Linux

LinuxLinux (lee'nuhks/ or /li'nuks/,_not_/li:'nuhks) is a free and open-source operating system developed by Linus Torvalds and friends that was first announced August 25, 1991. The Linux kernel runs on numerous different platforms including the Intel and Alpha platform and is available under the GNU General Public License.

The system can be distributed, used, and expanded free of charge. In this way, developers have access to all the source codes, thus being able to integrate new functions or to find and eliminate programming bugs quickly. Thereby drivers for new adapters (SCSI controller, graphics cards, etc.) can be integrated very rapidly.

Where is Linux used?

Presently, Linux is successfully being used by several millions of users worldwide. The composition of users varies from private users, training companies, universities, research centers, and companies. Below are some examples of where Linux is used today.

  • Android phones and tablets - Android phones and tablets use a form of Linux.
  • Servers - A vast majority of the web servers that run many web pages (including this one) are using Linux.
  • TV, Cameras, DVD players, etc. - Most of the appliances that use some form of a computer use Linux.
  • Amazon - Many of the computers that help run Amazon use Linux.
  • Google - Computers that help run Google and Google search results use a Linux.
  • Planes - Airplanes computers and screens you watch on the plane use Linux.
  • U.S. Postal service - The computers and servers that help run systems to sort and manage mail in the U.S.
  • NYSE - The New York Stock Exchange uses Linux to help run its exchange.
  • LHC - The Large Hadron Collider is using Linux.
  • OLPC - The One Laptop Per Child program used Linux on all of its computers

Linux distributions, flavors, and variants

Linux may be obtained in two different ways. All the necessary components can be downloaded free of charge from the Internet, which means an operating system can be assembled for almost nothing. An alternative is to use a so-called distribution, which is a Linux variation offered by many companies. They include a wide range of applications and full programs that significantly simplify the installation of Linux.

There are hundreds of different distributions of Linux that have been released. Below are just a few that we currently have listed on our site. A great site that lists almost every distribution, as well as rankings is DistroWatch.

Tip: You can see our How do I know what kernel or distro of Linux I have? document for information on identifying what distribution of Linux you have.

A - D F - L M - R S - Z

Arch Linux
Backbox
Caldera Linux
CentOS
Chrome OS
Corel Linux
Crunchbang Linux
Damn Small Linux (DSL)
Debian

Fedora Linux
Gentoo
Kondara Linux
Kubuntu
Kylin
Linpus Linux

MacPup
Mageia Linux
MakuluLinux
Mandriva Linux
Mint Linux
Puppy Linux
Rasbian
Red Hat Linux

Slackware Linux
Snowlinux
SparkyLinux
SUSE Linux
Trisquel
Turbolinux
Ubuntu
VectorLinux
Zorin

Related pages

Also see: FREAX, Linux kernel, Operating system terms, System V, Tux, Unix, Variant