Linux is a kernel.
Strictly speaking, Linux is nothing but the Linux kernel. However, term Linux is used to describe Linux as an operating system. The term Linux distribution is used to refer to the various operating systems built on top of the Linux Kernel.
GNU/Linux vs Linux naming controversy
- The Free Software Foundation ask that such operating systems be referred to as GNU/Linux as it uses GNU utilities and compiler.
- The media (like blog or newspapers or TV station) refers simply as Linux.
- Most Linux distribution uses term like Red Hat Linux or Debian Linux or sometime simply Linux. Some distributions such as Debian use GNU/Linux term.
- Linus Torvalds the creator of the Linux kernel, is against the GNU/Linux naming, stating that Linux is not a GNU project.
- FOSS and GNU enthusiast community member ask and uses GNU/Linux term.