and providing an interface for other system components.

  • Daemon: A daemon is a background process that runs on a Linux system.

  • Shell: The shell is the command-line interface that allows users to interact with the Linux operating system.

  • Graphical server: The graphical server is responsible for displaying the graphical user interface on a Linux system.

  • Desktop environment: A desktop environment is a set of programs and tools that provide a consistent look and feel for a Linux system.

  • Applications: Applications are programs that run on a Linux system and provide various functionality to the user.

What is Linux?

Linux is an open-source operating system that is based on the Unix operating system. It was created in 1991 by Linus Torvalds as a way to create a free and open-source alternative to Unix. Linux is known for its stability, security, and flexibility and is widely used in servers, desktops, and embedded systems. Many big companies use Linux in their infrastructure, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Netflix, Uber, and many more. They use Linux because of its stability, security, and flexibility.

History of Linux

Linux was first released in 1991 by Linus Torvalds, a computer science student at the University of Helsinki. Torvalds initially wrote Linux as a hobby project, but it quickly gained popularity among other programmers and developers. Over the years, Linux has grown and evolved, becoming one of the most widely used operating systems in the world.

Unix vs Linux

Unix is a proprietary operating system that was developed in the 1970s. Linux, on the other hand, is an open-source operating system that was developed in the 1990s. Both Unix and Linux are based on the same principles, but Linux is often considered to be more flexible and customizable.

Linux vs Mac vs Windows

Linux, Mac, and Windows are all popular operating systems, but they have some key differences. Linux is an open-source operating system that is widely used in servers, desktops, and embedded systems. Mac is a proprietary operating system that is exclusively used on Apple devices. Windows is a proprietary operating system that is widely used in desktop and laptop computers.

Linux Distributions

There are many different Linux distributions available, each with its own set of features and tools. Some of the most popular Linux distributions include Ubuntu, CentOS, RedHat, and Linux Mint. Each distribution has its own package manager, which is a program that is used to install and manage software on the system.

Linux Package Managers

There are many different package managers available for Linux, including apt and yum. apt is the package manager for Ubuntu and Debian-based systems, while yum is used on Red Hat and CentOS systems. Other popular package managers include pacman (Arch Linux) and dnf (Fedora).

Shell

The shell is the command-line interface that allows users to interact with the Linux operating system. It is a command interpreter that provides users with an interface to interact with the system by executing commands. There are many different shells available for Linux, including the Bourne shell (sh), the C shell (csh), and the Bourne Again shell (bash). Bash is the most popular shell for Linux and is the default shell for many Linux distributions.

STDIN vs STDOUT vs STDERR

STDIN, STDOUT, and STDERR are the three standard streams that are used in Linux.

  • STDIN (Standard Input) is used to provide input to a program from the keyboard or from a file.

  • STDOUT (Standard Output) is used to display the output of a program on the screen.

  • STDERR (Standard Error) is used to display error messages from a program.

OvertheWire

OvertheWire is a website that offers a series of Linux-based wargames and challenges designed to help users learn Linux commands and improve their hacking skills. Each game is designed to teach a specific set of skills and commands, and users can progress through the games at their own pace.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Linux is a powerful and versatile operating system that offers many benefits for individuals and organizations. Its open-source nature, security, stability, and efficiency make it an ideal choice for a wide range of applications, from servers and desktops to embedded systems and IoT devices.

If you're new to Linux, it is recommended to start by downloading Linux Mint. Linux Mint is a distribution of Linux that is similar to Windows and is easy to use. It is a great choice for people who are new to Linux and want to familiarize themselves with the operating system.

And don't forget to signup for my newsletter and join me on Saturday 14th January between 1 pm - 6 pm GMT for my AWS training day.

The next few blogs will all be about Linux so stay tuned!

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