Linux History Y2K

By Xah Lee. Date: .

Last week i bought a chain saw with a twisted handle. Perhaps i wasn't careful, but by accident it chopped one of my arm off, then i thought to myself “gosh, this is POWERFUL!”. This seems to be the fashionable mode of thinking among the unixers or unixer-to-be, who would equate power and flexibility with rawness and complexity; disciplined by repeated accidents. Such a tool would first chop off the user's brain, molding a mass of brainless imbeciles and microcephalic charlatans the likes of Larry Wall and Linus Torvald jolly asses. —Xah Lee

Linux Logo bw
Linux Logo bw

The Linux mascot is a satiated penguin. Concept by Linus Torvalds, drawn by Larry Ewing in 1996. His name is Tux. Fat and glutted with food and sex, according to the desire of its founder Linus Torvalds.

Linus was a student from University of Helsinki, who around 1991 tried to improve a version of a homework OS called MINIX as a hobby. (MINIX is written by computer scientist Andrew S Tanenbaum) In the usual fashion of posting homework to the net, his project gradually caught on in the FreeSoftware community, and became Linux. The name is short for Linus's Unix. The major work on Linux is by Richard Stallman's FreeSoftware Foundation's project GNU. Thus sometimes Linux is called GNU/Linux.

Technically speaking, the Linux OS kernel may be inferior to other unixes, but one thing good about GNU/Linux is that its tools such as ps tar grep find ls xargs awk sh/bash are all GNU versions, which is a improvement over other unixes's. The other major things that brought Linux to the limelight while a bunch of existing free unixes (BSDs) remain in obscurity is because Linux's license scheme from the Free Software Foundation (FSF)'s unforgiving GPL. Unix geeks are very freedom sensitive, and tend to be also punitive. FSF's unforgiving, viral, licensing scheme the GPL (GNU General License) prevents free-rides from commercial entities, and unix geeks like that. It is because of this political adjunct, that made linux soaring in popularity and left other technically superior and free BSDs in dust.

Debian logo, a swirl of magic.
Debian logo
Debian logos. The one with the vase is used for official affiliation.
little debian girl
“でびあんでしょう” (i'm Debian)
suse linux logo chameleon OpenSUSE logo
SuSe Linux's logo.
Red Hat logo RedHat linux logo 59428
Red Hat Linux logo

The Unix Pestilence