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Operating System Common On The Internet

1401 words - 6 pages

Linux is a multi-user, multi-tasking, 32-bit operating system based off of the UNIX operating system developed in the 1960s. One of the main characteristics that sets it apart from other operating systems such as Windows is that it is open source, meaning that the source code comes with it and the user is able to modify, sell or redistribute it freely. But a company or an organization did not write Linux, it was written by a college student named Linus Travolds. With the help of many programmers, often called hackers? Linux has surprised many people by being a stable, high quality system that has little central control.The kernel is the heart of an operating system, and when most people ...view middle of the document...

Linux is mostly used by programmers for the option of open source and the tools that come with it, large companies for its stability and Internet service providers for its great networking capabilities, and people who are tired of losing data to Windows. It can also be used in a home or business network to add security and reliability, which are things that Linux is known for. Most people do not know it, but they also use Linux daily. From web browsing to bank transactions, Linux is often used to handle important tasks. Some people, most often science laboratories and large companies, gather many computers and run Linux on all of them and make them act as one machine, or cluster, to solve problems in physics and mathematics that normal computers cannot do.Hardware capability is also a plus for Linux, and that is why Linux can be run on older computers with few system resources, with some of the non-required programs such as the graphical user interface taken out. This makes older computers sitting in the closet useful for tasks such as monitoring or securing your network. Although not every piece of hardware is supported, more and more are included in every release. The kernel has been successfully loaded onto Apple iPods, video game systems, watches, and even cameras in addition to personal and business computers, which means that Linux has potential to run on anything.Security is one of the features that Linux is known for. With many people logged in at once, those users must have limitations on what they can do without damaging the system. This means that there must be people to give those limitations. When a user has these privileges, they are called root. On a Linux system, there is one Root account, and systems administrators can log onto this account to maintain the system. If a user is logged onto their account, they can use the Root password to gain Root privileges. If a hacker gained the password for Root, they could do whatever they want to the system. This is why the passwords in the file called /etc/passwd are encrypted, but as an added layer of security, the passwords are also shadowed. This means that the file is moved to a hidden directory and the contents are replaced by tokens that vary from the brand of UNIX that the computer is running. Still, nothing is impenetrable, and the passwords are not one hundred percent safe. Even if the system was broken into, the hacker can be traced easily, since they often blow their cover by doing something such as manipulating files or putting his/her name in the motd, or message of the day, which is displayed to users when they log onto the system.The Linux file system is much different than that of Windows. For instance, all of the devices on a...

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