Linux Penguin logo vector
A Linux-based operating system is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of a Linux-based operating system is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released 5 October 1991 by Linus Torvalds.
The term Linux properly refers to just the kernel of the operating system. However, in popular parlance ‘Linux’ is used to refer to a complete Linux Distribution which includes GUI components and many other utilities, many of which are supplied by the GNU Project. Android, for example also uses the Linux kernel but includes different components from most desktop Linux distributions.
The Linux kernel was originally developed as a free kernel for Intel x86-based personal computers. It has since been ported to more computer hardware platforms than any other kernel. Linux based operating systems are the leading operating system type on servers and other big iron systems such as mainframe computers and supercomputers: more than 90% of today’s 500 fastest supercomputers run some variant of Linux, including the 10 fastest. Linux also runs on embedded systems (devices where the operating system is typically built into the firmware and highly tailored to the system) such as mobile phones, tablet computers, network routers, televisions and video game consoles; the Android system in wide use on mobile devices is built on the Linux kernel.