In 1991, while Linus Torvalds studying computer science at University of Helsinki, He began a project that later became the Linux kernel. He wrote the program specifically for the hardware he was using and independent of an operating system because he wanted to use the functions of his new PC with an 80386 processor. Development was done on MINIX using the GNU C compiler. The GNU C Compiler is still the main choice for compiling Linux today. The code, however, can be built with other compilers, such as the Intel C Compiler.
He started it just for fun but ended up with such a large project. Firstly he wanted to name it as ‘Freax’ but later it became ‘Linux’.
Linus Torvalds had wanted to call his invention Freax, a portmanteau of “free”, “freak”, and “x” (as an allusion to Unix). During the start of his work on the system, he stored the files under the name “Freax” for about half of a year. Torvalds had already considered the name “Linux,” but initially dismissed it as too egotistical.
In order to facilitate development, the files were uploaded to the FTP server (ftp.funet.fi) of FUNET in September 1991. Ari Lemmke at Helsinki University of Technology (HUT), who was one of the volunteer administrators for the FTP server at the time, did not think that “Freax” was a good name. So, he named the project “Linux” on the server without consulting Torvalds. Later, however, Torvalds consented to “Linux”.
To demonstrate how the word “Linux” should be pronounced ([leennux]), Torvalds included an audio guide (About this sound listen (help·info)) with the kernel source code.
He published the Linux kernel under his own license and was restricted to use as commercially. Linux uses most of its tools from GNU software and are under GNU copyright. In 1992, he released the kernel under GNU General Public License.
Linux Nowadays supercomputers, smartphones, desktop, servers, tablet, laptops, DVD players, routers, modems etc use Linux OS.
Features of Linux
Multiuser capability: Multiple users can access the same system resources like memory, hard disk, etc. But they have to use different terminals to operate.
Multitasking: More than one function can be performed simultaneously by dividing the CPU time intelligently.
Portability: Portability doesn’t mean it is smaller in file size or can be carried in pen drives or memory cards. It means that it supports different types of hardware.
Security: It provides security in three ways namely authenticating (by assigning the password and login ID), authorization (by assigning permission to read, write and execute) and encryption (converts file into an unreadable format).
Live CD/USB: Almost all Linux distros provide live CD/USB so that users can run/try it without installing it.
Graphical User Interface (X Window system): Linux is command line based OS but it can be converted to GUI based by installing packages.
Support’s customized keyboard: As it is used worldwide, hence supports different languages keyboards.
Application support: It has its own software repository from where users can download and install many applications.
File System: Provides hierarchical file system in which files and directories are arranged.
Open Source: Linux code is freely available to all and is a community-based development project.
Why Use Linux?
Linux is completely different from other operating systems in many ways.
It is an open source OS which gives a great advantage to the programmers as they can design their own custom operating systems.
It gives you a lot of option of programs having some different features so you can choose according to your need.
A global development community looks at different ways to enhance its security, hence it is highly secured and robust so you don’t need an anti-virus to scan it regularly. Companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook use Linux in order to protect their servers as it is highly reliable and stable.
Above all, you don’t have to pay for software and server licensing to install Linux, it’s absolutely free and you can install it on as many computers as you want.
Its completely trouble free operating system and don’t have an issue with viruses, malware and slowing down your computer.