Assignment # 5
††††††††††† Linux is a freely distributable version of UNIX. UNIX is one of the most popular operating systems for networking worldwide because of its large support base and distribution. Linus Torvalds is the creator of Linux and was a student at the University of Helsinki in Finland in 1991 when Linux was created. It was released for free on the Internet and generated the largest software-development of all time and because of GNU software created by the Free Software Foundation, Linux has many utilities to offer. Linux is a unique operating system in that it is an active participant in the Open Source Software movement. Linux is legally covered by the GNU General Public License, also known as GPL.
††††††††††† A Linux distribution also known as GNU by some vendors and users is a member of the family of UNIX such as software distributions. Of the many distributions two are Red Hat and Mint, Red Hat was a popular Linux based operating system that was originally named, "Red Hat Commercial Linux." It was the first Linux distribution to use the RPM package manager as its packaging format, and over time was the starting point for other distributions. As for Mint, it is a operating system for personal computers that originally launched as a variant of Ubuntu with integrated media codecís; it has now developed into one of the most user-friendly distributions on the market.
††††††††††† Ways to get Linux distributions are very simple but with some precautions, a very basic way is to download it for free from companies or individuals. That is the one very basic way but if you have no understanding you much find other ways. You can also simply buy boxed versions of Linux from companies like Red Hat or others. Linux distributions are installed with some computers already being pre installed or by ordering a cd that will install it into your hard disk.
††††††††††† Depending on which distribution that you get, youíll find different applications. Two popular user applications are Word Processor and Spreadsheets, and that is when it is used with the office distribution. But then again with communication distributions you have AOL and FAX, it really all depends on which distribution you purchase. Itís pretty obvious to what you will receive depending on the distribution.
The most obvious advantage of using Linux over Microsoft Windows is the cost; Linux is free while Microsoft products are available for some sort of a fee. Microsoft licenses typically are only allowed to be installed on a single computer, whereas a Linux distribution can be installed on any number of computers, without paying anything. Compatibility is the biggest disadvantage with using Linux versus Microsoft Windows because Linux is free and its chances of being behind the curve when it comes to brand new hardware compatibility are high. Though the kernel contributors and maintainers work hard at keeping the kernel up to date, Linux does not have as much of a corporate backing as alternative operating systems.