Introduction to GNU/Linux

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If you still don't know Linux, this is a short introduction to this fabulous OS.

At the beginning of the '80, Richard Stallman encountered problems with proprietary printer drivers at the MIT. So he decided to write them by his own and to share it with the idea that software must be Free. In 1983, he releases the first version of a new kind of licence, the GNU Public Licence. This one allows everyone to modify the code but has to distribute the changes under the same licence. In 1985, Richard Stallman leaves MIT to organize the FSF (Free Software Foundation) and devellop a new operating system based on the  GPL. This is the born of the GNU operating system (GNU-is-not-UNIX).
Amazingly, he becomes to write everything around the kernel (which interfaces user tools with hardware). This GNU project is far advanced in terms of tools (C compiler, network stack,...) but at the beginning of the '90, it still lacks of the microkernel, named HURD.

At the same time, a young student named Linus Torvalds is studying the Minix operating system (another Unix-like born under the hands of Andrew Tanenbaum, from University of Amsterdam). Linus begins to write its own kernel, monolithic at this time, and uses GNU GCC (C compiler) to build it. So he decides to releases his job under the same licence as the compiler. LINUX WAS BORN!

Since 1991, the Linux kernel is devellopped by lots of programmers aroung the world and packaged in distributions using GNU tools. GNU/Linux is widely used as webservers and dedicated computers, from PDA to Mainframe.
In 1997, desktop managers like KDE and GNOME permit GNU/Linux to penetrate the Desktop Computer market with a nice and user-friendly interface.

OpenOffice is a complete Office suite, under GPL, supporting text edition, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing and database interface. It also allows import and export of documents made under Microsoft formats, but prefear Open Standards like XML, HTML or PostScript. I runs under GNU/Linux and other Operating Systems. Text checkers are also available.

Linux is now a mature operating system. It still uses Free Software licencies (GNU/GPL) and lots of tools created under addopted this licence. It's very secure, flexible and reliable (more than lots of proprietary OSes from Redmond).
Great companies like I.B.M., HP, Oracle, SUN,... are partners for drivers and certification develloppments, along providing support on their hardware. I.B.M. also provides support for Linux in their SPOC offices and has ported JFS from AIX to Linux.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 September 2009 22:59 )  
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