The history of Linux is a
very interesting topic. Linux is one of
the first operating systems that was widely accepted in the world. Linux is the basis for many operating systems
today, and was one of the first true open source products. This means that anyone can program and work
on the project. Today Linux is used in
just about everything you can imagine from Android phones, to the operating
system of wireless routers, and the smart TVs that are used every day. Linux is the basis of many products because
depending on the distribution you get, it is free. Because of this it is very important to
understand where Linux comes from and what it is used for.
To start with the history of Linux we need to go even
further back. What this means is the first
portable operating system that was developed, UNIX, needs to be understood. UNIX was designed by AT&T’s BELL laboratories
in 1969 by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie.
This operating system was one of the first network able operating
systems. This system was used in
universities, and other research and development locations. It has been rewritten a number of times in
different languages and finally ended up being written in C. (Unix Past, 2015)
So why is this important to the story? To fully understand this the story of Linus Torvalds
needs to be told at least in part. Linus
graduated from the University of Helsinki with a degree in computer science. After he graduated he purchased an IBM
personal computer. This computer came
with MS-DOS. Linux wasn’t very happy
with MS-DOS since when he was in college he had used UNIX for all his
programming. Linux looked to buy a copy
of UNIX to use on his new personal computer, but he found out that the cost of
a UNIX license would be somewhere around five thousand dollars. (What is Linux?, 2018)
At this point since Linux was unhappy he decided that he
would create his own operating system.
Linux worked with over 100 developers over the next three years to
release the first Linux kernel in March of 1994. Because he had worked with so many
developers, this became an open source product.
The source code of Linux is completely free, can be downloaded and
reviewed or changed by any programmer at any time. It should be known that what Linux created
was not Linux, but the Linux kernel.
Linux is the kernel that was originally developed with any upgrades and
the software that can create the operating system. (What is Linux?, 2018)
So how do Linux and UNIX compare to each other? The first thing that you need to understand is
that Linus wanted to build a UNIX like system. It is a clone of UNIX but designed to be free and
run on many more architectures. Linux can
run on almost any architecture where as UNIX is normally designed for just one architecture.
The Linux kernel was designed from the group
up as a free operating system, whereas the UNIX kernel is designed and only distributed
to customers in binary form. (Dougall, 2006)
are many other technical difference between the two systems. One is the Filesystem support that is offered.
Linux will work with just about any other
file system that is developed, however UNIX will only support one or possibly two
depending on the flavor of your UNIX system. (Dougall, 2006)
paper is just a brief history of Linux where it came from, and its relation to UNIX
systems. UNIX and Linux are very similar
systems with some glaring differences. Linux
is a cloned version of UNIX created by Linux Torvalds because he was not happy with
MS-DOS. Today variants of the Linux operating
system make up a huge market share. The possibilities
that open source operating systems such as Linux bring to the table are endless