Many of the open source lovers know Linux. I know, you are also one of them, cause you are also a supporter of open source. However, many don’t. Today I am going to mention the history of the famous kernel, Linux.
Many guys who are either Windows or Mac lovers, don’t know what Linux is and mostly are in wrong belief that Linux is an OS. Let me clarify this first. No, it is not!. Linux is actually a kernel. Now, you might be thinking what is a kernel? In the simplest sense, the kernel is the core of any OS which establishes communication between your hardware and software. It makes everything in control and is the reason your hardware keys work, CPU loads etc.
So, you might have got that Linux is not actually an OS but a kernel. You might now think, who developed it? Why? Is Linux used anywhere? I will answer all the questions below. Keep reading!
The Creation and Creator
Yeah! Above is the genius man who created Linux. He is Linus Benedict Torvalds. Born on 28th December 1969. He developed Linux kernel. The reason he states that why he made Linux is pretty funny. He was actually having a PC with Intel 386 processor and MINIX OS. Linus as a part of UNIX hacker community was waiting since a long time for GNU to complete their OS which however was lacking a perfect kernel.
Linus as a result of impatience and frustration tend to develop a kernel. He succeeded and released it to the public after submitting it in university. This is what he posted on 1991.
“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).
I've currently ported bash(1.08) and gcc(1.40), and things seem to work. This implies that I'll get something practical within a few months [...] Yes - it's free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs. It is NOT portable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that's all I have :-(.
It's mostly in C, but most people wouldn't call what I write C. It uses every conceivable feature of the 386 I could find, as it was also a project to teach me about the 386. As already mentioned, it uses a MMU, for both paging (not to disk yet) and segmentation. It's the segmentation that makes it REALLY 386 dependent (every task has a 64Mb segment for code & data - max 64 tasks in 4Gb. Anybody who needs more than 64Mb/task - tough cookies). [...] Some of my "C"-files (specifically mm.c) are almost as much assembler as C. [...] Unlike minix, I also happen to LIKE interrupts, so interrupts are handled without trying to hide the reason behind them.”
Naming and Mascot
Linus actually wanted to call the kernel “Freax” which according to him resembles “Free”. This was even the directory name in which he used to store his files. But while uploading his first work on FTP, Ari Lemmke, a volunteer admin of the network thought the name is not good and renamed it to “Linux”.
He even didn’t tell Linus that he is going to rename the kernel and just did it. However, later they have to make Linus understand that the name is not reflecting his ego.
The funny part is that Linus actually had thought the name ”Linux” but considering that people would say he named it such after his ego avoided it and later Ari renamed it thinking that it is better.
Linux was not having any mascot till then. 3 competitions were done for the logo but sadly Tux won none of them. This is the reason Tux is mascot not the logo of Linux. James Hughes was the first person who called the penguin Tux saying it resembles "(T)orvalds (U)ni(X)".
The Linux Kernel Improvements
Linus worked hard on Linux kernel to make it more rock solid and thus Linux has gone under a number of improvements till now.
1991 September :- version 0.01
October:- version 0.02
1992 Feburary:- version 0.12
March:- version 0.95
1994 March:- version 1.0.0
1995 March:- version 1.2.0
1996 June:- version 2.0.0
1999 January: - version 2.2.0
2001 January: - version 2.4.0
2003 December: - version 2.6.0
2011 July: - version 3.0.0
2013 June: - version 3.10
2015 June: - version 4.1.0
2017 April: - version 4.11
Though I skipped many releases. There are numerous Linux kernel versions that I almost got confused which one to use and which one not. Currently, there are more than 16,000 programmers who are working to improve Linux everyday.
They always focused more and more on security, which makes Linux distros today the best choice for security, privacy, and stability. They also have upgrades (without rebooting PC).
You see that famous name and logo up there? Yeah! The famous OS Ubuntu is based on Linux kernel. Debian, Linux Mint, Porteus, DSL are just some examples of how many OS are based on Linux. Linux is now widely used as a base for almost every distro.
The famous OS Android is too based on Linux kernel that you use every day (No matter what Google says), even while reading this article, Google’s ChromeOS too. Those old chip games, they too run on Linux.
See that wide power of Linux. You may not know, but Linux has been secretly involved in everyone’s life. The embedded Linux is used in our Televisions, refrigerators, modern washing machines etc.
Here I take farewell! As much as I think, you might be thinking how awesome Linux is! Even how more awesome Linus is!.Just to tell you, he still works on improving Linux. Today Linux is one of the biggest used kernels worldwide. Android has made the world realize the power of Linux, while Debian, Ubuntu has made it more. Steam is using it for gaming while Kali is using it for hacking. Linux powered OS were once known as the OS for supercomputers, but Debian and Android made us realized that it is for home too. Today many awesome distros such as MInt, Lite, Arch, Kali and numerous are available as choices.
We are free to choose the one that suits us. It's like choosing your superpower. Linux powered OSes are safe from viruses, are easier to update, maintain and customize. You can even make them look and work as Windows and Mac, but you can’t make Mac and Windows as free as Linux powered OSes.People love the freeness of Linux and so I think Linux loves us too.
If you all got some doubts, don’t hesitate to comment below! I am open to answer them. Also, tell me what you think about Linux in the comment section below.
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