Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open-source software development and distribution. The defining component of Linux is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991, by Linus Torvalds.
Linus Torvalds, a Finnish university student, needed an operating system for his computer that would be compatible with the hardware and software he was using. Torvalds began work on his own operating system kernel, which he named Linux, on September 17, 1991.
Linux was first released to the public on October 5, 1991. It was released under the GNU General Public License, a free software license. The license allows anyone to use, copy, modify, and distribute the software, as long as they distribute any modifications they make to the software under the same license.
The Linux kernel is the most important component of the Linux operating system. It is responsible for managing the system's resources and executing programs. The kernel is the first program that is run when a computer starts up. It is also responsible for managing communication between the computer's hardware and software.
The Linux kernel is developed by a large community of volunteers. Anyone who wants to can contribute to the development of the kernel. Contributions can be made in the form of code, documentation, or testing. The Linux kernel is released under the GNU General Public License. This license allows anyone to use, copy, modify, and distribute the software, as long as they distribute any modifications they make to the software under the same license. This license is known as a copyleft license.
Linux was originally developed as a free operating system for Intel x86-based personal computers. It has since been ported to more platforms than any other operating system.
Linux is the leading operating system on servers and other big iron systems such as mainframe computers, and the only operating system used in supercomputers.
Linux is a versatile and powerful operating system that can be used in a variety of ways. Some of the most common uses for Linux include:
Servers. Linux is often used as a server operating system because it is reliable and secure.
Desktops. Linux can be used as a desktop operating system, although it is not as popular as Windows or macOS.
Embedded systems. Linux is often used in embedded systems because it is lightweight and can be customized to meet the specific needs of the system.
Mobile devices. Linux is used in a number of mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.
Linux distributions are available for a wide variety of hardware platforms, including desktop and laptop computers, servers, handheld devices, network appliances, and supercomputers. A Linux distribution is an operating system that uses the Linux kernel and, often, a large amount of software that is freely available in the Linux software repositories. A typical Linux distribution comprises a Linux kernel, GNU tools and libraries, additional software, documentation, and a desktop environment.
Most of the software is open-source, but there are also proprietary software applications available.
Linux distributions are created by software developers, system administrators, and computer hobbyists. They are usually packaged as ISO images, which can be burned to a CD or DVD, or installed on a USB flash drive. Live CDs allow users to try a distribution before installing it on their computers. There are many different Linux distributions, with a wide variety of features.
Linux distributions are built around the Linux kernel and, often, a package management system. A distribution oriented toward desktop use may include software and tools for web browsing, word processing, multimedia playback, and personal information management. A distribution intended for server use may include the Apache web server, the MySQL database server, and the PHP scripting language.
Many Linux distributions also include support for installing and running graphical user interfaces, including GNOME, KDE Plasma, LXDE, and Xfce. Additional software packages are available from the distribution's software repositories.
Linux distributions are developed by individuals, companies, and organizations around the world. Some popular mainstream Linux distributions include Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint.
Linux is a very stable and secure operating system. It is also very customizable, so you can tailor it to your specific needs. Linux is also free and open-source, which means that you can modify it and share it with others.
The development of Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free and open source software collaboration. The underlying source code may be used, modified, and distributed - commercially or non-commercially - by anyone under the terms of the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license.