Linux is an operating system like Windows XP, Windows 8 as well as Mac OS X. the software that makes all of the hardware resources of your system to be alive and functional is called an operating system. In simple terms, the operating system is that which co-ordinates the communication between the software of your system as well as the hardware. The inference from this is that without the operating system, your software is as good as dead and when your software is useless of what function is the hardware?
The Operating System is comprised of many pieces:
The Bootloader: This software manages the booting process of your PC.
The Kernel: This is the one piece of the whole of Linux. Kernel is the core of your system. It is that which manages the CPU for you.
Daemons: This is constituted of the background services which include: Printing, sound, scheduling etc. They start up during booting or after you must have logged into the system.
The Shell: May be you have heard someone mentioned the Linux command line, this is popularly known as the shell. This is a command process with which you command the system through the commands you type on the interface of the system.
Graphical Server: The graphics on your monitor is displayed by this sub-system. It is famously called ‘X’ or X server.
Desktop Environment: this is what you as a user interact with. You can choose from several desktop environments. They include: Unity, GNOME, Cinnamon, Enlightenment, KDE etc. Each desktop environment has in-built applications like file managers, games, configuration tools, etc.
Like many other operating systems, Linux presents you a wide range of software titles that you can install and utilise to your satisfaction. However, desktop environment do not offer you an avalanche of applications.
What Linux is to your system or personal computer in the realm of software is like an engine is to a machine, without it, the functionality of your hardware may be a fantasy which will not be an inch close to coming into realisation.