Linus Torvalds created Linux while he was
a graduate student at the University of Helsinki, Finland
in 1991. He started the project by working on improvements
to a small Unix system called Minix. His version of Linux was first
released as a download from the Internet in 1994.
It is now the result of hundreds of developers.
Torvalds claims that the advantage of the environment that Linux was created
in is responsible for the excellence of the resulting product.
Developers were able to concentrate on the technical issues and
didn't have a marketing department controlling the development.
Torvalds will never have the net worth of Bill Gates, but he has
already become a folk hero in the computer industry.
Linux is officially licensed by the Free Software Foundation under
Besides the standard Unix-like facilities and commands, Most Linux distributions
include a full suite of TCP/IP tools, Xwindows, Java development
kit, Perl, PHP, Apache web server, Samba for file and print serving and many other applications.
Andrew Tridgell developed Samba
at the Australian National University in Canberra.
Samba supports Server Message Block/NetBios on TCP/IP (SMB/NBT)
for file and print server operations. In a nutshell Samba
turns a Linux server into appearing like a Windows server to your Windows clients.
The SMB protocol is a X/Open standard and is the native file and print sharing protocol
used in Windows operating systems. The benefits of this are nothing
has to be installed on Windows clients to see or talk to the Linux server.
Samba, just like Linux, is freely distributed under a GPL and now runs on more than 20 different versions of Unix/AIX/Linux.
How Do I Use It
There many ways in which a Linux server can be put to use. Here are the more popular options.
- File and/or Document Management Server
- Email Server
- Groupware Server
- Web Server
- Print Server
- Fax Server
- Proxy Server
SuSE from Novell
Red Hat Linux from Red Hat Software, Inc.