For those who want clarification, Linux is a fully multitasking operating system based on UNIXalthough technically, Linux is the kernel, the master program that makes running a Linux system possible. That kernel, by the way, was written by a young Finnish student named Linus Torvalds. On August 25, 1991, Torvalds posted this now famous (perhaps legendary) message to the Usenet group comp.os.minix:
Much has happened since then. Linus somehow captured the imagination of scores of talented programmers around the world. Joined together through the magic of the Internet, they collaborated, coded, tweaked, and gave birth to the operating system that is now revolutionizing the world of computing.
These days, Linux is a powerful, reliable (rock solid, in fact), expandable, flexible, configurable, multiuser, multitasking, and completely free operating system that runs on many different platforms. These include Intel PCs, DEC Alphas, Macintosh systems, PowerPCs, and a growing number of embedded processors. You can find Linux in PDA organizers, digital watches, golf carts, and cell phones. In fact, Linux has a greater support base (in terms of platforms) than just about any other operating system in the world.
What we call the Linux operating system is not the work of just one man alone. Linus Torvalds is the original architect of Linuxits father, if you willbut he is not the only effort behind it. Perhaps Linus Torvalds's greatest genius lay in knowing when to share the load. For no other pay but satisfaction, he employed people around the world, delegated to them, worked with them, and asked for and accepted feedback in a next generation of the model that began with the GNU project.
GNU, by the way, is a recursive acronym that stands for GNU's Not UNIX, a project of the Free Software Foundation, started in 1984 by Richard M. Stallman. The aim of the project was to create a free, UNIX-like operating system. Over the years, many GNU tools were written and widely used by many commercial UNIX vendors and, of course, system administrators trying to get a job done. The appearance of Linus Torvalds's Linux kernel has made the GNU dream of a completely free, UNIX-like operating system a reality at last.