When someone decides that they want to try out a Linux Distribution and maybe decide to tell their family and friends that they are trying out this amazing free operating system for their computer called ‘Linux’. They might then reply is that just like Windows or MacOS? Well not really. One thing that even some experienced users of Linux might not even realise is that Linux isn’t exactly an OS as such, but an operating system kernel, which is the bridge between applications and the actual data processing done at the hardware level. It is actually the distribution that is the OS.

Confused? Well if we look at Ubuntu then that should be thought not as Ubuntu Linux, but as a Linux based Ubuntu Operating System hence making the distribution the OS and not Linux. Then we look at Linux Mint which is actually called a fork which means it is a modified version of another OS, in this caseUbuntu with it’s own relevant changes making Mint it’s own brand.

Interestingly enough, according to the an article on  tech-faq , the same could be said about some mobile operating systems, specifically Google's Android, which is also based upon Linux. Google will release their version of the Android operating system which manufacturer’s like Samsung and HTC will add to their devices and then tweak it to their own specifications to fit in with their model design. This evidently is forking from Google Android. So really should it not be be called Samsung Android or HTC Android?

This really could make a difference when consumers are in possession of an Android based device or are thinking of purchasing one. They may be looking to upgrade to or buy a device with the latest version but find that they can’t. This might be because the version that the device manufacturer uses is still at the previous version released however is still ‘up to date’ in terms of the manufacturers own release of the OS.

If consumers knew more about the fact that they are actually buying a forked Android OS rather than a stock Google Android OS, similar in a way that Linux Mint is forked from Ubuntu, then it could help them make better decisions on what device they want to buy. They will also have more knowledge of the versions of the OS those devices are capable of running. Perhaps in the near future could we see this happen.