The advantages of Linux for software developers

Some programmers prefer to use Linux because they feel it gives them more freedom and more security, and definitely more flexibility and power. 

The story of Linux

Linux is an operating system much like Microsoft Windows OS or Mac. The operating system is way old, it began in 1991, and was developed as a personal project by Linus Torvalds, a Finnish computer science student, whose aim was to develop a new free operating system kernel. His aim was to use the functions of his new PC with an 80386 processor. Eventually, Linux began to gain importance in 1992, once Orest Zborowski ported X Windows System to Linux, and this, for the first time, allowed Linux to support a GUI.

The first name chosen for Linux was Freax, and later, one of the volunteer administrators of the FTP server during the 1991 period, coined the project Linux without consulting Torvalds, and who later approved it. 

When Linux was first published under its own license, it had a restriction on commercial activity. However, a kernel by itself isn’t enough because it needs to have a shell, compilers and a library. Later, in 1992, there was consideration about realising the kernel under the GNU General Public License. And afterwards, Linux and GNU developers worked together to integrate Linux with GNU components and create a fully functional and free operating system. 

Eventually, there came a mascot for Linux- the penguin. 

In the later years, the Linux community grew, and there were thousands of programmers around the world that began to use this operating system

The advantages of Linux

So, what are the advantages that Linux gives to its software developers? It is worth a read.

1. Open source nature

Linux is open source, meaning anyone reviewing the source code can modify, inspect and enhance it. This way, any programmer from anywhere in the world can develop their own Linux versions, enabling companies to control their IT costs, and delivering qualitative and scalable solutions. Linux OS  can be used in various industries like defence, manufacturing, communications etc. 

2. Great levels of reliability and scalability

Linux has been able to provide incredible levels of reliability and scalability in its products like Ubuntu, Fedora, Gentoo and Debian. A good percentage of applications in the cloud infrastructure work on Linux.

3. Getting the older computers to work

One drawback with Windows and Apple is that you have to meet the minimum hardware requirements for it to work successfully. You will not be able to run the program on any low-end systems. But with Linux, you don’t need to worry about that because you can use your old computer systems to do a task. But make sure the processor isn’t too outdated, they can work up to 256 MB RAM. 

4. There is an awesome community that developers love

Linux offers excellent support through various forums to its developers all over the world. These forums encourage discussion related to everything about Linux, including kernels, frameworks, shell etc. Since the forms are online, and across the world, there will be somebody somewhere to help developers. There will be multiple threads to all Linux related problems, so all the developer has to do would be to visit them. They can also join these forums to build relationships and bond with each other on a professional level. 

5. The security level is amazing

Ever since its inception Linux has ben touted to be the most secure OS around. Since Linux is open source, anyone can review, make sure there are no backdoors or bugs. The codes are always reviewed by the tech community, and the OS is the safest choice for desktop.

6. Linux developers love Bash scripts

Bash scripts are a particular form of shell scripts, and they can perform tasks in a Linux environment. The various tasks include removing duplicates in a business email list, managing mailing lists and so on. Bash scripts could be a bit hard to understand at first, but once you get the hang of it, they can be really easy to use. Bash scripts are flexible, and can join existing programs. They are scalable too, and can understand and anticipate the behavior of users on a live Linux terminal. 

7. Very easy to install

The process of installing Linux in the computer is a very straightforward method. If you have no experience in installing operating systems, you will find that Linux is fairly easy. An added advantage is that you have the dual-boot option, so you can have both Windows and Linux and any other operating system of choice. However, there are some Linux distros that require a bit of technical knowledge, so be fairly warned. 

8. Excellent support for programming languages

Linux supports C, C++, Javascript, HTML, CSS, HTML, PHP, Perl, Ruby, Python, you name it. There might be minor issues, but you will mostly get a smooth ride. If you do run into issues, then take a look a the required packages from the distribution repositories (Linux’s). 

9. Linux lets developers customise stuff

If your developer loves to explore and customise, play around with different elements right from the GUI to the main kernel, let them go ahead by all means. There is no need to worry about legal ramifications, from pretty much almost everything.  

Some of the commands that developers enjoy using:

The Less Command – It is a utility command that displays the content of a particular file, and they are displayed one page at a time.

Copy Command – Another utility command that lets the developer replicate the file or directory in a certain ecosystem. It could be OS Unix, Linux, Windows, or Mac.

Head Command – this prints the first 10 lines of any files, or output of any files.

Linux History Command – The developer can get this compound to get the list of old commands that have been activated in the same terminal. 

Linux Man Command – this is for displaying the whole manual page of a particular command

Linux Curl Command – In the Curl Commands, the developer can download the internet content from one server to another, to transfer data mainly.

Linux Rm Command – This command is used to remove or delete files and directories. To remove a single file, you can use the “unlink” command too. 

Linux is not a very hard language to learn, with some amount of time, effort and hard work, you can definitely master the language, and it would be definitely easy when you are familiar with the learning syntax and the basic operating system commands.  

Conclusion

Obviously, there is no doubt as to whether Linux is a good programming language for software developers. A number of programmers vouch for the benefits of Linux when compared to its competitors. The above mentioned benefits are obvious reasons, and the overall friendly ecosystem makes it one of the best. 

Linux is free for download, so you don’t have to pay for anything. Anybody can play around with the operating system, be it a student, hobbyist, a budding programmer or a professional. Of course, the only cost incurred would be a Linux compatible computer. Most of the software for Linux are also free. 

Interesting Links:

Some Pros and Cons of Linux Operating System

Why Developers Should Switch to Linux?

Pictures: Canva

The author: Sascha Thattil works at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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