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Chapter 1

  1. 1. Chapter 1Background: History of Linux The History of Linux began in 1991 with the commencement of a personal project bya Finnish student, Linus Torvalds, to create a new operating system kernel.Since then, the resulting Linux kernel has been marked by constant growth throughout itshistory. Since the initial release of its source code in 1991, it has grown from a small numberof C files under a license prohibiting commercial distribution to its state in 2009 of over370 megabytes of source under the GNU General Public License. Gartner claimed that Linux-powered personal computers accounted for 4% of unit salesin 2008.[7] However, it is common for users to install Linux in addition to (as a dualboot arrangement) or in place of the pre-existing Microsoft Operating platform.Timeline 1983 (September): GNU project was announced publicly 1991 (September): first version of the Linux kernel was released to the Internet 1999 EmperorLinux started shipping specially configured laptops running modified Linux distributions to ensure usability[9] 2001 (second quarter): Linux server unit shipments recorded a 15% annual growth rate[10][dead link] 2004: Linux shipped on approximately 50% of the worldwide server blade units, and 20% of all rack-optimized servers[10] 2005 System76, a Linux-only computer OEM, starts selling Ubuntu pre-installed on laptops and desktops.[11]2007 Dell announced it would ship select models with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed[12] ZaReason is founded as a Linux only hardware OEM.[13] Lenovo announced it would ship select models with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop pre- installed[14] HP announced that it would begin shipping computers preinstalled with Red Hat Enterprise Linux in Australia[15] ASUS launched the Linux-based ASUS Eee PC[16]2008 Dell announced it would begin shipping Ubuntu-based computers to Canada and Latin America[17] Dell began shipping systems with Ubuntu pre-installed in China[18][19] Acer launched the Linux-based Acer Aspire One[20]LINUX Page 1
  2. 2. Chapter 1 In June 2008 the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT), a bulk computer buyer for students in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, decided to switch entirely to supplying Linux after Microsoft attempted to use its monopoly position to sell the organization Windows bundled with Microsoft Office. ELCOT declined the offer stating "Any such bundling could result in serious exploitation of the consumer."[21] In August 2008 IBM cited market disillusionment with Microsoft Vista in announcing a new partnership arrangement with Red Hat,Novell and Canonical to offer "Microsoft-free" personal computers with IBM application software, including Lotus Notes and Lotus Symphony.[22]2009 In January 2009 the New York Times stated: "More than 10 million people are estimated to run Ubuntu today".[23] In mid-2009 Asus, as part of its Its better with Windows campaign, stopped offering Linux, for which they received strong criticism. The company claimed that competition from other netbook makers drove them to offer only Windows XP. Writing in May 2010ComputerWorld columnist Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols said "Im sure that the real reason is Microsoft has pressured Asus into abandoning Linux. On ASUS site, youll now see the slogan ASUS recommends Windows 7 proudly shown. Never mind that, while Windows 7 is a good operating system, Windows 7 is awful on netbooks."[24][25][26][27][28] In May 2009, Fedora developer JefSpaleta estimated on the basis of IP addresses of update downloads and statistics from the voluntary user hardware registration service Smolt that there are 16 million Fedora systems in use.[29] No effort was made to estimate how much the Fedora installed base overlaps with other Linux distributions (enthusiasts installing many distributions on the same system). In June 2009 ZDNet reported "Worldwide, there are 13 million active Ubuntu users with use growing faster than any other distribution."[30]2010 In April 2010 Chris Kenyon, vice president for OEM at Canonical Ltd., estimated that there were 12 million Ubuntu users.[31] In June 2010 a Quebec Superior Court Judge Denis Jacques ruled that the provincial government broke the law when it spentCdn$720,000, starting in the fall of 2006 to migrate 800 government workstations to Microsoft Windows Vista and Office 2007 without carrying out a "serious and documented search" for alternatives. The search for alternatives was legally required for any expenditures over Cdn$25,000. The court case was brought by Savoir Faire Linux, a small Montreal-based company that had hoped to bid Linux software to replace the governments aging Windows XP. The judge dismissed the governments contention that Microsoft software was chosen because employees were already familiar with Windows and that switching to a different operating system would have cost more.LINUX Page 2
  3. 3. Chapter 1The creation of Linux - In 1991, in Helsinki, Linus Torvalds began a project that later became the Linux kernel. It wasinitially a terminal emulator, which Torvalds used to access the large UNIX servers of theuniversity. He wrote the program specifically for the hardware he was using and independent ofan operating system because he wanted to use the functions of his new PC with an 80386processor. Development was done on MINIX using the GNU C compiler, which is still the mainchoice for compiling Linux today (although the code can be built with other compilers, such asthe Intel C Compiler).[citation needed]As Torvalds wrote in his book Just for Fun,[9] he eventually realized that he had written anoperating system kernel. On 25 August 1991, he announced this system in a Usenet posting tothe newsgroup "comp.os.minix."The name Linus Torvalds had wanted to call his invention Freax, a portmanteau of "freak", "free",and "x" (as an allusion to Unix). During the start of his work on the system, he stored the filesunder the name "Freax" for about half of a year. Torvalds had already considered the name"Linux," but initially dismissed it as too egotistical.[9]In order to facilitate development, the files were uploaded to the FTP server ( ofFUNET in September 1991. Ari Lemmke, Torvaldscoworker at the Helsinki University ofTechnology (HUT) who was one of the volunteer administrators for the FTP server at the time,did not think that "Freax" was a good name. So, he named the project "Linux" on the serverwithout consulting Torvalds.[9] Later, however, Torvalds consented to "Linux".To demonstrate how the word "Linux" should be pronounced (English ɪnəks/ LIN-əks), Torvalds included an audio guide with the kernel source code.pronunciation: /ˈlLinux under the GNU GPLTorvalds first published the Linux kernel under its own licence, which had a restriction oncommercial activity.The software to use with the kernel was software developed as part of the GNUproject licensed under the GNU General Public License, a free software license. The first releaseof the Linux kernel, Linux 0.01, included a binary of GNUs Bash shell.[13]In the "Notes for Linux release 0.01", Torvalds lists the GNU software that is required to runLinux:[13]Sadly, a kernel by itself gets you nowhere. To get a working system you need a shell, compilers,a library etc. These are separate parts and may be under a stricter (or even looser) copyright.LINUX Page 3
  4. 4. Chapter 1Most of the tools used with Linux are GNU software and are under the GNU copy left. Thesetools arent in the distribution - ask me (or GNU) for more info.[13]In 1992, he suggested releasing the kernel under the GNU General Public License. He firstannounced this decision in the release notes of version 0.12.[14] In the middle of December1992 he published version 0.99 using the GNU GPL.[15]Linux and GNU developers worked to integrate GNU components with Linux to make a fullyfunctional and free operating system.[16]Torvalds has stated, “making Linux GPLd been definitely the best thing I ever did.GNU/Linux naming controversyThe designation "Linux" was initially used by Torvalds only for the Linux kernel. The kernel was,however, frequently used together with other software, especially that of the GNU project. Thisquickly became the most popular adoption of GNU software. In June 1994 in GNUs bulletin,Linux was referred to as a "free UNIX clone", and the Debian project began calling itsproduct Debian GNU/Linux. In May 1996, Richard Stallman published the editor Emacs 19.31, inwhich the type of system was renamed from Linux to Lignux. This spelling was intended to referspecifically to the combination of GNU and Linux, but this was soon abandoned in favor of"GNU/Linux".[18]This name garnered varying reactions. The GNU and Debian projects use the name, althoughmost people simply use the term "Linux" to refer to the combination.Official mascot Torvalds announced in 1996 that there would be a mascot for Linux, a penguin. This wasdue to the fact when they were about to select the mascot, Torvalds did mention he was bittenby a Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor, J. R. Forster 1781) on a visit to the National Zoo &Aquarium, Canberra, Australia. Larry Ewing provided the original draft of todays well knownmascot based on this description. The name Tux was suggested by James Hughes as derivativeof Torvalds UniX.Statement of the problem:LINUX Page 4
  5. 5. Chapter 1 SPECIFIC:Criticism of Linux The criticism of Linux focuses on issues concerning use of operating systems which usethe Linux kernel.As a desktop operating system, Linux has been criticized on a number of fronts, including: A confusing number of choices of distributions, and desktop environments. Audio handling, particularly before PulseAudio became stable and widely supported. Poor support for some hardware, in particular drivers for 3D graphics and wireless chips, where manufacturers were unwilling to provide full specifications.[1] Lack of well-known native applications, such as top-selling video games and widely used commercial applications (such as Adobe Photoshop[2] and Microsoft Word).[3][4] Lack of standardization regarding GUI API. Another common complaint levelled against Linux is the abundance of distributions available. As of January, 2010, Distro Watch lists 306 major distributions.[11] While Linux advocates have defended the number as an example of freedom of choice, other critics cite the large number as cause for confusion and lack of standardization in Linux operating systems.An oops is a deviation from correct behaviour of the Linux kernel which produces a certainerror log. The better-known kernel panic condition results from many kinds of oops, but othersmay allow continued operation with compromised reliability. The term does not stand foranything, other than that it is a simple mistake.When the kernel detects a problem, it prints an oops message and kills any offendingprocess.The message is used by Linux kernel engineers to debug the condition which created the oopsand fix the programming error which caused it.The official Linux Kernel documentation regarding oops messages is in thefileDocumentation/oops-tracing.txt[1] of the kernel sources. Some logger configurations mayaffect the ability to collect oops messages.[2]Once a system has experienced an oops, some internal resources may no longer be in service.Even if the system appears to work correctly, undesirable side effects may have resulted fromthe active task being killed. A kernel oops often leads on to a kernel panic once the systemattempts to use resources which have been lost.Kerneloops also referred to a software to collect and submit kernel oopses to the kerneloopswebsite.[3] provided statistics of oopses.[4] However, the website is nowdefunct. GENERAL:LINUX Page 5
  6. 6. Chapter 1Viability for use as a desktop systemLinux has been criticized for a number of reasons, including lack of user-friendliness[5] andhaving a high learning curve,[6] being inadequate for desktop use, lacking support for exotichardware, having a relatively small games library, lacking native versions of widely-usedapplications[7] and missing standardization in terms of GUI API.[8]Some critics do not believe Linux will ever gain a large share in the desktop market. In May2009 Preston Gralla, contributing editor, believed that Linux will neverbe important to desktop/notebook users, even though he felt it was simple and straightforwardto use, but that its low usage is indicative of its low importance in the desktop market. [9]Eric S. Raymond stated that the lack of usability in many open-source and Linux tools in hisessay Luxury of Ignorance: An Open-Source Horror Story is not from lack of manuals but from alack of thought about the users experience. [10]James Donald from the Princeton University analysed shared library concepts of severaloperation systems. In his 2003 paper titledImproved Portability of Shared Libraries, he worriedabout the lack of a Windows Application Compatibility Group equivalent. Desktop Linux was criticized in late 2010 by two writers for having missed its opportunity to become a significant force in desktop computing. PC World Executive Editor Robert Strohmeyer commented that although Linux has exceptional security and stability, as well as great performance and usability, the time for desktop Linux to succeed has been missed.[12] Nick Farrell, writing for TechEyefelt that the release of Vista was a missed opportunity to grab significant market share.[13] Both critics indicated that Linux did not fail on the desktop due to being "too geeky," "too hard to use," or "too obscure". Both had praise for distributions, Strohmeyer saying "the best-known distribution, Ubuntu, has received high marks for usability from every major player in the technology press". Both laid the blame for this failure on the open source community. Strohmeyer named the "fierce ideology of the open-source community at large"[12] as being responsible, while Farrell stated "The biggest killer of putting penguin software on the desktop was the Linux community. If you think the Apple fan boys are completely barking, they are role models of sanity to the loud mouthed Open Sauce religious loonies who are out there. Like many fundamentalists they are totally inflexible – waving a GNU as if it were handed down by God to Richard Stallman".[13] The accusation of over-zealous advocacy has been dealt with previously, in 2006 Dominic Humphries stated that the aims of the Linux community are not desktop market-share or popularity, but in Linux being the best operating system that can be made for the community.LINUX Page 6
  7. 7. Chapter 1Other General Problems on LINUX - It is debatable why Linux remains a weaker platform for multimedia and gaming use than other operating systems - The lack of strong API standards for multimedia has been criticised. - Linux has in the past been criticized for a lack of driver support; however this was largely due to manufacturers not supporting the Linux system. - Wireless driver support has been a problem area for Linux. - The problem has been largely fixed in recent years and there are now a fairly large number of drivers, adding support to most wireless cards available today. However, many features are still missing from these drivers, mostly due to manufacturers not providing specifications and documentation, and thus forcing developers to reverse engineer cards. If there is any one big problem with kernel development and Linux it is the completedisconnection of the development process from normal users.Objectives of the study: - The GNU project is a mass collaboration of programmers who seek to create a completely free and open operating system that was similar to Unix but with completely original code. Meanwhile, the Linux kernel began as a side project of Linus Torvalds, a university student from Finland. In 1991, Torvalds began work on it, and posted information about his project on a newsgroup for computer students and programmers. He received a wave of support and volunteers who ended up creating a full-fledged kernel. Programmers from GNU took notice, and members of both projects worked to integrate the finished GNU parts with the Linux kernel in order to create a full-fledged operating system. The components of an operating system all exist in order to make the different parts ofa computer work together. All user software needs to go through the operating system in orderto use any of the hardware, whether it is as simple as a mouse or keyboard or as complex as anInternet component.LINUX Page 7
  8. 8. Chapter 1Scopes & Delimitations:Features of FedoraDistributionThe Fedora Project distributes Fedora in several different ways: Fedora DVD/CD set – a DVD or CD set of all major Fedora packages at time of shipping; Live images – CD or DVD sized images that can be used to create a Live CD or boot from a USB flash drive and optionally install to a hard disk; Minimal CD – used for installing over HTTP, FTP or NFS. The Fedora Project also distributes custom variations of Fedora which are called Fedora spins.[19] These are built from a specific set of software packages and have a combination of software to meet the requirements of a specific kind of end user. Fedora spins are developed by several Fedora special interest groups.[20] It is also possible to create Live USB versions of Fedora using Fedora Live USB creator, UNetbootin or dd.Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) is a volunteer-based community effort from theFedora project to create a repository of high-quality add-on packages that complement theFedora-based Red Hat Enterprise Linux and its compatible spinoffs such as CentOS or ScientificLinux.[21]Software package management is primarily handled by the yum utility.[22] Graphical interfaces,such as pirut and pup are provided, as well as puplet, which provides visual notifications in thepanel when updates are available.[22] apt-rpm is an alternative to yum, and may be morefamiliar to people used to Debian or Debian-based distributions, where Advanced PackagingTool is used to manage packages.[23] Additionally, extra repositories can be added to thesystem, so that packages not available in Fedora can be installed.Software repositoriesFedora comes installed with a wide range of software thatincludes LibreOffice, Firefox, Empathy, Evolution and GIMP. Additional software that is notinstalled by default can be downloaded using the package manager.Before Fedora 7, there were two main repositories – Core and Extras. Fedora Core contained allthe base packages that were required by the operating system, as well as other packages thatwere distributed along with the installation CD/DVDs, and was maintained only by Red Hatdevelopers. Fedora Extras, the secondary repository that was included from Fedora Core 3, wascommunity-maintained and not distributed along with the installation CD/DVDs. Since Fedora7, the Core and Extras repositories have been merged, hence the distributiondropping Core from its name.[25] That also allowed for community submissions of packages thatwere formerly allowed only by Red Hat developers.LINUX Page 8
  9. 9. Chapter 1Also prior to Fedora 7 being released, there was a third repository called Fedora Legacy. Thisrepository was community-maintained and was mainly concerned with extending the life cycleof older Fedora Core distributions and selected Red Hat Linux releases that were no longerofficially maintained.[26] Fedora Legacy was shut down in December 2006.[27]Third party repositories exist that distribute more packages that are not included in Fedoraeither because it does not meet Fedoras definition of free software or because distribution ofthat software may violate US law. The primary third party repositories, and the only fullycompatible ones, are RPM Fusion and Livna. RPM Fusion is a joint effort by many third partyrepository maintainers. Livna is still maintained separately as an extension of RPM Fusion forlegal reasons and only hosts the libdvdcss package for encrypted DVD playback.Desktops and SpinsThe default desktop in Fedora is the GNOME desktop environment, with Fedora offeringthe GNOME Shell as its default interface since the release of Fedora 15.[28] Other desktopenvironments are available from the Fedora package repositories, and can also be installedfrom the Fedora installer, including the KDE Plasma Workspaces, Xfce, and LXDE desktopenvironments.[29] In addition, specialized "spins" are available offering these alternativedesktops custom configured and offered by default. Other spins are also available targetingspecific niche interests, such as gaming, security, design, and robotics.Security featuresSecurity is one of the most important features in Fedora. One of the security features in Fedorais Security-Enhanced Linux, a Linux feature that implements a variety of security policies,including mandatory access controls, through the use of Linux Security Modules(LSM) inthe Linux kernel. Fedora is one of the distributions leading the way with SELinux. SELinux wasintroduced in Fedora Core 2. It was disabled by default, as it radically altered how the operatingsystem worked, but was enabled by default in Fedora Core 3 and introduced a lessstrict, targeted policy.ReleasesThe current release of the operating system is Fedora 17, codenamed "Beefy Miracle", whichwas released on May 29, 2012.[33] Fedora released Fedora 18 alpha[34] on 18 September 2012.The final release is currently predicted to be released on 2013-01-08.Some of the features of Fedora 17 include: Inclusion of Gnome 3.4 desktop, offering software rendering support for GNOME Shell Updated to latest KDE Software Compilation 4.8.3 A new file system structure moving more things to /usr Removable disks are now mounted under /run/media due to a change in udisks system-login replaces Console Kit, offering multi seat improvements Inclusion of the libvirt sandbox; virt-manager now supports USB pass-through Services now use private temp directories to improve securityLINUX Page 9
  10. 10. Chapter 1Version history Color Meaning Red Release no longer supported[35] Green Release still supported Blue Future releaseProject Name Version Code name Release date End-of-life date[36] Kernel version 1 Yarrow 2003-11-05 2004-09-20 2.4.19 2 Tettnang 2004-05-18 2005-04-11 2.6.5 3 Heidelberg 2004-11-08 2006-01-16 2.6.9Fedora Core 4 Stentz 2005-06-13 2006-08-07 2.6.11 5 Bordeaux 2006-03-20 2007-07-02 2.6.15 6 Zod 2006-10-24 2007-12-07 2.6.18 Fedora 7 Moonshine 2007-05-31 2008-06-13 2.6.21LINUX Page 10
  11. 11. Chapter 1 8 Werewolf 2007-11-08 2009-01-07 2.6.23 9 Sulphur 2008-05-13 2009-07-10 2.6.25 10 Cambridge 2008-11-25 2009-12-18 2.6.27 11 Leonidas 2009-06-09[37] 2010-06-25 2.6.29 12 Constantine 2009-11-17[38] 2010-12-02 2.6.31 13 Goddard 2010-05-25[39] 2011-06-04 2.6.33 14 Laughlin 2010-11-02[40] 2011-12-08 2.6.35[41] 15 Lovelock 2011-05-24[42] 2012-06-26[43] 2.6.42[44] 16 Verne 2011-11-08[45] Early 2013 3.1.0[46] 17 Beefy Miracle[47] 2012-05-29[48] Mid 2013 3.3.4[49] 18 Spherical Cow 2013-01-08[50] 19 Schrödingers Cat[51]LINUX Page 11
  12. 12. Chapter 1DelimitationsConverting the type of a file systemIt may be advantageous or necessary to have files in a different file system than they currentlyexist. Reasons include the need for an increase in the space requirements beyond the limits ofthe current file system. The depth of path may need to be increased beyond the restrictions ofthe file system. There may be performance or reliability considerations. Providing access toanother operating system which does not support existing file system is another reason.In-place conversionIn some cases conversion can be done in-place, although migrating the file system is moreconservative, as it involves a creating a copy of the data and is recommended. [21] On Windows,FAT and FAT32 file systems can be converted to NTFS via the convert.exe utility, but not thereverse.[21] On Linux, ext2 can be converted to ext3 (and converted back), and ext3 can beconverted to ext4 (but not back),[22] and both ext3 and ext4 can be converted to btrfs, andconverted back until the undo information is deleted.[23] These conversions are possible due tousing the same format for the file data itself, and relocating the metadata into empty space, insome cases using sparse file support.[23]Migrating to a different file systemMigration has the disadvantage of requiring additional space although it may be faster. Thebest case is if there is unused space on media which will contain the final file system.For example, to migrate a FAT32 file system to an ext2 file system. First create a new ext2 filesystem, then copy the data to the file system, then delete the FAT32 file system.An alternative, when there is not sufficient space to retain the original file system until the newone is created, is to use a work area (such as a removable media). This takes longer but abackup of the data is a nice side effect.Long file paths and long file namesIn hierarchical file systems, files are accessed by means of a path that is a branching list ofdirectories containing the file. Different file systems have different limits on the depth of thepath. File systems also have a limit on the length of an individual filename.Copying files with long names or located in paths of significant depth from one file system toanother may cause undesirable results. This depends on how the utility doing the copyinghandles the discrepancy. See also pathmunge •Linux supports many different file systems, but common choices for the system disk ona block device include the ext* family (such asext2, ext3 and ext4), XFS, JFS, ReiserFS and btrfs.For raw flash without a flash translation layer (FTL) or Memory Technology Device(MTD), thereis UBIFS, JFFS2, and YAFFS, among others. Squash FS is a common compressed read-only filesystem.LINUX Page 12
  13. 13. Chapter 1DEFINITION OF TERMS: [2][3](00:49:21)►GNU i /ɡ ənuː/ is a Unix-like computer operating system developed by theGNU Project.►A Usenet newsgroup is a repository usually within the Usenet system, for messages posted frommany users in different locations. The term may be confusing to some, because it is in fact a discussiongroup. Newsgroups are technically distinct from, but functionally similar to, discussion forums onthe World Wide Web.►The Linux kernel is the operating system kernel used by the Linux family of Unix-likeoperating [7]systems. It is one of the most prominent examples of free and open source software.►An oops is a deviation from correct behaviour of the Linux kernel which produces a certainerror log. The better-known kernel panic condition results from many kinds of oops, but othersmay allow continued operation with compromised reliability. The term does not stand foranything, other than that it is a simple mistake.►In computing, a graphical user interface (GUI, commonly pronouncedgooey[1]) is a type of userinterface that allows users to interact with electronic devices using images rather than text commands.►An operating system (OS) is a collection of software that manages computer hardwareresources andprovides common services for computer programs. The operating system is a vital component ofthe system software in a computer system. Application programs usually require an operating system tofunction.►A USB flash drive is a data storage device that includes flash memory with an integratedUniversalSerial Bus (USB) interface.►The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application protocol for distributed, [1]collaborative, hypermedia information systems. HTTP is the foundation of data communication forthe World Wide Web.►File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used to transfer files from one host or toanother host over a TCP-based network, such as the Internet.►Network File System (NFS) is a distributed file system protocol originally developed bySun [1]Microsystems in 1984, allowing a user on a client computer to access files over anetwork in a mannersimilar to how local storage is accessed.►Firefox is a free and open source[10] web browser developed forMicrosoft Windows, OS X, and Linux,coordinated by Mozilla Corporationand Mozilla Foundation.►GNOME (pronounced /ː m/[4] or /ɡ əː m/[5]) is a desktop environment and graphical user noʊ noʊinterface that runs on top of a computer operating system.►GNOME Shell is the core user interface of the GNOME desktop environmentstarting with version3, which was released on April 6, 2011.LINUX Page 13