Linux - Overview                                 Home : www.sharetechnote.com

 

 

 

Linux is an Operating System that was first released in 1991 by Linux Torvalds, and has been upgraded by a lot of people from all of the world since it's first release. If you have any experience with Unix and DOS long time ago, you would feel familiar with Linux.

Early release was based on mainly command line and now many distribution packages comes out with default GUI, from which you may have Windows or MAC like look-and-feel.

 

There are a lot of debates/discussions on Pros-and-Cons of Linux especially comparing to Windows. As you know, there is nothing which is better in all cases and is worse in all cases. Everything has it's own merits in a certain field or in a certain aspects.

 

Personally, I haven't used Linux much mainly due to things listed under "Why we don't want to use Linux", but lately I started using Linux due to "Why we want to use Linux". Does it mean that I completely gave up using Windows ? Of course not, still over 90% of my time with PC would be with Windows.

 

An article What is Linux and why is it so popular? from HowStuffWorks says Linux would be appealing to such a people as listed below. I think it make sense to me (I fall into at least two categories of these)

 

•People who already know UNIX and want to run it on PC-type hardware

•People who want to experiment with operating system principles

•People who need or want a great deal of control over their operating system

•People who have personal problems with Microsoft

 

 

Why we want to use Linux ?

 

  • Most of Linux is free. You can download it from internet and install it on your PC.
  • A lot of application program running on Linux is also free. For example, popular application software like Word, Spreadsheet, presentation tool are free and a lot of softwares from SourceForge are mostly designed for Linux.
  • Source code for operating system itself is open. It means that you can modify the source as you like and recompile it (though this is not an easy job to do -:)
  • In some area (e.g, in Networking), it is known that Linux provide more diversity, flexibility comparing to other OS (e.g, Windows)

 

 

Why we don't want to use Linux ?

 

  • Cultural reason (Habitual Inertia ?). Most of people has been used Windows for so long, they would have never thought of using other operating sysem.
  • Device Driver Compatibility. At least, based my experience there are many devices coming with PC/Labtop would not work well with Linux, or you have to make a lot of effort (e.g, finding drivers and going through tedius configuration process) to make it work.
  • There are too many variations of Linux, it is hard to find which one would be the best for my PC.

 

 

Popular Distribution Packages

 

There are a lot of distribution packages of Linux (somebody say there are over 500 different packages). Here goes a list of popular packages (I am using Ubuntu for my personal labtop and using Red Hat Enterprise at work)

  • Debian and it's derivative Ubuntu, Linux Mint
  • Red Hat Enterprise and it's derivative Fedora, CentOS
  • openSUSE
  • Arch Linux