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Linux kernel

Linux kernel
Tux
Tux the penguin, mascot of Linux[1]
Linux 3.0.0 boot.png
Linux kernel 3.0.0 booting
DeveloperCommunity contributors
Linus Torvalds
Written inC, Assembly language
OS familyUnix-like
Initial release0.02 (5 October 1991 (1991-10-05))
Latest release5.15.5[2] Edit this on Wikidata / 25 November 2021 (25 November 2021)
Latest preview5.16-rc2[3] Edit this on Wikidata / 21 November 2021 (21 November 2021)
Repository
Available inEnglish
Kernel typeMonolithic
LicenseGPL-2.0-only with Linux-syscall-note[4][5][6][a]
Official websitewww.kernel.org

The Linux kernel is a free and open-source,[10][11] monolithic, modular,[12] multitasking, Unix-like operating system kernel.[13] It was conceived and created in 1991 by Linus Torvalds[14] for his i386-based PC, and it was soon adopted as the kernel for the GNU operating system,[15] which was created as a free replacement for UNIX.[16] Since then, it has spawned a large number of operating system distributions, commonly also called Linux.

Linux is deployed on a wide variety of computing systems, such as embedded devices, mobile devices (including its use in the Android operating system), personal computers, servers, mainframes, and supercomputers.[17] It can be tailored for specific architectures and for several usage scenarios using a family of simple commands (that is, without the need of manually editing its source code before compilation);[18][19][20] privileged users can also fine-tune kernel parameters at runtime.[21][22][23] Most of the Linux kernel code is written using the GNU extensions of GCC[24][25] to the standard C programming language and with the use of architecture specific instructions (ISA). This produces a highly optimized executable (vmlinux) with respect to utilization of memory space and task execution times.[26]

Day-to-day development discussions take place on the Linux kernel mailing list (LKML). Changes are tracked using the version control system git, which was created by Torvalds as a bespoke replacement for BitKeeper. Linux as a whole is released under the GNU General Public License version 2 only (GPL-2.0-only) with an explicit syscall exception (Linux-syscall-note),[4][7][8] but it also contains several files under other compatible licenses.[9]

  1. ^ "Linux Logos and Mascots". Linux Online. 2008. Archived from the original on 15 August 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  2. ^ "Linux 5.15.5". 25 November 2021.
  3. ^ "Linux 5.16-rc2". 21 November 2021.
  4. ^ a b "COPYING". git.kernel.org. Archived from the original on 2 September 2021. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  5. ^ "GPL-2.0-only". spdx.org. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  6. ^ "Linux-syscall-note". spdx.org. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  7. ^ a b "GPL-2.0". git.kernel.org.
  8. ^ a b "Linux-syscall-note". git.kernel.org.
  9. ^ a b "Linux kernel licensing rules — The Linux Kernel documentation". www.kernel.org. Archived from the original on 7 March 2020. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  10. ^ Tanenbaum, Andrew; Bos, Herbert (2015). Modern Operating Systems. United States of America: Pearson. p. 722. ISBN 9781292061429. OCLC 892574803.
  11. ^ Love, Robert (2010). Linux kernel development. Addison-Wesley. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-672-32946-3. OCLC 268788260.
  12. ^ Love, Robert (2010). Linux kernel development. Addison-Wesley. p. 338. ISBN 978-0-672-32946-3. OCLC 268788260.
  13. ^ "README". git.kernel.org. Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  14. ^ Richardson, Marjorie (1 November 1999). "Interview: Linus Torvalds". Linux Journal. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2009.
  15. ^ Williams, Sam (March 2002). "Chapter 9: The GNU General Public License". Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software. O'Reilly. ISBN 0-596-00287-4. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  16. ^ Unix System Laboratories v. Berkeley Software, 832 F. Supp. 790 (D.N.J. 1993).
  17. ^ Cite error: The named reference top500stats was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  18. ^ Cite error: The named reference :10 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  19. ^ Cite error: The named reference :11 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  20. ^ Cite error: The named reference :12 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  21. ^ Cite error: The named reference :13 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  22. ^ Cite error: The named reference :14 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  23. ^ Cite error: The named reference :15 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  24. ^ Love, Robert (2010). Linux Kernel Development. Addison Wesley. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-672-32946-3. OCLC 268788260.
  25. ^ "C Extensions (Using the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC))". gcc.gnu.org. Archived from the original on 20 November 2020. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  26. ^ Love, Robert (2010). Linux Kernel Development. USA: Addison Wesley. pp. 379–380. ISBN 9780672329463.


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