Linux is the generic term for a UNIX-like open source operating system based on the Linux kernel.
GNU/Linux is a UNIX-like Open Source operating system. Linus Torvalds originally wrote the Linux kernel with contributions from others on the MINIX usenet board. Since then, Linux had thousands of developers, both paid by companies and volunteers. The main system tools and libraries for GNU/Linux are sourced from the GNU Project, hence the nomenclature GNU/Linux (GNU Toolchain over Linux Kernel). The Linux kernel is licensed under the GPL v2 license.
There are many different Linux Distributions (sometimes shortened to distro), which consist of software applications packaged and provided with the Linux kernel, being Slackware the oldest active distro and Debian, Red Hat and CentOS among the most used on Internet servers¹.
The Linux kernel is commonly run on servers but is highly portable and is used in a variety of applications, from wireless routers and cell phones to clusters and super computers with thousands of nodes and processors.