Mississauga LUG

Your Official Linux User Group for Mississauga

What is Linux

Text taken from http://linux.com/.

Linux is, in simplest terms, an operating system. It is the software on a computer that enables applications and the computer operator to access the devices on the computer to perform desired functions. The operating system (OS) relays instructions from an application to, for instance, the computer’s processor. The processor performs the instructed task, then sends the results back to the application via the operating system.

Explained in these terms, Linux is very similar to other operating systems, such as Windows and OS X.

But something sets Linux apart from these operating systems. The Linux operating system represented a $25 billion ecosystem in 2008. Since its inception in 1991, Linux has grown to become a force in computing, powering everything from the New York Stock Exchange to mobile phones to supercomputers to consumer devices.

As an open operating system, Linux is developed collaboratively, meaning no one company is solely responsible for its development or ongoing support. Companies participating in the Linux economy share research and development costs with their partners and competitors. This spreading of development burden amongst individuals and companies has resulted in a large and efficient ecosystem and unheralded software innovation.

Over 1,000 developers, from at least 100 different companies, contribute to every kernel release. In the past two years alone, over 3,200 developers from 200 companies have contributed to the kernel–which is just one small piece of a Linux distribution.

This article will explore the various components of the Linux operating system, how they are created and work together, the communities of Linux, and Linux’s incredible impact on the IT ecosystem.

Where is Linux?

One of the most noted properties of Linux is where it can be used. Windows and OS X are predominantly found on personal computing devices such as desktop and laptop computers. Other operating systems, such as Symbian, are found on small devices such as phones and PDAs, while mainframes and supercomputers found in major academic and corporate labs use specialized operating systems such as AS/400 and the Cray OS.

Linux, which began its existence as a server OS and Has become useful as a desktop OS, can also be used on all of these devices. ‚ÄúFrom wristwatches to supercomputers,‚Äù is the popular description of Linux’ capabilities.

An abbreviated list of some of the popular electronic devices Linux is used on today includes:

What is a LUG?

Text taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/.

A Linux User Group or Linux Users’ Group (LUG) or GNU/Linux User Group (GLUG) is a private, generally non-profit or not-for-profit organization that provides support and/or education for Linux users, particularly for inexperienced users. The term commonly refers to local groups that meet in person, but is also used to refer to online support groups that may have members spread over a very wide area and which do not organize, or which are not based around, physical meetings. Many LUGs encompass FreeBSD and other free Unix-based operating systems.

Local LUGs

Local Linux User Groups meet (typically weekly to monthly) to provide support and/or arrange and host presentations for Linux users, particularly for inexperienced users. Given that Linux is not dominated by any specific corporate or institutional entity, LUG meetings typically encompass a broader range of topics than the meetings of other users’ groups. Linux is predominantly user supported and some support is vastly easier via phone or in person than over e-mail or USENET. LUGs are still primarily focused on hobbyist users and professionals who are engaged in self-directed study.