• Linux evolved from a project started by a
university student to the robust OS it is now
• In June 1971, Richard Matthew Stallman
joined MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory as
a programmer where he gained popularity
with the hacker community and came to be
known by his now popular name RMS.
• At that time, all the programmers used to
share their code freely among each other
cutting across various institutions
• In 1980, with the advent of portable software
- ie software that can be compiled to run on
different computers, a business model
• So the companies developing the code
refused to share the code with their clients
and began restricting copying and
redistribution of their software by
• In response to this trend, Stallman, who believed
in the principle that software has to be free
always, founded the Free Software
Foundation and in 1985, published the GNU
• This manifesto outlined his motivation for
creating a free OS called GNU, which would be
compatible with Unix.
• He along with a group of like minded
programmers started work in developing the
tools needed to make a complete OS
• In the same year (1985), a professor by name
Andy Tanenbaum wrote a Unix like Operating
system from scratch for the Intel i386
• He named it Minix.
• In 1989, Stallman released the first program
independent GNU General Public Licence now
popularly known as GPL or copyleft.
• Now the only thing that GNU lacked was a
completely free OS kernel
• In 1990, A finnish student by name Linus Torvalds
studying in the University of Helsinki came into
contact with Andy Tanenbaum's OS, Minix.
• Linus wanted to upgrade Minix by putting in
more features and improvements.
• But he was prohibited by Tanenbaum to do so.
• Then Linus decided to write his own kernel and
released it under GPL.
• This kernel is now popularly known as Linux
• The logo of Linux is a penguin
• His cute logo has a very interesting history
• Initially no logo was selected for Linux.
• Once Linus went to the southern hemisphere
on a vacation
• There he encountered a penguin
• As he tried to pat it, the penguin bit his hand.
• This amusing incident led to the selection of a
penguin as the logo of Linux sometime later.
• “If you want to travel around the world and be
invited to speak at a lot of different places,
just write a Unix operating system”