Saturday, May 28, 2011

Introduction to Linux

A Hands on Guide

·       Linux is a Unix-like operating system that was designed to provide personal computer users a free or very low-cost operating system comparable to traditional and usually more expensive Unix systems.  It is a very efficient and fast-performing system. Linux's kernel  is the central part of the operating system.

·       key differences between Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems are :

(i) Linux is an open-source operating system. The advantages of open-source products range is security. With the source code readily available in the public domain, open-source products can be vigorously tested by programmers all over the world.
       This is much more difficult with a closed system like Microsoft                 Windows because the source code is not publicly available.
(ii) Linux is based on the Unix operating system, while Windows is a proprietary or stand-alone operating system.

USER INTERFACE : Unlike many other operating systems, Linux runs extremely well on standard VGA 80x24 terminals. Linux's terminal interface provides speed and ease-of-use still unmatched by GUIs. Linux uses mature, powerful shells such as tcsh and bash, which elegantly display and manipulate text at blazing speeds on any PC. Linux's text mode support is particularly appropriate for portables with small screens, slower processors, and little memory. The reduced requirements for character-mode displays also enables Linux to run very well off of floppy drives, which has great utility for creating bootable emergency repair disks or running Linux on non-Linux PCs. Linux's text mode support is inappropriate for graphical applications like Netscape or WYSIWYG word processors, but is superior for system administration and text editing tasks due to its versatility, speed, and uniform support.
Linux supports a wide number of X-Windows servers on large monitors at resolutions up to 1600x1200. Linux's X-Windows client-server technology offers the best  capability of displaying graphical applications locally which run remotely. X-Windows is also notable for the extreme amount of customization available through resource files. Linux provides more powerful and flexible desktop interface options than most other operating systems.

·       Linux is portable to any hardware platform.
·       Linux is scalable.
·       Linux is secure and versatile.
·       The Linux OS and quite some Linux applications have very short debugs.
·       Linux  runs  without rebooting all the time.

LINUX AND GNU :  GNU is often used with a kernel called Linux.    The combination of GNU and Linux is the GNU/Linux operating system. The FSF started developing GNU by writing things like compliers, C libraries, and basic command line utilities before the kernel. Linus  Torvalds, started Linux by writing the Linux kernel first and using applications written for GNU.

Unix  workstation :
·       X windows
·       NFS
Software Development:
·       GNU development environment
·       C,C++, Ada
·       Java
·       Many others
File Server :
·       Unix, Windows  and NetWare
Internet :
·       Web Server
·       News Server
·       Firewall

Current application of Linux systems
o   On the server side, Linux is well-known as a stable and reliable platform, providing database and trading services for companies.
o    Internet providers and Internet service providers have grown fond of Linux as firewall, proxy- and web server.
o   Clusters of Linux machines are used in the creation of movies such as "Titanic", "Shrek" and others.
o   In post offices, they are the nerve centers that route mail and in large search engine, clusters are used to perform internet searches.
o   These are only a few of the thousands of heavy-duty jobs that Linux is performing day-to-day across the world.
o   It is also worth to note that modern Linux not only runs on workstations, mid- and high-end servers, but also on "gadgets" like PDA's, mobiles, a shipload of embedded applications and even on experimental wristwatches.
o   This makes Linux the only operating system in the world covering such a wide range of hardware.

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