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Debian GNU/Linux FAQ
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1.3 OK, now I know what Debian is... what is Linux?!

In short, Linux is the kernel of a Unix-like operating system. It was originally designed for 386 (and better) PCs; today Linux also runs on a dozen of other systems. Linux is written by Linus Torvalds and many computer scientists around the world.

Besides its kernel, a "Linux" system usually has:

  • a wide range of Unix utilities, many of which have been developed by the GNU project and the Free Software Foundation.

The combination of the Linux kernel, the file system, the GNU and FSF utilities, and the other utilities are designed to achieve compliance with the POSIX (IEEE 1003.1) standard; see How source code compatible is Debian with other Unix systems?, Section 3.3.

For more information about Linux, see Michael K. Johnson's Linux Information Sheet and Meta-FAQ.


Debian GNU/Linux FAQ
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