Linux is a free operating system that can be used by anyone (OS). It was first thought up and made as a hobby by Linus Torvalds in 1991. Linus tried to make an alternative version of the MINIX operating system that was free and open source while he was in college. The MINIX operating system was based on the principles and design of Unix. Since then, that hobby has become the OS with the most users, the OS that is used on the most public web servers, and the OS that is used on the top 500 fastest supercomputers.
Because Linux is open source, one of the best things is that it can be used by anyone. Linux is made available under the GNU General Public License, which is free to use (GPL). Those words mean that anyone can run and study the software. They can also share and make changes to the software as well. Code that has been changed can be shared and even sold, but it must be under the same license. This is very different from traditional operating systems, like Unix and Windows, which are proprietary, locked down, and can’t be changed. Instead, these systems are open source and can be changed.
Linux can be used for almost any kind of IT project, from containers to cloud-native apps to security. Knowledge-sharing websites like Wikipedia, the New York Stock Exchange, and Android-powered phones are all based on it (which is a specific-use distribution of the Linux kernel with complimentary software). When it comes to running critical, highly available, and reliable workloads in data centers and on the cloud, Linux has become an important part of the process over the years. Multiple use cases, distributions, target systems, and devices, as well as capabilities, all depend on what you need and what you’re working on.
Microsoft has also embraced Linux and open source in other ways, such as making a Linux version of its SQL Server and making the.NET framework available to anyone who wants to use it. This means that Linux-using developers can now make applications with that framework, which means that more people can use Linux. Some time in 2027, everyone who works for SAP will be moving to SAP HANA, which is an in-memory, relational database management system that runs on Linux. SAP customers who use Windows make up 50% of the market as of 2017.
On Microsoft’s Azure, more than 60% of the images on the Azure Marketplace and almost a third of the virtual machines on the Azure Marketplace are Linux-based. Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform, on the other hand, make public images of different types of Linux.
A lot of new computers are relying on Linux because it is stable and easy to add new features.
How simple is Linux?
Simple. It is very easy to use almost any Linux distribution with a graphic user interface (GUI). During the late 1970s OS wars, these GUIs humanized software by making it more visual. Realer.
But sometimes you need to ask the computer to do something beyond what a GUI can do. Then you need to open the command line—the strips of code you see tech-savvy geniuses typing away at in TV and movies. But the Hollywood treatment makes the command line (essential to open source OSs) appear unmasterable.
In reality, the command line is the most basic computer function. But some Linux distributions, like AlmaLinux and CentOS, make using open source OSs even simpler.
Security isn’t something you can turn on and leave. Any business—and any deployment strategy—must include security. Security isn’t an extra feature. Security is a whole thing. Operating systems are part of a bigger picture when it comes to IT security.
People who have access to physical hardware, as well as the applications installed on it, are all part of this bigger picture; the operating system plays a role in this bigger picture. It also looks at risk management, compliance, and governance as part of the bigger picture. One thing doesn’t mean the whole thing is safe. You need to address all parts.
Because Linux is modular, its security can be easier to keep track of. All of the parts that make up Linux can be checked, monitored, and secured. People who use Linux can use its built-in tools and modules, such as SELinux, to make it even more difficult for hackers to get into the computer.
There’s also a lot of effort in Linux to separate the user space from the kernel space, which means that the processes running on the system aren’t always available to users (based on their role privileges), and the user processes aren’t available to the whole system. This is what makes technologies like containers and virtualization work, because they need separate, secure, and distinct workloads and permissions.
If you want to be more secure, there are steps you can take and advantages Linux has that can help.