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28 facts about Linux for its 28th birthday

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Linux

Nearly three decades ago, Linus Torvalds sent the email announcing Linux, a free operating system that was "just a hobby" and not "big and professional like GNU." It's fair to say that Linux has had an enormous influence on technology and the world in general in the 28 years since Torvalds announced it. Most people already know the "origin story" of Linux, though. Here's 28 things about Linux (the kernel and larger ecosystem) you may not already know.

1 - Linux isn't very useful alone, so folks took to creating Linux distributions to bundle user software with it, make it usable and easier to install. The first Linux distribution was Softlanding Linux System (SLS), first released in 1992 and using the .96p4 Linux kernel.

You could buy it on 5.25" or 3.5" floppies, or CD-ROM if you were high-tech. If you wanted a GUI, you needed at least 8MB of RAM.

2 - SLS didn't last, but it influenced Slackware Linux, which was first released in 1993 and is still under development today. Slackware is the oldest surviving Linux distribution and celebrated its 26th birthday on July 17th this year.

3 - Linux has the largest install base of any general purpose operating system. It powers everything from all 500 of the Top 500 Supercomputers to Android phones, Chomebooks, and all manner of embedded devices and things like the Kindle eBook readers and smart televisions. (Also the laptop used to write this post.)

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Happy Birthday, Linux!

  • Happy Birthday, Linux!

    August 25 is the day that, in 1991, a fresh-fasted Finnish college student called Linus Torvalds parked his rear at his desk to announce his “hobby” OS to the world/comp.os.minix newsgroup:-

    “Hello everybody out there using minix,” he began.

    “I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready. I’d like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat (same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical reasons) among other things).”

    Some 28 glorious years later and that “hobby os” now powers the world! From stock exchanges to billboards to satellites and smartphones: Linux is everywhere.

    But Linux is about more than code. It’s the beating heart of the open source movement, cheerleading collaboration and co-operation between people based on the idea that technology should be not just be good, but do good too.

    So raise a glass of something tasty to Linux, the invisible thread without which modern technology is stitched!

Happy Birthday, Linux: 28 Years Of Awesomeness

  • Happy Birthday, Linux: 28 Years Of Awesomeness

    Linus Torvalds, then a 21-year-old university student in Finland writes a post to a user group asking for feedback on a project he’s working on. His post was titled, “What would you like to see most in minix?“ He’s built a simple kernel for a Unix-like operating system that runs on an Intel 386 processor. The kernel eventually becomes Linux, which is released in 1994 and rest is the the history.

Happy birthday to the Linux kernel

  • Happy birthday to the Linux kernel: What's your favorite release?

    Let's take a trip back to August 1991, when history was in the making. The tech world faced many pivotal moments that continue to impact us today. An intriguing project called the World Wide Web was announced by Tim Berners-Lee and the first website was launched. Super Nintendo was released in the United States and a new chapter of gaming began for kids of all ages. At the University of Helsinki, a student named Linus Torvalds asked his peers for feedback on a new free operating system he had been developing as a hobby. It was then that the Linux kernel was born.

    Today, we can browse more than 1.5 billion websites, play with five additional Nintendo game consoles on our televisions, and maintain six longterm Linux kernels. Here's what some of our writers had to say about their favorite Linux kernel release.

    "The one that introduced modules (was it 1.2?). It was a big step towards a successful Linux future." —Milan Zamazal

    "2.6.9 as it was the version at the time when I joined Red Hat in 2006 (in RHEL4). But also a slightly bigger love for 2.6.18 (RHEL5) as it was the one which was deployed at massive scale / for mission critical workloads at all our largest customers (Telco, FSI). It also brought one of our biggest techno change with virtualization (Xen then KVM)." —Herve Lemaitre

Linux Kernel Turns 28 Today

  • Linux Kernel Turns 28 Today

    August 25th is taken to be the official birthday of the Linux. What's so special about 28? Well we managed to miss 21 and 25 so we are making sure we mark it this time around,

    August 25th 1991 was when Linus Torvalds, first announced that he was working on an operating system based on MINIX. At the time Torvalds, then 21, was studying at Finland's University of Helsinki. He'd learned about MINIX from Andrew Tanenbaum's book Operating Systems: Design and Implementation and at the beginning of 1991 bought a 386-based PC clone, installed a copy of MINIX and started work on his one-man cloned operating system. He graduated in 1996 with a Masters degree having submitted a thesis titled Linux: A Portable Operating System.

  • Celebrating the 28th Anniversary of the Linux Kernel

In comics: Linux celebrates 28th birthday

  • In comics: Linux celebrates 28th birthday

    n 26 August 1991, Linus Torvalds announced hobby project that was supposed to better than Minix operating systems. He said I am doing a free operating system. Just a hobby and won’t be big or professional like GNU. Linux turns 28 years old, and we are going to celebrate Linux’s birthday by sharing comics in pop culture that made it even more popular.

Celebrating Linux's 28 years

  • Celebrating Linux's 28 years

    Today, there are nearly 300 active distributions. Some target specific audiences and come prepackaged with special-purpose tools, such as Kali for penetration testing. Others are very general purpose.

    By some accounts, more than 95% of the top 1 million web servers run Linux, along with over 90% of the public cloud and well over 80% of smartphones. So, even if you're walking around offices still dominated by Windows desktops, Linux is winning big time in some of the most important markets and remains the beating heart of the open source movement.

    Happy birthday, Linux! Here's to wishing you many decades of continued success, dedicated contributers, and happy users.

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