Linux For Starters
Linux is a Unix like Operating System, ( A Unix Clone rather,but not unix) Jump started by Mr.Linus Benedict Trovalds in 1991.It all beagn as a simple effort to write out a simple rudimentary OS utilising the Multi tasking abilities of Intel Pentium 80386 processors in protected mode, primarily for AT-386 computers(Linus had acess to that model).First rudimentary kernel that was released as version 0.01 barely had any binary executables rather contained rudimentary kernel codes which was targeted on AT-386’s runnig Minix OS. Versoin 0.01 also featured a very buggy-small file-system and a small disk-driver.
Once released on Helsinki university web-server,thousands of users from world over started hacking at the codes & updated Mr Linus with their findings.The rate of development can be guessed from the release chronology easily, 0.01 in Aug 91 then, 0.02 in Oct91; then,0.03,then,0.10 ,then, 0.95 ,then,0.99 by March 92.
(It was still not given a version no. 1.oo ! As unless a software is Theoriticaly O.K. & almost bug free it cannot be given a version no.1. I personally use a Version 2.6 kernel)
The version 0.02 kernel of Oct 91 could run GCC(GNU/C Compilers) & was running BASh(GNU/Bourne Again Shell).
So the Linux that shaped out had a MONOLITHIC kernel, where all device drivers were a part of the kernel proper.The kernel also supported Lode-able device drivers besides FPU emulation to carry out floating point math instructions on systems without Math processors.
The kernel used the special protected mode features of x86 batch of processors.
The kernel also supported the ‘Disk Paging’ or swapping technique.
This kernel further had core dumping feature to serve for postmortem analysis of bugs for the Programmer community.
Linux had been a Food for thought for the Hackerish breed for a long time.
Although early Linux systems were very much of greenish text on a black screen with bleep,blump,& blimp responses only,modern systems come complete with all bells & whistles like X-windows system,TCP/IP,Web,mail,multimedia & high end development modules. In fact Linux runs a totally free & in-cases a much intelligent & faster Unix clone that you -me or any Tom-Dick-Harry may mess around with,without any Big Brother spying around !!!
And some may be amazed to know that each linux OS or the distro that u copy modify & run
or distribute or whatever, is licensed under GNU/GPL.
With current state of X-Windows widget/GUI system we can readily have Graphics comparable to XP-Vista & may be at times Mac(depends on viewer).
Other than this the number of Development modules that ship with the standard distros is also exemplary to any other Platforms.
Server dependability on Linux is Legendary too ( As you may know while a Windows server may crash atleast once a week ,a Linux server may run for months at a stretch without even thinking about it 🙂 . For Your info. even some super computers run on Linux).
Above all , each of linux system can be obtained for freel with full licensing.Anyone with more interests can even get hold of the source code for the system too and compile the same customized to his needs.Any one , if he/she can , may also sctratch the very basic kernel sources too.And if ur studying the kernel source modifying it customarily,re-compling it, u may call your-self a kernel hacker !!
(Mind it term hacker is grossly misused by all ,It is too serene … it has as many dimensions as the universe)
Linux is Vast & I cannot show u a total snap-shot of it in this ill structured write-up of mine, I dont expect it either!! To Learn Linux You have to take the initiative & love the spirit of freedom of computing that blasted forth with FSF under Richard M. Stallman.
But as a Perl Hacker may say it TMTOWDI ( there’s more than one way to do it), How you do it is upto you!
Running Linux , by Welsh,Dalheimmer, Kauffman (O’Reilly)
I accumulated many info in my course of studying from various sources which i myself have forgotten I give credit to every source i have used.
(If there are any factual discrpancies,please let me know ,Let it be a learning experience for me too) 🙂