Linux Journal: Linux from the Beginning

“… it’s time to go back to the beginning and help the
newcomers get up to speed on Linux evolution.”

“… the operating system… could be thought of as the piece
which makes the computer smart enough to run the application
programs… The most popular operating system out there is
Microsoft Windows… One alternative operating system is Linux…
Linux itself is free because it is licensed under what is called
the GNU Public License (GPL)…”

“The source code being free means you have the ability to
customize Linux itself. While most users will never want to do
this, there are two reasons why this is important. First, you don’t
have to worry about losing support for your particular
distribution. If the manufacturer of your distribution goes out of
business or decides to go into another business, there are no
secrets as to what you bought. A consultant or another distribution
vendor can pick up where your vendor left off.”

“Finally, Linux distributions include a whole lot more in the
form of plenty of other software.”