Understand where Linux came from and what it's used for. Find out which distributions are popular.
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- [Voiceover] Linux is a general purpose computer operating system originally built by Linus Torvalds and released in 1991. Linux is defined by its kernel, which is the core component of the system, which interacts with the computer hardware to allow the software to work. Linux was inspired by the older Unix, and is based on a philosophy that software and operating systems should be free, both free of cost and freely modifiable under a license called the GNU General Public License. What this means is that Linux has become popular for many different applications, and hundreds of variations of Linux have popped up, from server operating systems to supercomputer-specific distributions to mobile phones running android and everywhere in between.
But, one of the most important distinctions you'll need to be aware of is one of genealogy. Most major distributions of Linux fall into four categories based on the original distribution from which they were derived. There's Arch, Debian, Red Hat, and Slackware, and any number of other smaller distributions. Depending on your industry, your company, your institution, or any number of other factors, you're likely to end up learning to use the command line on a system that inherits from one of these distributions.
Most likely, you'll be using one derived from Debian or Red Hat. Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Elementary OS, and Kali Linux are all derived from Debian. CentOS, or "centos", Fedora, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux are derived from Red Hat. The history of all the different distributions of Linux is kind of beyond the scope of this course, but what this means at its core is that you'll need to be aware of what system you're using and that you may need to adapt what you're doing to account for differences in distributions.
As we work at the command line, most of what we'll do is the same across the major distributions. That's because we'll be using the Bash shell, which is available almost everywhere. As you extend your learning and explore software packages and system administration, you'll start to see differences, but for now, don't worry too much about it.
This course will establish the foundation for more advanced Linux topics. Find other Linux training courses here.
- What is the Linux command line?
- Writing Linux commands at the prompt
- Finding help for Linux commands
- Editing files and folders
- Configuring user roles and file permissions
- Using pipes to connect commands
- Peeking at files
- Searching and editing text
- Finding disk and system information
- Installing and updating software