From Christoph's Personal Wiki
Linux is a computer operating system and its kernel. It is one of the most prominent examples of free software and of open-source development: unlike proprietary operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS, all of its underlying source code is available to the public and anyone can freely use, modify, improve, and redistribute it.
The kernel is the core piece of the Linux operating system.
The kernel manages the resources of the Linux OS; such as the following:
- File management
- Memory management
- I/O management
- Process management:
- Device management:
- Networking support (including IPv4 and IPv6)
- Virtual memory, shared libraries, demand loading, etc.
The kernel decides who will use these resources, for how long, and when.
- shut down computer
- switch to n-th console
- Alt+<- | Alt+->
- switch to next|previous virtual terminal
- clear CLI from cursor position to end of line
- clear CLI from cursor position to beginning of line
- move cursor to beginning of CLI
- clear console screen
- pause (see 'bg' and 'fg')
- incremental search of previous command history
- Scroll Lock
- lock terminal input/output
- Shift+pgUp | Shift+pgDn
- scroll console buffer up|down
- Ctrl+Alt++ | Ctrl+Alt+-
- change screen resolution higher|lower
- kill X-server (note: running aps will be terminated)
- run command box (on KDE)
- turn keypad into mouse keys
Linux is predominantly used as part of a Linux distribution (commonly called a 'distro'). These are compiled by individuals, loose-knit teams, and various professional organizations. They include additional system software and application programs, as well as certain processes to install these systems on a computer.
My favourite distributions include:
- SuSE — my primary operating system since 1999. (see also: openSUSE)
- Damn Small Linux (DSL) — A live CD designed for MiniCD with a hard drive install option.
- Damn Vulnerable Linux — a good distro for learning about Linux security.
- Knoppix — my favourite LiveCD (version: 5.1.1CD-2007-01-04; kernel 22.214.171.124; KDE 3.5.5; package list, cheat codes)
- see also: Google Linux Software Repositories
How to determine which Linux distribution is installed
Normally, the output of one of these should tell you which distro is installed:
cat /proc/version uname -a cat /etc/*rel* echo /etc/*_ver* /etc/*-rel*; cat /etc/*_ver* /etc/*-rel* cat /etc/version cat /etc/issue cat /etc/issue.net
The following is normally where various distros store the release/version:
Annvix: /etc/annvix-release Arch Linux: /etc/arch-release Arklinux: /etc/arklinux-release Aurox Linux: /etc/aurox-release BlackCat: /etc/blackcat-release Cobalt: /etc/cobalt-release Conectiva: /etc/conectiva-release Debian: /etc/debian_version, /etc/debian_release (rare) Fedora Core: /etc/fedora-release Gentoo Linux: /etc/gentoo-release Immunix: /etc/immunix-release Knoppix: knoppix_version Linux-From-Scratch: /etc/lfs-release Linux-PPC: /etc/linuxppc-release Mandrake: /etc/mandrake-release Mandriva/Mandrake Linux: /etc/mandriva-release, /etc/mandrake-release, /etc/mandakelinux-release MkLinux: /etc/mklinux-release Novell Linux Desktop: /etc/nld-release PLD Linux: /etc/pld-release Red Hat: /etc/redhat-release, /etc/redhat_version (rare) Slackware: /etc/slackware-version, /etc/slackware-release (rare) SME Server (Formerly E-Smith): /etc/e-smith-release Solaris SPARC: /etc/release Sun JDS: /etc/sun-release SUSE Linux: /etc/SuSE-release, /etc/novell-release SUSE Linux ES9: /etc/sles-release Tiny Sofa: /etc/tinysofa-release TurboLinux: /etc/turbolinux-release Ubuntu Linux: /etc/lsb-release UltraPenguin: /etc/ultrapenguin-release UnitedLinux: /etc/UnitedLinux-release (covers SUSE SLES8) VA-Linux/RH-VALE: /etc/va-release Yellow Dog: /etc/yellowdog-release
See: here for more details.
- The Linux Kernel Archives — the primary site for the Linux kernel source, but it has much more than just Linux kernels.
- Linux Newbie Administrator Guide — (LNAG)
- Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide — by Machtelt Garrels (14-Mar-2006)
- The Linux Kernel Module Programming Guide
- The Linux Vault
- Easy Linux.info — wiki site.
- HowtoForge — Linux howtos and tutorials
- Beyond Linux From Scratch
- Kernel Rebuild Guide — by Kwan Lowe
- How To Compile A Kernel - The SuSE Way — by Falko Timme on HowtoForge.com
- How To Compile A Kernel - The Mandriva Way — by Falko Timme on HowtoForge.com
Tools / resources
- Free On-Line Linux Books
- 68 Linux Related Free E-books
- The Art of Unix Programming — by Eric Steven Raymond