Today, Linux is a worthy alternative to other well-known operating systems. As an operating system, Linux offers benefits such as:
Like other operating systems, Linux has components for systems management, security, and performance. Throughout its history, Linux has been enhanced with additional functions as they have been needed, at rapid speed.
Linux started out as a personal computer (PC) operating system, but enthusiasts soon ported it to other platforms. Linus Torvalds himself ported it to the Alpha platform and, while doing so, introduced an abstraction layer between the hardware and the operating system. This allows the system to be compiled on different hardware architectures but still use the same source code. Thus, only small adjustments had to be made in the kernel to let Linux run on the mainframe. The way Linux is written allows for wide variety in hardware architecture. For example, when running on the mainframe, Linux uses the mainframe I/O structure with no problems.
Support for standards and new technologies.
Thanks to the many active Linux developers, Linux is fast to adopt new technologies. Linux was one of the early operating systems to support 64-bit addressing. 64-bit addressing combined with sufficient random access memory (RAM) allows the central processing unit (CPU) to pull more data into memory and operate on it directly, thus increasing performance.
Linux is an Open Source project.
Linux is an example of Open Source development with many active developers working together to provide functionality, enhance performance, and ensure support of devices.
To fully appreciate the last point, we need to discuss Open Source in more detail.