Unlike Linux, UNIX is dead

The non-commercial Linux distribution Debian therefore actually calls its system Debian GNU / Linux - but most others, such as Red Hat, reject this. The argument is obvious. Linux distributions consist of more than the kernel and the GNU environment - they also include a graphical user interface such as Gnome or KDE and tons of applications such as the Firefox or Libre Office browser. Before Linux distributors called themselves Red Hat GNU / Libre Office / KDE / Firefox Linux, for example, most of them stayed Linux.

Linux suddenly became world-famous in the midst of the dot-com hype of the 2000s, and Torvalds became a multimillionaire thanks to the Red Hat shares the company gave him as a gift. Back then, the dream of the Linux community was to conquer the desktop and displace the seemingly almighty quasi-monopoly of Windows on PCs. The "year of the Linux desktop" is proclaimed again and again in the early 2000s - but the spread on PCs in offices, living rooms and children's rooms remains marginal. Above all, there is a lack of commercial software.

But Linux is spreading very quickly on all other computers with a network connection. Since Linux is based on the Unix model and Unix was designed for network capability from the outset, the free system comes as it is called for the Internet age that dawned at the turn of the millennium.

Google has been using Linux from the start

As one of the technical pioneers of the time, Google used Linux on its own servers from the very beginning in combination with cheap standard PC hardware off the shelf instead of the previously common combination of expensive special hardware with a commercial Unix license. In the meantime, all commercial Unix variants from HP-UX to Solaris to AIX are virtually dead - Linux has rolled out onto the market together with some variants of the open source Unix system BSD.

Linux is also spreading on all kinds of routers in the home network, on televisions, network drives, in set-top boxes, on craft computers such as the Raspberry Pi or even in cars. Manufacturers appreciate that the system is stable, fast, adaptable and free of charge - although this is sometimes misunderstood. For many years, Harald Welte von has been successfully fighting in German courts for compliance with the free GPL license, which requires that derivative works be placed under the GPL license again.