The History of Linux

Who invented Linux? Linux is the first truly free Unix-like operating system. The underlying GNU Project was launched in 1983 by Richard Stallman originally to develop a Unix-compatible operating system called GNU, intended to be entirely free software. Many programs and utilities were contributed by developers around the world, and by 1991 most of the components of the system were ready. Still missing was the kernel.

Linus Torvalds invented Linux itself. In 1991, Torvalds was a student at the University of Helsinki in Finland where he had been using Minix, a non-free Unix-like system, and began writing his own kernel. He started by developing device drivers and hard-drive access, and by September had a basic design that he called Version 0.01. This kernel, which is called Linux, was afterwards combined with the GNU system to produce a complete free operating system.

On October 5th, 1991, Torvalds sent a posting to the comp.os.minix newsgroup announcing the release of Version 0.02, a basic version that still needed Minix to operate, but which attracted considerable interest nevertheless. The kernel was then rapidly improved by Torvalds and a growing number of volunteers communicating over the Internet, and by December 19th a functional, stand-alone Unix-like Linux system was released as Version 0.11.

On January 5, 1992, Linux Version 0.12 was released, an improved, stable kernel. The next release was called Version 0.95, to reflect the fact that it was becoming a full-featured system. After that Linux became an underground phenomenon, with a growing group of distributed programmers that continue to debug, develop, and enhance the source code baseline to this day.

Torvalds released Version 0.11 under a freeware license of his own devising, but then released Version 0.12 under the well established GNU General Public License. More and more free software was created for Linux over the next several years.

Linux continued to be improved through the 1990's, and started to be used in large-scale applications like web hosting, networking, and database serving, proving ready for production use. Version 2.2, a major update to the Linux kernel, was officially released in January 1999. By the year 2000, most computer companies supported Linux in one way or another, recognizing a common standard that could finally reunify the fractured world of the Unix Wars. The next major release was V2.4 in January 2001, providing (among other improvements) compatibility with the upcoming generations of Intel's 64-bit Itanium computer processors.

Although Torvalds continued to function as the Linux kernel release manager, he avoided work at any of the many companies involved with Linux in order to avoid showing favoritism to any particular organization, and instead went to work for a company called Transmeta and helped develop mobile computing solutions, and made his home at the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), which merged into The Linux Foundation.

The penguin often seen in association with Linux, also pictured at the top of the page, is the Linux mascot, named "Tux". Tux’s origins in the Linux community date back to 1996 when a British programmer Alan Cox visualized a penguin to be appointed as the official Linux kernel mascot and logo. Alan played a major role in the development of the Linux kernel. He maintained the 2.2 branch. The very first image of Tux was created by Larry Ewing using GIMP in 1996 after taking clues from Alan Cox. Linus Torvalds once saw an image of a penguin which looked like the Creature Comforts characters. This inspired him to go for the penguin Linux mascot. James Hughes was the first person to call Tux, Tux. According to him, it was an acronym for Torvalds UniX. The name Tux also finds its roots in the word tuxedo as a penguin looks as if it is wearing a black tuxedo.

Let’s face it; Windows OS is vulnerable to many types of attacks. However, Linux is not as vulnerable as Windows. It sure isn’t invulnerable, but it is a lot more secure. Although, there’s no rocket science in it.

It is just the way Linux works that makes it a secure operating system. Overall, the process of package management, the concept of repositories, and a couple more features makes it possible for Linux to be more secure than Windows.

When you have Windows installed, you need to download/purchase an Antivirus program to keep your computer safe from hackers and malware. However, Linux does not require the use of such Anti-Virus programs. Of course, a couple of software tools still exist to help you keep your system free from threats, but it is often unnecessary when you have a Linux system