Unix operating system was created in the 1960s and became widely available in the 1970s. One Linux-type system created in 1984 was GNU. The goal of GNU was to create an operating system made out of software that was totally free. In 1985, Richard Stallman started the Free Software Foundation and created the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), in order to spread software freely. This is what made the open distribution of Linux possible. In 1991, Linus Torvalds started to work on a non-commercial replacement for MINIX while he was attending the University of Helsinki. This eventually became the Linux kernel. Linux was originally dependent upon Minux, but Torvalds shifted it to GNU GPL. That opened the door for Linux to become freely distributional.
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