What is Linux?

Klaus Warzecha

Nov 10, 2016
Linux, GNU and distributions? What is that? In the world of the penguin, there are a number of fixed terms that you should use to understand what Linux and free software are all about. This post is intended to provide an overview and briefly explain the terms without deepening the details. Additional information can be found in the articles on the internet or via search engines.

What is Linux?
In common parlance Linux is often used as a synonym for GNU / Linux distributions. But actually Linux is "only" the kernel, which is the core of the operating system. This kernel represents a switching interface between the hardware of the computer and the software. The kernel is thus the most elementary and most important component of a Linux system. As a user, you are rarely in touch with the kernel itself.

What is GNU? What the GPL?
GNU is a movement with the goal of creating a completely free (in the sense of "freedom") operating system. As part of this development was the GNU General Public License (short GPL ) developed under this work will be published. Through this license it is possible to use developments from GNU in other projects as long as the GPL is complied with. The GPL also uses many other free software projects.

What is a Linux distribution?
A Linux distribution is roughly a collection of programs for Linux. The developer of distribution take the Linux kernel and the GNU tools, and then put together with the X server, a desktop environment and application programs their distribution together.

I.e If you install a Linux distribution, we usually installed more than just an operating system: You install a whole series of programs and applications, such as OpenOffice.org / LibreOffice and Firefox .

In addition, the distributor also provides for the provision of many different programs for many different purposes: Almost all of the software in the Linux world is free software. Since free software is freely distributed, the distributor is able to use all these free programs and make them available to the users as part of its distribution.

With a package management, it is usually possible to install thousands of programs over a few mouse clicks without having to search for files ( "downloads") or an installation program file on the Internet.

The result is coordinated programs from secure sources that are maintained and managed centrally by the distributor, without the user having to worry about updates.


Well-known member
Hosting Provider
Nov 14, 2016
Nice stuff shared. But could you explain more on Linux.
Recommended Threads

Latest Hosting OffersNew Reviews


Tag Cloud

You are using an out of date browser. It may not display this or other websites correctly.
You should upgrade or use an alternative browser.