Skip to content
Sign upLog in
← Back to Community

What's a Linux?

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

What is Linux?

Today, I attempt to answer what Linux is, for Windows users.

First of all, let's talk what (technologically) Linux is.

Linux is the Kernel. It controls stuff like your CPU/GPU, RAM, SSD/HDD, Keyboard, Mouse...
Everything like that. But that's not useful, you say. That's wrong, you say.

But it's true, but I'll get to that later. Now, let's look at Linux's genesis.

Who made Linux?

Linux was made in 1991 by our Lord and Savior, Linus Torvalds:

Linus

It was created because Linus was too poor to afford Minix, a UNIX clone.

He GPL'd it, meaning that anyone can use it, change it, and they can't be stopped.

What is a Linux?

Above, if you remember, I said Linux is the kernel. And it is.
People take the kernel, and other tools and make a 'distro', or 'distributions'.
Most people here have a breakdown. They don't understand that they have a choice about what they use.

Some of the more popular distros are:

  • Linux Mint
  • Debian
  • Arch Linux
  • Manjaro (Based on Arch)

How can you use Linux?

There are three main ways to try Linux.

You can use QEMU. If you don't know how to use it, see my tutorial here

This is the safest option, i.e. you can't nuke your files

You can dual boot. This is the worst option, because Windows does not play well with other in the sandbox. I can't help you install it because each computer is different.
** I recommend taking backups of both Win and Linux bi-daily **

There's one more option:

Install Linux.
If you rely on PhotoShop, Fortnite (oof), and other Windows specific apps. dual boot is the best option, although there are risks.

This one has the potential for data loss, but only in transfer.
Linux can, and does, keep a database of every file (all 1,000,000) of them.

Some of the benefits of Linux

Linux has benefits, many more than Windows, in fact.

Let's start with the obvious:

  • Linux can run on anything, even a potato
  • Going off of that, Linux can run on pretty any computer made since 1990 (32 bit)
  • It's open source, so it's super customizable. If someone does not like it, they patch it.
  • It's rock hard.
  • It's insanely fast. My computer turned on in 12 seconds, 7 spent in the bios. That's a five second startup including GRUB. Whereas most windows machines take about 20 seconds.
  • Updates can be installed as fast as they are released (Bleeding edge), or they can be never installed (LTS). Repl is using a Linux distro released two years ago. Do that with Windows.

If you hit a snag switching to Linux, if you do, you can comment down here and I'll be happy to give remote support to an extent.

Happy hacking!

I oppose the Linux subsystem for Windows (Promoted by M$FT as WSL) and do not think it's a real solution.

Voters
Profile icon
ksath214
Profile icon
KraazyBillyy
Profile icon
SixBeeps
Profile icon
leo-ironkey
Profile icon
ironblockhd
Profile icon
CodingGoose
Profile icon
Jakman
Profile icon
SebastianGarc17
Profile icon
sala0599
Profile icon
ARJPEG
Comments
hotnewtop
Profile icon
Wumi4

I feel enjoyable with Linux, my computer is more cooler after install Linux compared to when my computer run Windows. I will install another Linux distro (Zorin OS) to my computer!

Quite off the topic, but there are some good free, open software that you may feel better or more comfortable when use it compare to the Windows specific software or exclusive software. Here it's some of them:
+Snapseed for editing pics
+LibreOffice, OnlyOffice,... for office use
+Krita, Blender for graphics

And so on.

In the case that you want to run Windows apps or play Windows specific games on Steam, you can use Wine, a program that help you run Windows apps on Linux, and Proton, a compatible layer design by Valve, use for running Steam games on your Linux.

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@DangHoang2
I know about all of that. You forgot GIMP, PlayOnLinux and kmines.

Profile icon
DynamicSquid

damn, too poor to afford something so you create your own lol

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid
Hey, that's how it all started.

Profile icon
DynamicSquid

@CodeLongAndPros
so the kernal is the thing that controls your computer, and linux is a kernal, and there are distros of linux like Manjaro or Ubuntu and those are OS?

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid
kernel, but yes. The kernel does the filesystem, display, and then systemd starts the services, and then X starts and finally, GNOME (ubuntu uses this dekstop) or Kde (Manjaro uses this desktop) takes control, giving you your desktop.

Profile icon
k9chelsea2

if you rely on fortnite the best advice is to get help.

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@k9chelsea2
I used to play it, but I stopped.

Profile icon
k9chelsea2

good boi

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@k9chelsea2
Just got boring.

Profile icon
k9chelsea2

yeh lol all the dances forced me to take cover apple have earned even more of my respect for kiccing it out of their app store

Profile icon
firefish

@k9chelsea2
Wiser words have never been said.

Profile icon
[deleted]

@k9chelsea2
from -100 to -99 respect for me

Profile icon
renu2119

Linux is an open-source, community-developed Unix-like operating system (OS) for computers, servers, mainframes, mobile devices, and embedded devices. It is one of the most widely supported operating systems, with support for almost every major computer platform, including x86, ARM, and SPARC.
Source:
https://fdfhdh.tribe.so/post/benefits-and-drawbacks-of-using-linux-6271172826554b609d93b1a1

Profile icon
mhmcwatters23

Doesn’t Replit use Fedora Linux or what distro do they use?

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@mhmcwatters23
Ubuntu Linux LTS with Nix

Profile icon
mhmcwatters23

@CodeLongAndPros
Cool, thanks.

Profile icon
DynamicSquid

Ooh, I finally got Ubuntu setup on VirtualBox cause screw M$FT. It seems slower than Windows since it's in a VM, so I probably won't use it for anything major. Are there any small things I could do with it?

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid
hmm. It's going to be slower, because vm. You could try:

  • Porting some of your code to Linux
  • Configuring Vim
  • Playing a game like ETR, SuperTuxKart or powder-toy
  • Learn to use APT.
Profile icon
DynamicSquid

@CodeLongAndPros
Oh cool, I'll try those out, thanks!

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid
Sure, got any done yet?

Profile icon
DynamicSquid

@CodeLongAndPros
I tried installing g++ with sudo apt install g++ but it says waiting for cache lock: could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/front-end. it is held by process 1543

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid
Try rebooting, and then run
kill $(pgrep apt apt-get)

Profile icon
DynamicSquid

@CodeLongAndPros
It gives me an error saying: pgrep: only one pattern can be provided

Edit: oh wait nvm I tried installing g++ again and it worked

Profile icon
DynamicSquid

@CodeLongAndPros
Ooh, I should install Crystal. Always wanted to try that out

Profile icon
DynamicSquid

@CodeLongAndPros
Wait, where does g++ get installed (I also installed cURL)? I check the Administrator root and deleted some of the folders. I can't find g++ or cURL though?

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid
Ok Linux crash course.
You installed g++ with apt (apt install build-essential) right?
You can locate a binary with which. which gcc gives me /usr/bin/gcc

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid

deleted some of the folders
Oh no. Which ones?

Profile icon
DynamicSquid

@CodeLongAndPros
Wow, Linux makes it super easy to install stuff! I have Crystal, a bunch of GNU stuff, and NASM.

Oh, I have a quick question.

I noticed you do D. Is D like C++, but without the standard library? Also is it worth learning?

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid
Yeah dev on Linux is super easy. And d is like python but compiled, kinda.
For example: fib. sequence in D:

int fib(int x) { if (x==1) return 1; return(fib(x-2)+fib(x-1);

Try reading https://tour.dlang.org

Profile icon
DynamicSquid

@CodeLongAndPros
A okay. Also, how does apt install work on Linux? Like is there a CDN somewhere? Can I upload my own package?

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid
Well there are things called mirrors, and yes. The AUR is a huge repo of software, I've put stuff in there. https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/fetchutils-git
For Ubuntu make a PPA

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid
(apt only works on Debian-derived distros. My distro, Artix uses pacman)
It will download a "deb" file and extract it into the file system.

Profile icon
DynamicSquid

@CodeLongAndPros
Ah cool, thanks!

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@DynamicSquid
but for Debian based distros you'd usually make a .deb file and let them download it and install with sudo apt install ./filename.dev

Profile icon
programmeruser

It was created because Linus was too poor to afford Minix, a UNIX clone.

Actually, I'm pretty sure that Linux Torvalds read a book that came with the source code of Minix and Linus used that.

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@programmeruser
No not this again.
Linux was made totally independent from MINIX.
It was like minix, but minix was like UNIX, and Linux is like UNIX.
From Wikipedia:

Development was done on MINIX using the GNU C Compiler.

Profile icon
programmeruser

@CodeLongAndPros
you said that Linus couldn't afford Minix, but that's not true, it was an example OS that had its source code released in a os dev book.

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@programmeruser
Ohhh yeah. He didn't like minix and was toor poor for Unix

Profile icon
programmeruser

@CodeLongAndPros
also, you could write a linux iso to a usb and boot from that. And I got a linux as you suggested but it's inside a virtual machine

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@programmeruser
Yeah but stuff like Puppy, Knoppox and Tails don't have tons of drivers.

Profile icon
programmeruser

@CodeLongAndPros
what do you mean they don't have tons of drivers?

Profile icon
programmeruser
Profile icon
[deleted]

wtf, how does anyone not know wat linux is bro

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros
Profile icon
SixBeeps

To be honest, I had Mint running alongside Win10 for a good bit, then my Mint partition decided to die. It ended up being okay for my use case, but I'm probably never gonna put Linux on here again simply because it disliked my hardware.

EDIT: I shoulda known better to say a partition died. It did not die, the OS on the partition just failed to function properly.

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@SixBeeps
That’s probably windows…

It likes to eat GRUB and “repair” your root partition
Profile icon
SixBeeps

@CodeLongAndPros
It wasn't a bootloader issue. I could still load in to GRUB (heck, I think it also recognized both OSs on there) but for whatever reason, after installing Torch, Mint just wouldn't recognize any of my USB devices.

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@SixBeeps
uh ok

Profile icon
firefish

I wish I could just pacman -R windows, but boy is that impractical, like half of my dev stuff like visual studio is only available on windows.

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@firefish
Why? Mono works on Linux.

Profile icon
firefish

@CodeLongAndPros
I know, but I have a lot of old projects that only get built with Visual Studio and aren't CIL based that I use quite often, because they're written in Visual Basic.

Profile icon
[deleted]

your forgetting something. WSL

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@sheepsbleat

Here, I think you dropped this:

I oppose the Linux subsystem for Windows (Promoted by M$FT as WSL) and do not think it's a real solution.

Profile icon
[deleted]
Profile icon
HahaYes

@CodeLongAndPros
calamares installer is a nightmare

Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@HahaYes
Have you seen the arch installer? Boots to a cli and then says “read the wiki”

Profile icon
HahaYes
Profile icon
CodeLongAndPros

@HahaYes
huh wuru is off the board