Why Linux? Why Now?

Koklioong Loa

Linux on the Rise

Suddenly, too many companies are supporting the free Unix-like system named Linux. Unlike other OS, Linux has an interesting background which dates back to the 60's.

Unix and Unix Philosophy

Unix's Brief History

The Unix Philosopy

by Mike Garantz, Digital Press, 1995. Kernighan and Pike said: "UNIX programs do quite trivial tasks in isolation. You must understand not only how to use the programs, but also how they fit into the environment".

Unix owes much of its success to the fact that its developers saw no particular need to retain strong control of its source code".

You know what to do!

Linux History

Linux was started by a Finnish University student whose name is Linus Benedict Torvalds. Torvalds was looking for a free robust (v.s. stink) OS in 1992 on an Intel box. He became interested in Andrew Tanenbaum's Minix and wrote the software. Torvalds made it available under the infamous copyleft policy of GNU's General Public License, and he is now with Transmeta Corp in bay area.

Pros and Cons



Installation and Configuration

Things to Prepare

  • Make, model, and interface for your CD-ROM drive
  • What type of mouse (ps/2)
  • The model of SCSI adapter
  • The model, and memory size of your graphics card, and refresh rates for your monitor
  • Networking information such as IP address, netmask, gateway IP address, DNS addresses, domain name, and type of network card


    For pre-install PCs, try fip, partition commander, or partition magic which comes with openLinux.


    Disk partiton: swap, / and /usr file systems.

    Control panel: runlevel editor, time machine, printer, network, modem and gnome-linuxconf (adding new user, file systems and boot mode.)

    Caldera's lizard




    Linux Enterprise


    Plenty of evidence

    Linux in Business

    In th other industries areas, companies like Google (which has over 10,000 Linux servers in production), Amazon, Boscov's, L.L. Bean Price Chopper, SherwinWilliams, Motorola, Verizon and Akamai, have also depolyed Linux systems for productions. Recently, and Air New Zealand, are using the Linux operating system on IBM mainframes, 7-Eleven runs email on Linux, while an HP customer, L-3 Communications, is using Linux to run airport baggage scanning systems.

    What's next?

    IDC estimates that commercial shipments of Linux will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 25 percent from 1999 to 2003, compared with a 10 percent growth for all other client operating environments combined, and a 12 percent growth rate for all other server operating environments combined. From all indications, the Linux bandwagon is sure to become more crowded in the near future.

    750,000,000 people will be running Linux in 5 years. Aapache is the leading Web server; which keeps increasing its market share while both IIS and Netscape are shrinking. (See Serve Your Site and Web Survey.)

    The hot and modern SW such as Java, XML and Corba are all available on Linux. Think about those students and geeks who never ask what Linux can do for them. They only ask what they can do for Linux :-).

    Desktop? Will Linux ever be a successful and viable desktop in the future? How about embedded Linux for net appliances (wired and wiredless)? Linux is also fast on moving 64 bits architecture such as Alpha (Compaq), X86-64 (AMD), and Willamette (Intel).

    More Open source? SCO's SAR, Sun's Solaris, SGI's IRIX, Apple's MAC OSX.

    Quotes from the Net

    I've never had a customer mention Linux to me. (said who?)

    My main goal has always been to be in the position that I'm not ashamed of what I've done or am doing, and that I'm doing the best I can.

    Technically, Unix is a simple, coherent system that pushes a few good ideas to the limit.

    Linux is perceived as a threat, but in reality, it's not that way. In reality, it's a promise.

    When the system is free, Microsoft can't win and that's why Linux can't lose.

    With a PC, I always felt limited by the software available. On Unix, I am limited only by my knowledge. -- Peter J. Schoenster

    In a World without Fences, Who Needs Gates?

    First, they ignore you.

    Then they laugh at you.

    Then they fight you.

    Then you win.


  • More on Linux
    1. Installation
    2. Unix Basic
    3. Kernel Upgrade
    4. Development Tools
    5. X Window Systems
    6. Enterprise Integration Servers
    7. System and Network Admin
    8. Security and Troubleshooting