About Linux Kernel

What is Linux?

Linux is a clone of the operating system Unix, written from scratch by Linus Torvalds with assistance from a loosely-knit team of hackers across the Net. It aims towards POSIX and Single UNIX Specification compliance.

It has all the features you would expect in a modern fully-fledged Unix, including true multitasking, virtual memory, shared libraries, demand loading, shared copy-on-write executables, proper memory management, and multistack networking including IPv4 and IPv6.

Although originally developed first for 32-bit x86-based PCs (386 or higher), today Linux also runs on a multitude of other processor architectures, in both 32- and 64-bit variants.

New to Linux?

If you're new to Linux, you don't want to download the kernel, which is just a component in a working Linux system. Instead, you want what is called a distribution of Linux, which is a complete Linux system. There are numerous distributions available for download on the Internet as well as for purchase from various vendors; some are general-purpose, and some are optimized for specific uses. We currently have mirrors of several distributions available at https://mirrors.kernel.org/.

Note, however, that most distributions are very large (several gigabytes), so unless you have a fast Internet link you may want to save yourself some hassle and purchase a CD-ROM with a distribution; such CD-ROMs are available from a number of vendors.

Mailing lists

The Linux kernel is discussed on the linux-kernel mailing list at vger.kernel.org. Please read the FAQ before subscribing.

Although there is no official archive site, unofficial archives of the list can be found at:

Other resources