To simply put, Linux is an operating system much like Windows, iOS and Mac OS. This operating system is all around us, from phones,automobiles, quantum computers,household appliances, home desktops and industrial servers. Since the mid-1990s, Linux has been popular, and has since hit a user base that spans across the globe. But apart from being the medium of choice for running desktops, servers and integrated systems all over the globe, Linux is one of the most stable, safe and care-free(not really) operating systems available.

An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware, software resources, and provides common services for computer programs.

Let’s try to understand how the Linux operating system works.

What makes Linux OS?

The Linux operating system contains:

  1. Boot-loader –  The software that manages the boot process of your computer. This is the screen that pops up and gradually goes away to boot into the operating system.
  2. Kernel – The kernel is the core of the system and manages the CPU, memory, and peripheral devices. The kernel is the core of the OS.
  3. Init system – This is a sub-system that bootstraps the user space and is charged with controlling daemons. It is the init system that manages the boot process, once the initial booting is handed over from the boot loader eg. GRUB
  4. Daemons – These are background services that start up during boot or after you log into the desktop.
  5. Graphical server – This is the sub-system that displays the graphical interface on your monitor. It is commonly referred to as the X server or just X.
  6. Desktop environment – This is the piece that the users actually interact with. There are many desktop environments such as GNOME, Cinnamon, Mate, and Xfce. Each desktop environment includes built-in applications.
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Pros and Cons of using Linux:

Pros:

1. Open Source

One of the main advantages of Linux is that it is an open source operating system. That is, its source code is easily available for the public. Anyone capable of coding can contribute, modify, enhance and distribute the code to anyone and for any purpose.

2. Security

Linux is quite secure compared to other operating systems such as Windows. Linux is not completely secure as there is some malware for it also but it is less vulnerable than others. Every program in Linux needs authorization from the administrator in the form of a password. There is no requirement of any anti-virus program in Linux.

3. Revive older computer systems

Linux helps you to use or utilize your old and outdated computer systems as a firewall, router, backup server or file server and many more. There are many distributions available to use according to your system capability. As Linux has low system requirements. Many Linux distros work on 500 MB of RAM.

4. Software Updates

In Linux you encounter a larger number of software updates. These software updates are much faster than updates in any other operating system. Updates in Linux can be done easily without facing any major issue or concern. That too with a one line command.

5. Customization

A feature that gives a major advantage over other operating systems is customization. You can customize any feature, add or delete any feature according to your need as it is an open source operating system.

6. Free to use

Linux is freely available on the web to download and use. You do not need to buy the license for it as Linux and many of its software come with GNU General Public License. This proved to be one of the major advantages Linux faces over Windows and other operating systems. You need to spend a huge amount to buy the license of Windows which is not the case with Linux.

7. Large Community Support

Forums by excited users are made on the web to help and solve the problem any other user is facing. There are a lot of dedicated programmers there to help you out at all times.

8. Stability

Linux provides high stability also this is good advantage i.e. it does not need to be rebooted after a short period of time. Your Linux system rarely slows down or freezes. As in windows, you need to reboot your system after updating your software but this is not the case with Linux. You can work without any disturbance on your Linux systems.

9. Privacy

Linux ensures the privacy of user’s data as it never collects much data from the user while using its distributions or software but this is not true for many other operating systems.

10. Compatibility

Linux runs or executes all possible file formats and is compatible with a large number of file formats.

11. Fast and easy installation

Linux can be easily installed from the web and does not require any prerequisites as it can run on any hardware, even on your oldest systems.

Click here to know how to install Parrot OS.

Facebook, Google, Dell, Amazon, Microsoft and IBM all use Linux to in some form or the other.

Cons:

  1. Hardware drivers

One of the issues that most Linux users face is that some hardware drivers are not available for Linux. Hardware companies prefer to make drivers for windows or mac because they have more users as compared to Linux.

2. Learning curve

Getting started with windows is easy for beginners but learning Linux is difficult. You have to learn about the command-line interface and searching for new software is also little bit difficult. If you face any problem in the operating system then finding solution is problematic. There are fewer experts for Linux as compared to windows and mac.

3. Software alternative

Take an example of Photoshop which is a popular graphic editing tool. Photoshop is available for windows but is not present in Linux. There are other photo editing tools but Photoshop is a more powerful tool than others. MS office is another example which is not available for Linux users.

Why Linux is important for Ethical hacking?

The concept of Linux for hackers focuses on the use of the Linux operating system for the sole purpose of ethical hacking. There are a number of reasons why hackers need to use Linux. You will slowly understand them as you go through he beginners guide. It includes networking, reconnaissance, exploitation, malware analysis and so much more.