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Linus Torvalds: A Linux History

If you’re reading this I’m sure you may be knowing a thing or two about Linux. But did you know this kernel of code was written by the now famous, Linus Torvalds? What started out as a hobby operating system(OS) for his Intel 80386 CPU quickly became the operating system of choice. Currently 2% of the current kernel code is written by Torvalds himself. 2% is still huge considering the millions of contributions made by others. Torvalds today remains the ultimate authority on the what new code is incorporated into the Linux kernel.

Upon conducting my research I came across the actual email Linus sent to a Usenet Group back in 1991 announcing the kick off of his operating system:

From: torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.F  (Linus Benedict Torvalds)
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix
Subject: What would you like to see most in minix?
Summary: small poll for my new operating system
Message-ID: <1991Aug25.205708.9541@klaava.Helsinki.FI
Date: 25 Aug 91 20:57:08 GMT
Organization: University of Helsinki
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 (torvalds@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 :-( .

Linus uploaded the first version of Linux, version 0.01 in September of 1991. Then Linux belonged to the world.

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As we say, the rest is history.

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