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Linux is still is very much as widespread and useful today as when it was created in 1991. It is not going away. Linux is recognized as the fastest growing operating system in the computing industry.
It is a must-have core skillset for any IT professional working in cloud computing, cybersecurity, networking and IT infrastructure, open source technologies, Android and embedded technologies and high-performance computing.
You may not be even aware that you are using Linux. Many devices you own like Android phones and tablets and Chromebooks, digital storage devices, personal video recorders, cameras, wearables and more run on Linux.
Between one and two-thirds of Web pages you log on to are generated by servers running Linux. Even your car has Linux running under the hood. Even Microsoft Windows features Linux components as part of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).
Companies and individuals choose Linux for their servers because it’s secure and flexible with excellent support from users and companies like Canonical, SUSE and Red Hat which all offer commercial support.
Linux shares similarities to other operating systems like Windows, macOs and iOS. It has a graphical interface, word processor, photo editor, video editor and the like.
One difference, however, is that it is open source software that is free and available for the public to view, edit and for those with the technical skill, to contribute to. Linux is customizable. You can swap out word processor, Web browsers, system display graphics and other user-interface components.
If you are thinking of trying out Linux, choose a distribution designed for your platform whether it be a laptop, tablet or desktop. Take note of the kind of work you do. Lean towards older distribution which has large communities who can guide you and answer questions.
Whether you are a novice or someone with more Linux know-how, you can then do one thing that other operating systems will not allow. You can contribute to Linux. Everyone can.
Testers can make sure everything works on different configurations of hardware and software and report when things do not. Designers can create user interfaces and graphics. Writers can create documentation, guides and other copy to go with the software.
Translators can make sure that people in different parts of the world can understand the programs and documentations. Packagers can take software programs and put all the parts together to make sure they run flawlessly in different distributions. Enthusiasts can spread the word about Linux and open source in general. Developers can write software.