August 25 should be an international holiday. Well, it should be if you're a Linux user. Or, maybe it should be a religious holiday. For many Linux users, Linux is somewhat akin to a religion. That's the day in 1991 when Linus Torvalds made the comp.os.minix newsgroup post announcing Linux 0.01. That initial announcement read as follows:
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 :-)
PS. Yes - it's free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs. It is NOT portable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that's all I have :-(.
-- Linus Torvalds
The initial code release came a couple of weeks later. You can download Linux 0.01 here, if you want to take a look. With a little digging around on the internet, you should be able to compile the source code, and run it in VirtualBox.
According to Torvalds, Linux began to gain importance in 1992 after the X Window System was ported to Linux by Orest Zborowski, which allowed Linux to support a GUI for the first time.
What we commonly call and hold dear as Linux almost had a different name. Torvalds briefly considered "Linux," a play on his first name and Unix, but considered it too egotistical. So, he changed the name to "Freax," combining the words "free," "freak," and "Unix." However, Ari Lemmke, one of the volunteer administrators of the FTP server at the Helsinki University of Technology at the time, thought "Freax" was a dumb name, and took it upon himself to rename it Linux. The name stuck.
Tux, the Linux mascot, didn't come about until five years later. In 1996, when they were about to select the mascot, Torvalds mentioned he was bitten by a little penguin (Eudyptula minor) on a visit to the National Zoo & Aquarium in Canberra, Australia. Larry Ewing provided the original draft of today's well known mascot based on this description. The name Tux was suggested by James Hughes as derivative of Torvalds' UniX, along with being short for tuxedo, a type of suit with color similar to that of a penguin.
This month's magazine cover was designed by Meemaw. It celebrates the 29th anniversary of the Linux announcement, the announcement of the IBM PC on August 12, 1981, and August being Watermelon Month. During the dog days of summer, there's little else as refreshing as some ice cold watermelon to cool us off.
Until next month, I bid you peace, happiness, prosperity, serenity, and continued good health!