Even if you’re a newcomer to Linux, you’ve probably figured out that it is not a single, monolithic operating system, but a constellation of projects. The different “stars” in this constellation take the form of “distributions,” or “distros.” Each offers its own take on the Linux model. To gain an appreciation of the plethora of options offered by the range of distributions, it helps to understand how Linux started out and subsequently proliferated. With that in mind, here’s a brief introduction to Linux’s history.