Monday, September 20

30 years ago, Linus Torvalds announced the creation of Linux | Digital Trends Spanish

In a colloquial way, it is said that the birthday of Linux It is the 25th of August. Therefore, technically Linux would be turning 30 years old today from August 25, 1991.

However, this date is not commemorating the launch of the first version of the operating system or anything like that. Instead, what is being celebrated is a symbolic act: that day, a 21-year-old boy posted on a Usenet forum that he was working on a new operating system.

The following is the full message that a young Linus Torvalds posted on Usenet exactly three decades ago:

From: tod[email protected] (Linus Benedict Torvalds)
Newsgroup: comp.os.minix
Title: What would you like to see the most in Minix?
Summary: small survey for my new operating system
Message-ID: 1991Aug25, [email protected]
Date: 25 Aug 91 20:57:08 GMT
Organization: University of Helsinki.

Hello everyone who uses minix

– I am creating a free operating system (just as a hobby, it won’t be big and professional like gnu) for clones of the AT 386 (486).

This I have been cooking since April and little by little it is getting ready.

I would like to receive any feedback on items that people like / dislike about minix, as my OS looks a bit alike (the file system is very similar, due to practical reasons).

I have already ported the bash (1.08) and the gcc (1.40) and everything seems to work fine.

This means that I am going to get to something more or less practical in a few months, and I would like to know what characteristics people want the most. All suggestions are welcome, but I can’t promise that I will implement them all 🙂

Linus torvalds
[email protected]

PS: Yes, it is free of minix code and the file system is multi-threaded. It is NOT portable (uses the 386 process system) and probably never has more support than AT hard drives, since it is the only equipment I have 🙁

With the perspective of time, that message can be read as innocent; basically, it was about a student creating a project with no ambition other than knowing that he was capable of doing it.

The first version of Linux would only be published in October 1991, under a license from Linus Torvalds himself but which allowed its free distribution over the internet; the only restriction was on the commercial use of the code. Linux was based on the idea of ​​Minix, an operating system created by Andrew Tanenbaum a few years earlier and which in turn was a version of Unix for general-purpose computers.

Indeed, Andrew Tanenbaum was a strong critic of Linux in its early days. The creator of Minix published in the same Usenet forums that, in his opinion, Linux was born obsolete.

One of Andrew Tanenbaum’s criticisms had to do with creating Linux for a specific type of hardware; in this case, the 386 processor from Linus Torvalds’ team. According to Tanenbaum, “writing an operating system that is so tied to a particular hardware, and especially one as strange as Intel’s, is basically wrong.”

Time would be in charge of showing that chance would be on Torvalds’ side, since Intel’s x86 architecture would become a standard that remains in force.

Over the months and years, the popularity of Linux expanded in communities of programmers, who joined the collaborative development of an alternative platform to the commercial versions of Windows of the time. And this led to the appearance of various Linux distributions, all based on the same kernel but adding new elements and their own graphical interfaces: Debian, Ubuntu, Suse, Fedora and a long etcetera.

Prior to the original message sent to Usenet in August 1991, Linus Torvalds considered calling the operating system Linux, although he would later dismiss the idea as too self-centered. For a time, the operating system was called Freax, until in September 1991 a collaborator on the project found the operating system files on an FTP and thought that Freax was not a good label.

Without asking anyone, that student decided to name the operating system Linux, in honor of its creator.

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