Can someone please explain to me what Linux is?
Can someone please explain to me what Linux is?
This became a very vague question. Anyone need to write more than a dozen pages to explain. If you don't know anything about linux then It is an operating system. It is very good on security issues and the best thing is that it is open source.
Linux is a Free operating system. That's free in that you usually don't have to pay for it and you have total freedom to do whatever you want with it (except distribute it or parts of it under commercial, closed-source licenses). I could go on for ages, so I won't: instead I'm simply going to post a link that I think is an interesting read and does well to explain what it is.
I read through the link and it seems to be a nice article. That being said, try to search the internet for definitions or discussions of something before asking it in the forum, because it will make you look stupid if the answer is blatantly obvious from search engine results.
Linux is a generic term referring to Unix-like computer operating systems based on the Linux kernel.
The Linux kernel is an operating system kernel used by the Linux family of Unix-like operating systems.It is one of the most prominent examples of free and open source software.
The 'kernel' is the central component of most computer operating systems; it is a bridge between applications and the actual data processing done at the hardware level. The kernel's responsibilities include managing the system's resources (the communication between hardware and software components).
By the way, there are a lot of things being said about Linux that are not true. Some well-intentioned Linux fans sometimes try to paint Linux as perfect for everyone and that it will solve all your computing problems; this is a disservice to people considering Linux and to the Linux community because people may try Linux with unrealistic expectations and give up on it when they find out so many things they were told by "Linux Superfans" were untrue or misleading.
Linux is UNIX based OS which is open source unlike windows. Open source means you can get source code of the OS. All programs in linux have their source code on their site so that people can improve its quality and performance.
Here is a wiki page for linux
Wiki page on linux
Finding a good linux distro
One of the confusing things about Linux is the plethora of distributions available. In the Linux world, a distribution is a collection of software (kernel, drivers, services, desktop, applications). Technically it is GNU/Linux if you want to please RMS. What makes them all Linux is they use the Linux kernel. What makes it GNU is that much of the software is released under one of the GPL (These, in varying degrees, basically say, use it, modify it, redistribute it, but don't take credit for someone else's work or resell it commercially). This doesn't stop companies from selling their SERVICES however, see: Redhat.
distrowatch.org provides a list of the major distributions
They have been including FreeBSD in the list for a while now which is a very Good Thing. BSD does not use the Linux kernel, or core system software. However, all of the software packages you may know on Linux have been ported. And BSD has a reputation for excellent software engineering practices. Their "distributions" are much more complete OS packages that are kept all together in version control and tested together a lot more. I think PCBSD is the way to go if you're interested in that. This is a spin-off of FreeBSD with easy install, control panel stuff, basic applications ready to go desktop running KDE.
I am running Ubuntu, which has served me well. The major caveat to using anything other than Windows is the vast universe of MS Windows software you're used to often does not work. For many things there is a suitable replacement. One of the major sticking points seems to be GAMES. I recommend keeping a Windows box or at least partition, for old school fun.
BSD is UNIX, not linux.
I've got BSD running on my home server, but you can also use it as a desktop I think.
there is also Friesbie I believe which is a live CD.
Your post could possibly be seen to imply that UNIX and other UNIX based systems are also open source, but not all of them are. Also, not all programs for linux have to have their source available. For example, Unreal Tournament 2004 has a linux version, but it's closed source just like the other platforms' versions. Also, many device drivers for wireless and graphics cards are closed source.
yep, like the flash player or the ATI video card drive and CC
In general most of them are open source. Some are not but that's different story. Linux carry a spirit of being open source so, better say that then stating some exceptions.