Linux Operating Systems
Linux is a cloned version of the Unix operating system developed from scratch by Linus Torvalds (when he was a 21-year old student) and a team of developers over the Internet.
The primary goals of Linux are that it be:
- POSIX (a standards-based Unix) compliance
- Openness--meaning that all Linux code is open source and available for public inspection and commentary
- Internet-centric and eBusiness ready from the inside out, meaning that it contains blazing fast TCP/IP drivers and fully protected 32-bit and 64-bit multitasking.
In addition, it is free (though service and support contracts are not). Linux has received support from virtually all of the commercial
operating system vendors (a matter of political correctness in some cases, and genuine support in others), and has a growing community of
supporters, and even commercial application implementations. Linux is used extensively as an operating system for base Web servers, especially
in regards to Apache, which is the Web server software package used for more Internet Web servers than any other product, eclipsing even
vendors like Microsoft. Apache (which we discuss elsewhere) is likewise free (except for service and support).
With Linux, you are free to erase your computer's entire hard disk and run nothing but open source software on it. As an alternative, you could run Linux from a live CD (ignoring your computer's contents without changing them) or install Linux to dual boot with your Windows or Mac OS X system as you choose. The bottom line is that with Linux you are free to do as you choose with your computer. In only a few years, Linux has advanced from being considered a specialty operating system into the mainstream. Precompiled and configured Linux systems can be installed with no technical expertise. Versions of Linux run on all kinds of devices, from PCs to handhelds to game consoles to supercomputers to the robots used with Boston Dyanmics.
In short, Linux has become a system that almost anyone can run almost anywhere. On both desktop and server computers Linux has become a formidable operating system across a variety of business applications. Today, large enterprises can deploy thousands of systems using Linux distributions from companies such as Red Hat, Inc. and Ubuntu. Small businesses can put together the mixture of office and Internet services they need to keep their costs down.
The free and open source software (FOSS) development model that espoused sharing, freedom, and openness is now on a trajectory to surpass the quality of other operating systems outside of the traditional Linux servers and technical workstations. What were once weak components of
Linux, such as easy-to-use desktops, multimedia codecs and limited driver availability, have improved at a rapid pace. In areas of security, usability, connectivity, and network services, Linux has continued to improve and outshine the competition.