GNU+Linux, or GNU/Linux, commonly known as Linux, is an operating system that has free software with open source code. It is an alternative to macOS® and Windows® operating systems, which are proprietary software systems with closed source code.
Linux can be used, modified, copied, distributed and redistributed with modifications under Free Licenses.
On the contrary, the other two systems prohibit it and do not respect the four essential freedoms of Free Software.
Read Section 2c(ii) of the Microsoft Software License Terms for Windows Operating System (OEM). Also read Sections 2A and 2J of the Apple, Inc. Software License Agreement for macOS Big Sur. You will notice the restrictions that both systems have against computer users.
Linux distributions that have been active the longest are Slackware (1992), openSuSE (1992), Debian (1993), and Red Hat Linux (1995), which became Fedora Core (from 1 to 6) in 2003, and then Fedora (7 and above) in 2007. From these distributions, others have been developed which are derivatives, such as Ubuntu (2004) (derived from Debian).
One Linux distribution that is a derivative of Ubuntu, and also of Debian, is called Linux Mint (2006).
The reason why few people know about the Linux operating system is because the other two systems are factory pre-installed on personal computers.
Is Linux similar to Windows?
Many will wonder if a Linux distribution is the same or similar to the Windows® system. The answer is no. In the same way that macOS® is not similar to Windows®, Linux isn’t either.
A very notable difference is that in Windows® you will see that the Hard Drive has the letter (C:) assigned. If you connect a USB device, you will see a USB Disk with the letter (E:). In Linux, you will not see letters to distinguish the disks. Storage devices are “mounted” to a directory (a folder). But that is transparent to the user.
Can you install Windows software on Linux?
It is not possible to install native Windows software on Linux without the help of a compatibility layer known as WINE (Wine Is Not an Emulator).
If you decide to install Linux on your computer, I recommend that you utilize free open source software. You should get used to looking for alternatives to proprietary closed source software.
For example, when someone using Windows tells you to install Adobe Reader to view PDF documents, you should look for an alternative that can be installed on Linux. In this case, you can install the free software Evince.
There are Internet websites that provide this type of information. For example:
Once you know the name of the free software that you need to install on Linux, you should use the Software Installer that is included in the distribution to find and install it. In the beginning, it is a tedious process, but it gets easier when you get used to it.
If you must use Windows®
If you must use Windows, it is important to be aware that Windows 7 will no longer receive security updates. If you do not have Windows 10 because you understand that it is very expensive, or because your computer does not support it, and you do not need specialized applications to use your personal computer (applications for accounting, publications, etc.), download a Linux Distribution at DistroWatch or at Kernel.org.
With the Linux operating system, you can surf the web, create documents, spreadsheets, read your email, watch photos, listen to music, and play videos.
You can contact me for additional information about the Linux operating system.