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Linux

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Definition

Linux is a unix-like kernel that started as a project by Linus Torvalds to write a kernel based on the minix kernel for the x86 architecture. Linux is also the name by which any operating system based around the Linux kernel is referred to.

GNU/Linux

Often you'll see an operating system referred to as GNU/Linux. This derives from the fact that those operating systems use the Linux kernel and mostly GNU tools for the basic operating system functionality.

History

Created and named after Linus Torvalds, Linux is began as a project by Torvalds to create an operating system that worked the way he wanted it to. This led to him posting the code on the Internet and allowing other people to view, edit, and add to the code resulting in an operating system for and by the people. Linux was originally based off of Minix, an operating system created by one of Torvalds professors at Helsinki University in Finland.

Linux derivies its name from a mix of the words "Linus" and "Unix." There is a story that claims at Helsinki Linus was given space on a file server to store his version of the Unix code. The woman who was in charge of the server named his folder "Linux" so that she could keep track of who owned it and what it contained, thus she mixed "Linus" and "Unix" to get Linux.

Currently

According to Wikipedia there are over 100 different distributions of Linux (including Gentoo). Linux has become an underground phenomenon with a cult like following. While still not popular in the main stream Linux is gaining popularity as it becomes more and more well known for its stability, lack of viruses and malware, and its incredible flexibility. Thus Linux has become popular for use in everything from personal computers to cell phones and embedded systems.

References

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Last modified: Mon, 08 Sep 2008 07:05:00 +0000 Hits: 5,614