Are you curious about how Linux OS operates? Have you been wondering why Linux is considered an efficient operating system?

If you are among those who are willing to delve into the basic concepts of Linux and add it to your existing skillset, then it is assured that you are likely to get more opportunities. On the other hand, the individuals who are absolute beginners may also benefit from a course that focuses on the very basics of the Linux operating system.

However, when you search for a beginner’s course, it is not simple due to the availability of multiple options claiming to provide comprehensive beginner’s content to guide you from the ground up until the most advanced topics.

In recent years, the most commonly found reviews of learners for courses highlight that the content is not at par or it is overwhelming and difficult to understand the concepts as it includes less amount of concepts suitable for beginners to understand easily.

The course Linux Operating System Fundamentals from Udemy is suitable for beginners who have limited knowledge about Linux and are willing to be introduced to the world of Linux and its historical information as well the offerings on the Linux Ecosystem.

Related: Udemy Review


What to Expect From the Course?

The course is designed for absolute beginners. It covers topics such as how Linux works, why is it important, the purpose of an operating system, and how Linux gained popularity in the IT industry.

If you have been looking for a comprehensive explanation for these topics, then this course is for you. The goal of the course is to provide a simplistic and conceptual introduction to the core topics of Linux as an operating system.

The course follows a visual and conceptual approach for presenting the concepts of the course. You can expect to be thoroughly equipped with Linux fundamentals after the course that will help you to move forward to more advanced concepts on Linux.

The necessity of having a strong foundation of Linux concepts allows tackling more complex technical terminologies and problems associated with the domain of the operating system. The takeaways from this course are listed below.

  • The basics of the Linux operating system.
  • The importance of Linux and how it is used.
  • The key foundations of how to use Linux.

There are no prerequisites for taking the course.


About the Instructor

The course is offered by Linux Academy on Udemy. Linux Academy focuses on providing high-quality training at an affordable price. They offer courses on Linux, cloud technology, AWS, OpenStack, DevOps, Azure, and Big Data. The Linux Academy has an overall rating of 4.5 with over 101,065 reviews. They have trained over 677,376 students over 20 courses that are being offered by them.


Course Contents

Section 1: Introduction

About this course

The course is introduced by the instructor and explains that the course is an overview of Linux. The course is not technical in terms of the operating system itself. It is primarily focused on providing a broad perspective of what a Linux operating system is and how to use it. The course is intended for learners who are absolute beginners and have never heard of Linux.

The purpose of mentioning the course as non-technical is because there will be no actual interactions with the Linux system in this course. The importance of this course is to drive new learners to the idea of a Linux operating system and develop a keen interest to know more in-depth in the future.

The learners will be able to proceed with more advanced courses once the terminologies are clear with the help of this course. This course does not require you to complete an exam for certification. However, you are eligible to receive a certificate of completion from Udemy.

A brief overview of the course is presented by the instructor that states the process being followed. The course has an interactive approach with the help of an interactive diagram. Each topic is broken into subtopics that have their separate video. 

The interactive diagram is an interface that includes a list of all the topics and the sub-topics that are available for the course. The history of various operating systems is explained in this course and the differentiation of Linux and the other operating systems that are available today.

About the Tutor

The course is presented by Kenny Armstrong who has been working with Linux for nearly two decades. He has been part of various deployments related to Linux in the public sector, private sector, and higher education. The tutor explains his background and gets you started with the course.

Free Linux Academy Community Account (Required for Bonus labs and flashcards)

The section is presented by the vice president of Linux Academy. He is responsible for the curriculum development at Linux Academy. There is free access provided to hands-on lab sessions and flashcards and community features provided separately on the Linux Academy platform.

Although there is a provision for free access, it has been explained that this process is completely optional. The advantage of the access of the community on their platform is the provision of bonus materials and the possibility of practicing your hands-on skills. There is an instruction video offered which will guide regarding the sign-up procedure on their community account.

There is a provision for free access to cloud-based environments as well as Microsoft Azure and similar environments. There is a demonstration of all the possible options that come along with a sign up on their community platform.


Section 2: What is an Operating System?

Quick History of Operating Systems

The first part of this section introduces the history of operating systems. It has been explained that to understand Linux better, one must have an overview of what constitutes an operating system. The tutor explains the concepts by beginning with what is an operating system.

Every computer has hardware that includes hard drives, monitors and RAM, and so on. In order, for hardware to perform any action, it needs software, and here is where the role of a kernel comes into focus. The kernel is a component in an operating system. It is rightly termed as the core of the operating system from a broader perspective.

The kernel is responsible for communicating with your hardware through devices and software.  It is further explained that the kernel acts like a piece of software within the system that can send information back and forth to the computer’s hardware. The libraries and driver-assist the kernel to perform these actions efficiently. Various types of device drivers communicate with different hardware to carry out certain functions.

For example, a driver that communicates with hard disk drivers is associated with various types of video cards. The drivers dealing with devices such as DVD drivers, Blu-ray drivers interact through various programs. Another example is if you are viewing the presentation in a web-browser, then the web browser acts as the application that needs to interact with the display for you to view the result.

The applications translate the communications into a form that is understandable by the kernel so that the messages are sent down to the hardware to perform the specified function. The tutor further delves into the areas of an operating system.

It is further explained that the protected region that is created during the functioning of a system is the kernel space, which is responsible for communicating directly with different hardware. The instructor explores the history of the operating system and the very first one which was released in 1956 by IBM.

There is an explanation on the Unix operating system that was released in 1973, which is considered as the base of many modern-day operating systems including Linux and Mac OS. The Unix operating system was used for many research works and it was originally developed by Bell Labs.

The Apple 2 operating system is discussed in detail, followed by the DOS by Microsoft and the operating system released by IBM in 1981 which allowed it to perform business applications to handle spreadsheets and e-mail and text processing.

There is a mention about the affordability of the Apple and IBM systems and the birth of the Windows system that overtook the DOS systems. Finally, a note on the approach by companies in the 1980s for looking into shrinking the computing devices into smaller units that became the revolution for personal computers and laptops in the years to follow.

Popular Operating Systems

The tutor explores this topic on popular operating systems that are prevailing in the market today. The first one is the most familiar one which is the Windows Operating system. The instructor emphasizes the fact of the availability and the capability of the Windows operating system that has become the standard in schools, the IT industry, and several PC vendors that prefer to offer the Windows operating system by default.

The Windows OS is popular due to a well-designed ecosystem in its offering along with a plethora of options and functionalities that are available with Windows OS. Another popular operating system is the MAC OS by Apple.

The MAC OS is based on Unix operating system architecture. The similarity in both operating systems has been explained as well. A look at proprietary software and bug fixes has been explored including the pricing factors that exist for these operating systems.

How Linux Came to Be

This part focuses on the emergence of Linux. The origins of Linux dates back to the early 1990s by an individual named Linus at the University of Helsinki in Finland. He wrote a book on how operating systems work and created a separate operating system that was presumed to be a clone of Unix. The students were able to study the construction and operation of the Unix operating system.

Most research organizations were using Unix systems and were considered a reliable operating system that was robust. The issue with Unix systems was the cost factor that inspired the creation of Linux. With the use of its codebase and kernel, the possibility of creating its operating system became possible for Linus.

This was the beginning of the creation of the Linux operating system, which started as creating a clone of the Unix operating system for personal usage. Furthermore, the instructor added additional details of how the availability of Linux came into the open-source market.


Section 3: The Open Source Movement

GNU and the Free Software Foundation

The section describes the Canoe project. This project was started by a programmer named Richard M. Stallman who was an operating system developer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was of the view that anyone with a computer should have access to the source codes so that they can fix any problem by themselves by accessing the source code. 

The Canoe project began in 1983, which aimed at developing a free open-source operating system. The instructor deep dives further into how clone applications were developed with codes written from the scratch for the project. In 1985, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) was founded by Stallman, which aimed to provide access to every user to the source codes.

There is a mention of the GPL license as well. Red Hat buying Cygnus and the open-source movement has been explained in detail. The issues where not every company was willing to give away their source code for free is touched upon in-depth.

The Open Source Initiative

What is the Open Source Initiative? The tutor deep-dives into the topic and explains its origins that date back to the early to mid-1990s. The internet browser competition was heating up in the market. It was at the time that you needed to have a web browser that involved payment for the same.

This was the time that Microsoft Windows gained prominence with its offering of Internet Explorer. As the demand for Microsoft Windows skyrocketed, competitors like Netscape started giving away their browser for free. However, Netscape did not come pre-installed in comparison with Microsoft Windows.

Therefore, to tackle this problem, Netscape started giving away their source code for free along with the browser in the offering. The purpose was to see if people like the browser then they could modify the browser with further improvements and add useful features.

Although Netscape didn’t survive the competition and closed its door, the source code remained which was eventually used as a base for the Mozilla Firefox web browser that we have today.

The instructor explores the history behind the open-source initiative that was formed in the year 1998. There is an explanation on topics related to licensing available today and well as Apache Tomcat, Apache License, Mozilla Public License, and M.I.T license. There is also a description of how a particular software and source code is made available to the open-source market.


Section 4: Basics of a Linux Distribution

Components of a Linux Distribution

This section discusses the Linux distribution. The kernel is the core of an operating system but to be able to perform something useful with your computer, there is a need for certain pieces of software for it. Therefore, there are library file device drivers along with the kernel and user applications that complete a Linux distribution.  There is an explanation of how one can construct a Linux distribution.

The need for compiling the source code into the actual binary components which are essential software items for a computer to work with by adding them to the operating system as per the need. There is a mention about the possibility of downloading the software and configuring your hard drive to keep the Linux installation and to be able to select the applications that you want to use on your computer.

The shortcomings and updates to tackle the specific problems have been explained in detail. Finally, the various types of Linux distributions that are used in organizations today are being discussed as well.

RPM-Based Distributions

The lesson focuses on the Linux distribution using RPF.  The various types of distribution and specifically focused on a detailed discussion on the topic related to RPF based distribution and Debian based distribution. The RPF based distributions are most commonly found within an enterprise environment. The use of this distribution is to be able to track the type of software that is being installed. 

Other features include installation of software updates, uninstalling software, and checking the contents of the software packages. The formation of Red Hat in 1994 and how this company decided to work on a workstation Linux operating system came into existence has been explained. The foundation of Red Hat Linux and RedHat Enterprise Linux has been discussed in detail as well.

Debian Based Distributions

This section looks into Debian package management. Amongst the Linux distributions, the Debian package management has been the longest surviving one due to its ease of installation and use. It is considered to be a very stable software.

The instructor explains an important concept on how Debian has become such a stable offering and the use of older software in it as compared to other Linux distributions. The advantage of having a year-old software is that the bugs have all been fixed; therefore, it avoids any new bugs that are prevalent in the newer software.

Debian is considered to be the base of many Linux distributions. Many communities have taken various tools to new heights by using Linux distributions with their tweaks and additions, however, there are still some core features of Debian that exists in them.

Furthermore, the tutor explains ethical hackers who work with different Linux distributions. Finally, an explanation of other newer Linux distributions such as Linux Mint along with several others and their uses.


Section 5: Uses of Linux

Server Systems

Linux has grown in prominence due to its usage as a server operating system. The very first uses of a web server were found in the Apache project that can run Microsoft Windows, Macintosh OS, BSD Unix OS. Another feature that has made Linux popular is its usability for system administration. Various web servers are available for Linux.

Among them, the ones that are used in enterprises are Apache and engine X. The ease of use in terms of sending mail from one server to another has also worked in favor of Linux. The tutor explains the available open-source database systems that run on Linux such as Oracle. The topics on Red Hat Enterprise Linux are looked upon in detail as well in this lesson.

Mobile Devices

The lesson primarily looks into Linux as a mobile platform and its history as a mobile platform. It began in the year 2000 when a group of Linux developers created familiar Linux. The initial release was for the AI pack. This pack had pre-installed applications that were handy for a personal device.

The development of memo operating systems, Ubuntu mobile, GPS devices that used Linux and Linux for Android has been discussed in detail in this section. The instructor further explains how Linux for the mobile platform is growing in recent years but it is yet to be seen how much of the integration we might be able to see in terms of Linux as an operating system for the mobile devices.

Cloud Infrastructure

This is the final lesson for Linux fundamentals. The largest usage of Linux that is witnessed in the IT industry is for the cloud infrastructure. With the growing popularity of cloud computing technology, every business is aiming for a shift towards the cloud platform due to its potential and advantages.  So how does Linux fit into the cloud platform?

The tutor explains that all the services that are offered on the cloud platform are built entirely on Linux. Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud are some of the well-known cloud platforms that have used Linux. Perhaps the largest among them are Amazon web services and Netflix that also have their platforms built entirely on Linux.  Finally, the course is concluded with some additional information and resources that are shared by the instructor.


Section 6: Conclusion

Next Steps for Further Study

A final note from the instructor to conclude the course. The instructor highlights the most important concepts from the course that one must remember.  The course introduced various concepts that are listed in the following section.

  • General operating system history.
  • First usage of the operating system and its implementation on large mainframe computers.
  • Linux development history.
  • Linux kernel and Linux distributions.
  • General open-source software history.
  • Free software movement.
  • Open source initiative.
  • Applications on a Linux system.

The course is wrapped up with final thoughts on important certifications that learners can look for and other courses that are available on Linux academy.

Benefits of the Course

  • Clarity of basic concepts of Linux for absolute beginners, thus forming your learning path to master advanced concepts in the future.
  • Access to the learning community that comprises tutors and experienced individuals who share important resources and doubts can be cleared as well.
  • Certificate of completion.
  • Direct access to the instructor for Q&A for the paid version on Udemy.

Related: Top 10 Linux Online Courses


Overall Ratings of the Course

  • Instructor Expertise: 5
  • Additional Resources: 3
  • Course Content Quality: 5
  • Career Value: 5
  • Delivery of the Content: 5
  • Visuals and Readability: 5
  • Examples: 5
  • Speed of Delivering the Content: 4
  • Basic Concepts: 5
  • Overall Rating: 4.5

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Anthony Cornell

Anthony Cornell is a freelance technology journalist. He reviews educational software and writes in-depth online course reviews from popular e-learning platforms. You can reach Anthony at anthony@learnacourseonline.com

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