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Computer Oss Comparison Essay

1900 words - 8 pages

Linux has grown in popularity and capability over the years, but is it competitive with its competition. In this paper an overview of the Linux 2.6 Operating System (OS) and how it functions/performs on the technical level will be discussed. Comparisons to other retail OSs such as, Windows, Mac OS X, and prior versions of Linux will be used to show the strengths and weaknesses of this OS.
“Linux was created by a student (Linus Torvalds) in Helsinki in 1991 with the assistance of developers from around the world. Linux is free, it shares its work with everyone — including competitors — and its business model is motivated primarily by adrenaline, altruism, and peer respect rather ...view middle of the document...

1 the version that would be considered the release version of Linux at the time, it had a strong following (Diedrich, 2011).
Linux was marketed as an Open Source OS, which meant it was free to the public and allowed the user to modify and customize the kernel of the OS. This freedom created a subculture that would develop applications, drivers and source codes that made Linux a very powerful OS that is designed to run on any computer, router, and even mobile device such as the Android Smart Phone. Linux has also been marketed as an enterprise edition OS through Red Hat in 2002. “Linux 2.6 is a big step for Linux on enterprise servers as well as for embedded systems. For high-end machines, new features target performance improvements, scalability, throughput, and NUMA support for SMP machines” (Santhanam, 2003). These changes are what moved Linux from being just a UNIX OS for PC to a viable business operating system.
Linux kernel version 2.6, which was released in December 2003, introduced the SELinux security extension, which improved the performance of this OS on the higher end machines by cleaning up the kernel codebase to allow newer feature to be integrated into the kernel such as virtualization and improved scaling. These improvements facilitated the ability for Linux to be used on powerful supercomputers. Another advance with this version is how new features and advances were implemented, as of this version updates are done gradually every two to three months. This has taken the confusion of version jumps and organized it to remove the confusion of frequent version changes that has plagued the earlier version of this OS (Diedrich, 2011). Linux kernel version 2.6 set a new standard for the later version of the Linux kernel with this new approach to version updates and this is perhaps the greatest part of version 2.6’s legacy.
The Linux OS is free in most cases (i.e. Red Hat Enterprise has a subscription fee for example and other companies charge for the software bundled with the kernel) and openly available for download on the internet. “Commonly used license is the “GNU Public License (GPL)”. In the license stated that every person has the right to make changes and redistribute the software has been modified such that, provided creator codes of the program is still available after the distribution.” (Advenda, 2009). Using Linux the owner of the OS does not have to pay a registration fee or fees for using the OS on multiple systems. That fact alone makes Linux a very cost effective way for businesses to have the abilities of the retail OS’s (i.e. Windows, and Mac OS’s) that may have been out of reach of their budget. This can be especially effective for non-profit organizations for example.
Linux’s ability to use a wide variety of hardware allows this OS to move away from being just a PC OS. “Digi International announced a ZigBee-based home energy gateway that runs Linux on a Freescale i.MX28 processor....

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