Linux is arguably the most frequently used open-source operating system that is currently available. It is a piece of software which manages all other software programs which run on the computer, acting as a form of communication between the software programs and the hardware.
It was first released in September of 1991 by Linus Torvalds, who was at the time attending the University of Helsinki. It was originally developed for Intel PCs but is one of the most ported operating systems there has ever been.
But what makes this particular operating system so good for developers? Let’s take a look at some of its top developer-friendly qualities:
Linux is free. It does not cost anything to install it on your computer. This is obviously a huge bonus to anyone interested in using it but especially to those just starting out or first getting to grips with their developing skills. When you are first starting out with developing whether it be a hobby or as a student you never want to fork out lots of money on something that you barely know how to use. With Linux being a free platform, beginners can feel comfortable downloading it and learning as they use it. On top of the platform itself being free, 99% of the software you can use on it is also free to install and use. You’ll find all kinds of software for developing that will cost no money.
Linux is open-source, which means that the original source code for the whole operating system is easily accessible for anyone who uses the platform, so they can modify it and build their own programs with it. All parts of the system’s code can be found, viewed and edited including the kernel. The kernel is the main hub of the operating system, the manager that makes sure all the software and hardware are working together with compatible, using the drivers which come with each application. Most software available outside of platforms like Linux will make you agree to an end user license agreement (EULA), this means a contract is set up between the software company and the user in which the user must agree to a set of rules before being able to use the program. With Linux based applications, because they are open source there is no EULA stipulated – no restrictions for using the software.
3. Programming support
Linux supports a vast range of programming languages, far more than any other platform. For example, Linux supports:
Not only that but there is a vast amount of applications available to write your code, such as Gedit, Nano, Vim and Atom. This means that anyone coming to use Linux for their developing needs from a different platform should not need to learn a new programming language on top of everything else. They can simply port their work to Linux and continue to use the language they are most comfortable with. Many find the Linux programming terminal far exceeding that of Window’s command line and many people note that the ability to perform bash scripting another huge plus to operating via Linux over Windows for example.
These are just some of the many reasons why Linux is a favorite among developers, there are any more and, as is the nature of Linux, there will continue to be more and more favorable reasons to use the platform as it grows and develops.