The Story of Linux

It all started with the invention of Unix in 1969 at the premier AT&T Bell. Of course this was written in Assembly Language first, and later on re-written with the advent of C, which was of course written in C. If you are even remotely familiar with the conceptualization of Linux as an operating system, you would know for sure that it was modeled on the lines of Unix itself, by its mastermind Linus Torvalds. And now that you know the name of the founder, it is quite easy to fathom where the name ‘Linux’ came from. It was basically a convergence of ‘Linus’ and ‘Unix’, one being an operating system that was the rudimentary foundation of the new advanced version, while the major chunk of its name being derived from its inventor and mastermind! Not to forget, there were other contributors as well, but the naming has been done to follow suit.

P.S- By the way, Torvalds had actually planned on naming his brainchild operating system as ‘Freax’ first, which would be a combination of free (considering that it would be an open source platform, freely available for use by all), and the ‘x’ of Unix. Now personally I think, Freax would have been a much cooler name as compared to Linux, but of course the latter sounds much more technical and mature. So in the long run, it was a thoughtful and well-judged decision!

Linux Kernel in the aftermath of Android

After the advent of various versions of Microsoft Windows, it was a given that Linux would die a slow and painful death. Of course in the hardcore IT World, Linux still retained its significance. Particularly because of the extreme user-friendliness of the first ever Windows version and all its subsequent versions, Linux was no longer a choice for many, especially in the non-technical realm. But the Linux Kernel did make a comeback, and it did so in style. When the smartphone technology descended upon us, Linux Kernel was the very first to swing back in style. Be it in the case of smartphones, tablets, notebooks or smart TVs, Android continues to remain the undisputed no. 1 operating system. So where does Linux Kernel come in, you would ask? The explanation is that Linux Kernel forms the core of Android, and android phones and tabs sell like hot cakes today.

More about the Monolithic Kernel

The most important thing to know about Linux Kernel is that it posses all the salient features of a Monolithic Kernel. Don’t get perturbed by any technical jargon. It is very easy for any layman to understand what a monolithic kernel is. First of all, it is not an isolated term at all. It is just a term that is used to define the core design of an operating system. So before we focus on this particular designs, let us first take a look at which other operating system designs or core structures exist as of today:-

  • Monolithic Kernel Based Operating System
  • Microkernel Based Operating System
  • “Hybrid Kernel” based Operating System

So in case of a Monolithic Kernel, what happens is that instead of being distributed in different modes, the entire operating system is functional only in supervisor mode. In many ways, that is both an advantage as well as a disadvantage. It can be deployed in many settings too. Many insurance firms such as One Sure Insurance rely on the kernel to operate their insurance comparison system.