June 23, 2007 2:04am CST
Linux (IPA pronunciation: /'l?n?ks/) is a Unix-like computer operating system. Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free software and open source development; its underlying source code can be modified, used, and redistributed by anyone, freely. The Linux kernel was first released to the public on 17 September 1991, for the Intel x86 PC architecture. The kernel was augmented with system utilities and libraries from the GNU project to create a usable operating system, which later led to the alternate term GNU/Linux. Linux is now packaged for different uses in Linux distributions, which contain the kernel along with a variety of other software packages tailored to requirements. Predominantly known for its use in servers, Linux has gained the support of corporations such as IBM, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, and Novell, and is used as an operating system for a wide variety of computer hardware, including desktop computers, supercomputers, and embedded devices such as mobile phones and routers.