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Linux Fundamentals (Part -1)

Linux Fundamentals 
Linux Fundamentals
(Part -1)
Q1: What type of operating system is Linux ?

Answer: Linux is considered as a multiuser and multitasking operating system. Linux is based on the UNIX operating system. The core component of the Linux operating system is called the Linux kernel. It is an open source software. It is a clone of UNIX operating system, written by Linus Trovalds.

Q2: How does Linux control the hardware components?

Answer: Linux kernel support a good number of device drivers (system software) which control the hardware.

Q3: What is linux kernel version? How can we distinguish between Developmental kernel and Production kernel?

Answer: Linux kernel versions are made up of the following three components:
  • Major number
  • Minor number (odd: developmental kernel, even: Production kernels)
  • Revision number
e.g. if the linux kernel  version is 3.6.5, It indicates major version is 3, Minor version is 6 and revision is 5. Since the minor version is even, it is production kernel which has been fully tested and is stable.

Q4: What are the advantages of Linux over commercial OS?

Answer:Advantages of linux are:
  1. Open source, Distributed along with source code.
  2. Stable, Scalable and Secure: Majority of web servers are linux based.
  3. Supports multiple hardware platforms including embedded devices.
  4. Low cost business solution.
  5. Customizable
  6. Offers a wide variety of applications (database, office applications, games, graphics processing software etc.)
Q5: What is a kernel in Linux?

Answer: kernel refers to the core operating system. In general it manages the following:
  • hardware devices with the help of device driver programs.
  • allocates cpu to different processes (cpu management)
  • memory to different running programs/processes (memory and disk managment)
  • inter communication between program (IPC).
Q6: What types of programs can be run on Linux?

Answer: Like Windows or Mac, Linux OS also runs under desktop environment(GUI).  You may run various utility programs like calendar, text editors, calculators, disk management tools. Office management tools like openoffice can be run. You can browse internet, develop software, play games, movies and songs. It supports all types of commercial and scientific applications.
See kinds of software applications available on linux.

Q7: What is terminal?

Answer: It is a command line shell similar to DOS box or window (cmd) on Windows and xterm on Mac. In Linux and UNIX terminology it is called shell. Various types of command shells are supported e.g. shell(sh), bash, cshell etc. Most common shell on Linux is bash shell.

Q8: How to open terminal or bash shell from LINUX desktop?

Answer: It is available in through Desktop menu (Accessories → Terminal).

Q9: Who designed Linux OS?

Answer: Originally it was written by Linus Torvalds in 1991. Being open source, later a large community of developers joined and contributed.

Q10: How Linux is  distributed?

Answer:  A large pool of distributors (both commercial and freeware versions) are available. A few common ones are:
(Google linux distros and see the list. You may also view

Q11: How does linux system identifies various hardware devices?

Answer: The linux system identifies identifies hardware devices as special files, called device files. There are three different types of device files:
  • Character devices
  • Block devices
  • Network