[[Linux]] is a free open-source operating system based on [[Unix]]. [[Linus Torvalds]] originally created Linux with the assistance of developers from around the world. Linux is:
* Network operating system
Strictly speaking, Linux is a [[kernel]]. A [[kernel]] provides access to the computer hardware and control access to resources. The kernel decides who will use a resource, for how long and when. You can download the Linux kernel from the official web site .
However, the Linux kernel itself is useless unless you get all the applications such as [[text editors]], [[email clients]], [[browsers]], [[office applications]], etc. Therefore, someone came up with idea of a [[Linux distribution]]. A typical Linux distribution includes:
* Linux kernel
* GNU application utilities such as text editors, browsers
* GUI (X windows)
* Office application software
* Software development tools and compilers
* Thousands of ready to use application software packages
* Linux Installation programs/scripts
* Linux post installation management tools daily work such as adding users, installing applications, etc
Corporate and small businesses users need support while running Linux, so companies such as [[Red Hat]] or [[Novell]] provide Linux tech-support and sell it as product. Nevertheless, community driven Linux distributions do exist such as [[Debian]], [[Gentoo]] and they are entirely free. There are over 200+ Linux distributions.
[[Category:Introduction to Shells]]