How is Linux developed?

There are millions of personal collaborators, universities, software companies and distributors around the world working on its development.

This allows for direct contact with the developers and agile software updates.

This already possible to define some of the large groups of developers or sponsors of Linux development:

As such, many groups, motivated for many and diverse reasons develop thousands of Linux softwares, with the objective of promoting the use of software with free distributions.

What are Linux distributions?

Because Linux and its applications are developed in the most diverse of places, some companies have specialized in compiling, testing and developing softwares and support Linux as well as thousands of applications, and also implementing improvements towards their active market, acting as encouragements elements in the dissemination of the system.

In this way distributions immerged around the world, each one maintaining an acting segment and a specific market. Among the main ones:

In Latina America , Conectiva Inc. initiated a task of locating Linux, having placed in the market in 1997, the first distribution outside the USA-Europe-Japan axis.

Still maintaining its innovative spirit, Conectiva was the first Linux distributor to release a specialized version into the Intel server market and the first distributor outside the USA to release a version for AlphaServers computers.

The advantages of using Linux

Why use Linux?


The real price for a platform choice is NOT only the price of hardware and operating system (where Linux wins), it's the price of additional software, services and support required to create and operate this structure.

It's anyhow very clear that; a simple account for a few dollars, or even an Internet download, may be freely installed in as many servers and stations you want, without this meaning any burden, making the high quality software accessible to all and any user.

In relation to additional software, such as tcp/ip, web servers, e-mail servers, net management software, SQL data bank, backup software, e-mail, NFS, firewalls, etc... these can be found for Linux in the widest formats, or in free distribution versions, shareware, freeware, or still, commercial applications.

In relation to support, users that acquire the Conectiva Linux Official, have access to free support, as described in the support section. For other users, the available Internet support for Linux, leaves others behind: their are two or three times more Linux newsgroups, having still a great variety of message listings for Linux exploring specific topics such as Linux RAID, Linux X.25 and frame Relay, Linux network management packages and many others. To know the available lists, please visit Discussion Lists Section.

Besides that, Conectiva maintains a list for Linux Internet Access and the linux-br, an open list with thousands of users created for the main purpose of trading information about Linux.

n what is referred to as services, Conectiva puts out a list of available trainings from basic level to the most advanced, besides available commercial support in a net of support centers located all over Brazil, offering services in istallation, configuration and operation of servers, networks projects, etc... based on the Conectiva Linux.


Many diverse basic safety tools, like SSL, RSA encripting, firewalls, "breaking attemp" alarms, tcp packagers, network security level diagnoses ultilitaries, like SATAN and COPS, encripted file systems, IP tunnels, S/Key, Kerberos, etc. are all available for Linux.

The compatibilty with established standards for more than two decades and in constant evolution, make Linux a recognized system for it's stability and robustness, offering the most security to networks that use this product.

To know a little more about the subject of Linux Security, check our presentation available on StarOffice 5.1.

Scalability and Portability

Linux offers a clear path to scalability: Intel 80386 Pcs to Pentium 3, Compaq Alphasers, Sun Sparcs, RS600 with PowerPC, Machintosh with Motorola, multiprocessed machines, Silicon Graphics machines with MIP processors and others, are supported by Linux.

This means that applications developed for Linux may be executedn in various machine profiles , without the need to rewrite the software.

Linux also supports DOS (Clipper, COBOL, Dataflex...), Windows 16 & 32 bit applications and software for SCO platforms, Solaris for Intel, etc... Each one of these is supported through programs or specific modules such as DOSEMU, Wine, iBCS, etc...

Support for Hardware

Linux offers an extent list of supported hardware, ranging SCSI interfaces, multi serial boards, motherboards, notebooks, PCMCIA,.... To verify an updated list of supported hardware, please click here.


Linux offers a wide variety of options in graphic interfaces for the user, with hundreds of applications that may be executed in any one of them. A manager can administer users, hard-disks, files, networks, applications, etc..., a domestic user can play, access the Internet or a corporate user can edit documents, charts, all with little alteration in relation to the way this has always been done, although, with the new adjectives introduced by Linux: robustness, stability, low cost, liberty, performance, etc...

Graphic Interfaces

At Conectiva Linux, each time yopu access the system, you may choose one of many available interfaces:

Who uses Linux?

It is estimated that there are more than 30 million Linux Users around the world. Being that in Brazil, the country with the highest growth rate in the first half of 99, the number of users is estimated at about 300 thousand.

Among this most diverse list of users we can highlight some of the best known, such as NASA, The US Army, The Italian Government, The State of California, Swedish robot factories, French hospitals, The Health Department, The US Postal Service and almost all Universities throughout the world; among many.

In Brazil it is well spread among the academic field, software development companies, banks, hospitals, public services, commerce, providers, home users and workstations in corporative networks.

The future of Linux

In 1999, the Brazilian market watched a great Linux improvement. From the great servers to desktops, the operating system conquered many markets during the year. It is estimated, that during the first semester, Linux grew 200% in Brazil. The estimate is that the system has reached over 450 thousand users in the Brazilian territory.

You can say that Linux is leaving the academic environment and taking a place in corporate environments, and also in domestic environments. This change can be clearly observed in the table below, which indicates where people use Linux.

School 19,80%
Home 88,67%
Not used (only installed) 0,02%
Work 41,08%
Anywhere 2,27%
Source: Linux Center

The forecast, according to the IDC (International Data Corporation), is that until 2003 the Linux installation should increase at the rate of 25% per year, while other systems for servers increase only 12%. Its important to remember that this year Linux will close the year running on about 30 million machines.

Below you'll find a small section of an interview with the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds.

In the future of Linux we have two possible scenarios. The first one, in about 4 years, "Linux will dominate the scientific and technical applications and become the preferred operating system for Web servers and workstations.... For its cost and performance advantages, it will become the standard system for desktop computers.

The second scenario is a lot more dramatic. With the number of Linux users growing, Microsoft and other software developers admit to its ascension in this market and begin to write programs for it. Soon, the complete advantage in Linux price and performance move the system to the desktop market."

Copyright 2000