Linux or GNU / Linux (see GNU / Linux name dispute) is usually the name for a free, Unix-like multi-user operating system that is based on the Linux kernel and essentially on GNU software. The wide, also commercial, distribution was made possible in 1992 by licensing the Linux kernel under the free license GPL. One of the initiators of Linux was the Finnish programmer Linus Torvalds. He still plays a coordinating role in the further development of the Linux kernel and is also known as the Benevolent Dictator for Life (benevolent German dictator for life).
The modular operating system is being further developed by software developers around the world who work on the various projects. Companies, non-profit organizations and many volunteers are involved in the development. So-called Linux distributions are mostly used when used on computers. A distribution combines the Linux kernel with various software into an operating system that is suitable for end use. Many distributors and experienced users adapt the kernel to their own purposes.
Linux is used in a wide variety of ways, for example on workstations, servers, mobile phones, routers, netbooks, embedded systems, multimedia devices and supercomputers. Linux is used in different ways: Linux is a fixed size in the server market as well as in the mobile area, while it still plays a small but growing role on the desktop. Linux is used by numerous users, including private users, governments and organizations such as the French Parliament, the City of Munich and the US Department of Defense, companies such as Samsung, Siemens, Google, Amazon, Peugeot, etc.