THE HISTORY OF UNIX/Linux
UNIX began back in 1969 when Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie from Bell Laboratories developed the UNIX OS (Operating System aka OS, the Operating System will be referred to as the OS in this tutorial). Soon, it was written in C to make the OS more portable and easier to use. Almost a decade later, Richard Stallman started using the OS and would work with the GNU project, developing Herd that would never become a completed. In addition the GNU GPL, the free software license, would be created as a result of this.
As the most used part of the OS and the most important as well, the kernel allows the hardware to communicate with the software. The kernel does a lot more than just that but I will get to that later on when it will make more sense. The kernel basically controls nearly everything that goes on in your system.
From 1969 until almost 1990 things such as BSD, MINIX, NeXSTEP, etc. were developed to be UNIX like systems. These systems though did not have a unified kernel. Then in 1991, Linus Torvalds started developing on the UNIX system and completed development on what we call the Linux kernel.
I would like to mention, before I go any further, that Linux actually refers to the Linux kernel. However, the many distributions use the Linux kernel commonly known as the Linux OS.
Ok, so back to the lesson at hand. Linux has three (3) main parts:
Linux DISTRIBUTION INFORMATION
So first thing's first, choose your Linux distribution (aka distro and will be referred to as distro throughout this tutorial) you would like to use. I will be providing you a list of popular distros that are recognized by UNIX/Linux. Here are the Linux Distributions:
Debian - Debian is a free operating system, developed and maintained by the Debian project. A free Linux distribution with thousands of applications to meet our users' needs. There are a lot of reasons to choose Debian as your operating system – as a user, as a developer, and even in enterprise environments. Most users appreciate the stability, and the smooth upgrade processes of both packages and the entire distribution. Debian is also widely used by software and hardware developers because it runs on numerous architectures and devices, offers a public bug tracker and other tools for developers. If you plan to use Debian in a professional environment, there are additional benefits like LTS versions and cloud images. Debian is renowned for being a mother to popular Linux distributions such as Deepin, Ubuntu, and Mint which have provided solid performance, stability, and unparalleled user experience. The latest stable release is Debian 10.5, an update of Debian 10 colloquially known as Debian Buster.
Gentoo - Gentoo is rather expensive but is also one of the most flexible of the distros. This is made for advanced users. This is a great to use if you enjoy developing and really getting deep into the OS/distro. Gentoo is a free operating system based on Linux that can be automatically optimized and customized for just about any application or need. Extreme configurability, performance, and a top-notch user and developer community are all hallmarks of the Gentoo experience.
Thanks to Portage, Gentoo can become the ideal secure server, development workstation, professional desktop, gaming system or server, or well - whatever you want it to be if you have the capacity to develop it into that idea of yours. Because of its near-unlimited adaptability, we call Gentoo a metadistribution.
Of course, Gentoo is more than just software. It is also a community around the distribution. Gentoo benefits from around 250 developers and thousands of users, many of which are experts in their fields. The distribution project provides the means for the users to enjoy Gentoo: documentation, infrastructure, release engineering, software porting, quality assurance, security followup, hardening, and more.
To advise and help Gentoo's global development, a 7-member council is elected on a yearly basis which decides on global issues, policies, and advancements in the Gentoo project. (Source - gentoo.org)
Ubuntu - An Ubuntu Appliance turns a computer into a specialised appliance for home or work. It is a system disk image for a PC or Raspberry Pi, built for security and simplicity. Ubuntu Appliances have strong privacy policies and long term security maintenance guarantees. They are published by companies and open source communities, who follow the Ubuntu code of conduct and appliance guidelines, together with Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu.
Ubuntu is a Debian-based operating system developed by Canonical. It uses a core Debian package management system. Ubuntu is great for beginners who want to get into Linux but not have to run commands to operate the system at 100%. This system has a GUI, leading to the adoption of so many. This system is widely used and is supported by so many because it is an interface like OSX and Windows as far as the usability of the OS.
Linux Mint - Linux Mint is a Ubuntu based distro that uses its software repositories making it a great option because it has the same packages on both distro's. Link Mint was created to run as a lighter version of Ubuntu. This distro uses Ubuntu as its base and the Debian package management system. This distro of Linux is ranked high for desktops and laptops.
Since 2012 Linux Mint provides incremental improvements to what is a more and more refined desktop experience. The team has boosted its development by focusing on 3 desktop editions (Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce) and by taking the decisions in 2014 to only use long-term support releases.
The accent is put on quality vs quantity, on doing less to do it better and on pleasing existing users rather than trying to attract new ones. Following the success of Cinnamon and its compatibility with other distributions, Linux Mint also started to develop cross-distribution and cross-desktop solutions. Nowadays some of the software developed by Linux Mint is enjoyed in many other distributions and bug reports and development are boosted by contributions from people outside of the Linux Mint community.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) - I could have just explained Red Hat in general, but since I have chose the Enterprise edition in the past, I will explain this a little better and with a more focused edition instead of its generalized use. RHEL is a Linux distro developed for commercial (or Enterprise) use. RHEL is one of the highest rated and leading open-source alternative to other OS's much like Microsoft and distro's of Linux/UNIX.
RHEL allows you to set it up to be ran on physical servers, VMware, HyperV, as well as the cloud. The developers of Red Hat, RHEL's parent system, perfected containerization tech thanks to OpenShift PaaS (platform as a service) which is a hybrid cloud environment which is built around Docker containers and managed Kubernetes.
Fedora - Fedora Project, backed by Red Hat is mainly community driven containing open-source and free software. The RHEL branches off of Fedora, so think of this as an upstream RHEL OS. RHEL will get its updates from Fedora after in-depth testing and quality assurance. Instead of Ubuntu ,which is a near equivalent to Ubuntu using Debian, Fedora uses Red Hat.
Fedora is great if you want a Red Hat based operating system without the price tag. Recommended for desktop and laptop.
Arch Linux - Arch Linux is a lightweight and very flexible distro that is amazingly driven and updated by the community - 100%. This Project is very similar to Debian in the way of using rolling releases allowing for a gradual stable version and eventually release. This distro requires hands-on, nitty-gritty, really getting your hands dirty type of Project. It may require a lot advanced knowledge to use this but it puts you in 100% control.
Arch uses its own package manager called Pacman to install, update, and manage the packages that are developed and distributed. If you want a lightweight operating system and really want to understand Linux use Arch! There’s a bit of a learning curve, but for the hardcore Linux users, this is a great choice.
OpenSUSE Linux - OpenSUSE Linux is created by OpenSUSE Project which is a community that promotes the use of Linux around the world. It's a transparent, very friendly manner part of the worldwide Free and Open Source Community. OpenSUSE is the second oldest running Linux Distro's that shares its base system called SUSE that is awards winning Enterprise products. The packages and projects use the RPM package manager.
OpenSUSE is a beginner user for Linux. It offers an excellent YaST with a very tidy code and command center. This is a protected Project that is free of viruses, spy-ware, and is a great place to use your creativity in all fields including photos, videos, music, sounds, and/or code.
We have covered many uses, developments, codes, behind the scenes and frontend GUI's or command centers. We went over the history of UNIX/Linux (the basics), and Projects. The list above is just a narrow small amount of distros and have not by any means exhausted the list. There are over 600 Linux Distros and about 500 in active development. This list is just a few of those that are a popular pick, have certifications you can get, or are developed in such a way that you can either go beginner and learn through GUI or go advanced and be the commanding force through the command line or PuTTY.
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