Linux is a freely distributable, fully 32 bit, pre-emptive multitasking operating system and as such is vastly superior to its commercial competitors, such as the hugely popular Windows 95/NT. It's a Unix clone with its origins in Andy Tanenbaum's academic Minix system, but borrows no code from it. Linux was born out of the desire of Finnish computer science student Linus Torvalds to create a better Minix, and in doing so gain intimate knowledge of the PC architecture. In 1991, Linus posted a message to Usenet, in which he asked for interested parties to contribute to his effort. The rest, as they say, is history.
To this day, Linux continues to be developed by the Internet community. There are no production deadlines or commercial objectives to compromise the quality of Linux. Its developers have but one goal: to produce the best Linux they can. To this end, the entire source code of Linux is freely available and distributable for anyone to add to and improve. If you don't like the way something works, you fix it. It's that simple. Really.
Since its humble beginnings in 1991, Linux has gone from strength to strength. Thanks to the Free Software Foundation's GNU Project, Linux has been expanded from just a kernel to a huge suite of mostly POSIX compliant applications and utilities. Linux has the commercial Unices running scared, since no commercial product, no matter how many people the controlling company employs, can compete with a system designed and developed by thousands of talented and motivated programmers, many of whom are themselves professional software developers.
On the pages listed in the sidebar, I present links to some of the
more interesting Linux resources on the Net. Enjoy. More will be
coming soon, so watch this space.