The combination of the linux kernel and the GNU project tools, plus many other things produce a great operating system, which is commonly refer to as LINUX.
There is no single corporation governing Linux, all this is based on Free Software (Free as in Freedom), there are many projects with thousand of volunteers and companies involved in the development of the Free Software, there are also many corporates developing software for linux some of the free and open source, other proprietary components.
Using linux is like playing lego, the whole is clearly an assemble of many different pieces. You can switch the pieces, interchange positions, colors, get a different shape, and make a different article based on the same pieces. That’s why there are several Distributions (Operating Systems) based on GNU and Linux.
The first time I try Linux, it was back in late 90′s with Caldera Open Linux, I tried that distributiun because it was recommended for begginers. I remember using the KDE 1.1.2 desktop and facing an old problem: Win modems, software based modems based on proprietary drivers and not functional in Linux. I remember this everything when I found hardware that is not compatible with Linux like our office printer DELL MFP 1125 printer.
This win modem issue keep me away from using Linux seriously for a couple of years.
A big quantity of the Windows licences in Mexico were (and I guess still are) installed on many PC’s. It was in 2002 when the mexican agency IMPI (Mexican Institute for the Intellectual Property) visited our company looking for the validity of the Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec and some other brands licences. The deal was simple, they made an inventory of the installed software, then after a couple of days you have to provide the proof of purchase of the licenses. The general idea was more simple: you don’t have it, go buy it, we wait for you.
My GNOME Ubuntu 9.04 Desktop
It was at that moment when I decided that I was not going to give any money to any of those companies, for using bad software that keep me annoyed, it was clear for me: I’m fully switching to LINUX.
It was then when I switched to Mandrake Linux 9.0, at that time a very easy to use distribution know known as Mandriva. And I keep on using it until I got a Laptop. Then I face a new problem suspending and hibernation was an issue with Mandrake Linux and my new DELL laptop.
I did some research and found a distribution that solved my problem: UBUNTU 5.10 since then I’ve been using it.
At first I did not liked the GNOME desktop, which is the default in Ubuntu, then I switched to my preferred desktop KDE, via the Kubuntu derivative. After around a year using it but not happy with the KDE implementation into Ubuntu I realized what many people were, and still say: KDE is a second class citizen in Ubuntu, and in order get the best from the distro, I dumped kubuntu and switched to plain ubuntu.
Since then I have always keept an eye on KDE, and in order to get it back I tried other distros like Open SuSE, Gentoo and Archlinux, but the very good integration of Ubuntu and the fabulous APT packaging system and conflict resolution keep me on Ubuntu GNOME.
GNOME has improved a lot, and I’m very happy with it now… But i still keep an eye on KDE 4.