What is Linux and Its Basic Elements?

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Linux is an open source operating system that was developed by the Linus Torvalds, which builds the reference operating system, or kernel, that powers Linux and all the other free and open source operating systems, such as Debian, Mandriva, Fedora, and Ubuntu.

Linux is currently the most popular free software operating system, having been downloaded over 260 million times in 2010 alone, according to Distimo. But how exactly is Linux different from Mac OS X?

If you want to understand the meaning of 'Linux', take some time to read the rest of this article. Here we'll give you an overview of what is Linux and it's basic elements.

To understand Linux better, we need to understand what 'Linux' is Linux. Linux is a general purpose operating system. It is free, fully compatible with other operating systems, runs on most computers, and Laptops, runs natively on the CPU and many different peripherals, and has strong development communities. 

There are many different versions of Linux, but the most popular are Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora. They're all different, with their own flavour of the OS and ecosystems of applications, but they share the same basic goals to make Linux more accessible to new users and create a healthy environment for everyone. They all have some features in common, but they differ in various ways.

How much do I need to know to work with Linux?

The best answer is: 'You need to have a basic knowledge of Windows and a basic understanding of Linux'. It doesn't matter if you have never used a PC, or Laptop before, whether you're used to using Windows or any other OS, whether you're more familiar with Mac OS or you've never used any other system. 

If you want to use a computer to do something that involves using the internet or accessing a web application, you'll need to have some experience with those concepts.

Learning to use Linux doesn't have to take weeks or months, it only takes a few hours or even a few minutes at a time. The key is to practise, practise, practise, and keep going until you've got enough of it down to enjoy it. If you can't learn to use Linux quickly, you're probably not ready to work with Linux. Don't worry though, Linux' fundamentals aren't too complex.


The kernel is the operating system's heart. Its major function is to serve as a link between the operating system and the hardware. The kernel may control the computer, network it, and manage memory, as well as support the file system. To conduct operations, kernels rely on system drivers. The code for the operating system is contained in these drivers. 

The three categories of drivers are character device drivers, block device drivers, and network device drivers. The Linux kernel was introduced in 1992 and is divided into several subsystems such as memory management, network stack, process control, system call interfaces, virtual file system, arch, and device drivers.

In January 2020, the Linux kernel has 27.8 million (roughly 2780 million) lines of code. The kernel is a great server infrastructure choice that requires real-time maintenance because it is regularly maintained and upgraded by the open-source community. You can also port the Linux kernel to your operating system.


Linux OS is made up of open source components. Particular distributions, however, are better suited to different deployment modules, infrastructures, and use scenarios. Every distribution is a Linux OS version that comes with administration tools and installation programs that can be customized. There are hundreds of Linux distributions, but the most popular are Fedora, Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, openSUSE, and Oracle Linux.

GNU General Public License 

The GNU General Public License (GPL) sets out the terms under which free software can be used, copied, and modified, much like a commercial software license. The GPL's goal is to keep free software open and prevent it from becoming closed source or proprietary in the future. The license is owned by the Free Software Foundation.


A bootloader, often known as a boot manager, loads the operating system into a computer's memory. Once you restart or power up your computer infrastructure, the fundamental I/O framework executes some critical tests before launching the master boot record to run the OS. A bootloader is automatically installed on your device if you're using a Mac or Windows operating system.

To run any Linux distribution, you must install a bootloader. There are two main choices: GRUB and LOAD Linux (LOADLIN). LOADLIN is better if there are other OSes in the data center or if you don't spend a lot of time with Linux.

You can use GRUB if you want more flexibility in your operating system and the ability to modify boot options from the command line.

Most of us accept the desktop operating systems that come with our computers, and we rarely question why they need to be modified. Few people are interested in learning a new operating system, and they rarely ask what Linux is, since they believe their current operating system is sufficient.

Also Read: How to Take a Screenshot in Ubuntu and Windows 10?

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