Linux Kernel

What is linux? Here’s all you need to know

If you’re a web surfer who enjoys exploring the depths of all things tech and non-tech, you might have heard of Linux. We’ve seen a lot of tech trends in the year 2021, but Linux has been the one to dominate the charts throughout the year. So what exactly is Linux? Who uses it and why? Read ahead to eliminate confusion.

Linux: what is it?

Most people think Linux is an operating system, but no, it isn’t. It’s a kernel, and it’s used in over 80% of smart devices today. You’re probably reading this on a Linux kernel powered device. It also powers servers and all supercomputers around the world today.

Android, the world’s most popular operating system, is based on the Linux kernel. Likewise, desktop Linux (Linux distributions) has gained popularity thanks to popular GNU / Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Pop! _OS, Manjaro, Linux Mint, etc.

Linux is open-source, which means anyone in the world can contribute to the project. Linux distributions, their desktop environments and software are also open source.

What is the kernel?

But what exactly is a nucleus? To begin with, think of the kernel as the intermediary and the brain of an operating system. It can allocate system resources by speaking directly to processor, memory, storage, and other components. If you launch an application, the request first goes to the kernel, and from there it communicates with the processor and allocates the memory required to run that application.

Linus Torvalds developed Linux in the early 90s while a student at the University of Helsinki. Today, almost 30 years later, Torvalds is still planning the development of the Linux kernel which receives updates quite frequently.

The Finnish software engineer wanted to create something similar to a UNIX operating system called MINIX. Some say he created Linux because he didn’t have enough money to buy a UNIX system.

Others say he had MINIX (a Unix doppelganger), but wanted to develop a modem to talk to a remote computer; therefore, he started with a terminal program. As Linus continued to work on it, adding features, it quickly grew, and he soon realized that it could be an operating system! If you want to learn more about Linus Torvalds, check out our “10 Facts About Linus Torvalds” article.

If you have any further doubts, we cover Linux extensively on the website, so check out our Linux articles. Also let us know if you’ve used a Linux distro before.


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