Linux ( (listen) LIN-əks) 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 5. 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. Linux is the leading operating system on servers and other big iron systems such as mainframe computers, and the only OS used on TOP500 supercomputers (since November 2017, having gradually eliminated all competitors). It is used by 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 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, televisions, digital video recorders, video game consoles, and smartwatches. Many smartphones and tablet computers run Android and other Linux derivatives. Because of the dominance of Android on smartphones, Linux has the largest installed base of all general-purpose operating systems.
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.
Fedora is an RPM-based, general purpose operating system built on top of the Linux kernel, developed by the community-supported Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat. Fedora's mission statement is: "Fedora is about the rapid progress of Free and Open Source software."
One of Fedora's main objectives is not only to contain software distributed under a free and open source license, but also to be on the leading edge of such technologies. Fedora developers prefer to make upstream changes instead of applying fixes specifically for Fedora—this ensures that their updates are available to all Linux distributions.
Fedora has a comparatively short life cycle: version X is maintained until one month after version X+2 is released. With 6 months between releases, the maintenance period is about 13 months for each version.
Linus Torvalds, author of the Linux kernel, says he uses Fedora because it had fairly good support for PowerPC when he used that processor architecture. He became accustomed to the operating system and continues to use it.
According to Distrowatch, Fedora is the second most popular Linux-based operating system as of mid 2009, behind Ubuntu.
||...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,
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