Those were times when people were suffering to make a application run on every Computer. Every individual hardware manufacturer used to have a separate Operating System.
Unix was a Open Source Software, which was later taken over by AT&T Company. Due to some legal Implications later there was a free version of Unix named as FreeBSD but by then most Open Source developers scattered away from Unix.
Open Source means that program code of that particular software which is Open Sourced is available for everyone to read it.
Some Licenses were made so that no one can copy these Open Source projects and claim as their own.
In 1991, a young man named as Linus Torvalds, created Linux kernel, just for his personal use and fun. After getting some appreciation and others help, he was excited about its growing acceptance and decided to take his creation as far as he could. In a rare Ted Hour interview, he admitted that he did not initially realize how much the collaborative efforts (eventually) of thousands of people across the Globe would be in developing the LINUX concept.
Then Linux Kernel was licensed under a GPL.
A foundation named as GNU (Often stated as, GNU is Not Unix), has all Open Source libraries and program's, but doesn't have a kernel to run them, then with combination of these both GNU and Linux, now a complete Operating System can be made.
So there were several Operating System's which are based on Linux Kernel with several GNU Programs included, these Operating Systems are called as Distributions.
There were several Distributions some of them are Debian, Ubuntu, Arch-Linux, Fedora, Android, Chrome-OS..... There were several Desktop Environments (i.e., the way your Desktop Looks [Appearance] ) as well, Some of them are KDE, Gnome, XFCE, LXDE, Awesome...
Greatness of Linux comes with Open Source, Being free to modify there were many developers all around the world who contribute to Linux kernel and several other Linux based Operating Systems.
They have many advanced features a user need, but isn't popular enough as Microsoft Windows or Macintosh, since many Desktop Computers or Laptops are pre-installed with One of them, Other reason being that some people consider it hard to use and need some coding skills, but now Linux compatible Desktop Environments are good enough that user doesn't need any Programming skills to play around with Linux based Operating System.
Most people consider Linux to Operating System, but Linux Means Kernel.
Kernel is a main component of Operating System which is necessary to run a Operating System, Kernel takes care about Memory allocation and several other things related to hardware, you can consider it as a communicator, which communicates with hardware. It is responsible for almost all advanced tasks which are related to computer or a Devices.
Linux is also famous for it's Security, Where you would get your security updates within hours or so, if any problem was found.
Updates weren't pushed to people without noticing, Updates were only downloaded and installed only with user permission.
It was also famous for being supporting Multi-User's and many other features.
There were several popular devices which were based on Linux Kernel, some of them are:
- Tesla Cars
- Smart Televisions
- Satellites (Some Part of them)
- 97% of Servers
- Top 10 Super Computers and many more
Do you find any reason? to not to, learn about Linux.
World runs on Linux and it will do so in future.