Is Linux the King of DevOps? Should all DevOps be Using It?
From a philosophy point of view, Linux and DevOps have a lot in common. For instance, they both focus on scalability, functionality and the continuous ability to grow and improve. Even though Windows is the most common operating system, even among DevOp practitioners, it is not the preferred operating system for most.
Linux is the preferred choice. For DevOps, Linux stands out because of its customization aspect. It allows developers to design applications specific to a certain development environment—the way the operating system functions gives development teams more freedom than using Windows.
Read on to discover why DevOps prefer to use Linux over other operating systems.
What is Linux?
With Linux, users get a free, open-source operating system through the GNU General Public Licence. Like other operating systems, it mediates between the machine hardware and software. It manages the use of the hardware to meet the software needs.
What is DevOps?
DevOps is a model that brings together software development and information technology operations. The model focuses on the fast delivery of software above everything else through automation, open communication, integration and continuous collaboration.
DevOps teams rely on continuous integration and delivery tools and practices to guarantee a standard quality. With continuous integration practices, DevOps enhances the codebase security through updates, while continuous delivery increases the speed of automation.
Why DevOps Like Linux
Software Management and Deployment
Often DevOps Engineers support software delivery pipelines capable of running on a Linux server environment. The ability to work on a native Linux environment makes it easy to accomplish things such as testing and staging applications on the local device whenever necessary.
For instance, developers can easily set Linux capabilities in Kubernetes to help meet the DevOps’ efficiency demands. DevOps engineers can also spin a Linux container on the local machine, something that is not possible on macOS and Windows.
Besides, most Linux Distros make installing all necessary DevOps tools quick and easy using package managers and repositories. Although installing most DevOps tools on other platforms is easy, none come close to the package management systems Linux Distros use.
Today Linux is an essential part of complex enterprise information technology systems. Understanding how to set the Linux environment and its networking connectivity decreases obstacles that may arise in the software development process.
Linux is now Ubiquitous
Since 1991 when it was released, the popularity of Linux has grown steadily. Currently, most of the technologies powering up services and devices run on Linux. The operating system powers everything from Google applications, mobile phones, social media networks to Internet of Things devices, Artificial Intelligence products, data lakes, GPS services and cloud computing environments. A recent report by the Linux Foundation indicates that “the cloud depends heavily on infrastructure technologies, including Linux and networking.”
The goal of DevOps is fast delivery of software, which often means developing on existing infrastructure. For DevOps, Linux is a big part of that.
It is customizable
Flexibility is the most common highlight DevOps teams enjoy from this operating system. It allows developers to install the operating system on any device then customize virtually any aspect of the OS. For instance, it lets the DevOps team customize its workflow, the applications it serves, the preferred DevOps security protocol, and the server environment.
In addition, the operating system allows DevOps engineers to make changes that increase security. Since DevOps teams value choice, using a customizable operating system is a huge benefit.
The operating system offers a great DevOps environment for teams that flourish on a dynamic process. Often, software development pipelines get deployed on Linux server environments. When the local machine runs on Linux, the DevOps team can run tests on the device before deploying them on servers. Failure to do so may have developers test their software elsewhere. Testing the software elsewhere creates delays that DevOps cannot afford.
In DevOps operations, scalability is essential for continuity. DevOps teams like Linux because it allows them to develop their applications without changing their operating system. Usually, doing so would be time-consuming and expensive. However, Linux is scalable.
With the Linux kernel, developers can store and handle large quantities of memory and the necessary storage capacity. DevOps teams can even run the operating system on supercomputers and continue to modify it to meet their needs.
Linux Distros Popular with DevOps
Usually, DevOps use a Linux distribution, also referred to as Linux Distro. A Linux Distro refers to a pre-configured Linux version. Unlike its open-source counterpart, a Linux Distro does the heavy lifting by compiling all the operating system components into one system. By using Linux Distro, the DevOps teams often save the time they would take doing all the configuration.
Commonly, categorizing Linux Distro depends on the type of package they deliver. For instance, some Distros are suitable for the desktop environment while others work better on servers and other Distros run on mobile devices. The popular Linux Distros with DevOps include:
Cloud Linux OS – This is a Linux Distro that focuses on cloud computing. Since it is CentOS-based, the Distros is secure, supports integration, and is scalable.
Amazon Linux – This is a Linux image developed for the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. It has the tools DevOps need to enhance platform integrations and workflows.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop – This Linux Distro is meant for cloud environments and high-performance operations.
CentOS – The Distro got its inspiration from Red har Enterprise. It comes with free support for cloud computing.
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop – It is a Linux Distro meant for desktops. Developers can use its smart AppArmor to add a firewall around their applications.
With Linux, DevOps get the scalability and flexibility they need to have a dynamic software development process. The operating system allows them to set the development environment to meet their needs. Instead of allowing the operating system to dictate how the DevOps teams work, they can configure Linux to work for them. For DevOps teams, Linux gives them all the freedom and the assets they need to support their development activities at scale.