What is Linux?
Linux is a free, open source operating system
kernel, but now is considered to be packaged with other programs to
be an entire operating system (known as a distribution, as there
are different ones). It is similar to the Unix operating system
which has been around for decades.
Red Hat and Ubuntu are two examples of Linux distributions --
others include Debian, Suse, Mandrake (formerly Mandriva), and
more. Linux as a whole is known for its robustness; it's used in
mission-critical tasks by many industries. It can cost little to
nothing to download and install, or you may choose to have a vendor
pre-configure and provide support for you.
By far, the two most popular distributions are Ubuntu and