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What is Linux?









Linux is an Operating System

Linux is an operating system installed on a computer (server, desktop or laptop), the purpose of which is to manage the computer hardware. It will for example access the hard drive to read or save a file, send data to the graphics card for display, send data to the printer, etc. In a nutshell, it is an intermediary between the software and the hardware. There are a number of operating systems available : DOS, OS/2, Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Unix, BSD, Solaris, and so on. 

Linux Distributions

Most operating systems come in one version at a time: the new version replaces the previous one. Windows 7 replaces Windows Vista, Mac OS Snow Leopard replaces Mac OS Leopard.

With Linux, things are a little different however, as it comes in a variety of flavors at the same time. Each of these flavors is called a distribution. Some may be oriented toward general office use, while others may focus on music or video editing, home cinema or scientific research. Some may be targetting servers while others may concentrate on old, low-end hardware. Examples of Linux distributions are Ubuntu, Red Hat, Fedora, MythTV, and so on.

Depending on your needs, we'll determine which distribution or combination of distributions is best for you, unless you specify otherwise. Overall, it is Ubuntu that gets the best ratings from our clients, as it is user friendly, graphically appealling, stable and secure.


Who uses Linux?

Linux can already be found in a number of places - in fact, most likely you have already been using Linux indirectly, without knowing it! Do you have a DSL modem or a router attached to your computer or network? Chances are, it is using Linux. Do you have a network hard drive? It is probably running LInux as well. Do you use Google, Amazon? The computers behind these sites are powered by Linux. The French Parliament and the French Police are using Linux. The US Department of Defense, the US Navy are also examples of administrations running Linux. Linux adoption can be found in governments, businesses, homes, scientific labs. Why not you?


Android is Linux

 You may have heard of Android by now, the most popular smartphone platform. You may even have an Android phone or want one. Well, Android too also powered by Linux.


Linux market share

As you can see, Linux is widely in use today. Yet you may have heard Linux only represents 1% of the market share, which is close to nothing. How is that possible? The answer is, it is very difficult to know the true portion of computers using Linux. The 1% figure represents the number of computers sold with Linux installed. To that extent, 1% may be true. But if you buy a computer with Windows pre-installed, and then decide to replace it with Linux, from the market share standpoint your computer will still be accounted for as a Windows PC because that's how it was sold. Furthermore, Linux being free, one downloaded copy may be installed on a number of computers - so simply counting the number of downloads does return a reliable figure. Yet back in 2009, according to Microsoft's own terms Linux was accounting for at least as much as Apple, in terms usage.