What is a Linux operating system?
For starters, Linux is an operating system like Windows and Mac. These three virtual giants all function similarly to any other operating system. The operating system manages the communication bridge between software and hardware. The only similarity between Windows, Mac, and Linux is the fact that they are all operating systems. As you know, you will not be able to run any software on your PC, laptop, or phone without any operating system. We will go into this more detail about the Advantages and Disadvantages of Linux over windows in the latter part of the article.
Linux has grown rapidly in popularity since just 25 years ago and ever since they came into the picture. Linux is built and developed from another operating system called Unix. Linux creator “Linus Torvalds” developed Linux based on the Unix framework and today we are there.
How does Linux work?
As noted in the previous section, Linux was developed from Unix. The two are almost identical and Linux was also designed to render it indistinguishable from Unix.
With all the development and modifications done for Linux, it has evolved from a Unix system. The Linux operating system has the ability to run many types of hardware on your phone and even supercomputers.
Although technically speaking, Linux is not “Linux”. Linux is actually known as the Linux kernel.
The kernel is the core system or framework around which an operating system is built. The kernel works with GNU Linux, an operating system consisting of several core components that allow the Linux kernel to run. Essentially, the kernel cannot function without GNU. The Linux kernel is a component that has been added to the GNU system making it GNU/Linux.
Assuming that an operating system comes with a set of programs, applications, and tools, the kernel helps manage hardware resources and some software that make up the entire operating system. Together with the GNU system, both of them make a complete package of Linux. In short, GNU + Linux kernel = GNU Linux.
Difference between Linux and Windows/Mac
The primary difference between Linux and Unix is that Linux is a free and open-source operating system. This means that anyone can modify and redistribute the source code of the operating system. It is also open to the public to view at any time and if you have the skills, you can also contribute to the source code.
Below are the examples of operating systems that use the Linux kernel:
- Google Chrome
- Even you can find that Linux is largely used by NASA, ATM machines, government facilities, web servers, Facebook, Google, and even Amazon.
Linux Vs windows
The Linux operating system is different from Windows in many ways. There are some important differences between these two operating systems are listed below.
It has grown faster than Windows: As Linux is open-source software, its contributors from around the world accelerate its development process. Linux releases a new kernel every 2 to 3 months, while Windows releases every 3 years.
It is more secure than Windows: Although Windows is a default option by many users, the security of Linux is higher than that of Windows because of how Linux handles privileges in its system.
It has more customization options: Windows offers few customization options, while Linux has several Linux distributions that provide high customization capabilities to its users.
Linux Vs Mac
Linux and Mac are somewhat similar operating systems in relation to Unix. The Mac uses an operating system known as BSD, which was based on Unix in the same way as Linux was developed based on Unix.
Between the two, there are still major differences.
It is free to use: One of the biggest benefits of being an open-source software is that you do not have to pay to use the software. With a Mac, you have to pay a heavy price to be able to use it.
Its security is better than that of a Mac. Even though fact that Mac is already very good at providing security to their users, Linux still wins in terms of security.
What are the benefits of using Linux?
Benefit 1: It’s free
I don’t mean like a broken record, but the open-source software is just fantastic. This is one of the biggest reasons contributing to the development and popularity of Linux and that is also free.
No license key and no specific hardware requirements, making the installation and use process fast, simple and easy.
Sounds too good to be true? not completely. This is only due to open-source software.
Because Linux is open-source software that allows users to modify and redistribute source code, continuous improvements and updates are sent by contributors around the world to improve Linux distribution.
Even better, users who are highly looking for customization may prefer the benefits of open-source software.
Benefit 2: Customization
Users who like tinkering and prefer to work in their own unique way will benefit the most. Linux allows a ton of visual customizations such as creating a Braille interface or a layout for impaired movements, along with creating custom user interfaces.
Finally, if you want to add, delete, or edit any functions or features in the system, this is possible with Linux.
Benefit 3: Security and Stability
You rarely experience a crash, reboot, or notice slow process speeds even after years of use. With Windows, you can easily see the difference after a year or two.
Regarding security, I would not say it’s 100% completely virus-free, but it is certainly close to that level. Being open-source software, it allows developers around the world to review the code and adjust any flaws they may find.