The root of Linux comes from Unix-like (MINIX) a generic term referring to computer operating systems. The name Linux comes from Linux Kernel written in 1991 by Linus Torvalds. The UNIX operating system was accomplished in 1960s and released in 1970s. In the period 1984 to 1989 Richard Stallman started the GNU project with the purpose of creating a “complete Unix-compatible software system” (Richard Stallman), a free distribution software. In the 1990s many of the programs required in the operating system were completed but low level elements were not complete. In 1991 Linus Torvalds began to work on a replacement to MINX for creating the known Linux Kernel. He developed Linux on MINX and applications for MINX this procedure leading to the possibility of Linux being developed under itself.
A Linux distribution (GNU) is part of the Unix- like software distribution built on top of the Linux Kernel. For example, distributions are word processors, spreadsheets, media players and database applications. Two Linux distributions are Arch Linux and Ubuntu. Arch Linux is a distribution based on the concept of avoiding unnecessary complexity (Keep it simple, stupid) with a continuous developing system. Ubuntu is a desktop distribution which also has a net book version called the Ubuntu net book remix.
One way to get the Linux distributions is to download free of charge from the internet. Another way is by purchasing a boxed set which is not free of charge but contains instructions in using and installing. Linux distributions could be installed from a CD or DVD that contains the installable software and be used permanent or temporary. This installation could variate because of two reasons: you could keep two OS if you do not install in the hard drive, or you could only keep Linux if you install it on the hard drive.
Two popular user applications in Linux are AbiWord and Firefox. AbiWord is a word processing program similar to Microsoft Word. AbiWord it is compatible to Microsoft. One of the advantages of this application is that it could run on every OS and it is available in many languages. Firefox it is also used on Microsoft. The reason why both of the OS use it because its small size, high speed, and high resistance to viruses and malicious codes.
One advantage of Linux in comparison with Microsoft is the cost. Linux is free while Microsoft is available for a fee. Microsoft licenses could only be installed on one computer while Linux in many and free of service. One disadvantage of Linux vs. Microsoft is the understanding of the system which requires time and patience.