What’s This “Linux” Thing and Why Should I Try It?

“Lately, Linux has been receiving quite a bit of notice. Between
the ASUS EeePC, the One Laptop Per Child project, Dell’s new Ubuntu
line, Intel’s Classmate PC, and Everex’s Green PC, Linux has been
getting a lot of attention from computer manufacturers. It seems
every new computer in the last year has had Linux, but to most
people that doesn’t mean anything. It probably leaves you
wondering, ‘what’s this Linux thing everyone’s talking about?’

“Linux is an operating system, just like Windows and OSX are
operating systems. It talks to the computer’s hardware, makes sure
everything’s going OK, and then you run programs on top of it.
Because it pretty much always comes with a standard set of tools
(the GNU tools) which are very similar to the tools found on big
UNIX systems, it is sometimes called GNU/Linux. If you’ve ever used
a UNIX system, you’ll feel right at home…”

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