Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

The History Of Linux

Filed under
Linux

In The Beginning

It was 1991, and the ruthless agonies of the cold war was gradually coming to an end. There was an air of peace and tranquility that prevailed in the horizon. In the field of computing, a great future seemed to be in the offing, as powerful hardware pushed the limits of the computers beyond what anyone expected. But still, something was missing.

And it was the none other than the Operating Systems, where a great void seemed to have appeared.

For one thing, DOS was still reigning supreme in its vast empire of personal computers. Bought by Bill Gates from a Seattle hacker for $50,000, the bare bones operating system had sneaked into every corner of the world by virtue of a clever marketing strategy. PC users had no other choice. Apple Macs were better, but with astronomical prices that nobody could afford, they remained a horizon away from the eager millions.

The other dedicated camp of computing was the Unix world. But Unix itself was far more expensive. In quest of big money, the Unix vendors priced it high enough to ensure small pc users stayed away from it. The source code of Unix, once taught in 1universities courtesy of Bell Labs, was now cautiously and not published publicly. To add to the frustration of PC users worldwide, the big players in the software market failed to provide an efficient solution to this problem.

A solution seemed to appear in form of MINIX. It was written from scratch by Andrew S. Tanenbaum, a dutch professor who wanted to teach his students the inner workings of a real operating system. It was designed to run on the Intel 8086 microprocessors that had flooded the world market.

As an operating system, MINIX was not a superb one. But it had the advantage that the source code was available. Anyone who happened to get the book 'Operating System' by Tanenbaum could get hold of the 12,000 lines of code, written in C and assembly language. For the first time, an aspiring programmer or hacker could read the source codes of the operating system, which to that time the software vendors had guarded vigorously. Students of Computer Science all over the world poured over the book, reading through the codes to understand the very system that runs their computer.

And one of them was Linus Torvalds.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

3 questions about Kata Containers answered

Kata Containers is a new open source project licensed under Apache 2.0 and governed by the OpenStack Foundation that combines the speed of containers with the security of virtual machines. Kata Containers will be featured in a number of upcoming sessions at OpenStack Summit and KubeCon EU. Can't make it to either of those events? We've brought you answers to three of the top questions we hear from users. Read more

How to Upgrade from Ubuntu 17.10 or Ubuntu 16.04 LTS to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Before we go through the upgrade process in more detail, there are a few things you should know. First and foremost, make sure you have a recent backup of your most important files on an external drive, do it now! Second of all, if you're upgrading from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, you'll have to deal with some major desktop changes if you use Unity. Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) uses the Unity desktop environment by default, but Ubuntu 18.04 LTS uses the GNOME desktop environment with a highly customized interface to make it look like Unity, which Canonical said it won't be removed during the upgrade process and will remain available as an alternative if you still want to use it. Read more

Best Linux apps of 2018

While everyone knows that most Linux distributions (distros) are free to download, not everybody is aware that you also have access to thousands of cost-free applications through your operating system’s package manager. Many of the more user-friendly distros will come with a selection of software preinstalled to help you get started, but there are many more apps out in the wild, under continuous development. Read more

Things to do After Installing Ubuntu 18.04

This list of things to do after installing Ubuntu 18.04 helps you get started with Bionic Beaver for a smoother desktop experience. Read more