Linux Basics/Fundamental concepts in Linux


By itself Linux is a Kernel - the core component of an operating system. However other components are required to make a full operating system. A Linux Distribution, or Distro for short, includes all the components needed to form a full operating system. Because there are a number of different component options to choose from, each Linux distro offers a unique spin on Linux, and are often specialized for handling certain tasks.

Distribution componentsEdit

User Interface / ShellsEdit

Command Line InterfaceEdit
  • BASH
  • ZSH / Z Shell
Graphical User InterfacesEdit
Desktop EnvironmentsEdit
  • KDE, Gnome, MATE, Xfce, Cinnamon, LXDE, LXQt, Pantheon, Budgie stb.
Desktop ManagersEdit
  • Desktop Managers: SDDM, GDM, LightDM

Package ManagerEdit

RPM: Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS, openSUSE stb.

DEB: Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, MX Linux stb.

repository: container; programs and drivers can be found for the distros

package manager: it solves the dependency tree if there is an compatibility issue.

Common distributionsEdit

Red Hat Enterprise LinuxEdit

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is one of the most successful Linux distributions which is developed by Red Hat for commercial usage.

Official support for RHEL is available, and while support costs money, it is generally well regarded.

Package Manager: RPM - RHEL is the original home of RPM, and remains heavily associated with it.

Default User Interface: GNOME


Fedora is a community distro associated with RHEL.

Unlike Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora is gratis, costing no money.

Cutting edge features are often implemented in Fedora before they are added to RHEL.

Package Manager: DNF (RPM based), Flatpak

Default User Interface: GNOME (Wayland based)


Slackware is the oldest Linux distribution under active development. The first version was released in 1993, based on the wide spread SLS Linux, and used floppy disks as an installation medium in the beginning.

Slackware pursues simple usability, stability and security as its main goals. It doesn't have automatic dependency handling. The aim since its release to become the most Unix-like Linux distribution.

Package Manager: slackpkg

Default User Interface: Bash


Debian is one of the oldest Linux distros. It was announced on August 13, 1993 by Ian Murdock. The word Debian comes from Debora (Ian's wife) and Ian's name.

Debian is not commercially oriented. In contrast to RHEL, the distro is driven by volunteers.

Debian is a solid and reliable operating system. Because of this, it serves as the foundation of many distributions like Ubuntu and Knoppix.

Package Manager: APT (dpkg)

Default User Interface: GNOME or XFCE


Ubuntu is one of the most popular distributions, which has been developed by Canonical Ltd. since 2004.

The first release was 4.10 and since then, in every 6 month a newer version and in every 4th month of even year a Long-Term Support releases.

Package Manager APT, Snap

Default User Interface GNOME

Arch LinuxEdit

Arch Linux is an independent distribution for advanced Linux users.

It has rolling-release model, which means that it updates continuously instead of bigger releases.

Package Manager Pacman - Arch's own package manager

Default User Interface Bash


OpenSUSE is the sequel of SUSE Linux and it's a project which promotes of using Linux ensuring by this a free and complete distribution to the users.

Package Manager: ZYpp

User Interface: Selectable from major GUIs on install, including GNOME, KDE, and XFCE.


Gentoo Linux is a flexible, fast distribution using Portage package manager.

In contrast to other distributions, you have to compile the whole system from source, so the installation process may take hours depending on hardware.

Package Manager: Portage

Default User Interface: Bash

Tux the PenguinEdit

The mascot of Linux is Tux, the penguin, which was planned by Alan Cox and Linus, and was drawn by Larry Ewing.[1]


Why Linux? Linus Torvalds showed that MINIX isn't available for x86(it was only available for education purposes), so he programmed a kernel for x86.[2]

In 1991 Linus Torvalds was sophomore student in University of Helsinki at the faculty of Computer Sciences. He was a self-educated hacker, and wanted to write his own operating system, so he decided to write one. Why? He wanted to explore the Intel 80386 CPU's protected mode, task-switching capabilities. That was around the summer of 1991.

GPL - The GNU General Public License is a widely used free software license, which was created by Richard Stallman for the GNU Project. The aim of GNU GPL is to grant the copying and distributing of free software ensuring the free use of the software for every user.

Linux is surrounded by shells - command prompts, and X Window System can be built on it.

What are Linux distributions/distros? Operating systems that has Linux kernel under the hood. Under the list there are some examples. You can find all the others on with ratings for each one.