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Chapter 1. The Linux Environment

Chapter 1. The Linux Environment

In the early days of computers, instructions and data were often divided into two separate storage areas. Modern computers follow what is called a “von Neumann architecture,” a design proposed by the Hungarian-born computer scientist John von Neumann. These machines have one storage area for both data and instructions. Effectively, instructions and data were treated the same, making computer simpler to build and use.

Unix-based operating systems, including Linux, extend this principle to long-term storage. Linux organizes information on a disk as a collection of files. Every file, whether a program or data, is treated the same, making the operating system very simple to build as well as flexible to use. Commands that work on a certain kind of file tend to have a similar effect on other kinds of files as well, thus reducing the number of commands a programmer needs to learn.


  

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