Linux is a computer operating system that can run on a variety
of hardware including the popular Intel system found on most
desktop computers. It is a modern derivation of the powerful
Unix operating system that was introduced way back in 1969. In
recent years the popularity of Linux has increased dramatically as
computer users have discovered its many benefits:
• Linux is released under the GNU General Public License that
ensures it remains free to all users – no-one can charge for
this operating system so you will never have to pay for it. It’s
available as a free download on the internet, but you may have
to pay a distribution charge if you prefer a copy on CD/DVD.
• Access to the source code of Linux is unrestricted and it may
be changed. This has allowed thousands of programmers
around the world to refine the code to improve performance.
• Linux is truly a multi-user, multi-tasking operating system that
allows multiple users to simultaneously work with multiple
applications without experiencing any traffic problems. Many
of the world’s web servers run on Linux for this very reason.
• Linux is an extremely stable operating system – continuous
uptimes of more than a year are not uncommon. It can be
upgraded “on the fly” so it only needs a reboot to add hardware.
• There are a large number of quality applications available
to run on the Linux platform. These are comparable to
commercial applications that run on other operating systems
but, like Linux, these too are free of charge. For instance,
the free LibreOffice suite offers similar functionality to the
commercial Microsoft Office suite.
• With open-source software an administrator can know exactly
what a program can do and the security dangers it presents.
An open-source application cannot secretly gather information
about the user or send confidential information to third parties.