Placing an order through an e-commerce site, playing games on cell phone, watching movies on a smart TV, taking water out of a refrigerator, interacting with a satellite at NASA, getting quotes from a NY stock exchange, browsing in Chromebook, putting clothes in a washing machine. Did you find one common thing of all these activities? Yes. It is Linux.
It is just everywhere. It is worth mentioning here about the actual brain behind the Linux – Linus Torvalds. There is no doubt that Linus is one of the most influential people who transformed the technology twice with Linux and Git.
Linus celebrated his 48th birthday on 28th December. A very happy belated birthday to Linus and the LinuxAndUbuntu.com wishes him for many more years of continuous technological innovations. On this occasion, let us put focus on the things that inspired Linus to create Linux along with interesting titbits.
Linus Torvalds Childhood
Linus Torvalds was born in Helsinki, Finland to journalist parents Anna Torvalds and Nils Torvalds in 1969. His maternal grandfather Leo Tronqvist (professor of statistics) had the influence on young Linus. Linus at 11 years of age typed some programs for him on Commodore VIC-20 computer. Linus’ father attempts to keep him in sports(basketball) did not succeed as Linus interests were on more on mathematics and computers.
Birth of Linux
In 1988, Linus joined the University of Helsinki, Finland. There he completed mandatory military service as a Second Lieutenant. Before joining the university, Linux had experience of BASIC, assembly language and writing games. He attended Unix and C-programming courses. It did not take much time to Linus in realizing that Unix is stable and powerful operating system. At that time MINIX (developed by Professor Andrew S Tanenbaum) used to teach operating systems subject to the students. Linus started exploring MINIX on his i386 based PC. In a way, the serious drawbacks present in MINIX and unimpressive MS-DOS inspired Linus to create an operating system from scratch with a better terminal emulator. Linus completed M.Sc. thesis with “Linux: A Portable Operating System”.
In 1991, Linus announced this first prototype version of Linux armed with bash and GCC (C compiler). The first release had 10,00 lines of code including 100 lines of comments. Linus made the historical announcement to MINIX newsgroup “comp.os.minix” as follows:
Hello, everybody out there using minix-
With the help, a friend named Ari Lemmke, Linus uploaded the kernel source code to a social network so that it act as a voluntary platform to software developers world over. This social group helped Linus in getting new ideas, review comments and development. It is said that Linus wanted to have the name called “Freax” (referring free Unix). Version 1.0 of Linux was released in 1994. Rest is history.
Linux moved to the US in year 1997 after getting an offer from Transmeta Corporation. Around year 2003, Torvalds left Transmeta and joined OSDL (now The Linux Foundation) a consortium formed by a group of companies to focus exclusively on the Linux kernel development.
Linus is currently living in Oregon, US and continuing to remain as the ultimate authority on world’s biggest co-operative open-source project - The Linux kernel.
Interesting titbits about Linus Torvalds
About the author
Ramakrishna Jujare is a post graduate in Computer Applications and loves to code, review Linux distros, open-source software and write how-to articles. In free time, he enjoys nature and music.
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