Published Jul 13, 2022Updated Jan 14, 2023
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Linux is a family of open-source, Unix-like operating systems that are all based on the Linux kernel. The Linux kernel was developed by Linus Torvalds and was first released on September 17, 1991.

Since its release, the Linux kernel has been adopted by many operating system distributions (commonly called “distros”) for a wide variety of applications, from web servers to mobile platforms. The most well-known pure Linux distro is Ubuntu. However, other well-known operating systems, such as Android and Chrome OS, are based on the Linux kernel — though with modifications that typically have them categorized outside of Linux distros in general.

Many Linux distros are developed with a specific use case in mind. Some examples include:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux: Intended for server management in large enterprise systems.
  • Network Security Toolkit: Intended as a live DVD/USB Flash Drive that provides tools for network diagnostics, security, and monitoring.
  • Qubes OS: A desktop OS focused on providing privacy and security.
  • HandyLinux: Was a desktop OS designed for accessibility and the ability to run on old hardware.
  • Raspberry Pi OS: A Linux distro specifically for the low-cost line of Raspberry PI single-board computers.
  • Kali Linux: Used for digital forensics and penetration testing.

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