Tux the penguin
Tux the penguin, mascot of Linux[1]
DeveloperCommunity contributors
Linus Torvalds
Written inC, assembly languages, and others
OS familyUnix-like
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source
Initial releaseSeptember 17, 1991 (1991-09-17)
Marketing targetCloud computing, embedded devices, mainframe computers, mobile devices, personal computers, servers, supercomputers
Available inMultilingual
PlatformsAlpha, ARC, ARM, C6x, C-Sky, H8/300, Hexagon, IA-64, m68k, Microblaze, MIPS, NDS32, Nios II, OpenRISC, PA-RISC, PowerPC, RISC-V, s390, SuperH, SPARC, Unicore32, x86, Xtensa
Kernel typeMonolithic
UserlandGNU[a], BusyBox[b]
user interface
LicenseGPLv2[9] and others (the name "Linux" is a trademark[c])
Articles in the series
Linux kernel
Linux distribution

Linux (/ˈlinʊks/ (About this soundlisten) LEEN-uuks or /ˈlɪnʊks/ LIN-uuks[11]) is a family of open-source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel,[12] an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991, by Linus Torvalds.[13][14][15] Linux is typically packaged in a Linux distribution.

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.[16][17]

Popular Linux distributions[18][19][20] 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, or include a solution stack such as LAMP. Because Linux is freely redistributable, anyone may create a distribution for any purpose.[21]

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.[22] Because of the dominance of the Linux-based Android on smartphones, Linux also has the largest installed base of all general-purpose operating systems.[23][24][25][26] Although Linux is used by only around 2.3 percent of desktop computers,[27][28] 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.[29] Linux is the leading operating system on servers (over 96.4% of the top 1 million web servers' operating systems are Linux),[30] leads other big iron systems such as mainframe computers, and is the only OS used on TOP500 supercomputers (since November 2017, having gradually eliminated all competitors).[31][32][33]

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, smart home technology, televisions (Samsung and LG Smart TVs use Tizen and WebOS, respectively),[34][35][36] automobiles (for example, Tesla, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, and Toyota all rely on Linux),[37] digital video recorders, video game consoles, and smartwatches.[38] The Falcon 9's and the Dragon 2's avionics use a customized version of Linux.[39]

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.[21]

  1. ^ Linux Online (2008). "Linux Logos and Mascots". Archived from the original on August 15, 2010. Retrieved August 11, 2009.
  2. ^ "GNU Userland". Archived from the original on March 8, 2016.
  3. ^ "Unix Fundamentals — System Administration for Cyborgs". Archived from the original on October 5, 2016.
  4. ^ "Operating Systems — Introduction to Information and Communication Technology". Archived from the original on February 21, 2016.
  5. ^ "The X Window System". Archived from the original on January 20, 2016.
  6. ^ "PCLinuxOS Magazine - HTML". Archived from the original on May 15, 2013.
  7. ^ "The Busybox about page".
  8. ^ "The Alpine Linux about page".
  9. ^ "The Linux Kernel Archives: Frequently asked questions". September 2, 2014. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved September 4, 2015.
  10. ^ "U.S. Reg No: 1916230". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Archived from the original on June 24, 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2006.
  11. ^ "Re: How to pronounce Linux?". Newsgroupcomp.os.linux. April 23, 1992. Usenet: [email protected]. Retrieved January 9, 2007.
  12. ^ Eckert, Jason W. (2012). Linux+ Guide to Linux Certification (Third ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: Cengage Learning. p. 33. ISBN 978-1111541538. Archived from the original on May 9, 2013. Retrieved April 14, 2013. The shared commonality of the kernel is what defines a system's membership in the Linux family; the differing OSS applications that can interact with the common kernel are what differentiate Linux distributions.
  13. ^ "Twenty Years of Linux according to Linus Torvalds". ZDNet. April 13, 2011. Archived from the original on September 19, 2016. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  14. ^ Linus Benedict Torvalds (October 5, 1991). "Free minix-like kernel sources for 386-AT". Newsgroupcomp.os.minix. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
  15. ^ "What Is Linux: An Overview of the Linux Operating System". Medium. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  16. ^ Cite error: The named reference gnu_linux_faq was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  17. ^ "Linux and the GNU System". Archived from the original on March 19, 2017. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  18. ^ DistroWatch. " Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD". Archived from the original on April 2, 2013. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  19. ^ Bhartiya, Swapnil. "Best Linux distros of 2016: Something for everyone". CIO. Archived from the original on December 31, 2016. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  20. ^ "10 Top Most Popular Linux Distributions of 2016". Archived from the original on December 30, 2016. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  21. ^ a b "What is Linux?". Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  22. ^ Barry Levine (August 26, 2013). "Linux' 22th [sic] Birthday Is Commemorated - Subtly - by Creator". Simpler Media Group, Inc. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved May 10, 2015. Originally developed for Intel x86-based PCs, Torvalds' "hobby" has now been released for more hardware platforms than any other OS in history.
  23. ^ "Operating System Market Share Worldwide". StatCounter Global Stats.
  24. ^ "NetMarketShare:Mobile/Tablet Operating System Market Share". Archived from the original on October 6, 2014.
  25. ^ McPherson, Amanda (December 13, 2012). "What a Year for Linux: Please Join us in Celebration". Linux Foundation. Archived from the original on April 17, 2014. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  26. ^ Linux Devices (November 28, 2006). "Trolltech rolls "complete" Linux smartphone stack". Archived from the original on May 25, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  27. ^ "Desktop Operating System Market Share". Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  28. ^ "os-ww-monthly-201510-201510-bar". Archived from the original on November 23, 2015. Retrieved November 23, 2015.
  29. ^ Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols. "Chromebook shipments leap by 67 percent". ZDNet. Archived from the original on September 29, 2015. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  30. ^ "OS Market Share and Usage Trends". Archived from the original on August 6, 2015.
  31. ^ Vaughan-Nichols, Steven J. (2017). "Linux totally dominates supercomputers". ZDNet (published November 14, 2017). Archived from the original on November 14, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  32. ^ Thibodeau, Patrick (2009). "IBM's newest mainframe is all Linux". Computerworld (published December 9, 2009). Archived from the original on November 11, 2016. Retrieved February 22, 2009.
  33. ^ Lyons, Daniel (March 15, 2005). "Linux rules supercomputers". Forbes. Archived from the original on February 24, 2007. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
  34. ^ Eric Brown (March 29, 2019). "Linux continues advance in smart TV market". Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  35. ^ "Sony Open Source Code Distribution Service". Sony Electronics. Archived from the original on October 4, 2011. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
  36. ^ "Sharp Liquid Crystal Television Instruction Manual" (PDF). Sharp Electronics. p. 24. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 11, 2012. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
  37. ^ Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (January 4, 2019). "It's a Linux-powered car world". ZDNet. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  38. ^ IBM (October 2001). "Linux Watch (WatchPad)". Archived from the original on June 18, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  39. ^ "From Earth to orbit with Linux and SpaceX | ZDNet".

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