Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

28 facts about Linux for its 28th birthday

Filed under
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.)

Read more

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.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Kali Linux: Win-KeX Version 2.0

We have been humbled by the amazing response to our recent launch of Win-KeX. After its initial release, we asked ourselves if that is truly the limit of what we can achieve or could we pull off something incredible to mark the 25th anniversary of Hackers? What about “a second concurrent session as root”, “seamless desktop integration with Windows”, or – dare we dream – “sound”? Read more

Python Programming

  • SDF record walkthrough

    In this essay I'll walk through the major parts of a simple V2000 SDFile record. Richard Apodaca summarized the SDfile format a few months ago, with details I won't cover here. You should read it for more background. Bear in mind that the variety of names for this format name leads to some confusion. It's often called an SDF file, which technically means structure-data file file, in the same way that PIN number technically means personal identification number number. I tend to write SD file, but the term in the documentation is SDFile.

  • I Want to Learn Programming but I Don’t Know Where to Start

    Software development is a challenging and lucrative career option. Our daily utility items — light bulbs, televisions, cars, banking, shopping — everything is driven by intelligent pieces of codes. If you want to learn programming but do not know where to start, you have come to the right blog. I have compiled a step-by-step guide that will get you started on your software development journey and eliminate your apprehensions.

  • Handling the SDF record delimiter

    In this essay I'll point out a common difficulty people have when trying to identify the end of an SDFile record.

  • Stack Abuse: Kernel Density Estimation in Python Using Scikit-Learn

    This article is an introduction to kernel density estimation using Python's machine learning library scikit-learn. Kernel density estimation (KDE) is a non-parametric method for estimating the probability density function of a given random variable. It is also referred to by its traditional name, the Parzen-Rosenblatt Window method, after its discoverers.

  • How to Create a Python Hello World Program

    There is a major difference between python 2 and python 3. For instance, one difference is the print statement. In python 2, the print statement is not a function. It is considered as a simple statement. Whenever we use the print statement in python 2, we do not use the parenthesis. On the other hand in python 3, print is a function and it is followed by the parenthesis. In any programming language, the simplest “Hello World” program is used to demonstrate the syntax of the programming language. In this article, we create the “Hello World” program in python 3. Spyder3 editor is used to creating and running the python script.

Mozilla: PGP in Thunderbird, Departures, Firefox Send and Firefox Notes

  • Thunderbird implements PGP crypto feature requested 21 years ago

    Mozilla's mail reader Thunderbird has implemented a feature first requested 21 years ago. The somewhat garbled request – "I'd appreciate a plugin for PGP to ede and encrypt PGP crypted messages directly in Mozilla" [sic] – appears to have gone unimplemented due to concerns about US laws that bar export of encryption, debate about whether PGP was the right way to do crypto, and other matters besides. Thunderbird eventually chose to use Enigmail and its implementation of OpenPGP public key email encryption. However, it was an add-on rather than integrated. Commenters in the Bugzilla thread stemming from the request kept the dream of an integrated solution alive, though. Then in October 2019, the Thunderbird blog announced that Thunderbird 78 "will add built-in functionality for email encryption and digital signatures using the OpenPGP standard." Thunderbird 78 emerged in July 2020, and late in August Thunderbird contributor Kai Engert (:KaiE:) posted: "We have released support for OpenPGP email in Thunderbird version 78.2.1. Marking fixed."

  • Upcoming US Holidays (for Mike Taylor)

    This is my last full week at Mozilla, with my last day being Monday, September 21. It’s been just over 7 years since I joined (some of them were really great, and others were fine, I guess).

  • Update on Firefox Send and Firefox Notes

    As Mozilla tightens and refines its product focus in 2020, today we are announcing the end of life for two legacy services that grew out of the Firefox Test Pilot program: Firefox Send and Firefox Notes. Both services are being decommissioned and will no longer be a part of our product family. Details and timelines are discussed below. Firefox Send was a promising tool for encrypted file sharing. Send garnered good reach, a loyal audience, and real signs of value throughout its life. Unfortunately, some abusive users were beginning to use Send to ship malware and conduct spear phishing attacks. This summer we took Firefox Send offline to address this challenge. In the intervening period, as we weighed the cost of our overall portfolio and strategic focus, we made the decision not to relaunch the service. Because the service is already offline, no major changes in status are expected. You can read more here.

  • Mozilla Browser Extension to Track YouTube Recommendations

    It’s easy to get caught up in YouTube as it recommends an endless array of videos, with each one offering you more of the same type of content. But it’s not always the same content. Sometimes the process gets convoluted, and you wind up watching something you have no interest in. Mozilla is curious why this happens and created a browser extension to track YouTube recommendations.

today's howtos