Linux OS basic terminologies

Basic Linux OS Terminologies


Kernel is the software that acts as brain  in Linux. It controls the hardware and hardware is able to interact with applications.

Linux kernel archives can be found at website.

Boot Loader

Boot Loader is a program that boots the operation system. Examples of  boot loader and GRUB and ISOLINUX.


Service is a program that runs as a background process. Some examples are httpd, nfsd, ntpd, ftpd and named.

File System

A file system is a method for storing and organizing files in Linux. Examples are ext3, ext4, FAT, XFS, NTFS and Btrfs.

X Windows Systems

X Windows System provides standard toolkit and protocol to build GUI on nearly all Linux systems.

Desktop Environment

Desktop environment is a GUI on top of OS. Examples are GNOME, KDE, Xfce and Fluxbux.

Command Line

Command line is and interface for typing commands on top of O.S


Shell is an interpreter that interprets the command line inputs and instructs OS to perform any necessary task and commands.

Examples are Bash, tcsh and zsh.


Distribution is a collection of programs combined with Linux Kernel to make up a Linux Operation System. Below are famous Linux distribution families.

There are 3 major Linux distribution families.

1. Debian Family Systems (such as Ubuntu)

2. SUSE Family Systems (such as openSUSE)

3. Fedora Family Systems (such as CentOS)

Fedora Based Linux Distributions

1. Fedora is a community that provides bases for the CentOS, Red Hat Linux, Scientific Linux and Oracle linux.

2. It uses RPM based yum package manager.

3. Linux kernel 2.6.32 is used by RHEL / CentOS


SUSE Based Linux Distributions


2. Linux Kernel 3.11 is used in openSUSE 12.3.

3. It uses RPM based Zypper Package Manager.

4. It included YaST application for monitoring system and is widely used in retail sector.


Debian Based Distributions

1. Debian is an open source project and focuses on stability.

2. Debain supports lot linux distributions including Ubuntu

3. Linux Kernel 3.13 is used in Ubuntu.

4. It uses DPKG based apt-get package manager.

5. Ubuntu is widely used for cloud based deployments.





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