Happy Birthday: Linux is 20 years old

Happy Birthday: Linux is 20 years old

So Linux is 20.. It’s come a long way from the home-brew operating system that was for IBM-AT clones that Linus Torvalds imagined back then. At the time he was developing a minix “replacement”, and the note to the comp.os.minix newsgroup was asking for features that people would like to see implemented (minix, being an educational platform didn’t have all the tools of the full-scale Unix environments seen at the time (e.g. AT&T’s System V).

It’s a bit different these days, with the code supporting anything from smart-phones and set-top boxes to the largest scale mainframes and supercomputers from IBM, Cray, and SGI. In addition, this is no longer a hobby operating system, but has grown to provide a stable platform for substantial portions of the internet, as well as business supporting and business critical applications, placing it firmly at the heart of corporate IT infrastructure and several other places you might not expect to see Linux..

Here’s the original announcement, so early in the cycle, it doesn’t even have a name yet!

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. 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, and
I’d like to know what features most people would want. Any suggestions
are welcome, but I won’t promise I’ll implement them 🙂

Linus (torva…@kruuna.helsinki.fi)

PS. Yes – it’s free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs.
It is NOT protable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never
will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that’s all I have :-(. comp.os.minix original “Linux” article

Notice the middle paragraph, where any suggestions (and code additions) are welcome, but the operating system may not get them if Linus doesn’t agree, a trait that still continues to this day!

Thanks to www.kernel.org (the home of the linux system) for the heads-up!

John Dixon

John Dixon is the Principal Consultant of thirteen-ten nanometre networks Ltd, based in Wiltshire, United Kingdom. He has a wide range of experience, (including, but not limited to) operating, designing and optimizing systems and networks for customers from global to domestic in scale. He has worked with many international brands to implement both data centres and wide-area networks across a range of industries. He is currently supporting a major SD-WAN vendor on the implementation of an environment supporting a major global fast-food chain.

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