We learn about new things all the time, but we often don’t really learn about topics which have been around for decades, there all around us, yet still not that popular. However, with an increase of usage of Linux systems, most people are learning more and more about open source and what it actually means.
Linux systems and Linux in general, are still an unknown topic for most people. Just understanding Linux gets you much closer to understanding computing. The open source community is also very interesting and full of great stories. Here are some facts about both the open source community and Linux.
Linux is NOT a OS
To start things off, Linux is just a kernel and not an operating system. There is a huge difference, because an operating system does much more in today’s terms than a kernel does. A kernel is just what it says, a kernel. Android is an operating system, for example, but it uses a Linux kernel.
Windows is also an operating system, and it has its own kernel, which holds all the essential code for controlling the rest of the system and relaying the information to the processor.
Open Source Doesn’t Mean Free
The open source movement was started with the idea of making software and code sharing free, but not free to build. Developers still get paid, particularly those that are working on the highest of projects, like Blender, VLC, Firefox and of course, Android. Open source software is free to use and reuse, add to the code, change it, but the work is not free, developers definitely get paid, one way or another.
Linux Is Used By Developers and Super Computers
Linux allows power users to make the most out of the hardware that they have, to maximize the performance and minimize the risk of security breaches. Developers typically use Linux systems because of their stability and speed and optimization.
Supercomputers typically run on Linux systems, because Linux has support for a much larger core count and resource management, in other words, its scheduler can handle unlimited power, or nearly unlimited.
Open Source Is Built By Professionals
This is one of the first things that people get wrong, often thinking that open source software is built by hobbyists and bad developers. The problem with open source is that the software is often there to offer support for multiple platforms and many, many tools. Supporting more platforms is hard and developers only have so much time.
Projects like VLC, Blender, Mame, Linux, Firefox and so on, are built by professionals who have been working in the industry for a long time. Anyone can contribute, yes, but most of the projects are maintained by trained professionals who have been working for a decade, often at the forefront of innovation.
Open source and Linux are very fun to learn about. These are some facts about both that should be fun and educational at the same time.