All computers (including desktops, servers, smart-phones and super computers) needs a core piece of software which is called an “Operating System”. Many computers today use Microsoft Windows as their operating system or if you are using an Apple machine, Mac OS X. Linux is an operating system for Personal Computers (including Apple Macs), servers, super computers, mobile phones and tablets.
Linux is a free operating system originally created by Linus Torvalds for use on Intel 386 based PCs. It was created with the help of many developers (hackers) around the world. Linux is developed and released under the GNU General Public License which makes the source code for Linux freely available to everyone.
A Linux distribution (a package of Linux and Linux related programs) comes with everything a modern computer user need including an advanced GUI (Graphical User Interface), full Internet capabilities including e-mail, web browsing and FTP. Office applications like word processors and spreadsheets (often with a high level of compatibility with other programs like Microsoft Office), photo editing, full development suites, games and much more.
Linux is also great on servers. Linux is often used as an email and web server. If fact this web site runs on Linux. But its use doesn’t stop at just desktops and servers. It is the predominate operating system used by super computers and it is one of the major operating systems used on smart phones and tablets.
Linux runs on many different hardware platforms including Intel, Sparc, PowerPC, and ARM Processors.