[Home]Linux operating system

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The Linux operating system is a computer operating system built around the Linux kernel.

Most complete operating systems built around the Linux kernel use GNU software which provides a shell, utilities, libraries, compilers and tools, as well as miscellaneous programs such as the Emacs editor. For this reason, Richard Stallman of the GNU Project asks users to refer to the entire system as GNU/Linux. Some people do; most simply call the system "Linux".

Most systems also include tools and utilities from BSD backgrounds and typically use XFree86 to provide a GUI interface.

Most users of the system do not configure their system completely from components, although some very skilled people choose that approach. Most users obtain a preconfigured system which bundles these components and sometimes thousands of additional application programs together into a Linux distribution.

User Base

Linux users, who traditionally had to install and configure their own system, have been more technologically oriented than those of Microsoft Windows and MacOS, often revelling in the tag of "hacker" or "geek". With the adoption of Linux by several large PC manufacturers, computers with Linux distributions pre-installed have become available, and Linux has begun to make slow inroads in the wider desktop market.


With [desktop managers]? such as KDE and GNOME, Linux offers a graphical user interface more like MacOS/Windows than the traditional Unix command line interface, and many no-cost (though not always open source) software packages offer the functionality of programs available on the other desktop operating systems.

The Simple End User Linux organization (SEUL), is an advocacy group for adoption of Linux and end user programs for the OS. (See OS Advocacy).



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Last edited December 20, 2001 4:23 am by 200.21.87.xxx (diff)