Some Useful Definitions to Learn Linux for Beginners

What is Linux?

Linux is an operating system (OS) like Windows and Mac OS. Linux, which is open-source and accessible to the public for free, is released in 1991 by Linus Torvalds. Linux is used in phones, cars, refrigerators, televisions, etc. as well as computers.

What is an Operating System(OS)?

OS manages computer hardware and software resources. It communicates between them.

What is Kernel?

A Kernel is a program that is the heart of an Operating System and is responsible for low-level tasks such as disk, memory management. Kernel acts as an interface between applications and hardware. A Kernel has a protected separate memory that is not accessible by other applications. There are certain instructions that are only executed by Kernel.

What is Shell?

Shell is a computer program that allows users to communicate with the kernel. It presents a CLI (command-line interface) which allows you to control your computer using commands entered with a keyboard text instead of GUI (graphical user interfaces). Bash (Bourne-Again Shell), is widely used and installed as the default shell in the most popular Linux distributions.

What is CLI (command-line interface)?

CLI is a program that accepts keyboard text input to execute OS functions. It is also known as terminal or console. But, to prevent confusion, it is important to know the difference.

What is Terminal?

Terminal is the end of something — where it terminates. In the 1960s, terminals (a keyboard and monitor, with a connection to another computer) are used to send commands to other computers. Today, the word “terminal” usually refers to a program. Terminal examples: Windows use “cmd.exe,” which is a CLI that can be used to run DOS (Disk Operating System) commands and to connect to other servers. Mac OS X use “Terminal” program which can be used to run Unix commands within the Mac OS.

What is Console?

In the early computers, the console term was used for physical parts. This term has since lost its original meaning, and now in PC terms, the console refers a software, such as a command prompt, where a user can input advanced commands.

What is GUI (graphical user interfaces)?

A GUI offers visual representations (icons, menus, tabs, windows) for the commands so that users can use a mouse/keyboard or touchscreens to click on an icon or select a menu, etc. on the computer. Now, for most users, GUI is the normal way to use computers.

What is a Linux “distribution?”

Linux has a number of different versions. These versions are called distributions (distros). Some Linux distributions: Linux Mint, Debian, Ubuntu, OpenSuse.