Linux is 17 Years Old

Tux - the Linux mascot penguin

Linux Journal reports that the Linux operating system turns 17 years old as of the 5th of October.

From Linus Torvalds' original newsgroup posting on Linux:

As I mentioned a month(?) ago, I'm working on a free version of a
minix-lookalike for AT-386 computers. It has finally reached the stage
where it's even usable (though may not be depending on what you want),
and I am willing to put out the sources for wider distribution. It is
just version 0.02 (+1 (very small) patch already), but I've successfully
run bash/gcc/gnu-make/gnu-sed/compress etc under it.

It really is quite astonishing how far the Linux project has come. Originally it was just a small hobby project, to build a simple operating system like Minix (which at the time had licensing problems).

Especially when you consider its origin and original intentions, it is unbelievable that Linux is now one of the most popular server operating systems, has a small, but loyal following for the desktop and is also used in thousands of embedded devices as well.

The Linux kernel that Torvalds began became the 'missing piece' in a completely GPL operating system. Many other pieces of software had been independently written by the GNU Project. The fusion of Linux, GNU and many other bits and pieces of free software created an operating system that has become not only viable, but in many choices superior to its competitors.

Whether you realise it or not, you almost certainly use Linux everyday, even if indirectly. While its desktop penetration remains fairly low, its use on servers means that sometime today, you will interact with a Linux system.

Happy birthday Linux! Many happy returns.

Quick footnote: posting here has been a little slower recently, due to the fact that I've just started university, living away from home and everything else that goes with that. FOSSwire will continue, but it may be a few weeks before we're back up to full capacity. Thank you for your patience.

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold -

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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Discussion: Linux is 17 Years Old

  1. Omshivaprakash H L (guest)

    # Posted on 06 October 2008 at 07:29 AM

    Awsome! Thanks for pointing to this.

  2. Kevin Archibald (guest)

    # Posted on 06 October 2008 at 06:50 PM

    woo hoooo only one more year till it's legal!!!

  3. Matthew (guest)

    # Posted on 08 October 2008 at 04:04 PM

    "Originally it was just a small hobby project" - after a lot of time trying decide what I think about linux, I've decided it's still, to many people, a hobby project - just not so small anymore. Not taking into account things like Red Hat, etc.

    I enjoy your postings.

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