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Know more about linux

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Know more about linux

Postby nasis » Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:37 pm


►Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system. Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free software and open source development; typically all underlying source code can be freely modified, used, and redistributed by anyone.

►The name "Linux" comes from the Linux kernel, started in 1991 by Linus Torvalds. The system's utilities and libraries usually come from the GNU operating system, started in 1983 by Richard Stallman. The GNU contribution is the basis for the controversial alternative name GNU/Linux.

►Predominantly known for its use in servers, Linux is supported by corporations such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell, Oracle Corporation, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems. It is used as an operating system for a wide variety of computer hardware, including desktop computers, supercomputers, video game systems, such as the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3, several arcade games, and embedded devices such as mobile phones and routers.

►The Unix operating system was conceived and implemented in the 1960s and first released in 1970. Its wide availability and portability meant that it was widely adopted, copied and modified by academic institutions and businesses, with its design being influential on authors of other systems.

►Richard Stallman, founder of the GNU projectThe GNU Project, started in 1984, had the goal of creating a "complete Unix-compatible software system" made entirely of free software. In 1985, Richard Stallman created the Free Software Foundation and developed the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL). Many of the programs required in an OS (such as libraries, compilers, text editors, a Unix shell, and a windowing system) were completed by the early 1990s, although low level elements such as device drivers, daemons, and the kernel were stalled and incomplete. Linus Torvalds has said that if the GNU kernel had been available at the time (1991), he would not have decided to write his own.


►Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel.MINIX, a Unix-like system intended for academic use, was released by Andrew S. Tanenbaum in 1987. While source code for the system was available, modification and redistribution were restricted (that is not the case today). In addition, MINIX's 16-bit design was not well adapted to the 32-bit design of the increasingly cheap and popular Intel 386 architecture for personal computers.

►In 1991, Torvalds began to work on a non-commercial replacement for MINIX while he was attending the University of Helsinki. This eventually became the Linux kernel.

►In 1992, Tanenbaum posted an article on Usenet claiming Linux was obsolete. In the article, he criticized the operating system as being monolithic in design and being tied closely to the x86 architecture and thus not portable, as he described "a fundamental error." Tanenbaum suggested that those who wanted a modern operating system should look into one based on the microkernel model. The posting solicited the response of Torvalds and Ken Thompson, one of the founders of Unix, which resulted in a well known debate over the microkernel and monolithic kernel designs.

►Linux was dependent on the MINIX userspace at first. With code from the GNU system freely available, it was advantageous if this could be used with the fledgling OS. Code licensed under the GNU GPL can be used in other projects, so long as they also are released under the same or a compatible license. In order to make the Linux kernel compatible with the components from the GNU Project, Torvalds initiated a switch from his original license (which prohibited commercial redistribution) to the GNU GPL.[10] Linux and GNU developers worked to integrate GNU components with Linux to make a fully functional and free operating system.

Commercial and popular uptake

►Today Linux is used in numerous domains, from embedded systems to supercomputers, and has secured a place in server installations with the popular LAMP application stack. Torvalds continues to direct the development of the kernel. Stallman heads the Free Software Foundation, which in turn supports the GNU components. Finally, individuals and corporations develop third-party non-GNU components. These third-party components comprise a vast body of work and may include both kernel modules and user applications and libraries. Linux vendors and communities combine and distribute the kernel, GNU components, and non-GNU components, with additional package management software in the form of Linux distributions.

(Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel)

More on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux
Linux official website: http://www.linux.org/
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