Because of this mixup between free speech and free beer, another group of people came up with the term "open source".This was originally meant to have the same meaning - that someone could download the source code to a program and do what they want with it - but a lot of people have since misinterpreted that too!
NB: if you have technical questions about Linux, we have an archive of common Linux problems and their solutions - you should check there first.
For people with a little more time on their hands, we've put together a big collection of links to further articles that explain more about all sorts of Linux topics - click here to jump straight to the recommended reading section.
Over time we'll be adding more content here - you're welcome to submit questions below and we'll try to help! The name "Linux" is usually used to mean a complete operating system, like Microsoft's Windows or Apple's Mac OS X.
But really, deep down, "Linux" is just the bit that looks after your computer: it runs programs, it stores information in your RAM and on your hard disk, and it also provides support for things like connecting to a network. And it certainly won't open any Microsoft Office documents!
The big upside to all this is that if you ever decide you don't like the direction one distro is taking, you can jump ship and try a different one - you'll find all the same software there ready for you.
The term Free Software was coined to mean software that came with freedoms that you otherwise would not have had.
One of Linux's many advantages is that it is developed by thousands of programmers around the world.
Intel, IBM, Oracle, Google, HP, AMD, Nvidia, Dell, Cisco, Nokia, Motorola and more all help contribute to Linux precisely because it is open.
Linux by itself, known as "the kernel" because it's the true core of any desktop system, isn't very interesting. Instead, all these services are provided by applications that are designed to run on top of Linux.