Linux is an open source,free software operating system that was initially created as a hobby by a young student, Linus Torvalds, at the University of Helsinki in Finland. Linus had an interest in Minix, a small UNIX system, and decided to develop a system that exceeded the Minix standards. He began his work in 1991 when he released version 0.02 and worked steadily until 1994 when version 1.0 of the Linux Kernel was released. The kernel, at the heart of all Linux systems, is developed and released under the GNU General Public License and its source code is freely available to everyone. It is this kernel that forms the base around which a Linux operating system is developed. There are now literally hundreds of companies and organizations and an equal number of individuals that have released their own versions of operating systems based on the Linux kernel. More information on the kernel can be found at our sister site, LinuxHQ and at the official Linux Kernel Archives. The current full-featured version is Red Hat 9 is coming..
The GNU Project was launched in 1984 to develop a complete Unix-like operating system which is free software: the GNU system. Variants of the GNU operating system, which use the kernel called Linux, are now widely used; though these systems are often referred to as “Linux”, they are more accurately called GNU/Linux systems.

What is Free Software?

“Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:
•The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
•The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
•The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
•The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Linux vs. Windows Design

•Windows has only recently evolved from a single-user design to a multi-user model. Linux is based on a long history of well fleshed-out multi-user design.
•Windows is monolithic, not modular, by design but Linux is mostly modular by design.
•Windows depends too heavily on an RPC model, Linux does not depend upon RPC to function, and services are usually configured not to use RPC by default.
•Linux servers are ideal for headless non-local administration, whereas Windows focuses on its familiar graphical desktop interface.



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July 11, 2007 at 3:07 PM

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