Introduction to Linux


Linux is an operating system that was created between 1991 to 1994 by Linus Torvalds. In simple terms, it is a layer between hardware and software and allows software to talk to the hardware. Linux is not a derivative of Unix contrary to what most people think. Only that most commands that work in Unix also work in Linux. Linux is open source and has several distributions. It comes in both graphical and line user interface. The line user interface is preferred by most professionals in the linux world as it is very powerful. But this does not mean that Linux is designed to be used only by professionals. In fact there are several versions of Unix that are as user-friendly and as easy to install as Windows.

The main concepts that you need to be aware of and understand about Linux before starting with it are:

  1. The root of Linux is the highest level folder where the Linux operating system is installed. There is also a root user, which is the highest level user. The roots of a user account is the home folder for that user.
  2. Linux is case-sensitive, so in the Linux world a folder named “TEST” is different from folder “Test”, while in Windows these are the same.
  3. Linux is available in two versions – Server version (line user interface)and Desktop version (graphical interface). Linux is much more powerful and robust than windows and is thus very well-suited for Server deployments. Linux based servers can run on and on for days without requiring a re-boot and no performance issues are generally noticed.