Linux was developed as a clone of Unix. Much of it was engineered by the Free Software Foundation; critical was Linus Torvalds s creation of the Linux kernel. Most of it is protected through the General Public License.
As Red Hat Linux 9 is being released, businesses and governments are focused on reducing costs. Linux has at least an initial cost advantage over other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows. And Red Hat Linux, as the most popular Linux distribution, is in the forefront of this change.
Red Hat Linux 9 includes the same basic components as all other Linux distributions: the kernel, init , daemons, user mode shells and utilities, network, and the X Window. It incorporates the latest changes to the Linux kernel, as well as new improvements in printing, web services, and more. The redhat-config-* graphical tools make it easier for administrators of other operating systems to make the transition.
If there is a key to Linux, it is in the kernel. It is highly configurable; when modular, it is also quite flexible.
When looking at Linux, you should consider four factors: cost, reliability, flexibility, and support. I believe that Linux has advantages in all four areas when compared to other operating systems.
Red Hat Linux can play many roles in computing. Traditionally, it s used as a server, and functions well even on many older computers. Red Hat is adding tools that make it suitable as a desktop operating system. Such flexibility makes Red Hat a viable alternative for small businesses. Red Hat is also being used in the enterprise, on clusters of computers to meet the heaviest demands.
In the next chapter , we ll start looking at getting your computers ready for Red Hat Linux. Installation often does proceed easily on most modern computers. However, if you re installing Red Hat Linux on two or more computers on a network, mistakes can be painful. If you re responsible for installing Linux on a network, you need to know more about the hardware in your computers.