Chapter 1

Getting Started

In this chapter, you discover what Linux is and how it relates to its inspiration, UNIX. You take a guided tour of the facilities provided by a Linux development system, and write and run your first program. Along the way, you’ll be looking at

  • UNIX, Linux, and GNU
  • Programs and programming languages for Linux
  • How to locate development resources
  • Static and shared libraries
  • The UNIX philosophy

An Introduction to UNIX, Linux, and GNU

In recent years Linux has become a phenomenon. Hardly a day goes by without Linux cropping up in the media in some way. We’ve lost count of the number of applications that have been made available on Linux and the number of organizations that have adopted it, including some government departments and city administrations. Major hardware vendors like IBM and Dell now support Linux, and major software vendors like Oracle support their software running on Linux. Linux truly has become a viable operating system, especially in the server market.

Linux owes its success to systems and applications that preceded it: UNIX and GNU software. This section looks at how Linux came to be and what its roots are.

What Is UNIX?

The UNIX operating system was originally developed at Bell Laboratories, once part of the telecommunications giant AT&T. Designed in the 1970s for Digital Equipment PDP computers, UNIX has become a very popular multiuser, multitasking operating system for a wide variety of hardware platforms, from PC workstations to multiprocessor ...

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