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Linux is a computer operating system. It is probably the best known example of free software and of open-source development. There are several distributions of Linux, which typically bundle large quantities of software along with the operating system, such as web servers, programming languages, databases, desktop environments like GNOME and KDE and office suites like OpenOffice.org.
Linux supports a vast range of computer hardware and has been deployed in applications ranging from personal computers to supercomputers and embedded systems such as mobile phones and the TiVo PVR.
Initially developed and used mostly by individual enthusiasts, Linux has since gained the support of large companies like IBM and Hewlett-Packard. Analysts attribute this success to its low cost and speed compared to Unix, as well as its security, stability and reliability compared to Windows. These traits also serve as evidence of the utility of the open-source development model.