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Introduction

Tux the penguin, mascot of Linux

Linux (/ˈlɪnəks/ (About this soundlisten) LIN-əks) is a family of open source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991 by Linus Torvalds. Linux is typically packaged in a Linux distribution (or distro for short).

Distributions include the Linux kernel and supporting system software and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project. Many Linux distributions use the word "Linux" in their name, but the Free Software Foundation uses the name GNU/Linux to emphasize the importance of GNU software, causing some controversy.

Popular Linux distributions include Debian, Fedora, and Ubuntu. Commercial distributions include Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Desktop Linux distributions include a windowing system such as X11 or Wayland, and a desktop environment such as GNOME or KDE Plasma. Distributions intended for servers may omit graphics altogether, and include a solution stack such as LAMP. Because Linux is freely redistributable, anyone may create a distribution for any purpose.

Linux was originally developed for personal computers based on the Intel x86 architecture, but has since been ported to more platforms than any other operating system. Linux is the leading operating system on servers and other big iron systems such as mainframe computers, and the only OS used on TOP500 supercomputers (since November 2017, having gradually eliminated all competitors). It is used by around 2.3 percent of desktop computers. The Chromebook, which runs the Linux kernel-based Chrome OS, dominates the US K–12 education market and represents nearly 20 percent of sub-$300 notebook sales in the US.

Linux also runs on embedded systems, i.e. devices whose operating system is typically built into the firmware and is highly tailored to the system. This includes routers, automation controls, televisions, digital video recorders, video game consoles, and smartwatches. Many smartphones and tablet computers run Android and other Linux derivatives. Because of the dominance of Android on smartphones, Linux has the largest installed base of all general-purpose operating systems.

Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free and open-source software collaboration. The source code may be used, modified and distributed—commercially or non-commercially—by anyone under the terms of its respective licenses, such as the GNU General Public License.

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Ubuntu /ˈbnt/ is a computer operating system based on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. It is named after the South African ethical ideology Ubuntu ("humanity towards others") and is distributed as free and open source software. Ubuntu provides an up-to-date, stable operating system for the average user, with a strong focus on usability and ease of installation. Ubuntu has been selected by readers of desktoplinux.com as the most popular Linux distribution for the desktop, claiming approximately 30% of Linux desktop installations in both 2006 and 2007.

Ubuntu is composed of multiple software packages of which the vast majority is distributed under a free software license (also known as open source). The main license used is the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL) which, along with the GNU Lesser General Public License (GNU LGPL), explicitly declare that users are free to run, copy, distribute, study, change, develop and improve the software. Ubuntu is sponsored by the UK based company Canonical Ltd., owned by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth. By keeping Ubuntu free and open source, Canonical is able to utilize the talents of community developers in Ubuntu's constituent components. Instead of selling Ubuntu for profit, Canonical creates revenue by selling technical support and from creating several services tied to Ubuntu.

Canonical endorses and provides support for three additional Ubuntu-derived operating systems: Kubuntu, Edubuntu and Ubuntu Server Edition. There are several other derivative operating systems including local language and hardware-specific versions.

Selected biography

AndrewMorton-1.jpg

Andrew Keith Paul Morton (born 1959 in England) is an Australian software engineer, best known as one of the lead developers of the Linux kernel. He currently maintains a patchset known as the mm tree, which contains not yet sufficiently tested patches that might later be accepted into the official Linux tree maintained by Linus Torvalds.

Since August 2006, Morton has been employed by Google but will continue his current work in maintaining the kernel.

Andrew Morton delivered the keynote speech at the 2004 Ottawa Linux Symposium. He is also a featured speaker at MontaVista Software's Vision 2007 Conference.

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I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones.
— Linus Torvalds, Torvalds, Linus (1991-08-25). Post. news:comp.os.minix. Google Groups. Archived from the original on unknown. Retrieved on 2006-08-28. This was the launch of Linux. Found at Wikiquote

In the news

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Ubuntu 19.04 "Disco Dingo"

Ubuntu 19.04, the latest Linux Ubuntu distribution.

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