Linux Operating System

free essayThe operating system is a complex of interconnected software programs. Its purpose is to organize the user’s interaction with the computer and perform all other programs. The operating system acts as a bridge between computer’s equipment, executed programs, and the user. The most popular operating system in the world is Microsoft. However, in the last six years the popularity of the Linux operating system has greatly increased. Linux is a multitasking and multiuser operating system for education, business, and individual programming. Linux is an extremely powerful and stable operating system.

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This system belongs to the family of UNIX-like operating systems. UNIX is an extremely widespread operating system. It is associated with the fact that it is distributed and accompanied by a great number of enterprises. It was originally established as a multitasking system for mainframes and minicomputers. However, since then it has grown into one of the most common operating systems despite its sometimes strange interface and the lack of central standardization.
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Linux was originally written by Linus Torvalds and then improved by countless people around the world. One of the most interesting facts from the history of Linux is that people from all over the world – from Australia to Finland – have participated in its creation and continue doing this until now. In the book Linux with Operating System Concepts, it is stated that “According to some surveys, roughly 75% of Linux has been developed by programmers who work for companies that are investing in Linux” (Fox 22). Initially, Linux was designed to run on the 386 processor. One of the first projects of Linus Torvalds was a program that would switch between processes, one of which was typing AAAA and the other – BBBB. Subsequently, the program has grown into Linux. The first release of the system kernel occurred in 1991 (Fox 25). In 1998, Linux was the fastest growing operating system for servers, the distribution of which increased by 212% in the same year (Fox 25). These days, there are more than twenty million Linux users. Under Linux, there are many applications designed for home usage and for fully functional UNIX servers and Internet workstations.

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If a person wants to install Linux, he/she needs to choose the distribution. Linux is not an operating system. It is only a kernel. Linux distributions carry a kernel and a set of free software to create a complete system. There are many Linux distributions. In the book Linux: Learning the Essentials, it is affirmed that “Different Linux distributions are evolved one after the other and are derived from the same kernel” (James 17). These days, there are more than 200 distributions (James 17). However, the most popular are Debian, Linux Mint, and Ubuntu. Ubuntu by Canonical is probably the best-known Linux distribution. It is based on Debian. Nevertheless, it has its repositories. Most software repositories are synchronized with Debian. Ubuntu focuses on providing users with a convenient working environment for desktops, as well as for servers. In the book Beginning Ubuntu for Windows and Mac Users, it is stated that “Ubuntu is a lot of things: an operating system, a software ecosystem, a development platform, a home computer solution, a server foundation, and a community” (Haines 3). Ubuntu distribution is always maintained at the forefront of the development of technologies. Ubuntu releases are issued every six months and the most stable releases LTS – Long Term Support – are issued every two years. Among the Ubuntu distribution, there are assemblies for operation on smartphones and tablets.

The distribution called Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu repositories and uses Ubuntu software. In such a way, identical packages are available in both distributions. Initially, Linux Mint was developed as an alternative distribution for Ubuntu, which included media codecs, proprietary drivers, and software that were not available in Ubuntu. Debian is a distribution based only on free software and an open source code. The Debian project was opened in 1993. This project releases an update distribution, but not as quickly as distributions like Ubuntu or Mint. It allows making it more stable and conservative, which is ideal for certain systems.

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As it has already been mentioned, Windows is the most popular operating system nowadays. Nevertheless, Linux also has a great number of followers. A new version of Windows is Windows 8. However, before the release of Windows 8 there was the release of the operating system Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal by Canonical (Haines 53). To run Windows 8, a user will need a 1 GHz processor or faster with support for SSE2, NX, and PAE (Haines 53). A person will need at least 1 GB of RAM for 32-bit version and 2GB for 64-bit version (Haines 53). There should be 16 GB on a hard drive for 32-bit systems and 20 GB for 64-bit version (Haines 53). The video card should be DirectX 9 compatible (Haines 53). It is a minimum. If a user really wants to take advantage of Windows 8, it is necessary to have a device with a touch screen. Most programs will increase minimum requirements. Requirements for Ubuntu 12.10 are extremely modest (Haines 54). Canonical recommends 512 MB of RAM and 5 GB of hard disk space (Haines 54). If a person wants to use Lubuntu or Xubuntu, there are even lower demands. In such a way, Ubuntu is the best choice for a weak computer.

If to choose the best operating system for the third world countries, it is definitely Linux. Firstly, Ubuntu Linux is a free operating system. Windows 8 will cost $199. An update from Windows 7 costs from $39 to $69. In such a way, Linux will suit better the third world countries with respect to price. As for the technical characteristics of the computer, Linux is also a better variant for the third world countries. As it has already been mentioned, Ubuntu Linux can run even on a very weak and old computer. Since in poor countries it is difficult to find a modern computer that will meet all the requirements needed for Windows 8, Linux is the best variant. Moreover, Windows 8 can show all its advantages on a touch screen device and there are no modern devices in the third world countries. Someone can think that Linux has a strange design and it is difficult to use it. However, these problems disappear with time and soon a person gets accustomed to Linux. In such a way, Linux has more advantages in usage for the third world countries.

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These days, Linux is extremely popular in the computer world. It is especially popular among young people as everyone who has some ideas and proposals can offer them. Linux has many distributions. The most widespread are Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Debian. Ubuntu Linux can operate on an old computer in contrast to Windows 8. Despite the fact that Windows still remains the most popular operating system, the gap between Windows and Linux decreases every year. Hence, Linux offers a pretty attractive alternative today. It is especially so for people who cannot buy an expensive operating system.