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Linux is a 'free' operating system that was originally created in the early 1990s by Linus Torvalds. Linux is a UNIX like operating system that uses the open source model. This means that everyone gets a copy of the source code for the operating system and development and enhancements to the system can be done by anyone who is capable of programming.
There are many different versions of Linux available and when there is a charge for purchasing a copy, this usually included support. Many PC magazines also occasionally supply copies of Linux on a cover CD.
A number of emulators are available to allow windows programs to be run under Linux but there are also a large number of Linux programs that perform the same functions that are now available that make running most Windows programs unnecessary. There are also a large number of different graphical interfaces available for Linux so that you can have a system that looks and operates in a way very similar to windows or alternatively one which looks very different.
The entries on this page deal not only within the Linux operating system itself (also known as the kernel) but also with many of the commonly supplied components that come with most distributions.