Linux is the best-known and most-used open source operating system. Just like Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 10, and Mac OS X, Linux is also an operating system. An operating system is a software that manages all of the hardware resources associated with your desktop or laptop. To put it simply – the operating system manages the communication between your software and your hardware. As an operating system, Linux is system software that sits underneath all of the other software on a computer.
Linux is packaged in a form known as a Linux distribution (or distro for short) for both desktop and server use. The defining component of a Linux distribution is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991, by Linus Torvalds. Linux was originally developed for personal computers based on the Intel x86-architecture, but has since been ported to more platforms than any other operating system. Because of the dominance of the Linux kernel-based Android OS on Smartphone’s, 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 the only OS used on TOP500 supercomputers.