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March 5, 2024

Exploring the Remarkable Success of Linux: Key Factors Behind Its Popularity


Open source code plays a significant role in how an operating system (OS) can be customized to your specific needs.

There may be many individuals who question the power and adaptability of Linux. Possibly, because their acquaintances predominantly use Windows. Or perhaps, Linux doesn’t play a visible part in their daily lives, and they aren’t even aware of what Linux is. What’s so extraordinary about Linux then? Linux, as the old Star Trek quote puts it, has journeyed to places no OS has ever ventured before. This is attributable to a variety of factors like its open source nature; its adaptability leading to approximately 600 actively maintained distributions with a number of dominant “families” of related distributions; the flexibility it exhibits that facilitates running even on the smallest devices; its operation on nearly every supercomputer; and its control over the web world.

The origins of Linux can be traced back to Linux Torvalds, the Finnish-American engineer who was the primary driving force behind the development of Linux. Torvalds initiated computer programming at the tender age of 10, using his grandfather’s Commodore VIC-20, an 8-bit home computer that was first introduced in 1980. In 1991, during his time at the University of Helsinki, Torvalds was uncomfortable with using MS-DOS on the school’s computers. Consequently, he decided to develop his own PC-based UNIX version. He soon provided it for others to download, along with the source code. This enabled them to modify it according to their own needs and preferences. Hence began the new era of open source software.

It was just a couple of years after Tim Berners-Lee invented the first web server. His concept of creating a “universal linked information system” involved integrating several concepts, mainly focusing on the connections between all types of information. Berners-Lee fabricated the first web browser and developed the web’s language – Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) that is widely used to construct web pages.

Without a doubt, Linux takes the lead in the sphere of the internet. But that’s just the beginning. It has swiftly ascended to the zenith in areas of mobile phones, media streaming devices, and routers. Its adaptability is commendable. It is functional on the smallest gadgets and nearly all of the world’s supercomputers. As highlighted in a recent article on NetworkWorld, it’s currently revolutionizing manufacturing by making it more dependable, adaptable, and productive. (Refer to: Linux is pioneering efficient and flexible manufacturing)

Linux’s demand is gaining traction due to its increasingly attractive desktops, its foray into open-source AI, more robust and non-modifiable distributions, and the upsurge in the quantity and variety of games available (for instance, those powered by SteamOS). Even the ones who are oblivious of Linux’s stronghold in the majority of the computing realm may soon become enthusiasts and admirers.

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