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Linux: An Overview

Linux is an open operating system. The term “Linux” actually refers to the Kernel of a unix-related operating systemes (derivative). The term is often used as a synonym for the complete operating system (distribution). Further to the programmes necessary in an operating system, e.g. for file and user management, additional graphic frontends, office applications, multi media tools, databases, web browsers and other programmes are covered. Linux is freely available, i.e. the sources are open and the systems may easily be adapted to the individual application. Linux is freely copiable and there are no software license fees and, in addition, it is non-proprietary.


Ken Thompson (Bell Labs) develops the 'original UNIX' in Assembler
UNIX version 7 as commercial product (in C). Many renowned producers license UNIX and port it to their hardware
first official AT&T version system III
AT&T version system V
AT&T version system V.4 (in close cooperation with Sun)
17 September 1991 Linus Torvalds publishes the results of his studies on a Unix-related operating system in the news group 'Minix'. In its start version just a rudimentary core was implemented. Linus appeals for further contributions to the code which he wants to distribute. This Linux code quickly replaced Minix and further free computer programmes such as Apache, Samba, Python and Bind appear in the market.
IBM supports the Apache web server. Sun Microsystems and Adaptec join Linux International. Oracle and Informix port their databases to Linux. In the Helloween documents, Microsoft points out the advantages of the Open Source programmes and considers them as real competitor to the Microsoft products.

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