Linux is available as an open source operating system

Linux – similar to Windows – is a computer operating system which was launched in 1991 as an open source project by the Finnish student Linus Torvalds. The system core is an interface between hardware and software, and provides access to the components of the computer such as the memory, hard drive, keyboard, mouse and printer interface.

It is not possible to work on your PC with just the core alone. Additional system administration and user software programs are necessary, such as system programs to initialise the devices connected to the computer, and naturally applications that can be interactively used by the user. Linux is based on the operating system Unix, which is often used in computer centres or at universities. There is now a complete suite from application programs for Unix-like operating systems under a special license, the GNU General Public License. This free software license allows – in contrast to the well-known proprietary license models – to reproduce and distribute, further develop and even sell the software. A prerequisite is that the recipients of the software receive the same rights and the full source code necessary for the development of the software. This license, which the Linux operating system core is also under, has made it possible for Linux and GNU to quickly spread and enjoy increasing popularity.

The combination of Linux operating system core and GNU software is referred to as GNU/Linux, although Linux has also become the abbreviation for GNU/Linux.

Linux attaches great important to the security and stability of the operating system

GNU/Linux is nowadays a stable and reliable platform for a number of applications. The focus of the Linux operating system core and the GNU system software is stability, security and flexibility in use, which makes GNU/Linux very popular for server applications for easy maintenance and downtime reliability. With the introduction of desktop environments like KDE and GNOME, GNU/Linux is also a good choice due to its user-friendliness. The number of software products available for Linux is growing explosively and there are more than for any other operating program.

Although Linux and most GNU software can be downloaded for free on the web, various manufacturers distribute a compilation of representative software for Linux on an easy to install CD or DVD with a printed handbook and support. This compilations are referred to as distributions.

Today, Linux is free and open source as an open source operating system. This means that the source code is freely available and anyone can work on its further development. There are also numerous Linux variations such as Ubuntu or Mint.

The distinctive sign of Linux is Tux, a little penguin. You will also find it on programs that are compatible with Linux. The risk of catching a virus or malware is significantly lower with Linux. This is due to the fact that it is used by far fewer people. In addition, there are much more security measures than in Windows.

There are also free office packages for Linux such as OpenOffice or LibreOffice, or the graphics program Gimp. This makes free tools available for your free operating system.

You can find more information on Linux on Wikipedia: