Linux Paper Unit 8

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Unit 8: Linux Research Paper
Taylor Swanson
February 21,2015

Operating systems (OS) are a vital component to any computer. They allow the user to direct and interact with their computer. Linux is like any other OS, it gives the user the ability to customize and operate the computer. What sets Linux apart from operating systems like Windows or OS X, is that it's level of security, flexibility and portability is preferred worldwide over the others. In 1991, Linus Torvalds announced that he was creating a free OS. The computer science student called it a ‘hobby’. Torvalds constructed the core, called the kernel, but was missing the code of the operation. After some research and modification, he paired it with the blue prints of Richard Stallman’s OS that was missing a kernel. Thus, the foundation of the Linux we know today was built. Linux has become quite successful worldwide since it's beginning, and has been argued to be one of the best operating systems available. A reason for its success might be that because it is not proprietary, anyone can download it for free and construct their own version and experiment or adjust it to their needs. While everyone is allowed to add to it or tweak it on their own, anything they come up with must be compatible with version 2 of the GNU General Public License (GPLv2). Because Linux does not belong to any one company, it has become the number one choice for companies and foreign governments. This is because by downloading and constructing their own version, something that cannot be done with other operating systems, they have higher security and lower licensing costs. Not only is Linux more secure than Windows or OS X, but it is also more flexible. Other operating systems are closed. This means that users and developers cannot choose and install applications absolutely necessary for their formatting and nothing else. They are stuck with applications pre set by Windows and OS X developers. Linux is also more portable than other operating systems. It can be used in more devices, such as tablets, notebooks, ereaders, and especially phones. While we now have Windows phones available, it was thought impossible only a few years ago. Because Windows is so difficult to get in and mess with to configure it for something smaller. Linux, on the other hand, has been used in phones for years and opened the doors to smart phones. Linux is still growing and only getting more popular. As it's popularity and usage by companies continues to grow, the need to learn how to work with it becomes essential. Because of this fast growing need, there are plenty of training courses and groups dedicated to instructing people new to