Linux: Explanation & Insights

Linux is an open-source operating system modeled on the UNIX family. It's the software on a computer that readies the application and the user to access the devices on the computer to perform desired functions. The operating system (OS) relays instructions from an application to the computer's hardware.

Linux is essential because it provides the foundation upon which we can build other software. It's the backbone that enables applications to provide their services. Moreover, being open-source, it offers a high degree of customization, which is highly valuable in the server environment.

A typical problem for beginners might be understanding the command-line interface, as Linux doesn't necessarily come with a graphical user interface. However, this issue can be mitigated by learning some basic shell commands.

Linux Servers

A Linux server is a high-powered variant of the Linux open-source operating system that's designed to handle the more demanding needs of business applications such as network and system administration, database management, and web services.

Linux servers are often preferred over other server operating systems because of their stability and security model. Linux servers are widely used because they're generally more cost-effective and provide greater flexibility and customization.

Virtual Machines (VMs) in Linux

A virtual machine (VM) is a software emulation of a computer system. VMs run on a physical machine called the host machine and provide the same functionality as a physical computer. Their implementation involves special software called a hypervisor, which separates the physical resources from the virtual environment.

VMs are crucial in server environments as they allow for better resource management, isolation of different computing environments, and a higher degree of flexibility than physical servers.

Linux File System

The Linux File System is the hierarchy of directories (also referred to as the directory tree) that is used to organize files on the computer. The file system starts from the root directory, denoted by a /, from which all other directories stem.

An understanding of the Linux File System is crucial as it allows users to navigate and manage files effectively using commands like ls, pwd, and cd.

Common Linux Commands

The Linux operating system uses a command-line interface (CLI) which requires the use of commands to operate. Learning these commands is essential for managing a Linux server or VM. Some of the most common commands include:

  • ls: Lists all files and directories in the current directory.
  • pwd: Prints the path of the current directory.
  • cd: Changes the current directory.
  • touch: Creates a new file.
  • rm: Removes a file or directory.
  • mkdir: Creates a new directory.


Linux, with its flexibility and open-source nature, is a powerful tool in the hands of those who know how to use it. Whether you're planning to set up a Linux server or a virtual machine, understanding the basic concepts and commands will make the process far more manageable.

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