Linux is so important and has so many great influences on so many people lives, and yet not that many people know of Linux. How come? Linux is like an anonymous wise being who is constantly at work in the background without wanting any compensation. Yes, whether people know it or not, they are constantly asking Linux for help!
To be specific, Linux isn’t Ubuntu or Redhat or any Linux distribution you have a love for, but in fact Linux is the kernel(s) of all of these Linux distributions! Kernel(s) is what makes Linux Linux. Without the Linux kernel(s), Linux might as well be something else that runs Ubuntu, but we know this isn’t possible till Linux kernels were developed!
So, how come the boast has that many people are constantly relying on Linux and yet they do not know who or what Linux is? Well, they just don’t see Linux at work! Just remember though, whenever someone turns to the web for information, Linux is probably the thing behind the scene that supplies the information. I guess we can say with confidence that many of the biggest web companies out there are using Linux to run their servers. Some servers might be configured with Linux to run web servers. Some servers might be configured with Linux to run databases. Some servers might be configured with Linux to run just about anything else.
Linux was so great that it gives way to so many Linux distributions, and from the large pool of Linux distributions came Android, Ubuntu, Redhat, and CentOS. With Android, Linux can boast that it can make Apple’s smartphone ecosystem a run for its money. So, with Android, Linux is being used by so many people who probably still have no idea what Linux is. Nonetheless, they’re very happy with their Android phones! If you tell them to go install Ubuntu, they say heck no and pull out their Windows laptops, writing a memo to themselves which describes that they had encountered a Linux fanatic. Unlike Android, Ubuntu/Redhat/CentOS and other Linux distributions aren’t that popular with the mainstream computer users. Nonetheless, Ubuntu and so many other Linux distributions might be the real brains that work behind the scene so the world wide web can be informative and fun! (I’m talking about how these Linux distributions might be the servers that run the web!)
As virtualization gives way to cloud computing, Linux might become more important than ever before! It’s so easy to virtualize with Linux, because Linux works with virtualization quite well. In fact, Linux is free of charge, therefore virtualizing Linux will not cost anyone any license fee. If you’re trying to virtualize another operating system, I bet you have to pay license fee for however many virtual servers.
One very beautiful aspect/attribute of Linux that not many people realize yet is that Linux is a blueprint for how the future might work! Sure, Linux is free of charge, smart, powerful, and sexy, but none of these attributes can even come close to this next Linux attribute. What is this next Linux attribute? Well, it’s about how Linux was born and has evolved. Linux might not have been possible if there weren’t so many people who were and probably still are willing to contribute millions lines of code so Linux can become Linux of today. So, in a way, Linux is like a living project that demonstrates the idea of something that is very hard to describe but yet so beautiful, because we’re living in a society that strives to only highlight individual’s wealth, power, and ego. With Linux, people have been and still are willing to donate their time to write millions lines of code and have asked nothing in return. Nonetheless, whether they realize or not, something in return has been given in return whether they want to ask for it or not, and this something in return has to be Linux itself. Linux is much more powerful, sexier, and smarter than ever before. With Linux, Android is possible! With Linux, Apache is possible! With Linux, Ubuntu is possible! With Linux, virtualization in the cloud is cheap! With Linux, the cloud itself is cheap but effective! With Linux, computing is secure! I guess, we can say with Linux, the sky is the limit!
Anyhow, you can say this very blog post is inspired by the video (How Linux is Built) right after the break. The video lets you take a glimpse into the inner working of what so called the largest collaborative development project in the history of computing. So check it out!
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- Microsoft among top 20 companies contributing to the Linux Kernel (linuxuser.co.uk)
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- Linux 3.3 integrates Android kernel code (fiercedeveloper.com)
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- Linux-ck (wiki.archlinux.org)
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- Linux User & Developer now available on Zinio (linuxuser.co.uk)