What is Linux, anyway? Here is our explanation.
What is an operating system?People usually purchase computing devices with operating systems pre-installed, however you do have some choices for how you use each of your devices. Some devices have more choices than others. It is important to remember that all operating systems exist to provide hardware resources (RAM, disk, network and CPU) to programs that do something interesting for you. The most common choices for laptop and desktop operating systems are (in order of popularity) Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X (based on Darwin BSD Unix). An increasingly important choice explored by an increasing number of people is Linux. The most widely used operating systems built using Linux are:
New to Linux? Start by reading this one page PDF tri-fold. For some highlights, check out why Linux is better.net. If you have never downloaded “Linux” before and would like to try booting your computer with Linux, just ask. We usually have available CDs (DIY or pressed) and versions of Linux we can copy to your USB flash drive at no charge. Some of us regularly donate time and materials to provide Linux to newcomers. You can even try Ubuntu without booting or installing it through an emulation.
Linux is a very quickly updated, widely used, trustworthy, secure, fully featured alternative operating system offered with many programs/applications. You can use open source software without cost. Donations of many kinds are often gratefully accepted by the developers and reasonable fees may be charged for distribution medium within the terms of the licenses.
Different versions of Windows are operating systems. Versions of Mac OS X are operating systems. Linux was created in 1991 by Linus Torvalds in Helsinki Finland, and is now developed by the Linux Foundation and thousands of individuals and corporations around the world whose efforts benefit the entire community.
Your choice of User eXperience (UX) makes a big difference. Recent technology improvements and price drops have enabled many more choices for consumers. Again, people usually purchase phones with operating systems pre-installed: Google Android (every Android device runs Linux), Apple iOS and sometimes operating systems from Blackberry, Nokia or Microsoft.
Every Android phone is a quite powerful little Linux computer. Android phones collectively outsell all other phone operating systems. Mac OS X and the iOS of the iPhone are both based on an open source version of Unix called Darwin.