Portal:Linux

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Introduction

Tux the penguin, mascot of Linux

Linux (/ˈlinʊks/ (About this soundlisten) LEEN-uuks or /ˈlɪnʊks/ LIN-uuks) is a family of open-source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991, by Linus Torvalds. 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.

Popular Linux distributions 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.

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. Because of the dominance of Android on smartphones, Linux also has the largest installed base of all general-purpose operating systems. Although it is used by only around 2.3 percent of desktop computers, 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. Linux is the leading operating system on servers (over 96.4% of the top 1 million web servers' operating systems are Linux), 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).

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 (like Google Nest), televisions (Samsung and LG Smart TVs use Tizen and WebOS, respectively), automobiles (for example, Tesla, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, and Toyota all rely on Linux), digital video recorders, video game consoles, and smartwatches. The Falcon 9's and the Dragon 2's avionics use a customized version of Linux.

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.

90% of all cloud infrastructure is powered by Linux including supercomputers and cloud providers. 74% of smartphones in the world are Linux-based.

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Selected article

Tux Racer logo.png

Tux Racer is a 2000 open-source winter sports racing video game starring the Linux mascot, Tux the penguin. It was originally developed by Jasmin Patry as a computer graphics project in a Canadian university. Patry and later the newly founded Sunspire Studios, composed of several former students of the university, would soon expand it. In the game, the player controls Tux as he slides down a course of snow and ice collecting herring.

Tux Racer was officially downloaded over one million times as of 2001. It also was well received, often being acclaimed for the graphics, fast-paced gameplay, and replayability, and was a fan favorite among Linux users and the free software community. The game's popularity secured the development of a commercialized release that included enhanced graphics and multiplayer, and it also became the first GPL-licensed game to receive an arcade adaption. It is the only product that Sunspire Studios developed and released, after which the company liquidated. The free game's source code has led to it receiving forks, made by fans continuing its development. (Full article...)

Selected biography

Torvalds at LinuxCon Europe 2014

Linus Benedict Torvalds (/ˈlnəs ˈtɔːrvɔːldz/ LEE-nəs TOR-vawldz, Finland Swedish: [ˈliːnʉs ˈtuːrvɑlds] (About this soundlisten); born 28 December 1969) is a software engineer who is the creator and, historically, the principal developer of the Linux kernel for Linux distributions and other operating systems such as Android and Chrome OS. He also created the distributed revision control system Git and the scuba dive logging and planning software Subsurface.

He was honoured, along with Shinya Yamanaka, with the 2012 Millennium Technology Prize by the Technology Academy Finland "in recognition of his creation of a new open source operating system for computers leading to the widely used Linux kernel." He is also the recipient of the 2014 IEEE Computer Society Computer Pioneer Award and the 2018 IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award. (Full article...)

Selected quote

...you might as well skip the Xmas celebration completely, and instead sit in front of your linux computer playing with the all-new-and-improved linux kernel version.
— Linus Torvalds,

In the news

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Low latency between input from the user and output to the user

Linux as gaming platform: everything has to pass through the Linux kernel with as low a latency as possible.

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  1. ^ Moore, Mike. "Microsoft may finally have some encouraging news for Windows 10 users". TechRadar. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  2. ^ Popa, Bogdan. "Windows Grows as Linux Declines a Little in July 2020". softpedia. Retrieved 1 September 2020.