The History of Linux

Topics: Linux kernel, Linux, Linus Torvalds Pages: 3 (976 words) Published: April 18, 2005
It all began in 1991, during the time of monumental computing development. DOS had been bought from a Seattle hacker by Bill Gates, for a sum of $50,000 – a small price for an operating system that had managed sneak its way across the globe due to a clever marketing strategy. Apple's OS and UNIX were both available, though the cost of running either was far greater than that of running DOS. Enter MINIX, an operating system developed from the ground up by Andrew S. Tanenbaum, a college professor. MINIX was part of a lesson plan used to teach students the inner-workings of an operating system. Tanenbaum had written a book on MINIX called "Operating System" and anyone who had picked up a copy would find the 12,000 lines of code that comprised MINIX itself. This was a big issue; due to the fact that all know (well published) operating systems to that point had been well guarded by software developers, thus making it difficult for people to truly expand on operating system mechanics. Then came Linus Benedict Torvalds. At the time he was a sophomore majoring in Computer Science at the University of Helsinki, his hobby also included computer programming. At 21 he found himself spending most of his time toying with computer systems, trying to see what he could do in order to push their limits and increase their functionality. The key missing in his tests was an operating system that had the flexibility craved for by professionals. MINIX was available, though it was still just a study tool and not meant for heavy workloads. With the current spreading trend of open-source, and tools readily available, Linus began developing an operating system that was a deviation for MINIX. He used resources made available through the GNU project (known as GNU's Not Linux), which was a developmental stage of a UNIX-type operating system that was open source. He kept the file system structure, and ported bash(1.08) as well as gcc(1.40), for "practical reasons". Once a small...
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