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Great and Disappointing Operating Systems of the Decade

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Writing about the best and worst in operating system is like a crap magnet: I'm pressing the big red button. People develop a personal relationship with operating systems, whether on servers or their personal machine or phone. The love/hate relationship becomes anchored with deep emotions about the merits/detractions of the devices they use-- through the lenses of operating systems.

Great in this case means possibly really great, and alternatively, really awful. Some made us happy. Others made us sad, or worse, mad. Some we toiled happily with the winners, while others burned up precious weekend time in fits of compatibility issues, installation nightmares, and startling kernel traps and various blue/black/red screens of death. Some deserved to become dumpster fodder, and others are still humming away, quietly, and doing their job. This is about both kinds.

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What is the GRUB2 boot loader?

There are various things that make up an operating system. In any operating system, one of the most critical parts is powering on the machine. During this process, the computer will execute a small program in read-only memory (ROM) to begin initiating the startup process. This small program is known by many names, but most often called a boot loader. In almost every Linux distribution, including Fedora, GRUB2 (or GRand Unified Bootloader 2) is the default boot loader. Even though it is a critical piece of the operating system, many people aren’t aware of the boot loader, all that goes into it, or how it can be customized. Read more