Where Can I Download Linux?
By Bob Rankin
I hear people saying that Microsoft is evil, and I should switch to Linux. What is Linux, who should use it, and where can I download Linux for free?
Linux is a complete version of the Unix operating system (software that controls the basic functions of the personal computer) and it runs on ordinary personal computers. The added fact that it's freely available and "open source" makes it all the more attractive.
Linux is perfect for people who want to operate their own low-cost Internet servers, and it's robust enough to satisfy the needs of many Internet service providers. Linux is a multiuser and multitasking environment, and it can access huge amounts of memory (gigabytes) and huge amounts of disk storage space (terabytes). Linux offers virtually everything that Windows has been promising for years and may not deliver in a truly stable form for some time to come.
Don't make the mistake of assuming that Linux is some kind of watered-down or underpowered Unix for the masses. Linux is Unix. POSIX certification (compliance with the industry standards for Unix) makes it official that Linux can do everything that a Unix system is supposed to do.
Linux is also being taken very seriously by the computer industry, with new Linux-compatible versions of popular software packages being announced every month. The Apache Web server software running on Linux platforms powers about half of all Web sites today. Even more telling, Microsoft considers Linux a major threat to its Windows empire.