Chapter 1. Working with Linux

One of the biggest stumbling blocks when writing software for Linux is understanding what Linux is and is not. Linux means different things to different people. Technically, Linux itself is an operating system kernel written by the Finnish born Linus Torvalds, though most people today casually refer to an entire Linux-based system by the same name. In just a few years, Linux has risen from obscurity and become widely accepted by some of the largest and most powerful computing users on the planet.

Linux is now a big-money, enterprise-quality operating system. It's used in some of the largest supercomputers and also many of the smallest gadgets, which you would never expect to have Linux underneath. Yet for all its prevalence—for such a big name in modern computing—Linux isn't owned by any one corporation that pulls the strings. Linux is so successful because of the many thousands of developers around the world who constantly strive to make it better. They, like you, are interested in writing high-quality software that draws upon the experience of others within the Linux community.

Whatever Linux means to you, you're reading this book because you're interested in learning more about becoming a professional Linux programmer. As you embark on this journey, you will find it helpful to tool yourself up with an understanding of the different flavors of Linux, how to get going in developing for them, and how working with Linux differs from working with many other ...

Get Professional Linux® Programming now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.