Linux is a family of open source Unix-like operating systems based on the
Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991, by Linus Torvalds.
Linux is typically packaged in a Linux distribution.
Linux is available free of charge.
A distribution is largely driven by its developer and user communities. Some vendors develop and fund their distributions on a volunteer basis, Debian being a well-known example. Others maintain a community version of their commercial distributions, as Red Hat does with Fedora, and SUSE does with openSUSE.
The most important part of free software is the freedom of you and all users.
When most people think about free software, the first thought that usually comes to mind is price. Although it is true that most free software is, in fact, free in price (gratis), that is not the most important part of the essence of free software.
What is Free Software?
A program is free software if the user has the following freedoms:
- (Freedom 0) The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose.
- (Freedom 1) The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish.
- (Freedom 2) The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbour.
- (Freedom 3)The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others.
If these four freedoms are not given to the user, then the program is considered non-free (proprietary).
Linux is in everything
From smartphones to cars, supercomputers and home appliances, home desktops to enterprise servers, the Linux operating system is everywhere. Linux has been around since the mid-1990s and has since reached a user-base that spans the globe. Linux is actually everywhere: It's in your phones, your thermostats, in your cars, refrigerators, Roku devices, and televisions.