Almost all the people from backgrounds related to I.T must have heard of Linux somewhere. Though you might not have used it personally, or you might have tried it but things made little sense to you at first. So in this blog, I will provide you a brief introduction to Linux. This blog or a series of blogs will help you get familiar with Linux.
What is Linux
So let’s first understand What is Linux. Even though you might not know about it but Linux is all around you. You can say it’s almost everywhere. Most of the world’s most powerful supercomputers run Linux, nearly every big corporates like google, amazon, and Facebook uses it for their servers. And in case you own an Android smartphone that too is a modification of the underlying Linux kernel.
We can see Linux as a family of operating systems that are open source in nature, unlike the Unix operating system. Linus Torvalds developed this Linux kernel as he wanted the system to be accessible to everyone. And in case you don’t know I am also writing this on a Linux system. I am using Ubuntu 20.04 which an LTS release of Ubuntu.
But to understand what Linux exactly is. Linux is only a kernel. There are over 600 distributions out there that are created using Linux kernel as the base. And 500 of them are still in active development. And Ubuntu I am using is just one of them. You can choose any distribution (distro in short) based on your preferences and needs.
Reasons to use Linux
Well, the Linux has existed from quite a while. But, now the question arises why should you care? Well, to answer this let me point out some benefits that it offers compared to the Windows operating system.
- It’s free:- Oh you read that write it’s completely free to use and distribute. Actually, Linus Torvalds created it because he didn’t have money to buy a UNIX-based system. At that time, computer hardware itself was very costly and then the operating system used to add to that cost which made the desktops inaccessible to the general public. With that in mind, he created a Unix clone all by himself.
- It’s open-source:- In case being free isn’t enough it is also open source. But how does it help you? Well, it helps you by giving you enough freedom to change whatever it is you don’t like about the system. Windows as an OS is kind of very rigid. But Linux offers lots of flexibility. If you are dedicated enough, then the sky is the limit to how much you can alter or customize your system.
- Better performance:- It’s not the raw performance that is better than compared to windows rather it’s the resources it needs to run the Linux. The system requirements are very less to run a Linux distro than it is for Windows.
- Support from the community:- Facing any problem? Search on google and I am pretty darn sure that you will not be the first one to have faced that problem. In case you do run into a one-of-a-kind problem just post it on the community forums of that particular distro. And it’s very likely you will have your problem resolved. And do make sure to be nice and humble while posting something on those forums because those people are not obliged to help you.
- It’s secure:- Security is another major concern nowadays when digital crimes are on the rise. Linux is much more secure as compared to Windows operating systems. Even if sometime a vulnerability for Linux is introduced, it is quickly fixed by all the volunteers all across the globe. Actually the presence of the community is reason why most of the issues are fixed fairly quickly.
- It’s versatile:- Linux OS is quite versatile as well. It is not an OS only for Desktops or Laptops. We can use it on almost any kind of electronic equipment. As I have already stated Linux is being used in Super Computers, home appliances, and in lots of other gadgets. So the versatility of Linux is unmatched. So If you end up learning Linux development you can work with lots of other devices.
Why it is not getting the deserved popularity
Now the question to ask is that even if the Linux has all the above listed features why we don’t hear about it often. It’s because Linux isn’t the OS that we are taught to use since childhood. Since, our childhood we are taught to use Windows Operating System. That makes us believe that Windows is the only OS out there. But that isn’t the case. There are a lots of alternatives to Windows out there.
Linux isn’t the only alternative to the Windows there is Mac OS which belongs to Apple ecosystem. As the apple ecosystem is very closed. It is often very difficult to install the Mac OS on the custom PC’s. Though, people are trying to find a way to install it on their custom PC’s which is called a hackintosh.
What are the major Linux distributions
So got enough motivation to try out the Linux operating system? Let’s take a look at the major Linux distributions.
- Ubuntu OS:- We can think of Ubuntu as a beginner OS. I also started with my journey in Linux with Ubuntu. Even now I am using Ubuntu. It has the largest community base compared to any other distro. In case you run into a problem it’s very likely it will be resolved very easily.
- Debian OS:- Debian is a Linux distro for experts. It is much more stable as compared to Ubuntu. As it’s heavily tested before every release. And its release schedule is also less frequent as compared to Ubuntu. Though you might not able to see the latest improvements in the latest versions of Debian OS because they delay the updates to ensure the stability of the system. So if the stability of the system is your major concern then Debian is the OS of your choice.
- Elementary OS:- Elementary OS is the most beautiful Linux distro out there. It’s quite similar to the interface of the Mac OS. And it’s quite subtle to look at. And it’s based on the Ubuntu core. So all the commands that work on Ubuntu do work on Elementary as well.
- Fedora OS:- Fedora OS is more focused on open-source softwares only. SO installing any third-party proprietary drivers becomes a hassle. But it is quite popular in software developers. Though the number of software that it supports is quite less.
- Mint os:- Mint OS is also popular with beginner Linux users. Due to it’s clean user interface. And it’s interface is quite similar to the Windows environment, so it helps in transitioning from Windows to Linux. It uses the Ubuntu package manager. So all the packages that works in the Ubuntu will work in Linux Mint.
- Kali Linux:- If you make a search on YouTube, you will see a lot of videos about hacking or such stuff. Kali Linux is used for improving the security of the system. You can do so by trying to attempt your system by various methods and then creating the majors against those methods that can stop the vulnerabilities in your system from being exploited.
- Arch Linux:- Arch Linux is a fairly advanced Linux distro. It comes with only a Command-Line interface. But I don’t recommend for the new users. As it could take you a lot of time to make sure what’s happening. Before ever trying Arch Linux on your own try to familiarize with the basic commands of the Linux terminal.
In, the end I would like to encourage you to try out the Linux Operating System for yourself, it will help you better understand it. I know it can feel a bit daunting at first but I assure you it is quite easy. But beware not all softwares that you are familiar with will work in the Linux OS. You will need to look for the alternatives. To help you get started I will also make a blog regarding how to install the Linux OS in your system. And also a blog listing the alternatives to various popular programs that you might be using on your Windows machine. That will help you in easing up the transition from Windows to Linux system.