Linux: Definition, Examples


Linux is an open-source operating system based on the Unix architecture. It is known for its high stability and robustness and is widely used in both the server environment and by individual users worldwide. Created by Linus Torvalds, it allows programmers to modify, adapt and distribute its source code, thereby promoting innovation and customization.


The phonetic pronunciation of the word “Linux” is: “ˈlɪnʊks”.

Key Takeaways


  1. Linux is an Open-Source Operating System – This means that it is free to use, distribute, and modify. It has led to a large community of developers contributing to its development and constantly improving it.
  2. Linux is Highly Secure – Due to its open-source nature, many security vulnerabilities are quickly discovered and patched. It also provides robust access controls and permission system which add additional layers of security.
  3. Linux is Highly Versatile – It can be used on a wide range of systems, from personal computers to servers, smartphones, and more. It offers a great level of customization to suit individual needs.



Linux is an important term in technology as it relates to one of the most influential open-source operating systems. This means that its source code can be freely used, modified, and distributed. Developed in 1991 by Linus Torvalds, Linux has become a cornerstone of the software industry and underpins much of the digital infrastructure, including web servers, mobile devices, embedded systems, supercomputers, networking equipment, and more. Furthermore, it’s a preferred platform for many due to its emphasis on security, stability, and efficiency. With a large, active community of developers globally, Linux is essential in fostering advancements and innovation in the technological sector.


Linux is a powerful operating system that serves as the backbone of numerous servers, networks, and databases worldwide. Its fundamental purpose lies in managing a computer’s hardware and software, ensuring they work coherently and efficiently. As an open-source platform, Linux offers an array of options to personalize, modify, and distribute it, thus making it adaptable to multiple contexts. This characteristic makes it a popular choice both for individual users looking for a secure and reliable operating system, as well as corporations needing specialized solutions for their software infrastructures.Linux’s utilization spans across various sectors, including education, finance, tech, government institutions or healthcare to name a few, and for diverse applications. Web hosting services, for instance, greatly benefit from Linux’s stability and security. Furthermore, Linux powers many of the world’s supercomputers due to its robustness and adaptability. Even in a home environment, Linux can be used for daily tasks like browsing, creating documents, or streaming media. Linux’s versatility, proven over years of deployment, continues to drive its usage and relevance in our increasingly digitalized world.


1. Android Operating System: While it may surprise some, the Android operating system is based on a modified version of Linux. Android is one of the most strongly held examples of a real-world application of Linux, given its use across smartphones, tablets, and even televisions.2. Supercomputers: Linux is extensively used in supercomputing. In fact, as of November 2021, all 500 of the world’s fastest supercomputers run on some version of Linux. These powerful computational resources are used for everything from weather forecasting to scientific research, and they depend on the power, flexibility, and stability of Linux to function effectively.3. Web Servers: A large percentage of the internet’s servers run on Linux. For instance, if you’ve ever used Google, Facebook, or Twitter, you’ve indirectly used Linux, since these companies use Linux-based servers to host their websites and manage user data. The Apache HTTP Server, an open-source web server platform, runs on Linux and serves over a huge portion of websites around the globe.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

**Q1: What is Linux?**A: Linux is an open-source operating system that’s based on the Unix operating system. It was created by Linus Torvalds in 1991. Like Unix, Linux allows many users to run programs and access the system’s resources simultaneously.**Q2: Is Linux free?**A: Yes, Linux is free. You can download, use, and modify it without any charges.**Q3: How is Linux different from Windows or Mac OS?**A: Unlike Windows and Mac OS, which are proprietary operating systems, Linux is an open-source operating system. This means its source code can be modified, used and distributed freely by anyone.**Q4: Where is Linux used?**A: Linux is used in a variety of computer hardware including desktops, servers, mobile devices, and embedded systems. It’s also the preferred choice for running cloud and data center applications.**Q5: What are Linux distributions?**A: Linux distributions, also known as Linux distros, are various versions of the Linux operating system that package the Linux kernel with other software like utilities and applications. Some popular Linux distributions include Ubuntu, Fedora, and Debian.**Q6: What is the Linux Kernel?**A: The Linux Kernel is a low-level code upon which the entire Linux operating system is based. It provides an interface between the hardware of a computer and its software.**Q7: Is Linux good for gaming?**A: Yes, Linux can be used for gaming. Many popular games are available on Linux and there are tools that enable users to play Windows-based games on Linux.**Q8: What is Linux command line?**A: The Linux command line, or terminal, it’s a text interface to your computer where you can input commands directly to the operating system.**Q9: How secure is Linux?**A: Linux is generally considered more secure than other operating systems because the source code is open and can be reviewed by a community of developers who work to find and fix vulnerabilities. **Q10: Does Linux support all types of software?**A: Linux supports a large variety of software applications, but not all software. Some proprietary software, particularly from smaller developers or for more specialized tasks, might not have a Linux version. However, alternatives or compatibility layers, like Wine, typically exist.

Related Tech Terms

  • Kernel
  • GNU
  • Distro
  • Open Source
  • Unix

Sources for More Information


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