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A Practical Guide to Red Hat® Linux® 8 by Mark G. Sobell

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The GNU/Linux Connection

An operating system is the low-level software that schedules tasks, allocates storage, and handles the interfaces to peripheral hardware, such as printers, disk drives, and your screen, keyboard, and mouse. An operating system has two main parts: the kernel and the system programs. The kernel allocates machine resources, including memory, disk space, and CPU (page 1462) cycles, to all other programs that run on the computer. The system programs perform higher-level housekeeping tasks, often acting as servers in a client/server relationship. Linux is the name of the kernel that Linus Torvalds presented to the world in 1991 and that many others have worked on to enhance, stabilize, expand, and make more secure.

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