General Science, Mathematics, and Technology


How did the Linux operating system get its name?

The name Linux is a combination of the first name of its principal programmer, Finland’s Linus Torvalds (1970–), and the UNIX operating system. Linux (pronounced with a short “i”) is an open source computer operating system that is comparable to more powerful, expansive, and usually more costly UNIX systems, of which it resembles in form and function. Linux allows users to run an amalgam of reliable and hearty open-source software tools and interfaces, including powerful web utilities such as the popular Apache server, on their home computers. Anyone can download Linux for free or can obtain it on disk for only a marginal fee. Torvalds created the kernel—or heart of the system—“just for fun,” and released it freely to the world, where other programmers helped further its development. The world, in turn, has embraced Linux and made Torvalds into a computer folk hero.


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