Linux has grown a long way, from its inception as a project by a Finnish computer science student (Linus Torvalds) who decided to share what he was doing with the world in an unassailably open manner, to the present day, where it can provide a robust computing environment for a wide range of needs and has been heard of by many people outside the realms of geekdom.
The problem nowadays is working out what “distro” (distribution) to use. Most of them are completely free and they cover everything from very specialist requirements to colourful desktops for general users. You can even get versions you can run from CD without having to install anything on your computer at all (“live distros”). A comprehensive listing can be quite bewildering.
The other day, I came across a handy online tool for helping to choose a distro. It’s not an exact science but it did manage to suggest the one I am currently using (Ubuntu Linux) plus three closely related distros as it’s recommendations. If you were thinking of taking the penguin plunge, this would be a good starting point.