Linux Operating System

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The Linux operating system (or Linux OS) is a free and open-source operating system that can be installed on various devices, including desktops, servers, smartphones, and purpose-built devices such as in-car entertainment systems and medical wearables.

Linux is an example of free, open-source software collaboration, unlike commercial operating systems like Windows and Mac, which need license fees. Under the rules of its licenses, such as the GNU (General Public License), the underlying source code may be accessed, used, modified, and distributed by anyone, for commercial or non-commercial purposes.

What Is The Linux Operating System?

Linux began as a personal computer operating system, but it has since been ported to more platforms than any other operating system. Linux is a popular server operating system and the only one used on TOP 500 supercomputers.

One of the most widely used UNIX operating systems is Linux. It is completely free for all users. Linux was created with UNIX compatibility in mind. Its feature set is very close to that of UNIX.

introduction to Linux Operating System

For the desktop, Linux is available in a variety of variants and popular distributions like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, OpenSUSE, Fedora, and Debian. Each distribution takes a different approach to the desktop.

The distribution includes the Linux kernel, as well as all of the tools and libraries required to make the operating system run properly. Linux servers are also available, some are free, while others have been hardened and tuned for business usage.

How Is The Linux Operating System Used?

Versions of the Linux operating system control hardware resources, run and maintain programs, and provide a user interface. Because of the large development community and a vast range of distributions, we have a Linux version for practically every task, and Linux has entered many fields of computing. 

Linux nowadays has become a popular operating system for web servers like Apache, scientific computing workloads, network operations that demand large compute clusters, databases, and mobile devices like Android, etc.

The Linux operating system can be found in various environments, serving a wide range of use cases. Linux is used in the following applications:

  • Server operating system for web servers, database servers, file servers, email servers, and other types of shared servers. Linux is well-suited for all types of server applications since it is designed to enable high-volume and multithreading applications.
  • Desktop operating system for personal productivity computing. Linux is a free and open-source desktop environment for users who prefer it to commercial operating systems.
  • Embedded device or appliance OS for systems with low computational capabilities. Linux is utilized as an embedded operating system in various applications, including home appliances, vehicle entertainment systems, and network file systems.
  • Headless server OS is used for systems that do not require a graphical user interface (GUI) or a directly connected terminal and keyboard. Headless systems are frequently used to administer networking servers and other devices remotely.
  • Network OS for routers, switches, domain name system servers, home networking devices, etc. For example, Cisco provides a Linux-based version of its Internetwork Operating System (IOS).
  • Software development OS for enterprise software development.  Although many development tools have been transferred to Windows or other operating systems, Linux is home to some of the most popular open-source software development tools. For example, git is used for distributed source control, vim and emacs are used for source code editing, and compilers and interpreters exist for almost every programming language.
  • Cloud operating system for cloud instances. Major cloud computing companies provide access to Linux-based cloud computing instances for cloud servers, desktops, and other services. The Linux operating system manages the links between hardware, such as the CPU, memory, and hard drives, peripherals such as printers and cameras, and the components that connect the computer to the Internet. Most importantly, it allows the user to run the various bits of software and applications they require, such as email programs, web browsers, word processors, spreadsheets, and games.

Features Of the Linux Operating System

  • Users can access the same computer resources such as RAM and hard drive. However, they must work using distinct terminals.
  • Multitasking can be done carefully by splitting CPU time, many functions may be done simultaneously.
  • Portability does not imply that it is lower in file size or that it can be carried on a pen drive or memory card. It supports a wide range of hardware.
  • It secures data in three ways: authentication (using a password ), authorization (using permissions to read, write, and execute), and encryption.
  • Almost all Linux distributions include a live CD/USB that users may use to run/test the software without installing it.
  • Linux is a command-line operating system that can also be transformed into a GUI i.e. a graphical user interface.
  • Customized keyboard for Support has multiple language keyboards since it is used internationally.
  • Application assistance includes its repository where users may download and install a variety of programs.

Linux OS Components

The Linux Operating System is made up of three parts :

  • The first component of the Linux Operating system is the Kernel. The kernel is the most important component of Linux. It is in charge of the operating system's primary functions. It is made up of numerous modules that interface directly with the hardware. Kernel offers the necessary abstraction for applications to mask low-level hardware specifics.
  • The second component of the Linux Operating system is the System Library. System libraries are specialized functions or programs that allow application applications or system utilities to access Kernel functionality. These libraries implement the majority of the operating system's features without requiring kernel module code access.
  • The Third component of the Linux Operating system is the System Utilities. System Utility programs are in charge of performing specialized, and individual-level activities.

Linux OS Terminology

Linux Operating system can work with a variety of components that include :

  • Bootloader: A bootloader is in charge of handling the computer's boot process and launching the Linux kernel. It has also been used to manage computers that support several operating systems.
  • Init System: This is the first activity to execute when the kernel is loaded. The init system initializes the system so that it may execute additional processes. Init is a daemon program that serves as the system's parent process for all other processes. Init may be set up to start particular processes when the system boots up. When the system is set to operate a web server, for example, the init system can be designed to load all essential web server software.
  • Daemons: This is software that runs on a computer in the background and handles service requests. A daemon, commonly called httpd, is used by a web server operating on a Linux system to listen for virtual server requests.

Structure Of Linux Operating System

An operating system is a collection of software programs, each of which is designed to perform a certain function. The Linux operating system includes the following components:

1) The kernel

The kernel is the main component of the Linux operating system and is the core interface between a computer's hardware and its processes. It allows devices and applications to communicate with one another. It also handles system resources. It is responsible for four things:

  • Device administration: A system is connected to various devices, such as a CPU, a memory device, sound cards, graphic cards, and so on. A kernel maintains all data linked to all devices in the device driver (without this kernel, the devices cannot be controlled). As a result, the kernel understands what a device is capable of and how to modify it to achieve optimal performance. It also regulates communication between all devices. The kernel imposes regulations on all devices, which must be observed.
  • Memory management: It is another function that the kernel has to manage. The kernel monitors used and unused memory and ensures that programs do not alter each other's data using virtual memory addresses.
  • Process management: During the process, the management kernel allows enough time and prioritizes processes before allocating CPU to other processes. It also addresses security and ownership concerns.
  • Handling system calls: Handling system calls comprises writing a query or instructing the kernel to do a task. A "software interrupt" passes control to kernel code that implements a system call. A system call is a programmatic method by which a program requests a service from the kernel, and trace is a strong tool for tracing the thin layer that exists between user processes and the Linux kernel. To understand how an operating system works, you must first comprehend system calls.

2) System Libraries

System libraries are special applications that aid in the use of kernel functionality. A kernel has to be triggered to complete a task, and this triggering is done by the applications. It can be any user-level application that interacts with a kernel module. For example, we can execute a program from the shell or double-click on the application icon. However, because each kernel has a unique collection of system calls, programs must understand how to use them. To connect with the kernel, programmers have created a standard library of operations. Each operating system supports these standards, and they are then converted to system calls for that operating system. Glibc is the most well-known Linux system library (GNU C library).

3) System Tools

The Linux operating system has a range of utility tools, which are often basic commands like pr, lp, lpr, etc. It is software produced by the GNU project and published under their open-source license, making it freely available to everyone. You can use commands to access your files, edit and manipulate data in your directories or files, change the location of files, or anything.

4) Development Tools

Your operating system is up and running with the three components listed above. However, extra tools and libraries are available to help you update your system. The programmers create these additional tools and libraries, which are referred to as the toolchain. A toolchain is a collection of tools that converts source code into executables that can be run on your target device. It includes a compiler, a linker, and run-time libraries such as libc (the standard C library) or glibc (the GNU version of the standard C library).

5) End User Tools

These finishing tools distinguish a system for the user. End tools are not required by the operating system but are required by the user. End tools include graphic design software, office suites, browsers, multimedia players, etc.

How Linux Operating System Work?

The modular nature of the Linux operating system is the secret to its various versions and distributions. Although all Linux variants are built on the Linux kernel, they might differ depending on things like :

The kernel's version. More modern versions can be customized to integrate more features, while older ones can be made to be more stable.

Device drivers, which use code to control how connected devices work file system drivers, are using code to control how the kernel interacts with various file systems, and system calls, which use code to control how applications request resources from the kernel, are all examples of kernel modules.

The working of the Linux Kernel is in the following ways :

  • First, The Linux kernel is loaded into the system, and booting is started.
  • Secondly, When the booting process is completed, the Linux kernel handles all the inputs and outputs of the system, and the process is started.
  • Thirdly, When system processes are initiated, the system can be utilized for network server operations, and interactive command-line commands with the help of command prompt, desktop apps, or any other application or software.

Benefits Of Linux Operating System

The Linux operating system in the real world is as follows :

  • It is Open source so that anyone with programming capabilities will be able to create modifications in the code.
  • Linux operating system is easy to understand and fast to learn.
  • It offers a variety of application programs that can run on the Linux operating system of which many of them are free of cost.
  • Linux operating system is a highly safe and secure OS and as it is open-source some of the best Experts are constantly working to modify and make it more and more secure every day.
  • It is also preferred by different server environments due to its stability and reliability by some Tech Giants like Amazon, Facebook, Google Etc.

Examples Of Multiprocessor Operating Systems

Linux Operating System is the most popular Multiprocessor Operating System.Some other examples of Multiprocessor OS are :

  • Intel Nehalem: Focused on Improving the performance of the System.
  • AMD Opteron: This was the Earlier server and workstation process line used by AMD and also the first processor to support the AMD64 Instruction set Architecture.
  • ARM Cortex A9, A15: They have the capabilities to work using Multithreading Technology.
  • Oracle (Sun) Ultrapace: It is a total System Simulator that has the capabilities to boot as well as run applications.


The things we have learned in the article are as follows :

  • Linux is an open-source Operating System that supports a variety of applications and can be used for several purposes.
  • Linux Operating System can work with several Components like Kernel Shell, Bootloader, Init System, and System Utility.
  • The structure of a Linux Operating System is the Hardware layer, Kernel, Shell, and Utilities.
  • It has many benefits easy to learn and understand, Free of cost, a High level of security, and a state of constant improvement.
  • Learned about different multiprocessor systems like Nehalem, Opteron, etc.