Linux is Everywhere, at home, offices, colleges, labs and space stations. But it was not the dominant force in the past it is now, it all started as a hobby by a Finish student. Linux has evolved from a hobby into a computing revolution. We present you with the most complete historical timeline of Linux Evolution on the web spanning over 23 years.
25 August : The 21 year old Finnish student Linus Benedict Torvalds announced his work on a free operating system in the comp.os.minix Usenet newsgroup.
1 September : Linux 0.01 was released on the net.
5 January : The Linux kernel was relicensed under the GNU GPL with the v0.12 release. The initial license forbade commercial use. After the change the distribution and sale of possibly modified and unmodified versions of Linux became possible, provided that all those copies be released under the same license and be accompanied by the complete corresponding source code. In a later interview Linus made the following statement about the license change:
Making Linux GPL’d was definitely the best thing I ever did.
29 January : Andrew S. Tanenbaum posted LINUX is obsolete to the comp.os.minix mailing list. The debate, which is considered a flame war by some people, was about Linux and kernel architecture in general. Tanenbaum argued that microkernels are superior to monolithic kernels and that therefore Linux is obsolete.
5 April : The first Linux newsgroup, comp.os.linux, is proposed and started by Ari Lemmke.
21 May : Peter MacDonald announces SLS, the first standalone Linux install. It was installable by floppy disk and included such cutting-edge features as TCP-IP networking support and the X Window System. At least 10MB of space on disk was recommended.
17 June : Slackware was released by Patrick Volkerding. Slackware is considered to be the first broadly successful Linux distribution and is still in use today.
16 August : Ian Murdock (the ian in Debian) released the 1st version of the Debian Linux distribution. Debian is one of the most influential Linux distros, being the basis of MEPIS, Mint, Ubuntu and many others.
19 August : Matt Welsh’s Linux Installation and Getting Started, version 1 is released. This is the first book on Linux.
14 March : Version 1.0 of the Linux kernel was released. It supported single-processor i386-based computer systems. Within the 3 years of its existence the kernel code base had grown to 176,250 lines of code.
26 March : The first issue of Linux Journal is published. This issue featured an interview with Linus Torvalds and articles written by Phil Hughes, Robert “Bob” Young, Michael K. Johnson, Arnold Robbins, Matt Welsh, Ian A.
15 August : William R. Della Croce, Jr. files for the trademark “Linux” and it is registered in September. Della Croce has no known involvement in the Linux community yet sends letters out to prominent Linux companies demanding money for use of the trademark “Linux”. In 1997 the matter was settled by the assignment of the mark to Linus Torvalds on behalf of all Petitioners and Linux users.
3 November : Red Hat co-founder Marc Ewing announced the availability of the Red Hat Software Linux on CD-ROM, a commercial product that shipped for a retail price of $49.95 and included 30 days of installation support. Red Hat became the first $1 billion open source company in 2012.
4 April : Linux Expo, the first Linux-specific tradeshow and conference series, launches and becomes the most popular and well-attended annual Linux show for the next several years. The price for entry into the exhibit hall and a pass to the conferences was $4. After three years Red Hat takes over organization and becomes the major sponsor.
9 May : The Tux mascot was created by Larry Ewing in 1996 after an initial suggestion made by Alan Cox and further refined by Linus Torvalds on the Linux kernel mailing list. The concept of the Linux mascot being a penguin came from Linus Torvalds, who claims to have contracted penguinitis after being gently nibbled by a penguin.
9 June : Version 2.0 of the Linux Kernel was released. It was a significant improvement over the earlier versions being the first stable kernel to support multiple processors in a single system (SMP) and more processor types. Linux becomes a serious alternative for many companies. You can read an in advance review of Linux Version 2.0 that was published in August 1996 in the Linux Journal to learn more about the improvements.
14 October : Matthias Ettrich founded the KDE project in 1996 as he was troubled by the inconsistency of applications running on the Unix desktop.
9 January : Bliss, first “Linux Virus” was discovered. Bliss does not circumvent the security of the system, it relies on people with privilege to do something dumb and reminds users to install digitally signed software from trustworthy sites only and to check signatures before installing.
“In fact it’s probably easier to write a virus for Linux because it’s open source and the code is available. So we will be seeing more Linux viruses as the OS becomes more common and popular.” —Wishful thinking from McAfee.
1 May : The Google search engine was launched. Not only is it one of the best search engines around, but it’s based on Linux and features a Linux-specific search page.
4 December : A report from IDC says that Linux shipments rose by more than 200% in 1998, and its market share rose by more than 150%. Linux has a 17% market share and a growth rate unmatched by any other system on the market.
9 February : Linux and BSD users unite for “Windows Refund Day”. They visit Microsoft, hoping to return the unused Windows licenses that they were forced to acquire when they purchased a computer system bundled with the OS.
3 March : Another influential desktop environment arrives in the Linux World, the GNOME desktop. GNOME is the default desktop environment in several major Linux distributions like Debian, Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop.
4 February : The latest IDC report suggests that Linux now ranks as the “second-most-popular operating system for server computers”, with 25% of the server operating system sales in 1999. Windows NT is first with 38% and NetWare ranks third with 19%.
11 March : Motorola Computer Group announces the release of its HA Linux distribution. This distribution is aimed at telecommunications applications that require very high amounts of uptime; it includes hot-swap capability and is available for the i386 and PowerPC architectures.
23 March : Ericsson announces its “Screen Phone HS210” product—a Linux-based telephone with a touchscreen that can be used for e-mail, web browsing, etc. Ericsson and Opera Software also announce that Ericsson’s (Linux-based) HS210 Screen Phone will incorporate the Opera web browser.
30 September : Knoppix was one of the first Linux live distributions when initially released by Linux consultant Klaus Knopper.
3 January : The US National Security Agency (NSA) releases SELinux under the GPL. SELinux offers an additional layer of security checks in addition to the standard UNIX-like permissions system.
6 March : The SCO Group (SCO) announced that they were suing IBM for $1 billion, claiming that IBM transferred SCO trade secrets into Linux. Later SCO began numerous legal claims and threats against many of the major names in the computer industry, including HP, Microsoft, Novell, Silicon Graphics, Sun Microsystems and Red Hat. The jury case was decided on 30 March 2010 in Novell’s favour
20 October : Ubuntu came into life with the unusual version number 4.10, referring to its release date in October 2004 and the odd code name Warty Warthog. Ubuntu’s development is led by Canonical Ltd., a company owned by Mark Shuttleworth. While not being a major contributor to the kernel, Ubuntu plays an important part in the adoption of Linux on desktops and laptops.
6 June : ASUS announced two Eee PC models at Computex Taipei 2007: the 701 and 1001. The 1st Eee PCs came pre-installed with Xandros Linux, a lightweigt distribution optimized for small displays based on Debian.
8 August : Linux Foundation was founded in 2007 by the merger of the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and the Free Standards Group (FSG). The Linux Foundation sponsors the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and is supported by leading Linux and open source companies, including prominent technology corporations such as Fujitsu, HP,IBM, Intel, NEC, Oracle, Qualcomm, Samsungand developers from around the world.
5 November : Instead of announcing a Gphone as speculated beforehand, Google announced the Open Handset Alliance and Android calling it the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices.
29 January : In January 2009 the New York Times stated: “More than 10 million people are estimated to run Ubuntu today”.
11 May : Google announced the Chromebook at the Google I/O conference 2011. Chromebooks are laptops running the so-called cloud operating system Chrome OS, that is based on the Linux kernel.
21 June : Linus Torvalds announces the release of Linux 3.0.
13 December : Valve Corporation announces its Linux-based operating system SteamOS for video game consoles.
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