Features/Characteristics of Linux Operating System:
Some features of Linux are as follows:
Linux is a cross-platform operating system. It runs on many computer models.
Linux is free. The user can purchase Linux from a vendor who bundles Linux with special documentation or applications or provides technical support.
3. Open Source:
Linux and many Linux applications are distributed in source form. It makes it possible for others to modify or improve them. That is why Linux is being constantly improved and updated rapidly. It will likely be the first operating system to support Intel's forthcoming Merced 64-bit CPU.
Linux can run on almost any hardware such as 386, 486, Pentium MMX, Pentium II, Spare, Dec Alpha or even Motorola 68000 series.
Linux is a multi-tasking system. It means that a single user can run multiple programs at the same time. Each task is called a process. It means that a user can give the system a command to be run in the background while doing more important work in the foreground. This way a user does not have to wait for a process to finish in order to start another one.
Multiuser means that hundreds of people can use the computer at the same time over a network, internet or laptops/computers or terminals connected to serial ports of computers.
7. Multiple Virtual Consoles:
It provides multiple virtual terminals on the server. It can be done by pressing a key combination. In Linux it is Ctrl+Alt+ any of F1 to F6. It brings up different screens to represent separate terminal. It enables different users to login at same time on same machine.
8. TCP/IP Networking:
Linux is one of the best operating systems in terms of networking. TCP/IP is a set of protocols that links millions of university and business computers into a worldwide network known as Internet. With an Ethernet connection, the user can access the Internet or LAN from Linux system. The user can use SLIP (Serial Line Internet Protocol) to access Internet over phone lines with a modem. Linux makes it easy to construct firewalls to protect system.
9. High Level Security:
Linux provides a very high level of security by using user authentication. It also stores passwords in an encrypted form. The password once encrypted cannot be decrypted. Linux also includes file system security that enhances the existing security.
10. GNU Software Support:
Linux supports a wide range of free software written by GNU Project. It includes utilities such as GNU C and C++ compiler, gawk, groff etc. Many essential system utilities used by Linux are GNU software.
11. Virtual Memory and Shared Libraries:
Linux can use a portion of hard drive as virtual memory to expand total amount of available RAM. It also implements shared libraries. It allows programs that use standard subroutines to find the code for these subroutines in libraries at runtime. It saves a large amount of space as each application doesn't store its own copy of common routines.
12. Stable Operating System:
Linux is a complete operating system that is stable. It means that the malfunctioning of an application is not likely to bring the system down.
Linux servers are very reliable. They remain up for hundreds of days compared to the regular reboots seen in the case of other operating systems.
14. Web Server:
Linux can be used to run a web server such as Apache to serve application protocols such as HTTP or FTP.
15. Multiple Processor Support:
Linux supports multiple processors. Many companies have hardware that is in danger of becoming obsolete. The capability of adding processors means that these companies will be able to continue using the existing hardware thereby safeguarding their investment.