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(?) Homework assignment: define these Linux terms

From Maria Alejandra Balmaceda

Answered By Karl-Heinz Herrmann

i would like to know if you can define to me this words:

(!) [K.H.] I can try at least some of them:

(?) Linux UNIX

(!) [K.H.] UNIX is an operating system developed around 1969 from Bell Labs according to: http://minnie.cs.adfa.edu.au/Unix_History
another history overview is on:
Since then many clones and reimplementations of very similar Operating systems have been released. Most of them were developed by some company and sold running on their hardware (HP unix, IBM 's AIX, Dec OSF, Cray unicos, ....).
Another one of them is Linux -- a Unix kernel rewrite started as a project by Linus Torvalds with the remarkable difference that the Linux kernel was and is free -- free in the sense that everybody has access to the source and is free to redistribute it as well as modifying it.
Linus' work was made possible by another project: GNU. See below.
(!)[Heather] I see people say that specific line so often it rates as a myth. Actually the GNU project had nothing to do with his kernel; I believe his earliest kernels weren't even under GPL; beyond that, not all GPL'd applications are part of the GNU project, in fact I dare say most of them aren't, esp. since there's more of them every day. See "distribution" below for what really needed GNU tools to get going.

(?) Kernel

(!) [K.H.] loosely the core part of the operating system which handles all the hardware and resources of a computer.
The kernel also is code which has more or less free access to memory and hardware in contrast to "user space" where the hardware access has to go through the method the kernel provides.

(?) GNU

(!) [K.H.] See: http://www.gnu.org for material on gnu, free software, open source etc.
This had all the tools like compilers which are necessary to buid an operating system as well as all the little commandline programs which make the Linux kernel to a Unix like operating system (what would one do without commands like ls, mv, ps or sh, bash, ....).
(!)[Heather] Hardly all the tools; about as many of the tools in a typical system are under BSDish or other free licenses. If you measure by bits instead of how many packages, X is fairly heavyweight and remains under an MIT license. A lot of Linux users use X, many even consider it a day to day necessity.
Among other things a real GNU project utility author would have transferred his, her, or their copyrights to FSF, something which not everyone feels inclined to do, by a long shot.

(?) Free BSD

(!) [K.H.] Another Unix like operating system, also free source but the license has differences from the Linux typical Gnu Public license (GPL) http://www.freebsd.org

(?) Open Source

(!) [K.H.] I don't think I try to say that: Go to http://www.opensource.org, also there is some philosophical distinction between open source and free: see http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-software-for-freedom.html
also an interesting read:

(?) Sistema Operativo

(!) [K.H.] Aehm.... operating system? Combination of a kernel handling the hardware access along with a program collection which allows all basic file operations, compiling,.... GNU/Linux would be one.

(?) RMS

(!) [K.H.] Root mean Square -- see mathematical textbook. Oops the physicist broke through. :-)
Its also the initials of Richard M. Stallman: www.stallman.org or maybe http://www.eff.org (Electronic Frontier Foundation) for more on him.

(?) Linus

(!) [K.H.] http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/faqs/linus

(?) Distribución

(!) [K.H.] Distribution
"Linux" is only the kernel of an operating system. Along with it one needs GNU tools and a lot of other free, open source or commercial software for a productive computer system.
Companies evolved which pack ready made systems including a kernel and a selection of tools and programs acording to their distribution philosophy. Even if the software and kernel itself is free and freely redistributable the companies can charge for the work to arrange everything so one can choose what to install and make sure that everything will work together. Also you will get about 1 to 7 CD and a handbook from most of them.

(?) Debian, Red Hat

(!) [K.H.] as well as SuSE, slackware, Mandrake, icelinux,.... however they are all named are distributions of various philosophy: slackware beeing the "original" open source variant.
(!)[Heather] Hardly the first, but the best maintained survivor from the old days. Hit the net looking for the keywords "Yggdrasil" or "Soft Landing Systems" or even see the earliest issues of Linux Journal (SSC's magazine) for some really early distributions.
Many distros can easily be found at their .com or .org domain. Linux Weekly News (LWN) has a really nice sidebar leading to lots of distros, many especially tuned for some special purpose.

(?) LUG

(!) [K.H.] Linux User Group -- local clubs who meet to discuss and help with Linux.
This list is neither complete nor very objective, so have a loog at your search engine of choice for more details and different views :-)

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