Linux for Complete Beginners

Updated: May 18

This blog post briefly explains an overview of Linux.

What is Linux?

Linux is a type of operating system, a basic software used to operate computers, such as Windows or Mac and Linux has many features that the other two do not have.


Linux is open-source, which means it is freely available to everyone. Therefore, it is used for a variety of purposes, such as IT-related work and learning. It is probably mainly used for servers, but it is also an excellent environment for personal programming learning because Linux provides a free development environment and is easy to set up a programming environment.

Linux is based on CUI operation. It means that the mouse is rarely used and commands can be issued from us to the operating system by typing commands on the keyboard. Using Linux commands enables software downloads such as Apache and to check the status of the server.

In addition, it is possible to use cron to start specified programmes at specified times, and to set log rotations to delete or overwrite data after a certain period of time so that it does not remain in the system for a long time and overwhelm the Disk.

Linux is used by many people around the world for server applications and is therefore highly reliable, and there is also a lot of high-quality software such as Apache and MySQL available for Linux, most of it free of charge.

However, Linux is not best for processing editing multimedia such as video and music.

Such processing is an area where Windows and Mac excel.

Linux in the narrow and broad sense

The term 'Linux' is used casually by engineers in daily life, but it can be divided into 'Linux in the narrow sense' and 'Linux in the broad sense'.

'Linux in the narrow sense' refers only to the 'Linux kernel', the core of the Linux operating system. The term 'kernel' refers to the core part of the operating system that gives instructions to the hardware. So the term "Linux" refers only to the software in the operating system that controls the computer hardware under the name "Linux". Therefore, we refer to it as 'Linux in the narrow sense' when considering Linux as a kernel. If we consider "Linux" as an "operating system", this is "Linux in the broadest sense".

When preparing a Linux environment, the first step is to decide which distribution to use. A distribution can be described as a package that includes a core part called the kernel, plus basic commands and applications to enable users to use Linux. The main types of 'Linux distributions' are Red Hat and Debian. Thus 'Linux in the broadest sense' is synonymous with 'Linux distribution'.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of the entire Linux system but I hope this blog post can be a good start for digging into Linux for those who are not familiar with it.

This blog post is translated from a blog post written by Haruka Inoue on our Japanese website Beyond Co..