CIAT Resource Library

What is Linux?


Linux is a computer operating system similar to Windows, iOS, and Mac OS, and is likewise one of the most popular. The Linux operating system originated in the 1990s, and now has a global user-base. In fact, the computer or smartphone you’re likely reading this from (if you have an Android) bases itself on Linux. From smartphones, to cars, thermostats, streaming devices, home appliances, and much more – the Linux operating system is practically everywhere. It actually maintains most of the Internet itself, including all of the world’s stock exchanges and supercomputers.

Linux is known for its reliability and security, which is why it is the preferred platform to run applications, desktops, and servers. 

The Linux operating system is comprised of several components:

  • Bootloader –  The software that manages the boot process of your computer.
  • Kernel – The lowest level of the OS, or the core of the system and manages the CPU, memory, and peripheral devices. 
  • Init system – Init is a daemon process that continues running until the system is shut down. It is the direct or indirect ancestor of all other processes and automatically adopts all orphaned processes. Init is started by the kernel during the booting process.
  • Daemons – These are background services, such as printing) that either start up during boot or after you log into the desktop.
  • Graphical server – The system that displays the graphics on your monitor (it is commonly referred to as the X server or just X).
  • Desktop environment – This is the interactive component of the OS. A desktop environment is made up of a bundle of components that create the graphical user interface (GUI) elements such as icons, toolbars, wallpapers, etc. Desktop environment include built-in applications such as web browsers and file managers.
  • Applications –Ubuntu Linux has the Ubuntu Software Center (a rebrand of GNOME Software) which allows you to quickly search among the thousands of apps and install them from one centralized location.

Why learn Linux?

If out-of-the-box computers already come with dedicated OS’s, why bother learning a totally different operating system? Aside from being the most secure from malware and viruses and free of nuisances like crashes and slowdowns, Linux is fully customizable, reliable, and completely free and open-source.

Systems administration requires working knowledge of Linux, which can also help you gain employment in many other software development fields. Linux knowledge provides mastery over the command line and a better understanding of how computers work. 

What Types of Jobs Can I Get With Linux?

Zippia reports that the average salary for Linux administrators is $79,996. Most Linux administrators have Bachelor’s degrees, which give them the experience they need to gain valuable on-the-job training for real-world applications. While a small percentage have acquired a Master’s degree in this field, the data shows it’s not necessary for earning a rewarding salary for this type of work. 

Jobs that require Linux knowledge include:

  • System administration 
  • Network engineer
  • Web developer 
  • Software engineer
  • Linux engineer
  • Senior java developer
  • Systems engineer
  • DevOps engineer
  • Mobile app developer
  • Full stack developer
  • Software architect 

As technology continues to develop, the need for Linux-knowledgeable candidates will only grow. Trends in e-commerce have forced many brands to acquire an online presence if they didn’t already have one, which in turn increases the need for well-qualified candidates who can oversee these websites on both the front and back end. 

Some of the most common areas of study for Linux-based careers include hardware and system configuration, automation and scripting, Linux troubleshooting and diagnostics, system operation and maintenance, as well as security. Programming languages on Linux include MySWL, HTML/CSS, JavaScript, and more. 

Linux knowledge can also lead to careers in many other industries besides software development.

In addition, education in Linux can help supplement certification in related fields to provide a more well-rounded resume and increase the number of opportunities available to such a qualified candidate. 

How Do I Learn Linux?

If you’ve used technology in the past 20 years, you shouldn’t have too many problems learning about the basics of Linux. Building a foundation in Linux only takes a few days, but the more advanced topics can take up to a lifetime to master. 

Linux provides a wide range of programming opportunities. It can be easiest for macOS users to learn, as it shares similarities with UNIX, which underpins macOS. Linux will allow you to create open source projects and much more, with the right training. 

Many prospective students might want to learn Linux online and/or for free. It’s true that there are many resources available on Linux that you can draw upon to build your knowledge of this operating system. Some may even offer their own certifications, which test your knowledge in order to demonstrate your proficiency for prospective employers. At the same time, the foundation you build with Linux is just as important as the building blocks of the operating system itself.

Students interested in Linux can gain hands-on, real-world experience from CIAT programs. We offer a variety of programs and certifications in order to prepare you for a job using Linux to impact the larger IT industry. As a student, you’ll learn how to navigate the file system of Linux, as well as become versed in bash/shell scripting. By the end of your learning journey,  you will be prepared to dive right into a rewarding career. 

The California Institute of Art & Technology knows that success in Linux comes with a solid foundation of IT knowledge to build upon. Linux skills are in high demand across a number of industries and applications, so the job market welcomes graduates with open arms.

How to Land a Position in Linux

The Linux Foundation 2021 report states Linux is the second most sought-after skill by open source hiring managers. At the same time, competition for these jobs can be fierce, especially with such lucrative opportunities at stake. 

While you may be able to teach yourself about Linux with the free resources and tutorials available on the web, a dedicated and recognized education proves to be much more valuable on a resume than anything else. Plus, certifications in Linux such as the CompTIA Linux+ Certification help to set you apart from your competition. This particular certification is highly regarded in the industry and gives students the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of network tools, localization, scripting, server roles, and network/storage configuration. The Associate of Applied Science in Software Development is the perfect program for beginners who want to establish a foundation in Linux and use it to gain experience for many different types of careers. There are no exam fees and unlimited exam attempts associated with earning this certification, which can help you to become a Linux Administrator, an IT Systems Administrator, or even a Technical Support Specialist. 

An education in Linux can provide you the basis for a challenging yet rewarding career in the ever-developing IT industry. With certifications and degree programs structured to support your learning and prepare you for job placement, CIAT helps students on a daily basis to gain experience and develop their Linux skills in a welcoming environment

Take the first step.

Building a strong coding portfolio takes hard work and dedication. Whether you’re just starting in the field or advancing your career, learning how to create an education plan that aligns with your career goals saves you time and money. This also delivers the most significant return on your investment.

Career Planning

You’ve chosen an education plan with a goal in mind, and now you’re focused on making the most of your educational resources to ensure you’re setting yourself up for success in the job market. The most impactful recommendation we give to all new CIAT students in the tech field is not to wait until graduation to start their IT career planning. When you begin your career planning steps from day 1 of your program, you graduate career-ready and are more likely to find your first job quickly, with competitive salary ranges.

Let us help you achieve your career goals.

When landing your dream job, CIAT supports its students every step of the way – ensuring you graduate with more than just a degree. Our IT career services team focuses on both your professional and personal development to help prepare you for a career in web development, mobile app developmentinformation technology, cybersecurity, networking, and more.

Get certified, earn your degree, and start your path to a new career with:

  • Personalized career coaching
  • Industry certification workshops
  • Resume building
  • LinkedIn profile optimization
  • Mock interview practice
  • Job placement support
  • Dedicated job board
  • Specialty career-building workshops
  • Technology career fairs and employer “meet and greets”
  • Work study and volunteer opportunities

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