Linux is an open-source (freeware) version of UNIX created as a class project by a Finnish graduate student named Linux Torvalds. By distributing the source code for the kernel (core program) over the Internet, and actively encouraging any and all to participate in its development, Linux has grown into a widely respected NOS. One of the strengths cited by Linux devotees is that it is based entirely on new technology. While commercial versions of UNIX are all based on source code that may be decades old, Linux was entirely developed within this decade. And, because Linux is open-source software, an organizationís programmers can modify it to meet their unique needs. Linux offers all of the legendary stability of UNIX and regularly outperforms commercial OS packages on benchmark tests. As a result, more than one-fourth of all new network servers are now being shipped with Linux installed. Another advantage of Linux is cost. Linux is freeware, thus distributors can charge only for the distribution.