What is Slug?

SLUG is the Shropshire Linux User Group, who surprisingly enough, are an active group of people based in and around Shropshire who use Linux. We come from a wide range of backgrounds and ability levels. However we have one common strand that links us, that is:-

“The desire to learn and use Linux in better ways, and to share our discoveries with others who share our quest for knowledge”…

What is Linux?

Like Unix, MacOS, Windows and many others, Linux is a computer Operating System (OS).

It provides the core program which runs on a computer to allow all other programs and software packages to access and use the physical hardware of the computer itself.

The fundamental difference between Linux and the other operating system mentioned is that Linux is free. Not only free in the sense that you may be able to download a copy and use it without paying any form of license, or fee to its developers. Free also in the sense that you may take the source code for Linux and modify it to your own needs. The only proviso is that any changes you make, should be made available to the rest of the community.

Because of the power and flexibility of Linux, and due to the availability of source code to anyone who needs it, Linux has been adopted by a wide range of users. From the home computer user who just wants to know more about the way their computer works, right through to universities and large government agencies such as NASA who use Linux in many of their research programs.

Historically, Linux was created as a hobby by a young student, Linus Torvalds, at the University of Helsinki in Finland. Linus had need of a small UNIX-like operating system and decided to develop his own. He began his work in 1991 when he released version 0.02 and worked steadily until 1994 when version 1.0 of the Linux Kernel was released.

Since its initial release to the world by Linus, huge amounts of development work have continued. Linux should be viewed as an ongoing development, as it is now actively developed by a large group of individuals, with upgrades and changes being overseen by Linus.

There are few hardware platforms which do not currently have a Linux version available, and those that don’t will almost certainly have someone developing a ported version of the kernel right now!

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