There was a young man named Alexander Graham Bell. Bell had just patented his telephone and was having growing pains because the demand for his new investigation was so strong. Needing a bigger company he then went to the giant at the time, Western Union and asked them if they would buy his patent and his tiny company. He wanted $100,000 for the whole package. The president of the western union was ridiculous. The rest is history. A multi-billion –dollar industry emerged and AT&T was born.
But Linux story begins after the invention of UNIX. All modern operating systems have their roots in 1969 when Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson developed the C language and the Unix operating system at AT&T Bell Labs. They shared their source code with the rest of the world, including the hippies in Berkeley California.
By 1975, when AT&T started selling Unix commercially, about half of the source code was written by others. The hippies were not happy that a commercial company sold software that they had written; the resulting (legal) battle ended in there being two versions of Unix: the official AT&T Unix, and the free BSD Unix.
Competition in UNIX flavors
Later numerous companies entered and each one of them had their own UNIX version.In the Eighties many companies started developing their own Unix: IBM created AIX, Sun SunOS (later Solaris), HP HP-UX and about a dozen other companies did the same. As the proprietary authority is owned by each company and the lack of central authority weaken UNIX.
And here is the first real root of Linux, when Richard Stallman aimed to end this era. His goal was to make an operating system that was freely available to everyone, and where everyone could work together. However, the GNU kernel, called Hurd, failed to attract enough development effort, leaving GNU incomplete.
The Nineties started with Linus Torvalds, a Swedish speaking Finnish student, buying a 386 computer and writing a brand new POSIX compliant kernel. His aim was a personal project to create a new operating system kernel which can be available for free. But soon he realized this project can be more productive if it gets support from other techies.
On 25 August 1991, he (at age 21) announced this system in a Usenet posting to the newsgroup “comp.os.minix.”:
Thousands of programmer began joining and working to enhance that kernel. Initially, this kernel was given the name- FREAX( cause it was FREE and X because it was similar to UNIX). In order to facilitate development, the files were uploaded to the FTP server (ftp.funet.fi) of FUNET in September 1991. Ari Lemmke at Helsinki University of Technology (HUT), who was one of the volunteer administrators for the FTP server at the time, did not think that “Freax” was a good name. So, he named the project “Linux” on the server without consulting Torvalds.
This is how Linux came to the World.
what is Linux?
First of all, let me quote the content from two famous websites.
wikipedia quotes “Linux (/ˈlɪnəks/ (About this sound listen) LIN-əks) is a name which broadly denotes a family of free and open-source software operating systems (OS) built around the Linux kernel. “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux
linux.com quotes “What is Linux? Just like Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Mac OS X, Linux is an operating system.” https://www.linux.com/what-is-linux
It is often misinterpreted that linux is a kernel not an operating system.
so linux is a operating system built around linux kernel
Linux is what is called a kernel. A kernel by itself cannot do much. It needs to be complemented by myriads of other software utilities etc. That together makes a distribution which could be considered an operating system.