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Linux Turns Twenty Five – A brief history of Linux

It all began in Finland, with an email from Linus Torvalds:

From: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Linus Benedict Torvalds)
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix
Subject: What would you like to see most in minix?
Summary: small poll for my new operating system
Message-ID: <1991Aug25.205708.9541@klaava.Helsinki.FI>
Date: 25 Aug 91 20:57:08 GMT
Organization: University of Helsinki

Hello everybody out there using minix —

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)…

Linus Torvalds was attending the University of Helsinki in 1991, and was developing an interest in the MINIX operating system. Unfortunately, the licensing system of the OS was only for educational use, which frustrated Torvalds. In response, he began development of his own operating system.

He created the Linux kernel, which could use applications written for MINIX. Later, GNU components were introduced, and the combination of the open-source GNU and open-source Linux allowed Linux to develop as a free and fully functional operating system.

Linux adoption began to grow in the mid 1990s within the supercomputer industry, when NASA began updating their obsolete machines with computers running Linux. Soon major PC manufacturers began adopting Linux as an alternative to the Microsoft monopoly on operating systems for desktop computers.

Today, Linux is widely used in embedded systems, supercomputers, and even serves as the basis for the Chrome OS. Linux also has great potential in the mobile device market, and even gaming is on the rise, as Valve is beginning to support Linux Machines.


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