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Cover image for Linux 101 - the king of operating systems πŸ‘‘

Linux 101 - the king of operating systems πŸ‘‘

r4h33m profile image Raheem ・3 min read

Introduction

Linux is a widely used term when it comes to programming and tech discussions. Most people in the least understand vaguely what it is, but there must be some of us that could do with a rundown. I got my first exposure to Linux and installed Ubuntu in 5th grade, but recently, I've re-discovered it and have installed Arch to use as my daily driver. Since I love talking about Linux, I thought I could write a few paragraphs about the best and most used operating system in the world!

Me talking about Linux even though nobody asked

Linux 101

Technically, Linux is means the linux kernel but now it also refers to operating systems than run on this kernel (kernel => the core of a operating system). It was created by Linus Torvalds in 1991, a Finish-American who also created the git version control system. It is similar to Unix, a OS made by AT&T. This is an important distinction. MacOS and BSD flavours are based on Unix, so they are technically not Linux, but they are alike.

Today, Linux runs the majority of servers and smartphones, so one can say the internet (and the world) runs on it. The reason for this is the fact that Linux is open source. First of all, servers require stability and security. The open source nature of Linux has ensured this, over decades of work by 8,000+ contributors. In addition to that, it's also free.

The king?

But when it comes to consumer desktops and laptops, Linux isn't as widespread. Windows was first to the scene, and became the standard. It's easy to use and compatible with everything.

But if you are willing to sacrifice these two qualities of Windows, you will quickly find that Linux is exceedingly superior. It's customizability and speed is unparalleled. With the amount of distros (distro => operating systems based on the linux kernel) there is to choose from, you can find one that truly fits your needs.

But there's more. As a developer, you can make use of Linux even more. Package managers prevent the $PATH hell, and make installing libraries and framework a breeze. The bash shell is an infinitely flexible tool in the right hands, and Linux requires less system resources, allowing you to use more on building your Android app.

Heaviest objects in the universe

Distro talk

After a great deal of researching, I decided to install Arch Linux on my laptop. Arch offers a great wiki and a barebones, DIY experience. This allows the user to only install what they need, letting them have a smooth experience even on inferior systems. My system idles at 200MB of RAM usage, and can support 18 chrome tabs at just under 2GB of RAM. In comparison, Windows takes 1.5 to 2GB of RAM just idling. Arch also has a large package repository + gigantic community package repository, so I can get all the packages I need! It took some time to get a GUI and make it fit my needs, true, but my desktop looks like this, so that was time well spent.

My Custom Arch Rice - "soft earth"

I also like Linux Mint (Ubuntu based, but lighter) and I recommended it to beginners.

Conclusion

To summarize, if you hear the word "Linux", it's an open source operating system kernel, that is used widely in servers and smartphones today. It's free, secure and fast. It's popular with developers, who are willing to trade ease of use for complete control and transparency. I recommend everyone of you to try it!

Thanks for reading! What's your favourite Linux distro? What is your customisation/configuration? What's preventing you from trying the best OS in the world? I would love to hear your comments and questions?

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r4h33m profile

Raheem

@r4h33m

17 year old techie. Loves python, javascript and Linux.

Discussion

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So cool to see young folks doing tech stuff and even writing about it! Nice job, keep at it Raheem!

 

I've always had trouble getting Arch setup. I think one time I even accidentally overwrote part of the boot sector using gparted...

Also, is that desktop XFCE? or something different?

 

there is an installer for Arch called Architect which provide all the functionality necessary to install arch in a easier way

 

Also ArcoLinux is Arch pre-configured with all that you need

 

Oh really? Interesting, I'll have to take a look at it. Thanks!

 

Antergos is another option based on Arch, with user friendly installation. Arcolinux is also a good option.

If I'm not mistaken Antergos project was discontinued

Oh wow, I just looked this up and you are right. As of May 2019 it has been discontinued. That’s sad ! I used it for a long time before switching to Debian some months ago.

 

It's Xorg + i3 + polybar. Really fast, and very easily configurable.

Regarding the boot sector: rip.

 

Totally agree that everyone, especially technical people, should at least give Linux a try. Then hopefully one day we won't be forced to use Windows in corporate environment anymore.

Personally I've been using KDE neon and am very happy with it.

 

KDE Neon also gets my vote. I run it on a Slimbook, the machine built for it.

I agree with the author on all points other than Windows being easier to use. I find Windows 10 totally baffling - a complete mess of disorderly contradictions with nothing easy to find. KDE is so logical by comparison.

 

Debian is the best so far to me. It's doing great then install the window manager you want for the gui I recommend xfce for flexibility and customization

 

BTW, Manjaro Linux is much easier for installation and is also based on Arch, so it has most of Arch advantages. Especially the great documentation and the simple structure of the configuration files.

 

Yeah, true! Certainly a good distro for those who don't want to get their hands too dirty!

 
 

Raheem, keep it up! Excellent article and I couldn't agree more. I've just started using Linux Ubuntu and can't see myself ever going back to Windows! Mint also sounds good, may have to try it:0)