In a narrow sense, Linux is a Unix-like kernel started by Linus Torvalds in 1991. For questions that are specifically about the kernel (e.g. how to configure and build it), use the tag .

In common usage, Linux is an operating system built around the Linux kernel. This operating system includes many other components, notably from the GNU project, so the term GNU/Linux is sometimes used. There are many different Linux distributions (see ), including more or less the same programs but with different installers and other customizations.

Use this tag for questions that are specific to Linux-the-operating-system, such as hardware support, networking setup, filesystems, etc. Most questions should have other tags to identify the area of interest, e.g. , , , , , etc.

The Linux kernel is used in some non-unix-like embedded operating systems, the best known being Android. These operating systems are off-topic here (you can ask questions about using Android on Android Stack Exchange.

Further reading

history | show excerpt | excerpt history