Pin Me

Move over C++: Other popular programming languages in Linux

written by: •edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 2/25/2009

Let's take a look at a few programming languages that are widely used in the Linux platform besides C/C++.

  • slide 1 of 1

    C/C++ has long been associated with Linux as its primary development language (well, it still enjoys that status). However there are other programming languages/platforms which have grown considerably in the recent past and are being used in a big way in Linux related developments. In this article, we take a look at some of these programming languages (in no particular order.).


    Python is a powerful dynamic programming language that has grown tremendously in the recent years. Though Python can be used for development in various domains, it is particularly popular for its use as a scripting language for web development. Python comes with an extensive set of standard libraries and is easy to learn. Besides Linux it also runs on Windows, Mac OS X, OS/2 and several mobile devices. It supports integration with other languages and has also been ported to Java and .NET virtual machines. It is managed by a non-profit organization known as the Python Software Foundation. The extensive standard library of Python provides easy access to various functionalities like built-in objects, types and exceptions, string services, data types, numeric and mathematics functions, file I/O, cryptographic services, Internet protocols, etc.. Python uses a highly optimized byte compiler that makes Python codes run fast.

    Its widespread and popular use can be drawn from the fact that YouTube, Google, Yahoo and NASA figure in the list of Python users. Due to its open source nature and popularity, Python developers are in demand and hence it is a good choice to learn Python if you are looking for an open source development career.

    Where can I learn Python?

    Here are some places you can learn Python

    Python Rocks! and other rants

    A Byte of Python

    PerlPerl is one of the most popular dynamic languages used to develop web applications. It can also be used to develop GUIs for desktop (Perl/Tk). Perl is known for its ability to handle large data sets and that is another reason why it is used extensively in the finance and bioinformatics domain. Perl has a database integration interface (DBI) feature which provides support for third party databases (Oracle, MySql etc..) It supports unicode, works with HTML, XML, can interface with external C/C++ libraries, can handle encrypted web data, and it supports both procedural and object-oriented programming. It supports various operating systems including Linux/Unix, Mac, VMS etc.. Like Python, Perl is another language which is widely used, and hence Perl developers are in demand too.

    Where can I learn Perl?

    Here are some places you can learn Perl

    Perl Documentations

    Learn Perl in 10 easy lessons


    The most popular scripting language for open source web development, PHP has grown steadily and rapidly over the last decade. PHP stands for 'PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor' (It's a recursive acronym) and PHP codes can be embedded into HTML. It is easy to learn and simple to use making it a favorite of many web developers. Though it is cross platform and supports most of the popular operating systems it is particularly popular in the LAMP web development environment (Linux, Apache, MySql, and PHP). Most of today's popular CMS (content management system), forum systems and many of the popular websites are powered by PHP. It's wide spread use and popularity makes it perhaps the best open source language to learn in terms of demand.

    Where can I learn PHP?

    Here are some places you can learn PHP

    w3schools PHP Tutorial

    Official PHP Manual


    Ruby is almost as old as PHP but didn't get as much attention as PHP got for a long time. However, over the last few years Ruby has grown by leaps and bounds and now it finds a place among the most popular programming languages. Ruby is object-oriented and draws inspiration from various other programming languages like Perl, Smalltalk, Eiffel, Ada, and Lisp. It is flexible and has features like exception handling, automatic garbage collection, multi-threading, portability, support for dependency injection, etc.. The popularity of Ruby has increased along with the release of Ruby on Rails, which is a web application framework for the Ruby language. Ruby on Rails uses the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture and features tools that make common development tasks easier. Ruby is still growing and has been the subject of focus in recent times. Many new web applications are using Ruby today (Twitter for example), and it makes a good sense to learn Ruby now.

    Where can I learn Ruby/RoR?

    Here are some places you can learn Ruby/RoR

    Ruby Documentations