Linux is the leading computer operating system that is based on free and open source software. While there are several different varieties of Linux, all are based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel developed by Linus Torvalds in 1992. Today, volunteers and various corporations develop features and build software that ‘sits’ on top of the kernel and is contributed back to the community.
With its scalability, security, and performance, Linux can offer much that Windows and Mac OS cannot. Most are intrigued by the idea of a completely free system, but they are astonished by no registration costs, no costs per user, free updates, and freely available source codes. Anyone under licenses such as GNU can use the source code, freely modify it, and redistribute both commercially and non-commercially. Linux is not just for your desktop, it can also be installed on a wide variety of hardware platforms, including mobile phones, tablet computers, routers, video game consoles, mainframes, and supercomputers. Because it is scalable, add or remove the appropriate packages and Linux fits all. Linux was also made to keep on running. As with Unix, a Linux system expects to run without rebooting all the time. This allows for Linux to be applicable in environments where people don’t have time or the option to control their systems night and day.
Security is always a major concern with operating systems. Since Linux is an open source, if there was a widespread virus today, there would be hundreds of patches released tomorrow. With Linux, there is no need to wait weeks or months for a resolution from one single company. There are fewer security holes than other server operating systems and firewalls and flexible file access permission systems prevent access by unwanted visitors or viruses.
The power of choice is one of the greatest advantages of the Linux system. You are in control of the look and feel of your desktop and the kernel. Regular users and programmers are constantly contributing applications all the time so there are so many software choices when it comes to any task. Distributions of Linux can be downloaded by anyone and installed by anyone. Linux is not only well engineered and well tested, but it is publicly available, free to use and free to own.
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