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Before we start with Linux tutorials, it’s better to understand its history to understand the philosophy behind and fully appreciate the best operating system in the planet.

Taken from Wikipedia:

In 1991, in Helsinki, Linus Torvalds began a project that later became the Linux kernel. It was initially a terminal emulator, which Torvalds used to access the large UNIX servers of the university. He wrote the program specifically for the hardware he was using and independent of an operating system because he wanted to use the functions of his new PC with an 80386 processor. Development was done on Minix using the GNU C compiler. This application is still the main choice for compiling Linux today (although the code can be built with other compilers, such as the Intel C Compiler).

As Torvalds wrote in his book Just for Fun[7], he eventually realized that he had written an operating system kernel. On 25 August 1991, he announced this system in a Usenet posting to the newsgroup “comp.os.minix.”:

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 🙂

Linus (torvalds@kruuna.helsinki.fi)

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 :-(.

To read the whole article. visit Wikipedia, here’s the >>  link


Taken from Ragib Hasan’s article ver. 2.2.0 about History of Linux:

It was 1991, and the ruthless agonies of the cold war were gradually coming to an end. There was an air of peace and tranquility that prevailed in the horizon. In the field of computing, a great future seemed to be in the offing, as powerful hardware pushed the limits of the computers beyond what anyone expected.

But still, something was missing.

And it was the none other than the Operating Systems, where a great void seemed to have appeared.

For one thing, DOS was still reigning supreme in its vast empire of personal computers. Bought by Bill Gates from a Seattle hacker for $50,000, the bare bones operating system had sneaked into every corner of the world by virtue of a clever marketing strategy. PC users had no other choice. Apple Macs were better, but with astronomical prices that nobody could afford, they remained a horizon away from the eager millions.

The other dedicated camp of computing was the Unixworld. But Unix itself was far more expensive. In quest of big money, the Unix vendors priced it high enough to ensure small PC users stayed away from it. The source code of Unix, once taught in universities courtesy of Bell Labs, was now cautiously guarded and not published publicly. To add to the frustration of PC users worldwide, the big players in the software market failed to provide an efficient solution to this problem.

A solution seemed to appear in form of MINIX. It was written from scratch by Andrew S. Tanenbaum, a US-born Dutch professor who wanted to teach his students the inner workings of a real operating system. It was designed to run on the Intel 8086 microprocessors that had flooded the world market.

As an operating system, MINIX was not a superb one. But it had the advantage that the source code was available. Anyone who happened to get the book ‘Operating Systems: Design and Implementation’ by Tanenbaum could get hold of the 12,000 lines of code, written in C and assembly language. For the first time, an aspiring programmer or hacker could read the source codes of the operating system, which to that time the software vendors had guarded vigorously. A superb author, Tanenbaum captivated the brightest minds of computer science with the elaborate and immaculately lively discussion of the art of creating a working operating system. Students of Computer Science all over the world pored over the book, reading through the codes to understand the very system that runs their computer.

To read the full article, pls. see it here

And one of them was Linus Torvalds.


From blogger post of http://linuxhelp.blogspot.com summarized it as :

* 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 emerged where in, the companies developing the code refused to share the code with their clients and began restricting copying and redistribution of their software by copyrighting it.
* 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 Manifesto. This manifesto outlined his motivation for creating a free OS called GNU, which would be compatible with Unix. By the way, GNU is a recursive acronym for GNU is Not Unix. He along with a group of like minded programmers started work in developing the tools needed to make a complete OS – like an editor (Emacs), a C compiler (GCC), libraries and all associated generic Unix tools like cat,ls, chmod etc.
* In the same year (1985), a professor by name Andy Tanenbaum wrote a Unix like Operating system from scratch based on System V standards POSIX and IEEE for the Intel i386 platform. He named it Minix.

* In 1989, Stallman released the first program independent GNU General Public Licence now popularly known as GPL or copyleft. Not only that, he published all his work under this licence. Now the only thing that GNU lacked was a completely free OS kernel. Even though work was going on in developing HURD which was to fill that gap, the progress was slow.
* 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.


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This site is dedicated to everyone who likes to learn and explore the beautiful world of Linux. If you have comments and suggestions, please feel free to email at freelinuxtutorials@gmail.com. I am happy to serve and share things esp. that is free and enjoyable as Linux.