Introduction to Linux - A Beginner’s Approach

ninetimesdissemblingSoftware and s/w Development

Nov 10, 2012 (4 years and 5 months ago)

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A Beginner’s Approach

Anurag Bhandari

Roll No.: 05103007

CSE, 7
th

Semester


OS is the interface between hardware and user


All computers need an OS


OSes are used to run applications and control hardware


Popular OSes include Windows, Linux, Mac OSX


Developed in 1991 by a University of Finland student
Linus Torvalds
.


Basically a kernel, it was combined with the various software and
compilers from GNU Project to form an OS, called
GNU/Linux


Linux is a full
-
fledged OS available in the form of various
Linux
Distributions


RedHat
,
Fedora
,
SuSE
,
Ubuntu
,
Debian

are examples of Linux distros


Linux is supported by big names as IBM, Google, Sun, Novell, Oracle, HP,
Dell, and many more


Inspired by the UNIX OS, the Linux kernel was developed as a clone of
UNIX


GNU was started in 1984 with a mission to develop a free UNIX
-
like OS


Linux was the best fit as the kernel for the GNU Project


Linux kernel was passed onto many interested developers throughout the
Internet


Linux today is a result of efforts of thousands of individuals, apart from
Torvalds


Can be controlled through command
-
line (CLI) or Graphical User Interface
(GUI)


GUI run through Desktop Environments (DE)


KDE, GNOME, Xfce, E17 are popular Des


The GUI interface is easy
-
to
-
use and much like that of Windows and Mac
OSX


The CLI is similar to that of UNIX/BSD


Modern languages are cross
-
platform, like
Python
,
Ruby
,
Perl
,
Java


Most Linux distros support these languages and have their runtimes pre
-
installed


GTK+

and
Qt

are widely used to design applications for Linux


IDEs like NetBeans, Anjuta, KDevelop, MonoDevelop, Eclipse are available
for Linux too


Linux is desktop computer ready


Large number of distros targeted at Desktop users are available


Linux desktop distros come with many commonly used pre
-
installed
softwares


The modern Linux interface is user
-
friendly and makes the interaction
with computer easy


It is possible to install/run Windows software on Linux


Wine helps run a wide range of Windows applications


Cedega helps run huge number of Windows games flawlessly


Many native games are available, both 3D and 2D


Wine and Cedega help run Windows
-
only games


Popular games for Linux are: Quake, Unreal Tournament, Counter Strike,
Doom, Cube, CodeRED, Wesnoth, OpenArena, SuperTux, Frozen Bubble,
Medal of Honor, and many more.


Linux is the most used OS on servers


5 out of 10 reliable web hosting companies use Linux


Linux is the cornerstone of the LAMP server
-
software combination (Linux,
Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP/Python) which has achieved popularity among
developers


Out of top 500 supercomputers, Linux is deployed on 426 of them


16.7% of smartphones worldwide use Linux as OS


Linux poses a major competition to the most popular OS is this segment


Symbian


Nokia, Openmoko supply Linux on their select smartphones


Linux can be used on a wide range of electronic
devices, like PC, PDAs, Smartphones, iPods, MP3
Players, PlayStation 2 & 3, mission critical servers and
so on…


1983 (September):
GNU project was announced publicly


1991 (September):
first version of the Linux kernel was released to the Internet


2001 (second quarter):
Linux server unit shipments at 15% annual growth rate


2004
: Linux shipped on approximately 50% of the worldwide server blade units, and
20% of all rack
-
optimized servers


2005
: Microsoft representatives accuse Brazilian college using
Famelix

of pirating
Microsoft Windows


2007
: Dell announces it will ship select models with
Ubuntu

Linux pre
-
installed


2007
: Lenovo announces it will ship select models with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
10 pre
-
installed


2007
: HP announces that it will begin shipping computers preinstalled with Red Hat
Linux in Australia


2007
: ASUS launches the
linux
-
based ASUS
Eee

PC


2008
: Dell announces it will begin shipping
Ubuntu

based computers to Canada and
Latin America


2008
: Dell is shipping systems with
Ubuntu

pre
-
installed in China


2008
: Acer launches the
linux
-
based Acer Aspire One


Governments of many countries around the world are
shifting to Linux from Windows due to the many
benefits it offer


Countries like India, France, Pakistan, Czech Reppublic,
Brazil, Germany, USA, Austria, Spain, China, and Peru
already use Linux


The widely popular OLPC (One Laptop Per Child)
Project’s XO Laptop runs on Linux


Universities in countries, like USA, Germany,
Netherlands, Philippines, Brazil, Russia, Switzerland,
India, use Linux on their workstations and servers


No threat of viruses


Linux systems are extremely stable


Linux is Free


Linux comes with most of the required software pre
-
installed


Update all your software with minimum fuss


Linux never gets slow


Linux does not need defragmentation


Linux can even run on oldest hardware


Adding more software is a matter of a few clicks


Most Windows
-
only apps have their either their native version
or alternatives for Linux


With Linux, you get the highest degree of possible
customizability


Security has always been the number one priority with
Linux


Linux has a robust security system


There do not exist viruses for the Linux platform


Have you ever lost your precious work because Windows crashed? Have
you ever gotten the "blue screen of death" or error messages telling you
that the computer needs to be shut down for obscure reasons?


Crashes or freezes are not prevalent in Linux


Linux is free and always will be as compared to the
very costly Windows and Mac OSX


Using pirated Windows is a bad thing


When the system has installed, why would you
still

need to install stuff ?


Common software such as music player, web browser, video player, image
editor, PDF reader, chat messenger, office apps


Just like Windows’ Update tool, Linux has a more better
alternative to it to update all your system in a few clicks


As Linux is impervious to viruses, trojans, spywares,
which are the main reasons to slow down the PC,
systems based on it do not get slower


Linux consumes lesser system resources


If you already know what fragmentation is,
and are already used to defragmenting your
disk every month or so, here is the short
version : Linux doesn't need defragmenting.


Whereas Windows
-
based system get
fragmented frequently and need attention in
this regard.


Windows requires more and more hardware power as
its version number increases (95, 98, 2000, Me, XP,
etc.). So if you want to keep running Windows, you
need to constantly buy new hardware


Linux runs perfectly well on older hardware, on which
Windows XP would probably even refuse to install, or
let you wait 20 seconds after each click


With Linux, everything is
much simpler
. Linux has what
is called a "package manager": each piece of software
is contained in its own "package". If you need some
new software, just open the package manager, type a
few keywords, choose which software you want to
install and press "Apply" or "OK". Or you can just
browse existing software (that's a lot of choice!) in
categories.



Due to the various options available in Linux, like a lot
of DEs, themes, Window Managers, and the modular
nature of DEs, Linux is very customizable


The extent of customizability is clearly implied by the
fact that some people have gone as far as to customize
their Linux OS to make them look and feel like Mac
OSX and Windows


So, what OS a user should opt to choose?


The answer depends on user’s own choice.