RE: [plug-newbies] Re: Network Operating System

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Author: Philippine Linux Users' Group (PLUG) Newbies Discussion List
To: Philippine Linux Users' Group (PLUG) Newbies Discussion List
Subject: RE: [plug-newbies] Re: Network Operating System
Linux Definition

Linux is a high performance, yet completely free, Unix-like computer
operating system that is suitable for use on a wide range of computers and
other products.

There are two definitions of Linux. The stricter one is just the Linux
kernel (i.e., the core of the operating system) itself. The more common one
is a coordinated software package, referred to as a distribution, which
consists of the kernel together with dozens of free utilities and
application programs.

Linux was started as a hobby in 1991 by Linus Torvalds while a student at
the University of Helsinki in Finland. Torvalds was unhappy with the MS-DOS
operating system that came with his new Sinclair QL computer, one of the
world's first 32-bit computers, and he greatly preferred the much more
powerful and stable UNIX operating system that he had been using on the
university's computers. More than a decade later Torvalds remains the
spiritual leader of the Linux movement and he still coordinates the
development of the Linux kernel.

The use of Linux by individuals, corporations, government agencies and other
organizations around the world has been growing rapidly as a result of
several factors. They include (1) the major advantages that Linux has over
other operating systems (including over the other Unixes and the Microsoft
Windows family of operating systems), (2) the rapid progress that is being
made on further improving the performance and increasing the functions of
Linux, (3) the expanding array of high-quality application programs, (4) the
growing awareness by individuals, businesses and other organizations
throughout the world of the advantages of Linux and (5) an increase in the
number of people who are familiar with installing, administering and using

Well in excess of a hundred (and possibly more than two hundred) Linux
distributions have been developed by a diverse range of companies,
non-commercial organizations and individuals. Some of the most popular are
Red Hat, SuSe, Mandrake, Debian, Slackware and Linspire (formerly called
Lindows). In addition to these mainstream distributions, numerous
specialized distributions are available, including those optimized for
specific types of computers or applications (e.g., for use on notebook
computers or routers), those for specific languages or countries (e.g.,
Polish or Chinese) and ultra-miniature distributions (some of which can even
fit on just a single floppy disk, e.g., muLinux).

Unix Clone

Linux is a clone of Unix. The latter is a family of heavy duty,
high-performance operating systems that was originally developed at AT&T
Bell Labs in 1969 by Ken Thompson. Much subsequent work on Unix was carried
out at the University of California at Berkeley (UCB).

The term clone in this context means that Linux was developed to mimic the
form and function of Unix operating systems but its source code was written
completely independently (i.e., none of it was copied from Unix source
code). Source code (also referred to as source or code) is the version of an
operating system or other software as it is originally written (i.e., typed
into a computer) by a human in plain text (i.e., human readable alphanumeric
characters) in a programming language (e.g., the C language in the case of
the Linux kernel).

Linux incorporates all of the features that have made Unix the longest-lived
and what many consider to be the best operating systems still in widespread
use. That is, it is a multiuser (i.e., allows multiple simultaneous users),
multitasking, highly flexible (with regard to configuration), inherently
secure (including high resistance to viruses and other malicious code) and
extraordinarily robust (i.e., resistance to crashing and needing rebooting)
operating system. A multitasking operating system is one in which multiple
programs or processes (also referred to as tasks) can execute (i.e., run) on
a single computer seemingly simultaneously and without interfering with each

As is the case with most of the Unix-type operating systems, Linux is a
highly mature (and very sophisticated) work of engineering that has been
skillfully crafted by the collective efforts of thousands of the best minds
in computer science. There is no planned (and little unplanned)

Yet Linux is much more than just a clone of another highly successful
operating system. It also represents a philosophy, one which not only
incorporates the simple but elegant Unix philosophy but which also has also
taken it a big step further and made it a truly free operating system.

Moreover, Linux is a product of the Internet era. In contrast to proprietary
(i.e., commercial) operating systems, which have been developed mostly by
paid programmers employed at corporations, Linux has been developed
virtually since its inception by an informal, world-wide network of unpaid
(but highly skilled and motivated) volunteers who communicate via the

Advantages as Compared With Proprietary Unixes

Linux has several important advantages over the proprietary flavors (i.e.,
versions) of Unix (e.g., AIX, HP-UX and Solaris). One is that it is licensed
under the GNU Public License (GPL) and is completely free. This license
allows anyone to download Linux from the Internet, and it makes it
completely legal (and even encourages!) anyone to install Linux on any
number of computers with absolutely no licensing fees. The GPL also makes it
perfectly legal for anybody to make as many copies of Linux as they want and
give them away -- or even sell them.

Linux is also free in the sense that anyone has the legal right to modify or
amend the source code in any way they want. And they may then give away or
sell the modified version(s) if they so desire, with the only proviso being
that the source code for such modified version(s) likewise be made freely

Yet another advantage of Linux is that it can run on a much wider range of
hardware than most flavors of Unix. For example, it can run on cell phones,
notebook computers, desktop computers, workstations, mainframes,
supercomputers -- and even wristwatches.

Advantages as Compared With Microsoft Windows

Linux also has some very big advantages as compared with the Microsoft
Windows family of operating systems. The most obvious is that businesses and
other organizations can save vast sums of money because there are no
licensing fees nor is their any pressure for costly (and often disruptive)
upgrades (so-called forced upgrades).

Linux can also cut administration and maintenance costs as compared with the
Microsoft Windows operating systems because it is considerably more stable
(it rarely crashes or needs rebooting) and is highly resistant to viruses
and other malicious attacks.

In addition, Linux has the advantage that it can operate on older hardware
that is unsuitable for newer versions of Microsoft Windows. This is because
it is much more compactly written. Whereas upgrading to newer versions of
Microsoft Windows generally requires costly outlays for new hardware, it is
often possible to upgrade to newer versions of Linux without buying any new

The availability of the source code for Linux can also offer substantial
benefits to users as compared with the closed (i.e., secret) source code for
the Microsoft Windows operating systems. For example, corporations,
government agencies and other organizations can monitor the code for
security holes, including secret backdoors that allow others (e.g.,
government agencies) to access or change data. Having the source code also
allows users to customize Linux to a far greater extent than can be done
with closed source operating systems.

There are thousands of applications for Linux. Many of them offer
performance and functions at least equal to those available for Microsoft
Windows and other operating systems. Moreover, most of them are open source
(i.e., absolutely free), just as Linux is, and many are included on the same
CDROMs that contain Linux and can be installed automatically during Linux

Additional introductory information about Linux is contained in the Linux

Created March 2004. Updated September 1, 2004.
Copyright © 2004 Bellevue Linux. All Rights Reserved.

-----Original Message-----
From: plug-newbies-bounces@???
[]On Behalf Of Dean
Michael Berris
Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2005 4:13 PM
To: Philippine Linux Users' Group (PLUG) Newbies Discussion List
Subject: RE: [plug-newbies] Re: Network Operating System

Nope, Linux is NOT a UNIX flavor -- nor is it a clone. Linux is an
operating system created by Linus Torvalds with the help of countless
(and growing) kernel hackers initially as a replacement to Minix (which
is NOT a UNIX clone or flavor in itself) but then grew and evolved to
what it currently is.

And it's much like comparing Apples to Oranges.

Let's not short change Linux to say that it's something that it's
not. :)


On Thu, 2005-06-09 at 01:04 -0700, xrm user wrote:
> or Unix flavor ito.
> Rosaldo Garcia <rggarcia@???> wrote:
>         kaya nga UNIX clone yan, master of all OS!

>         > sabi kc sabi amin dati nung nag seminar kmi sa meralco
>         (about
>         > administering windows networks) he said Linux is not a
>         network operating
>         > system windows 200x is a Network OS...

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Dean Michael C. Berris <mikhailberis@???>
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