12 Key Features of Linux Operating System

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The Linux operation system has some fascinating characteristics that make it different from other operating systems like Windows, and macOS. So I’ll try to demonstrate the key features of the Linux operating system in this article.

What is Linux?

Linux is an open-source and free operating system whose core component is the Linux kernel. Its design and characteristics are similar to the Unix operating system. For that reason, it is called a Unix-like operating system. It creates a connection between the hardware and the user and executes the applications.

What are the Features of Linux Operating Systems?

Linux is undoubtedly one of the most widely used operating systems in the world. It has some unique features that make it stand out from the rest. Let’s take a look at some of them:

1. Free Operating System

Linux is a free operating system. The operating system is cost-free so you can view, modify, and customize the code without any cost. It facilitates the users by providing:

  • Free to use this OS for personal use, on the server, and for educational use.
  • A free License and collaborative project that can be developed by the user contribution.

2. Open-source operating System

The code of the core component and other software are open to all the users. The facilities the feature includes are:

  • Anyone can go through the code so one can understand how the kernel works.
  • Modification is possible according to the user’s preference. One can distribute the modified version to other Linux distributions.
  • Open-source characteristics have made it more versatile.

3. Flexibility

The customization, modular design, embedded system, package managers, and various distributions make it the most flexible operating system. The code of the kernel can be customized according to the user. Linux follows a modular design that includes very small tools that make it do many complex functions and users can use it as an embedded system by scaling up.

4. Customizability

The Linux shell offers a higher degree of customization to improve accessibility. Let’s take a look at which customization facility it provides:

  • Supports multiple languages, so the keyboard can be customized to one’s preference.
  • Change the font size and the background color according to one’s convenience.

5. Stability

The Operating system provides more stability because of its kernel’s strong code which was written by Torvalds. The reasons behind the stability:

  • Strong structured Monolithic kernel
  • Proper Distribution of resources and utilization of memory.
  • Not susceptible to viruses and malware.

6. Lightweight

This operating system is so lightweight that it can be installed on any small hardware and it uses quite small disk space while installation. Again, other operating systems have many default apps and graphical interfaces but Linux is only a kernel that can be customized. The property that makes it lightweight than other OS are:

  • The modular property is more in Linux than Windows.
  • On the top of a monolithic kernel, other things are added by the developers.

7. Portability

Portability allows it to be used on a wide range of hardware architectures. This feature has earned this operating system worldwide recognition. This feature enriches the uses of Linux by providing:

  • Hardware to wearables applications.
  • Its compatibility with various hardware makes it highly adaptable.

8. Graphical User Interface

Linux supports the graphical user interface (GUI) just like Windows. You can install the packages on the command line or from the server.

  • Support to make the system user-friendly.
  • Provides a wide range of desktop environments including KDE, GNOME, and Cinnamon.

9. Multiuser and Multitask support

It allows numerous users to work on various tasks at once. There are two approaches to this:

  • Single users doing multiple tasks.
  • Multiple users do multiple tasks which includes editing file, and using browsing facility at the same time.

The process can be prioritized by scheduling the tasks.

10. Well Structure File System

Linux has a hierarchical file system in which all files are sorted according to their type and located in a particular directory. There are various types of directories in Linux, such as Binary Directory (bin), Unix System Resource (usr), Configuration Directory (conf), Data Directory, and Memory Directory.

11. Security

The Linux operating system provides strong security through end-to-end encryption. This encryption feature includes:

  • Provides a secure key, shell, and feature.
  • All the files are stored with a secure key.
  • Users have to authenticate it by password.

12. Accessible Update

The Linux operating system keeps the user’s system up to date by informing them of new updates and making accessible the new versions. Users can upgrade the system based on their requirements.

Below all the key features are shown in a single structure:

Showing the key features of the Linux operating system

Key Trends Driven by Linux’s Distinguishing Features

Linux is always changing and growing. This year, there are some changes and trends that are popular.

Check out the key trends below:

  • Linux and Supercomputing: Its open-source nature, Lightweight, high customizability, and stability mainly make it suitable for supercomputing.
  • Linux and the cloud: Linux is the backbone of cloud computing, which makes it more flexible because of its open-source One of the main reasons for the popularity of the Linux cloud is that it is highly configurable, stable, and dependable. The main cloud providers that provide Linux OS are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and others.
  • Linux-based hardware: This year, there are a lot of hardware innovations, and Purism Librem 5 is one of them, which is based on the idea of privacy and data isolation on mobile devices. Another interesting innovation of this year is Samsung’s Linux on Dex, which is a great example of how Linux can help enrich the hardware industry.
  • Linux Expansion: The latest kernel version, 6.5, has made Linux more efficient. With the Linux rolling release feature, the system automatically upgrades itself after the user has installed the operating system, and then newer versions become available automatically.


In this article, I have illustrated all the features of the operating system so that the reader will be motivated to select it. The variety of features makes Linux the most efficient and usable operating system. Its open-source nature, flexibility, stability, and well-structured file system make it easier for users to select an operating system from anywhere in the globe.

People Also Ask

Which is the most important feature of Linux?

The most important feature of Linux is the open-source facility. As the source code is open it can be modified and made improvements which mainly infuse all other features like customizability and flexibility.

Why one should use Linux instead of Windows?

Linux provides users with a highly reliable operating system. Windows is prone to viruses and malware, while Linux has a significantly lower prevalence of these threats. If one uses Windows for an extended period, he may experience a decrease in performance, however, in this instance, Linux can be able to run at a much faster speed.

Which server applications can be done with Linux?

The flexibility, stability, and open-source nature make Linux used for server applications from small-scale to enterprise environments. The popular server applications that are provided by Linux servers are Web servers, Database servers, file servers, mail servers, DNS servers, Cloud servers, etc.

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Afia Zahin Oishi

Assalamualaikum, I am Afia Zahin, completed my graduation in Biomedical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, currently working as a Linux Content Developer Executive at SOFTEKO. A high achieving professional with a strong work ethic and able to work in a team in order to consistently achieve my goal and build my skillset. Able to handle difficult problems with patience and swift decision-making. Read Full Bio

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