Azimout's Linux weblog

Components, part1

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What makes a Linux distro? When you first install a distro (e.g. Ubuntu), you might actually not find anything wrong with the question “Which Linux do you use?”. After a bit of playing around and reading on the net, you realize that Linux is just the kernel. Then you see a lot of people claiming that the correct term is GNU/Linux. Then someone will ask you “Do you prefer Gnome or KDE?” and so forth. So for personal reference and user education, I decided to write a short intro on the (major) components that make up Ubuntu:

  • The linux kernel. the kernel is the core of the system. It provides 5 basic functionalities: processing, memory management, device drivers, networking, and storage.
  • The udev device manager. udev runs in userspace (a move closer to a microkernel design) and decides how to name it and which driver to load when a new device is detected by the kernel. It manages the /dev folder.
  • The HAL hardware abstraction layer.
  • The D-Bus system for interprocess communication.
  • The X.Org X windowing system for display, keyboard & mouse management.
  • The Gnome desktop environment. Gnome contains several key applications, such as the Nautilus file manager, the Evolution personal information manager, the Totem media player, the Evince document viewer, the Eye Of Gnome (EOG) image viewer, and others.

Written by azimout

13/05/2008 at 15:39

Posted in Reference

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