The Linux free operating system was created in 1991 on the initiative of the Finnish student Linus Torvalds. He nostalgically remembered the time when he was learning computer science on the university system, Minix. So he began designing a new kernel from scratch, on which free software developed by Richard Stallman's Free Software Foundation could be grafted.
After developing a usable version, he approached internet users through Usenet. To allow an effective collaboration programme, he licensed his code under the GPL (General public licence) devised by Richard Stallman with the help of an American law professor. Many developers then came forward as volunteers to help, and so began the Linux story.
The system combines the kernel of which the development is still supervised by Linus Torvalds, and a lot of other software some of which was developed by the FSF (Free Software Foundation) as part of the GNU (GNU's Not UNIX) project, which is why the GNU/Linux system is often referred to. Several companies then began to publish packages with the kernel and many utilities and applications.
Today, the Linux system is considered as an alternative to the proprietary systems of commercial publishers.