What is Linux, the Open-Source OS?

Published
02/15/2021
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CompTIA News

What is Linux, the Open-Source OS?

 

You have probably heard of it and you have almost certainly used it, but what is Linux?  Linux is an open-source operating system that is similar to UNIX.  Because of its similarity to UNIX, someone who understands UNIX will be comfortable operating in Linux.

What makes Linux special?  Linux is the operating system for many devices, from Android smartphones and servers, to desktop computers and connected devices in your home.  Linux has been ported to more platforms than any other operating system – including Windows, and iOS - and since November 2017, 100% of the top 500 supercomputers in the world run on the Linux operating system.

The secret to its extended uses has been the fact that it is open-source, allowing developers to use Linux as a basis for any one of a virtually unlimited number of customized applications.  In fact, it is the largest open-source software project in the world. 

Is Linux Free?

Yes…sort of.  The creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds, granted access to Linux by making it open source.  This allows anyone to use the operating system and build on it as needed.  When developers add to the source Linux code and package it with their own additions, these are known as “distributions” or “distros”.

While you can assemble your own Linux system, this can be challenging.  Most people choose to rely on one of the available distros.  Another advantage is that these distros typically include updates and often offer support.  Because they added their own coding on top of the Linux base or “kernel,” developers can and often do charge for these distros, although they are normally less expensive than Microsoft Windows.  Some of the most popular ones available are Ubuntu, Linux Mint, SUSE, Red Hat Enterprise, Debian, and Fedora.

What is Linux Operating System Used for?

Although you may not be aware of it, Linux can be found in a number of places.  In the workplace, Linux runs servers and devices such as printers, routers, laptops, and firewalls. In your car, Linux could be running your GPS and if you have a Tesla, the car itself.

In your home, you may find it running your smartphone, tablet, and even some Nintendo and PlayStation units.  Many connected devices within your home also rely on Linux, such as your smart thermostat and refrigerator.  Even medical devices and planes use Linux.

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Source 1: https://www.top500.org/statistics/details/osfam/1/

 

Is Linux Better Than Windows?

Judging whether one operating system is better than another is definitely a matter of taste, but Linux does have some advantages.  First, there is the fact that Linux costs much less to deploy.  Businesses can see a significant savings if they rely on Linux.

Also, because there are fewer vulnerabilities to exploit Linux tends to be more secure than Windows, a serious concern for every organization.  Reliability is also better with Linux.  It is known to crash or fail less often than Windows and most Linux updates can be installed without shutting down the system.  Windows updates often require a reboot.

 

How Much Does a Linux Administrator Make?

IT professionals working with Linux are well-compensated.  According to Salary.com, as of January 29. 2021, the average Linux Administrator earns $95,835.   Fortunately, there are a number of positions available for those interested in a career using Linux.  As of February 4, 2021, Indeed.com listed over 57,000 job openings that mention Linux.

 

How Do I Get a Linux Job?

There are many job titles for Linux professionals.  Some of the more popular positions include DevOps Engineer, Java Developer, Linux Engineering Administrator, Network Engineer, and Software Developer.

One of the best ways to show employers that you are capable of working in a Linux environment is by holding a relevant certification.  47 percent of hiring managers say they are more likely to hire a certified professional than one without a certification.

 

How Do I Earn a Linux Certification?

One popular certification is CompTIA’s Linux+.  Updated in 2019, per CompTIA the current version of the certification “validates the skills of IT professionals with hands-on experience configuring, monitoring, and supporting servers running the Linux operating system. The new exam has an increased focus on the following topics: security, kernel modules, storage & virtualization, device management at an enterprise level, git & automation, networking & firewalls, server side & command line, server (vs. client-based) coverage, troubleshooting and SELinux.”  It is earned by passing the Linux+ exam.

One key reason to choose Linux+ over other options is the added focus on security, troubleshooting, server configuration and cloud computing.  These are skills that are required for many Linux job roles.

Need help preparing for the exam?  The Official CompTIA Linux+ Study Guide eBook can help.  The Linux+ exam includes multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and performance-based questions (PBQs) to
confirm your ability to apply Linux skills in real-world situations.  The study guide will help you learn key terms and perform tasks such as a Linux installation.

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 Source 2: https://www.salary.com/research/salary/benchmark/linux-administrator-salary

Source 3: https://insights.dice.com/2019/01/23/linux-engineer-sysadmin-translate-big-money/

 

Still unsure if you are prepared?  Consider taking a Linux+ practice test.  This will help you identify areas of weakness so that you can focus on them.  It also lets you experience the type of questions that you will see on the actual exam so that you can become familiar with them.  Once you have successfully tackled the practice test, you will feel more prepared for the actual test.

 

Conclusion

With Linux being found across devices spanning virtually every aspect of our lives, the demand for Linux professionals is strong and continues to grow.  One of the best ways to enter an advance in a career in IT is to get certified and show that you have the skills that employers seek.

As a CompTIA platinum partner, GetCertified4Less is here to help you with eBooks, practice tests, and exam vouchers to help you earn your CompTIA Linux+ certification and show employers that you have the skills necessary to successfully work in a Linux environment.

Remote testing is now available.  You can take the Linux+ exam safely from the comfort of your home or office.

Earn a Linux+ certification and begin or advance your career today!

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