For those of you who do not know what Linux is; Linux is a UNIX-like operating system for the PC. Well, that is what it started out to be. These days Linux is very powerful and has been ported to many other platforms, like Amiga, Alpha, Sun SPARC and more.
Linux started out as a private project by Linus Torvalds. Linus released the source code onto the Internet and Linux grew to a powerful OS. One of it's strengths is that because the source code is available to anyone, a lot of people all over the world is constantly working to expand it and to make it better.
These days Linux is the core of the GNU/Linux
suite, which is a collection of Open Source applications and utilities. GNU/Linux stemmed from
Richard Stallman's Free Software Foundation.
What is normally perceived as Linux is actually a collection of applications and utilities, bundled together with the Linux kernel. This is normally called a Distribution and examples are RedHat, SuSE, Slackware, to name a few.
Most people don't know about Linux, because it has not been marketed aggressively, but if you have used the Internet, chances are very good that you have used the services of a computer running Linux.
Linux has proved itself to be a very reliable, stable and easy to maintain platform, and are extensively used for web servers, mail servers, files servers, DNS servers and other Internet related tasks. It is not uncommon to find an old, dusty little 486 PC in one of the corners of big IT businesses that is running Linux and has been running for years without being shut down. People tend to forget about them, because they just keep on running.
Linux also does not always need a lot of hardware resources.
You can utilize a 486 very good by running Linux on it.
If you want real power, take a top-of-the-range PC with as much processors as you can slot in, and let Linux make the best of the system for you.
Another good thing is that you can set up a whole system with all the software you need, and none of the software will cost you a cent. Linux and a lot of the software and utilities that are available are distributed under the GPL licensing scheme. This basically means that you may use the software for free for any use.
This was just a few words about Linux. I will add some more detail at a later stage.
Here is a summary of my move from Windows to Linux
If you want to know more about Linux and it's capabilities, go and have a look at some of these links.