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4. Linux

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Linux, History of Linux



Linux (pronounced /ˈlɪnəks/ lin-əks or, less frequently, /ˈlnəks/ lyn-əks) is a Unix-like and mostly POSIX-compliant computer operating system (OS) assembled  under the model of free and open-source software development and distribution. The defining component of Linux is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on October 5, 1991 by Linus Torvalds. The Free Software Foundation uses the name GNU/Linux to describe the operating system, which has led to some controversy.

Linux was originally developed as a free operating system for personal computers based on the Intel x86 architecture, but has since been ported to more computer hardware platforms than any other operating system. Because of the dominance of Android on smartphones, Linux has the largest installed base of all general-purpose operating systems. Linux is also the leading operating system on servers and other big iron systems such as mainframe  computers and virtually all fastest supercomputers, but is used on only around 2.3% of desktop computers when not includingChrome OS, which has about 5% of the overall and nearly 20% of the sub-$300 notebook sales. Linux also runs on embedded  systems, which are devices whose operating system is typically built into the firmware and is highly tailored to the system; this includes smartphones and tablet computers running Android and other Linux derivatives, TiVo and similar DVR devices, network routers, facility  automation controls, televisions, video game consoles and smartwatches.

The development of Linux is one of the most prominent  examples of free and open-source software collaboration. The underlying  source code may be used, modified and distributed — commercially or non-commercially—by anyone under the terms of its respective licenses, such as the GNU General Public License. Typically, Linux is packaged in a form known as a Linux distribution (or distro for short) for both desktop and server use. Some of the most popular mainstream Linux distributions are Arch Linux, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Gentoo Linux, Linux Mint, Mageia, openSUSE and Ubuntu, together with commercial distributions such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Distributions include the Linux kernel, supporting utilities and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project, and usually a large amount  of application software to fulfil  the distribution's intended use.

Distributions oriented toward  desktop use typically include a windowing system, such as X11, Mir or a Wayland implementation, and an accompanying desktop environment such as GNOME or the KDE Software Compilation; some distributions may also include a less resource-intensive desktop, such as LXDE or Xfce. Distributions intended  to run on servers may omit  all graphical environments from the standard install, and instead include other software to set up and operate a solution stack  such as LAMP. Because Linux is freely redistributable, anyone may create a distribution for any intended use.



History of Linux


New development



Competition from Microsoft

Although Torvalds has said that Microsoft's feeling threatened by Linux in the past was of no consequence to him, the Microsoft and Linux camps had a number of antagonistic interactions between 1997 and 2001. This became quite clear for the first time in 1998, when the first Halloween document was brought to light by Eric S. Raymond. This was a short essay by a Microsoft developer that sought to lay out the threats posed to Microsoft by free software and identified strategies to counter these perceived threats.

Competition entered a new phase in the beginning of 2004, when Microsoft published results from customer case studies evaluating the use of Windows vs. Linux under the name “Get the Facts” on its own web page. Based on inquiries, research analysts, and some Microsoft sponsored investigations, the case studies claimed that enterprise use of Linux on servers compared unfavorably to the use of Windows in terms of reliability, security, and total cost of ownership.

In response, commercial Linux distributors produced their own studies, surveys and testimonials to counter Microsoft's campaign. Novell's web-based campaign at the end of 2004 was entitled “Unbending the truth” and sought to outline the advantages as well as dispelling the widely publicized legal liabilities of Linux deployment (particularly in light of the SCO v IBM case). Novell particularly referenced the Microsoft studies in many points. IBM also published a series of studies under the title “The Linux at IBM competitive advantage” to again parry Microsoft's campaign. Red Hat had a campaign called “Truth Happens” aimed at letting the performance of the product speak for itself, rather than advertising the product by studies.

In the autumn of 2006, Novell and Microsoft announced an agreement to co-operate on software interoperability and patent protection. This included an agreement that customers of either Novell or Microsoft may not be sued by the other company for patent infringement. This patent protection was also expanded to non-commercial free software developers. The last part was criticized because it only included non-commercial free software developers.

In July 2009, Microsoft submitted 22,000 lines of source code to the Linux kernel under the GPLV2 license, which were subsequently accepted. Although this has been referred to as "a historic move" and as a possible bell wether of an improvement in Microsoft's corporate attitudes toward Linux and open-source software, the decision was not altogether altruistic, as it promised to lead to significant competitive advantages for Microsoft and avoided legal action against Microsoft. Microsoft was actually compelled to make the code contribution when Vyatta principal engineer and Linux contributor Stephen Hemminger discovered that Microsoft had incorporated a Hyper-V network driver, with GPL-licensed open source components, statically linked to closed-source binaries in contravention of the GPL licence. Microsoft contributed the drivers to rectify the licence violation, although the company attempted to portray it as a charitable act, rather than one to avoid legal action against it. In the past Microsoft had termed Linux a "cancer" and "communist".

By 2011, Microsoft had become the 17th largest contributor to the Linux kernel. As of February 2015, Microsoft was no longer among the top 30 contributing sponsor companies.


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