What is The Linux Operating System and its Features

An operating system is an interface between the user of a computer and the computer hardware. It is a collection of software that manages computer hardware resources and offers common services for programs of the computer. The short term of the operating system is OS. And, it is, an essential component of the system software in a computer system. The main purpose of an OS is to afford an environment in which a user can execute a program in an efficient or convenient manner. This article gives an overview of what is the Linux Operating System; the types of operating systems; their architecture and features.

Linux Operating System
Linux Operating System

Operating systems are categorized into six types based on the types of computers they control such as single user single task operating systems, real time operating systems, single user, multitasking operating systems, multiuser operating systems, distributed operating systems, and embedded  operating systems. The typical services that an operating system provides include: a task scheduler, memory manager, disk manager, network manager, Other I/O services and Security manager.

What is the Linux Operating System?

Linux operating system is one of the popular versions of the UNIX operating system, which is designed to offer a free or low cost operating system for personal computer users. It gained the reputation as a fast performing and very efficient system.This is a remarkably complete operating system, including a GUI (graphical user interface), TCP/IP, the Emacs editor,can X Window System, etc.

The History of LINUX Operating System

The History of Linux began in the 1991 with the beginning of a personal project by a Finland  student Linus Torvalds to create a new free operating system kernel. Since then, the resulting Linux Kernel has been marked by constant growth throughout the history.

  • In the year 1991, Linux was introduced by a Finland student Linus Torvalds.
  • Hewlett Packard UniX(HP-UX) 8.0 was released.
  • In the year 1992, Hewlett Packard 9.0 was released.
  • In the year 1993, NetBSD 0.8 and FreeBSD 1.0 released.
  • In the year 1994, Red Hat Linux was introduced, Caldera was founded by Bryan Sparks and Ransom Love and NetBSD1.0 Released.
  • In the year 1995, FreeBSD 2.0 and HP UX 10.0 was released.
  • In the year 1996, K Desktop Environment was developed by Matthias Ettrich.
  • In the year 1997, HP-UX 11.0 was released.
  • In the year 1998, the fifth generation of SGI Unix i.e IRIX 6.5 , Sun Solaris 7 operating system and Free BSD 3.0 was released.
  • In the year 2000, the agreement of Caldera Systems with SCO server software division and the professional services division was announced.
  • In the year 2001, Linus Torvalds released the Linux 2.4 version source code.
  • In the year 2001, Microsoft filed a trademark suit against Lindows.com
  • In the year 2004, Lindows name was changed to Linspire.
  • In the year 2004, the first release of Ubuntu was released.
  • In the year 2005, The project, openSUSE began a free distribution from Novell’s community.
  • In the year 2006, Oracle released its own distribution of Red Hat.
  • In the year 2007, Dell started distributing laptops with Ubuntu pre installed in it.
  • In the year 2011, Linux kernel 3.0 version was released.
  • In the year 2013,  Googles Linux based Android claimed 75% of the smartphone market share, in terms of the number of phones shipped.
  • In the year 2014, Ubuntu claimed 22,000,000 users.
The History of Linux
The History of Linux

Linux System Architecture

The Linux Operating System’s architecture primarily has these components: the Kernel, Hardware layer, System library, Shell and System utility.

Architecture of Linux
Architecture of Linux

1. The kernel is the core part of the operating system, which is  responsible for all the major activities of the LINUX operating system. This operating system consists of different modules and interacts directly with the underlying hardware. The kernel offers the required abstraction to hide  application programs or low-level hardware details to the system. The types of Kernels are as follows:


  • Monolithic Kernel
  • Micro kernels
  • Exo kernels
  • Hybrid kernels

2. System libraries are special functions, that are used to implement the functionality of the operating system and do not require code access rights of kernel modules.

3. System Utility programs are liable to do individual, and specialized-level tasks.

4. Hardware layer of the LINUX operating system consists of peripheral devices such as RAM, HDD, CPU.

5. The shell is an interface between the user and the kernel, and it affords services of the kernel. It takes commands from the user and executes kernel’s functions. The Shell is present in different types of operating systems, which are classified into two types:command line shells and graphical shells.

The command line shells provide a command line interface, while the graphical line shells provide a graphical user interface. Though both shells perform operations, but the graphical user interface shells perform slower than the command line interface shells. Types of shells are classified into four:

  • Korn shell
  • Bourne shell
  • C shell
  • POSIX shell

Features of Linux Operating System

The main features of Linux operating system are

Portable: Linux operating system can work on different types of hardwares as well as Linux kernel supports the installation of any kind of hardware platform.

Open Source: Source code of LINUX operating system is freely available and,  to enhance the ability of the LINUX operating system, many teams work in collaboration.

Multiuser: Linux operating system is a multiuser system, which means, multiple users can access the system resources like RAM, Memory or Application programs at the same time.

Multiprogramming: Linux operating system is a multiprogramming system, which means multiple applications can run at the same time.

Hierarchical File System: Linux operating system affords a standard file structure in which system files or user files are arranged.

Shell: Linux operating system offers  a special interpreter program, that  can be used to execute commands of the OS. It can be used to do several types of operations like call application programs, and so on.

Security: Linux operating system offers user security systems using authentication features like encryption of data or password protection or  controlled access to particular files.

Features of LINUX
Features of LINUX

Applications of Linux Operating System

Nowadays, Linux is a multi billion dollar industry. Thousands of companies and governments around the world are using Linux OS due to affordability, lower licensing fee  and time and money. Linux is used in a number of electronic devices, which are available for consumers worldwide. The list of some of popular Linux based electronic devices includes:

  • Dell Inspiron Mini 9 and 12
  • Garmin Nuvi 860, 880, and 5000
  • Google Android Dev Phone 1
  • HP Mini 1000
  • Lenovo IdeaPad S9
  • Motorola MotoRokr EM35 Phone
  • One Laptop Per Child XO2
  • Sony Bravia Television
  • Sony Reader
  • TiVo Digital Video Recorder
  • Volvo In-Car Navigation System
  • Yamaha Motif Keyboard
Linux Applications
Linux Applications

Therefore, this is all about the Linux operating system, history, architecture, features and applications of the Linux operating system which can be used in computer science projects. Furthermore, for any queries regarding this article or latest electronics projects, you can give your feedback by commenting in the comment section below.


One Comment

  1. Avast Customer Service says:

    The Linux Operating System is the powerful Operating System and also the efficient to use. We can use personal this OS. The security features are so good better than other Operating Systems.

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