Slackware Linux Essentials

30 November 2007 |

Linus Torvalds started Linux, an operating system kernel, as a personal project in 1991. He started the project because he wanted to run a Unix-based operating system without spending a lot of money. In addition, he wanted to learn the ins and outs of the 386 processor. Linux was released free of charge to the public so that anyone could study it and make improvements under the General Public License. (See Section 1.3 and Appendix A for an explanation of the license.) Today, Linux has grown into a major player in the operating system market. It has been ported to run on a variety of system architectures, including HP/Compaq’s Alpha, Sun’s SPARC and UltraSPARC, and Motorola’s PowerPC chips (through Apple Macintosh and IBM RS/6000 computers.) Hundreds, if not thousands, of programmers all over the world now develop Linux. It runs programs like Sendmail, Apache, and BIND, which are very popular software used to run Internet servers. It’s important to remember that the term “Linux” really refers to the kernel - the core of the operating system. This core is responsible for controlling your computer’s processor, memory, hard drives, and peripherals. That’s all Linux really does: It controls the operations of your computer and makes sure that all of its programs behave. Various companies and individuals bundle the kernel and various programs together to make an operating system. We call each bundle a Linux distribution...

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