Linux 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.
A Linux distribution (often abbreviated as distro) is an operating system made from a software collection, which is based upon the Linux kernel and, often, a package management system. A typical Linux distribution includes a Linux kernel, GNU tools and libraries, additional software, documentation, a window system (the most common being the X Window System), a window manager, and a desktop environment. Most of the included software is free and open source software made available both as compiled binaries and in source code form, allowing modifications to the original software. Usually, Linux distributions optionally include some proprietary software that may not be available in source code form, such as binary blobs required for some device drivers.
A Linux distribution may also be described as a particular assortment of application and utility software (variously pre-compiled or compiled from source code), packaged together with a Linux kernel in such a way that its capabilities meet the needs of many users. The software is usually adapted to the distribution and then packaged into software packages by the distribution’s maintainers. The software packages are available online in so-called repositories, which are storage locations usually distributed around the world. Most distributions also have a tool for installing software from these repositories.
Linux distributions are generally used by individuals, corporate users, and government organizations who may have different requirements for security, performance, and stability. Because Linux is freely redistributable, anyone may create a distribution for any intended use.
The advantages of Linux are numerous.
Linux is free and open source. This means that anyone can view and modify the source code, which is a major advantage over proprietary software.
Linux is very secure. It is much less vulnerable to viruses and malware than Windows.
Linux is stable. It can run for months or years without needing to be restarted.
Linux is versatile. It can be used on a wide range of hardware, from servers to smartphones.
Linux is efficient. It uses less resources than Windows, so it can run on older hardware.
Linux is easy to use. The user interface is similar to Windows, so it is easy to learn for anyone who is familiar with Windows.
There are many different Linux distributions available, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Some of the most popular distributions are Ubuntu, Mint, and Fedora.
Prices for Linux distributions vary depending on the features and support that they offer. Ubuntu and Mint are both free, while Fedora is a paid distribution.