Here’s a short tutorial on ‘what and how powerful linux is’
The story starts here!
I should mention what GNU/Free software is before explaining Linux
Richard Stallman, who was working in Massachusetts Institute of Technology, came up with the concept of free software in early 1970’s. He always pointed out that the term ‘FREE’,means ‘freedom’, not zero cost.Now that we have some free softwares to work with, but the core of a machine – kernal was still in the hands of microsoft or mac.
After 6 years from this, Linux tourwald, a student of University of Helsinki, made some improvements on ‘Minix’, a linux based operating system developed by Andrew Tanenbaum, and that triggered a new era of free computing! .
unix was not free, which made Massachusetts to create GNU, a modification of unix.Now tourwald have a kernel of its own, and Massachusetts has a set of free programs – GNU.So combining the necessary programs provided by GNU in Cambridge, Massachusetts and a kernel, developed by Linus Torvalds in Helsinki, Finland, Linux was born. Due to the physical distances involved, the means used to get Linus’ kernel together with the GNU programs was the Internet. In late 1991, linux had his kernel clubbed with GNU and started showing people- `what linux is?`
The following lines were enough and more to attract leading developers and programmers to linux
“Are you without a nice project and dying to cut your teeth on an OS you can try to modify for your needs?… This post might just be for you.”
people began writing programs specifically to be run under Linux. Developers began writing drivers so different video cards, sound cards and other gadgets inside and outside your computer could use Linux.
linux had no proper document to install etc in the beginning as it was developed by torwald just as a hobby.This caused less reachebility to ordinary people . Also the writers who wrote about linux werent ‘to the point’.Later, companies like redhat wrapped the needfull components via kernal and GNU programs and an easy to install form.
Linux is available in various flavours – distributions suiting your needs.A number of companies, organizations and individuals have developed their own “versions” of the Linux operating system, known as distributions.
A pretty nice documentation for biginners is available here