History of Linux

It all began in 1991 when a Finnish student, Linus Torvalds started working on a personal project and required posix standard definition which led to the creation of a new operating system kernal. Since then the Linux Kernal has been constantly updated and improved to meet the never ending requirements of the world. Since the initial release of its source code in 1991, it has grown from a small number of C files under a license prohibiting commercial distribution to its state in 2009 of over 370 megabytes of source under the GNU General Public License.

The Unix operating system was implemented in the 1960s and first released in 1970. Its availability and portability caused it to be widely adopted, copied and modified by academic institutions and businesses. Its design became influential to authors of other systems.

The GNU project was started in 1983 by Richard Stallman with the goal of creating a free UNIX-like operating system. He wrote the GNU General Public License (GPL) as part of his work. There was almost enough available software by the early 1990s to create a full operating system but since the GNU kernel, called Hurd, failed to attract enough attention from developers, GNU was left incomplete.

Another free operating system project in the 1980s was the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD). This was developed by UC Berkeley from the 6th edition of Unix from AT&T. Since BSD contained Unix code that AT&T owned, AT&T filed a lawsuit in the early 1990s against the University of California. This strongly limited the development and adoption of BSD.

MINIX, a Unix-like system intended for academic use, was released by Andrew S. Tanenbaum in 1987. While source code for the system was available, modification and redistribution were restricted. In addition, MINIX's 16-bit design was not well adapted to the 32-bit features of the increasingly cheap and popular Intel 386 architecture for personal computers.

These factors and the lack of a widely-adopted, free kernel provided the impetus for Torvalds's starting his project. He has stated that if either the GNU or 386BSD kernels were available at the time, he likely would not have written his own.

1 Response to "History of Linux"

  1. mahasiswa teladan November 15, 2013 at 3:48 AM
    hi..Im college student, thanks for sharing :)

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