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Old 08-25-2015, 02:27 PM   #1
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Linux is 24 years old today - How Linux was born, as told by Linus Torvalds himself

One of the most famous messages in all computing was posted exactly 24 years ago today, on 25 August, 1991:

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.
Many people have read that post by Linus Torvalds in the comp.os.minix newsgroup on Usenet, or at least heard about it. Many more are aware of how that (free) operating system ended up taking over vast swathes of the computing world, and becoming both "big" and "professional." But what about before that famous moment? What were the key events that led to Linus creating that first public release of Linux?

Even though Linus had rushed out to buy his PC as soon as he had scraped together the money to do so, he was unable to plunge into the world of Unix immediately, since it took several months for the Minix floppy disks to turn up. So he passed the time as any real coder wouldby playing games like Prince of Persia under MS-DOS. He was also exploring the architecture of the Intel 80386 chip. Linus described his early experiments thus:

I was testing the task-switching capabilities, so what I did was I just made two processes and made them write to the screen and had a timer that switched tasks. One process wrote A, the other wrote B, so I saw AAAA BBBB and so on. The first two months the amount of code I wrote was very small, because it was a lot of details, totally new CPU, I've never programmed Intel before.
Remarkably, that very simple task-switching program turned out to be the seed that grew into the Linux kernel:

At some point I just noticed that hey, I almost have this [kernel] functionality because the two original processes that I did to write out A and B, I changed those two processes to work like a terminal emulation package. You have one process that is reading from the keyboard, and sending to the modem, and the other is reading from the modem and sending to the screen. I had keyboard drivers because I obviously needed some way to communicate with this thing I was writing, and I had driver for text mode VGA and I wrote a driver for the serial line so that I could phone up the University and read news. That was really what I was initially doing, just reading news over a modem.
Linux may have existed by this point, but Linus wasn't calling it that yet. Its name came about as a result of Linus's request for information about the POSIX specifications for ensuring compatibility between Unix-like operating systems. A member of the Helsinki University staff, Ari Lemmke, told Linus that POSIX wasn't freely available online, and had to be paid forhardly an option for an impecunious student. But as Linus recalled:

The same person who told me that the standards weren't available also told me his area of interest was kernels, operating systems. He had this small area on [the FTP server], and he said: "hey, I'm putting a directory aside for you." So he created the /pub/os/linux directory.

Linux was my working name, so in that sense he didn't really name it, but I never wanted to release it as Linux. Linux was a perfectly good working name, but if I actually used it as the official one people would think that I am egomaniac, and wouldn't take it seriously. So I chose this very bad name "Freax," for "Free Unix." Luckily, Ari Lemmke used this working name instead. And after that he never changed it.
More at Ars...

Original announcement, for those who haven't read it.

Happy Birthday Linux!

Old 08-26-2015, 03:06 AM   #2
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Smile Thank you for the Linus Torvalds links.

Thank you jeremy for this thread most interesting.
Old 08-26-2015, 08:24 AM   #3
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Happy birthday!
Old 08-31-2015, 07:47 PM   #4
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Location: baltimore md usa
Distribution: 12.04.2 have had rh9.0 checking now ,dsl,ubuntu, pclos, smoothwall3,fedora,mandravia,
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Happy Birthday
I was on IBM dos , was already sick of MSFT dirty bizz tactics by then !
Old 09-01-2015, 09:44 PM   #5
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Wink I can't find the disk however

Does anyone remember P C Plus magazine? When they had either cds or dvds, I installed my first linux using slackware on kernal 0.91 while I was teaching at a tech school...

Old 09-05-2015, 07:50 PM   #6
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Smile Happy Birthday

The creation of Linux is my most favorite hack


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