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what is linux?

What is Linux?

Linux is an Operating System (developed by Linus Torvalds). An operating system is the basic set of programs and utilities that make your computer run. Some other common operating systems are Unix (its variants BSD, AIX, Solaris, HP-UX, and others), DOS, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS etc.

Linux is Free. Now, just because it's Free, doesn't necessarily mean it's free. Linux, is distributed along with its source code so that anyone who receives it is free to make changes and redistribute it. So, not only is it ok to make copies of Linux and give them to your friends, it's also fine to tweak a few lines of the source code while you're at it -- as long as you also freely provide your modified source code to everyone else. To learn more about free software and the major software license it is distributed under, called the General Public License (GPL), click here.

Linux is not owned by anyone. No one company or individual "owns" Linux, which was developed, and is still being improved, by thousands of corporate-supported and volunteer programmers all over the world. Not even Linus Torvalds, who started the Linux ball rolling in 1991, "owns" Linux. (However, the trademark "Linux" is owned by Linus Torvalds, so if you call something "Linux" it had better be Linux, not something else.)


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