What is Linux OS?
Linux is the best-known and the most-used open source operating system. As the operating system, Linux is software that sits underneath all of the other software on a computer and receiving requests from those programs and relaying these requests to the computer’s hardware
For purposes of this page, we use the term “Linux” to refer to the Linux kernel, but also the set of programs, services and tools that are typically bundled together with the Linux kernel to provide the all of necessary components of a fully functional operating system. Some people, particularly members of the Free Software Foundation, refer to this collection as the GNU/Linux because many of the tools included are GNU components. However, not all Linux installations are use GNU components as a part of their operating system. Android, for example, uses the Linux kernel but relies very little on GNU tools.
How does Linux differ from other operating systems?
In many ways, Linux is similar to the other operating systems you may have used before, such as Windows, iOS, or OS X. Like other operating systems, Linux has a graphical interface, and types of the software you are accustomed to using on other operating systems, such as the word processing applications, have Linux equivalents. In many cases, the software’s creator may have made a Linux version of the same program that you use on other systems. If you can use an electronic device or a computer, you can use Linux.
But Linux also is different from the other operating systems in many important ways. First, and perhaps the most importantly, Linux is open source software. The code used to create the Linux is free and available to the public to edit, view, and—for users with the appropriate skills—to contribute to.
Linux is also different in that, although the core pieces of the Linux operating system are generally common, there are many distributions of Linux, which are include different software options. This means that Linux is incredibly customizable, because not just applications, such as the web browser and word processors, can be swapped out. Linux users also can choose core components, such as which system displays user-interface graphics, and other components.
What is the difference between Unix and Linux?
You may have heard about Unix, which is an operating system developed in the 1970s at Bell Labs by Dennis Ritchie, Ken Thompson, and others. Linux and Unix are similar in many ways, and in fact, Linux was originally created to be similar to Unix. Both have similar tools for interfacing with the programming tools, systems, filesystem layouts, and other key components. However, Unix is not for free. Over the years, a big number of different operating systems have been created that attempted to be “Unix-compatible” or “Unix-like,” but Linux has been the most successful, far surpassing its predecessors in popularity.
Who uses Linux?
You’re probably already using the Linux, whether you know it or not. Depending on which user survey you look at, between one- and two-thirds of the web pages on the Internet are generated by the servers running Linux.
Companies and individuals choose the Linux for their servers because it is secure, and you can receive excellent support from the largest community of users, in addition to companies like SUSE, Canonical, and Red Hat, which offer commercial support.
Many of the devices you own probably, such as digital storage devices, Android phones, personal video recorders, cameras, wearables, and more, also run Linux. Even your car has the Linux running under the hood.
Who “owns” Linux?
By virtue of its open source licensing, the Linux is freely available to anyone. However, the trademark on the name “Linux” rests with the creator, Linus Torvalds. The source code for the Linux is under copyright by its many individual authors and licensed under the GPLv2 license. Because Linux has such a large number of the contributors from across multiple decades of development, contacting each individual author and getting them to agree to a new license is virtually impossible, so the Linux remaining licensed under the GPLv2 in perpetuity is all but assured.
How was Linux created?
Linux was created in 1991 by the Linus Torvalds, a then-student at the University of Helsinki. Torvalds built Linux as a free and open source alternative to the Minex, another Unix clone that was predominantly used in the academic settings. He originally intended to name it “Freax,” but the administrator of the server Torvalds used to distribute the original code-named his directory “Linux” after the combination of Torvalds’ first name and an word Unix, and the name stuck.