The many operating systems that use the Linux kernel are commonly known as Linux (although they should, arguably, be known as GNU/Linux). Each distribution has its own name. For example: Ubuntu, Debian, Mandriva, etc.
With the exception of the few distributions that must be paid for, these are operating systems put together and maintained by millions of people the world over who are willing to dedicate their time at no charge out of a shared desire to create a powerful, reliable computing experience at absolutely no charge to the end user.
Since there are many distributions to choose from, here are some pages to help with making that choice:
- DistroWatch – An incredibly informative page that keeps tabs on all the known distributions.
- Almost 9 Distros in Almost 6 Minutes – A video giving a brief demonstration of a few distributions.
- The LWN.net Linux Distribution List – A list of over 500 distributions with brief descriptions of each.
- Linux mafia – An overview guide for people who are getting started with Linux.
These are the links used in this page, in order of appearance:
- GNU/Linux vs Linux: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU/Linux_naming_controversy
- DistroWatch: http://distrowatch.com/
- Almost 9 Distros in Almost 6 Minutes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vy0ybQ5QSI0
- The LWN.net Linux Distribution List: http://lwn.net/Distributions/
- The Linux mafia: http://linuxmafia.com/~karsten/Linux/linux-new.html
Obligatory Happy Ending
And they all lived happily ever after. The end.