What is Linux?

The Linux kernel, pronounced 'linnuks' is the heart of the GNU/Linux operating system. A kernel is an important part of any operating system, providing the communication bridge between hardware and software.

Linux was brought to life in 1991 by a Finnish student named Linus Torvalds. At the time, it would run only on i386 systems, and was essentially an independently created clone of the UNIX kernel, intended to take advantage of the then-new i386 architecture.

Nowadays, thanks to a substantial amount of development effort by people all around the world, Linux runs on virtually every modern architecture.

The Linux kernel has gained an ideological importance as well as a technical one. There is an entire community of people who believe in the ideals of free software and spend their time helping to make open source technology as good as it can be.