Linux

Linus Torvalds, principal author of the Linux kernel
5.25-inch floppy disks holding a very early version of Linux
Ubuntu, a popular Linux distribution
Nexus 5X running Android
In-flight entertainment system booting up displaying the Linux logo
Simplified history of Unix-like operating systems. Linux shares similar architecture and concepts (as part of the POSIX standard) but does not share non-free source code with the original Unix or MINIX.
Linux is ubiquitously found on various types of hardware.
The name "Linux" is also used for a laundry detergent made by Swiss company Rösch.

Family of open-source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991, by Linus Torvalds.

- Linux

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OS/360 was used on most IBM mainframe computers beginning in 1966, including computers used by the Apollo program.

Operating system

System software that manages computer hardware, software resources, and provides common services for computer programs.

System software that manages computer hardware, software resources, and provides common services for computer programs.

OS/360 was used on most IBM mainframe computers beginning in 1966, including computers used by the Apollo program.
PC DOS was an early personal computer OS that featured a command-line interface.
Mac OS by Apple Computer became the first widespread OS to feature a graphical user interface. Many of its features such as windows and icons would later become commonplace in GUIs.
The first server for the World Wide Web ran on NeXTSTEP, based on BSD.
Ubuntu, desktop Linux distribution
Linux, a unix-like operating system was first time released on September 17, 1991, by Linus Torvalds. Picture of Tux the penguin, mascot of Linux.
A kernel connects the application software to the hardware of a computer.
Privilege rings for the x86 microprocessor architecture available in protected mode. Operating systems determine which processes run in each mode.
Many operating systems can "trick" programs into using memory scattered around the hard disk and RAM as if it is one continuous chunk of memory, called virtual memory.
File systems allow users and programs to organize and sort files on a computer, often through the use of directories (or "folders").
A screenshot of the Bash command line. Each command is typed out after the 'prompt', and then its output appears below, working its way down the screen. The current command prompt is at the bottom.
A screenshot of the KDE Plasma 5 graphical user interface. Programs take the form of images on the screen, and the files, folders (directories), and applications take the form of icons and symbols. A mouse is used to navigate the computer.

macOS by Apple Inc. is in second place (17.72%), and the varieties of Linux are collectively in third place (1.73%).

Evolution of Unix and Unix-like systems, starting in 1969

Unix-like

One that behaves in a manner similar to a Unix system, although not necessarily conforming to or being certified to any version of the Single UNIX Specification.

One that behaves in a manner similar to a Unix system, although not necessarily conforming to or being certified to any version of the Single UNIX Specification.

Evolution of Unix and Unix-like systems, starting in 1969
Simplified history of Unix-like operating systems

Some add a wildcard character to the name to make an abbreviation like "Un*x" or "*nix", since Unix-like systems often have Unix-like names such as AIX, A/UX, HP-UX, IRIX, Linux, Minix, Ultrix, Xenix, and XNU.

GNU mascot, by Aurelio A. Heckert (derived from a more detailed version by Etienne Suvasa)

GNU Project

Free software, mass collaboration project that Richard Stallman announced on September 27, 1983.

Free software, mass collaboration project that Richard Stallman announced on September 27, 1983.

GNU mascot, by Aurelio A. Heckert (derived from a more detailed version by Etienne Suvasa)
GNU Hurd live CD

Combined with the operating system utilities already developed by the GNU project, it allowed for the first operating system that was free software, commonly known as Linux.

A diagram showing how the user interacts with application software on a typical desktop computer. The application software layer interfaces with the operating system, which in turn communicates with the hardware. The arrows indicate information flow.

System software

Software designed to provide a platform for other software.

Software designed to provide a platform for other software.

A diagram showing how the user interacts with application software on a typical desktop computer. The application software layer interfaces with the operating system, which in turn communicates with the hardware. The arrows indicate information flow.

Examples of system software include operating systems (OS) like macOS, Linux, Android and Microsoft Windows, computational science software, game engines, search engines, industrial automation, and software as a service applications.

GNOME Shell with GNOME Web, Weather and Files (version 42)

GNOME

GNOME Shell with GNOME Web, Weather and Files (version 42)
GNOME Shell with GNOME Web, Weather and Files (version 42)
GNOME 1 (1999)
GNOME 3 has a modern approach to user interface design and naming the applications. This screenshot shows GNOME Weather running on GNOME Shell, both in version 3.14 (September 2014)
GNOME aims to provide a simple user experience and responsive user interface on both desktop and tablet systems by using client-side decoration (CSD) and a modern approach in designing user interface
An edited image of GNOME Flashback 3.36 that shows its functions including the Main menu, and the plug-ins of GNOME Panel

GNOME, originally an acronym for GNU Network Object Model Environment, is a free and open-source desktop environment for Linux operating systems.

Torvalds in 2018

Linus Torvalds

Finnish-American software engineer who is the creator and, historically, the main developer of the Linux kernel, used by Linux distributions and other operating systems such as Android.

Finnish-American software engineer who is the creator and, historically, the main developer of the Linux kernel, used by Linux distributions and other operating systems such as Android.

Torvalds in 2018
Torvalds in 2002
Linus Torvalds receiving 2018 IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award from ICCE 2018 Conference Chair Saraju P. Mohanty and IEEE President James A. Jefferies at ICCE 2018 on 12 January 2018 in Las Vegas

His MSc thesis was titled Linux: A Portable Operating System.

Chrome OS 87 Desktop

Chrome OS

Chrome OS 87 Desktop
Chrome OS 87 Desktop
Samsung Chromebook
Chromebook Pixel (Wi-Fi) open
A Chromebook

Chrome OS (sometimes styled as chromeOS) is a proprietary Linux-based operating system designed by Google.

The InSight lander with solar panels deployed in a cleanroom

Porting

Process of adapting software for the purpose of achieving some form of execution in a computing environment that is different from the one that a given program was originally designed for (e.g., different CPU, operating system, or third party library).

Process of adapting software for the purpose of achieving some form of execution in a computing environment that is different from the one that a given program was originally designed for (e.g., different CPU, operating system, or third party library).

The InSight lander with solar panels deployed in a cleanroom

In that same market, the choice of operating systems has effectively been reduced to three: Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux.

An artist's depiction of a 2000s-era desktop-style personal computer, which includes a metal case with the computing components, a display monitor and a keyboard (mouse not shown)

Personal computer

Multi-purpose microcomputer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use.

Multi-purpose microcomputer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use.

An artist's depiction of a 2000s-era desktop-style personal computer, which includes a metal case with the computing components, a display monitor and a keyboard (mouse not shown)
Commodore PET in 1983 (at the American Museum of Science and Energy), an early example of a personal computer
The 8-bit architecture Pravetz 82 computer produced in Bulgaria from 1982, in school class in the Soviet Union
Altair 8800 computer
The three personal computers referred to by Byte Magazine as the "1977 Trinity" of home computing: The Commodore PET, the Apple II, and the TRS-80 Model I.
IBM 5150, released in 1981
The 8-bit PMD 85 personal computer produced in 1985–1990 by the Tesla company in the former socialist Czechoslovakia
Sun SPARCstation 1+ from the early 1990s, with a 25 MHz RISC processor
A Dell OptiPlex desktop computer
A portable computer Cambridge Z88 released in 1987
A laptop computer
An HP netbook
HP Compaq tablet PC with rotating/removable keyboard
The LG G4, a typical smartphone
A screenshot of the LibreOffice Writer software
A screenshot of Krita, which is a raster graphics editor.
Children being taught how to use a laptop computer in 2005. An older (1990s-era) desktop personal computer's CRT monitor is visible in the background.
Personal computers worldwide in million distinguished by developed and developing world

These include Apple's macOS and free and open-source Unix-like operating systems, such as Linux.

The IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputer "Intrepid" at Argonne National Laboratory runs 164,000 processor cores using normal data center air conditioning, grouped in 40 racks/cabinets connected by a high-speed 3D torus network.

Supercomputer

Computer with a high level of performance as compared to a general-purpose computer.

Computer with a high level of performance as compared to a general-purpose computer.

The IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputer "Intrepid" at Argonne National Laboratory runs 164,000 processor cores using normal data center air conditioning, grouped in 40 racks/cabinets connected by a high-speed 3D torus network.
Computing power of the top 1 supercomputer each year, measured in FLOPS
A circuit board from the IBM 7030
The CDC 6600. Behind the system console are two of the "arms" of the plus-sign shaped cabinet with the covers opened. Each arm of the machine had up to four such racks. On the right is the cooling system.
A Cray-1 preserved at the Deutsches Museum
A cabinet of the massively parallel Blue Gene/L, showing the stacked blades, each holding many processors
The CPU share of TOP500
Diagram of a three-dimensional torus interconnect used by systems such as Blue Gene, Cray XT3, etc.
The Summit supercomputer was as of November 2018 the fastest supercomputer in the world. With a measured power efficiency of 14.668 GFlops/watt it is also the third most energy efficient in the world.
An IBM HS20 blade
Wide-angle view of the ALMA correlator
Example architecture of a grid computing system connecting many personal computers over the internet
Top supercomputer speeds: logscale speed over 60 years
Top 20 supercomputers in the world (June 2014)
Taiwania 3 is a Taiwanese supercomputer which assisted the scientific community in fighting COVID-19. It was launched in 2020 and has a capacity of about two to three PetaFLOPS.
Distribution of TOP500 supercomputers among different countries, in November 2015

Since November 2017, all of the world's fastest 500 supercomputers run Linux-based operating systems.