In 1985, Richard Stallman created theFree Software Foundation and developed the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), in order to spread software freely. Many of the programs required in an OS (such as libraries, compilers, text editors, a UNIX shell, and a windowing system) were completed by the early 1990s, but few elements such as device drivers, daemons, and the kernel were incomplete. In 1991, Linus Torvalds began to work on MINIX, a Unix-like OS, whose code was freely available under GNU GPL project. Then he developed the first LINUX kernel and released it on 17 September 1991, for the Intel x86 PC systems. This kernel included various system utilities and libraries from the GNU project to create a usable operating system. All underlying source code can be freely modified and used.

cost

Linux can be freely distributed, downloaded freely, distributed through magazines, Books etc. There are priced versions for Linux also, but they are normally cheaper than Windows.

Manufacturer

Linux kernel is developed by the community. Linus Torvalds oversees things.