Linux Journal: A Look at Linux Capabilities

“This week, I want to take a look at some features of the Linux
operating system which make it stand out from what you find in the
basic offerings from Microsoft. If you have a UNIX background,
these features will be expected.”

First, Linux is a preemptive multi-tasking operating
system. Let me explain this in two parts. First, multi-tasking
means that the operating system can perform more than one job at
once. Or, more accurately, appear to perform more than one job at
If your computer only has a single CPU then it really
can only do one task at a time. What the Linux kernel does is
schedules tasks based on a priority scheme and switches between
them so that it appears all the tasks are running at once.”

“Why would you want to do this? Let’s say you are using a text
editor to edit a document. You might want to grab a web page with
your browser or upload a data file to another system while you are
working interactively with the editor. To Linux, this is just a
simple job of switching between running your text editor and the
file transfer program or browser as needed.”