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Chapter 5 Assignment

Linux History

Linux is an operating system that was primarily invented by Linus Torvalds, he was a student at the University of Helsinki in Finland. He first developed version 1.0 of the Linux Kernel back in 1994. When the Linux Kernel was released, it was under the GNU General Public License, so anyone was able to take advantage of its features. Newer versions of Linux followed and continue to develop.

Linux Distributions

Linux distributions are similar to UNIX software distributions. These distributions are composed of software applications such as word processors, spreadsheets, and database applications combined with the original “kernel”. At present, there are more than six hundred Linux distributions but only three hundred or more are in active development, which are frequently being revised. Below is a table that shows some of the types of Linux distributions.

RedHat Series

Slackware series

Debian series

RedHat Linux

Slackware

Debian GNU/Linux

Turbo Linux

Plamo Linux

 

LASER5 Linux

 

 

Kondara MNU/Linux

 

 

Vine Linux

 

 

 

The Debian GNU/Linux is Intel compatible and is a free distribution. Debian supports an application that allows users to install Debian right from a Windows desktop. Debian comes with over 25,000 precompiled software that is packed for easy installation on the user’s machine. Another Linux distribution that was not mentioned above is the Gentoo Linux. It is also Intel compatible and is designed for the enthusiasts. One feature of Gentoo is the tool “eselect”. Users can just type in the word eselect then they will get an overview of the available modules. Gentoo also has over 4000 modern and up-to-date software packages.

How to get Linux distributions

You can get Linux distributions through books, which contains free CD-ROM. You can get them from vendors selling Linux on CD-ROM. You can also get them from vendors who are selling computers with Linux pre-installed in the system.

Most distributions have made installation simpler by offering a live CD system. This live CD allows the users to boot fully functional Linux systems directly from a CD or DVD with the option of installing them on the hard drive. With this, Linux enables the user to evaluate a distribution to see whether the systems are compatible or not with no permanent changes to their computer.

2 Popular User Applications

Compared to Microsoft Word, Abiword is one of the most popular applications for Linux. It is a small, fast word processor that is very appropriate for typing reports, memos, letters and memos. It contains recognizable interface, spelling support, mail merge, and most of the features that Microsoft word has to offer.

Another application of Linux is OpenOffice. This application is just like a word processor but with spreadsheet, database, and presentation applications. It is XML-based file format. It also has spell check, thesaurus, wizard, and also has a feature that is similar to Microsoft Exel.

Advantage and Disadvantage compared to Microsoft Windows

One advantage of Linux compared to Microsoft Windows is it is open source. Anybody can download it from anywhere and make changes to it, in other words it is customizable.

The disadvantage of Linux being customizable, it will be hard for other users to adjust to whatever the type of Linux they encounter, in other words, the settings will not be the same to all users.