Linux Training

Written by Shirley Parker
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Linux was written by Linus Torvalds, who had used UNIX at the University of Helsinki, but found the available commercial systems much too costly for home use. He began by using Andrew Tanenbaum's Minix that was written for instructional purposes, but found that to be too limiting. Beginning in 1991, Torvalds wrote his own operating system that other hackers found interesting. As additional features were added, an increasing amount of attention was paid to Linux.

Since Linux is the kernel of an operating system, or in other words, the part that makes the other programs run, it needs other programs to run on top of it. However, the kernel implements necessary multitasking, manages hardware devices, and enables the other applications. Torvalds didn't have to write the programs that the system administrator interacts with. They were available from the Free Software Foundation's GNU project, which intends to develop an entire operating system that resembles UNIX but will have no associated costs to the user. Thus, to give them proper credit, the operating system is a GNU/Linux system.

Of course, Linux has gone through succeeding development cycles to keep up with larger and larger systems, as well as smaller and smaller systems. This generally requires increased speed. As more users/programmers began using Linux, more suggestions were incorporated. When Netscape released its browser as free software in 1997, the concept of open source or free software became eminently respectable and accepted. Of course, there is much more that can be said of Linux that is entirely fascinating.

Linux Opportunities Today

The three most useful "general purpose" distributions of Linux include Red Hat, SuSE and Debian. Training classes in Linux are available worldwide, since the technically minded are attracted by the success of a system that didn't have major marketing muscle behind it. As with all technical certification, standards are important, so that one certificate is equal in value to another. Some training sources provide several levels of certification. E-learning is also feasible for many students. And for those who love laptop computers, yes, there are even LinuxCertified laptops.

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