Linux for beginners: an introduction to the Linux operating system

Almost we all are familiar with the Windows, iOS and Android operating systems. These OS are something which we use daily, but out of all the computer users, very fewer users are familiar with the Linux operating system. Various users think it as a very complicated system which only professionals can use. Now, this is wrong because anyone can use Linux and that’s why in this beginners guide we are going to share some basic information about the Linux operating system.

Linux is a free open-source operating system

Linux is an operating system or kernel. It is an open-source operating system which can be easily downloaded. It is similar to the UNIX system. This is the brainchild of a young computer science student named Linus Torvalds. When he used to work at UNIX OS, then he develops a Linux system as an improvement in the UNIX.  But, when he proposed this to the UNIX OS, then they outrageously declined his proposal so he thought of launching Linux as an open-sourced distribution for his users.

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Early Evaluation

The Linux kernel was introduced in 1991, however, to use its programs like File Manager, Document Editors, Audio Video programs are required. Its something like eating ice from a cone. With time, he collaborated with the other intelligent programmers of MIT and designed applications to start Linux. So, around somewhere in 1991, he reintroduced Linux operating system with some official applications and this Linux became the most loved open-sourced OS option up to till date.

The older versions of Linux were not at all user-friendly as they were only used by computer programmers and Linus never wanted to commercialize the program. This is the main reason that Linux isn’t as popular as the other operating systems like Windows. However, the open-sourced feature of Linux still made it quite popular among advanced computer users.

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Spotlight Over Linux

The top advantages of Linux were that programmers can use the Linux kernel to their custom operating system. This feature of Linux made numerous programmers shift towards Linux. Today, Linux is one of the most popular and widely used Kernel, and it is the backbone of popular operating systems like Debian, Knoppix, Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Fedora. There are thousands of Linux based operating software available in the market. Linux kernel is used in the GNU project by Dr. Richard Stallman.

Benefits of using Linux

Linux is one of the leading OS of the twenty-first century and is very popular among programmers as well as regular computer users. This operating system has numerous benefits such as –

  • It is a free operating system so no need to spend thousands of dollars on getting OS.
  • It is an open-sourced program which can be used by anyone with small programming knowledge.
  • Linux operating system has millions of programs and applications and out of which most of them are free.
  • After installing Linux on your system you don’t need antivirus. It is a highly secured system with a global community looking up new ways to enhance security. With every new update, Linux gets even more secured.
  • It is the first choice of server environment due to the stability and reliability factors like Amazon, Facebook, and Google use Linux for their Servers). A Linux based server could run non-stop without a reboot for years on end.

What are some features of Linux?

Speed – Linux runs pretty fast It is supported on almost every major computer platform including x86, ARM and SPARC, making it one of the most widely supported operating systems.

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Graphical Customization: GNU/Linux is the only OS that lets you pick the GUI if you want to go that far, get Arch Linux, find a GUI you like, and install it.

Control Over Entire Base System: Linux is great when it comes to fixing errors. Because your system is already in modular pieces, if a tool breaks, you can either uninstall then re-install the package using a manager of your choice, re-compile it by hand, or either find a different tool as a filler and for those creative minds out there, write your own replacement.

Programmer-friendly – One of the best things I’ve learned about Linux is that it comes with everything you need to compile both C and C++ programs out of the box, regardless of distribution. Unless, of course, you require different tools, see above. This includes a text editor and a compiler, but there are many other languages supported on Linux.

If you are a developer, Linux is great for you. You can find lots of resources that help you in developing software, IDEs, compilers, debuggers, profilers. You will be active all the time, asking questions to the community, getting answers, answers may lead you to get a piece of code, compile it, get a new idea, etc

Basic Linux commands for beginners 

  • The “echo” command helps us move some data, usually text into a file.
  • sudo stands for “SuperUser Do“, A widely used command in the Linux command line, if you want any command to be done with administrative or root privileges, you can use the sudocommand.
  • If you want to see the list of files on your UNIX or Linux system, use the ‘ls‘ command. It shows the files /directories in your current directory.
  • You can use ‘ls -R‘ to shows all the files not only in directories but also subdirectories
  • The ‘rm‘ command removes files from the system without confirmation.
  • The ‘cat‘ command is used to display text files. It can also be used for copying, combining and creating new text files.
  • You can use df command to see the available disk space in each of the partitions in your system. And Use du to know the disk usage of a file in your system.
  • Use zip to compress files into a zip archive, and unzip to extract files from a zip archive.
  • Use apt-get to install packages. This requires root privileges, so use the sudo command with it.
  • Use chmod to make a file executable and to change the permissions granted to it in Linux.
  • Use hostname to know your name in your host or network.
  • You can use the clear command to clear the terminal if it gets filled up with too many commands.
  • You can exit from the terminal by using the exit command.
  • You can power off or reboot the computer by using the command sudo halt and sudo reboot.
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Here some Useful Linux Terminal Commands you must remember, And a video explains how to use Linux commands.

People who are using Linux for the first time consider it a very difficult and technical operating system, but in reality, it has become a lot user-friendly in the last few years than other competitors like Windows. So, if you haven’t tried Linux yet, then it’s high time to give it a shot.

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