What the Hell is Linux?

Alright. Here we go! I’ve done some itty bitty research and will shortly forget what Linux is all about cuz I vaguely remember searching the same info before. So yeah! Let’s Start!

Unix: Initially, it was a AT&T built operating system. Now, It’s a family of operating systems that derive from it, like

  • BSD/Berkeley Software Distribution (386BSD (FreeBSD, NetBSD…), Darwin (macOS, iOS), SunOS))
  • GNU
  • Linux (Android, Chrome OS)
  • QNX (BlackBerry 10)

Based on its design, Unix like operating systems have come to exist. Most Famous: Linux.

Linux releases a new version of their “kernel” every now and then. And due to the flexibility, customizability, free and open-source nature of Linux, it becomes possible to highly tune Linux for a specific purpose or just make a general purpose version. There are different foundations/groups who pick up the kernel release, modify it and package it along with a bunch of mostly free (called GNU stuff) or paid software in a form known as a Linux distribution (or distro for short) for both desktop and server use. You cannot use Linux without a distro since Linux by itself is just a kernel. Read more here.

Linux Distribution timeline 2016
Linux Distribution timeline 2016. Btw, the image is Ctrl + F able.

General purpose Linux distributions: Some of the most popular are Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu (which is itself based on Debian) together with commercial distributions such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Specialized Linux distribution: There are two main methods for creating them: building from scratch (i.e. Pure Linux) or from a general-purpose distribution as a base. Linux distributions built from scratch do not have general-purpose bases; instead, they focus on the JeOS philosophy by including only necessary components and avoiding resource overhead caused by components considered redundant in the distribution’s use cases. Eg of Specialized distros: Kali Linux for digital security (Based on Debian).

Packages: Each distro, while they may be based off of one another need to be “binary compatible” to allow packages (or softwares/apps) from one distro to be used in another. So care for that must be taken.