The Linux Operating System

Linux is a powerful, non-proprietary, standards-based operating system that is currently the fastest growing computer operating system in the world. Linux offers speed, performance, stability, and reliability. Linux contains all the features required of modern desktop PCs, corporate file servers, firewalls, routers, and Internet servers.

Its install base is conservatively estimated at over 10,000,000, and is growing at a rate of approximately 3% per week. Since it is made available under the GNU Public License as an open source product, Linux may be downloaded free of charge through the Internet, or purchased for a small fee on CD-ROM.

Although Linux was originally designed to operate only on Intel-based PCs, portable and modular coding has allowed it to become increasingly hardware independent.

Presently, Linux operates on a growing list of hardware platforms. It powers IBM’s Watchpad, G.Mate’s Yopy and Sharp’s Zaurus Personal Data Assistants. It is also used in a growing number of supercomputing environments. Avalon, a supercomputer developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, operates under the Linux operating system and was recently rated among the 500 fastest computers in the world. NASA uses parallel Linux clusters as part of their Beowulf supercomputer. In 1998, Cranfield University (UK) replaced its Cray supercomputer with a Linux-based system of networked Pentium II PCs it calls the Borg. Stanford University uses Linux to power the World’s Smallest Web Server.

Linux is also finding its way into embedded devices that are used in a growing number of modern electronic devices. The TiVO digital video recorder is based on Linux, and Linux is even finding its way into modern high definition television sets. The fast and powerful Google Internet Search Engine is Linux powered. Linux even runs on Apple Power Macintosh and iMaccomputers.

Much of the success of Linux is due not only to its outstanding performance, but also by the fact that it is a non-commercial, non-proprietary, open source product. Much like the Internet, Linux brings with it a freedom and openness that has not been seen in the computer industry in many years.

Today, Linux is receiving strong support from forward-thinking computer industry giants such as Netscape, AOL, Intel, IBM, HP, Dell, Sun, Oracle, Informix, Sybase, Compaq, Silicon Graphics Inc., and Novell, as well as many smaller companies who have traditionally aligned themselves with Microsoft in the past.

Linux Routing

The following links demonstrate the use of Linux in network routing applications:

  • Linux Advanced Routing and Traffic Control
  • GNU Zebra Routing Software
  • 802.1Q VLAN Implementation for Linux
  • Linux VLAN + Cisco HOWTO
  • ImageStream Internet Solutions, Inc. – Cisco Comparison
  • Linux Embedded Appliance Firewall
  • FREESCO (Free ciSCO) Linux-based Routing
  • floppyfw: A Linux-based Static Router/Firewall
  • SearchEnterpriseLinux: Linux Routers – Part 1
  • SearchEnterpriseLinux: Linux Routers – Part 2
  • Extreme Networks puts Linux to work in routing switch

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