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Celebrating 20 Years of Linux 193

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the dirty-gnu-hippies dept.
dmbkiwi writes "2011 is the 20th anniversary of the first release of the Linux kernel by Linus Torvalds. Since that time, the Linux kernel, together with the GNU tools and a whole host of software has been developed by enthusiasts and professional programmers into an operating system that runs on tiny embedded systems right up to the world's fastest supercomputers." The Linux Foundation is hosting a celebratory gala at this year's LinuxCon.
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Celebrating 20 Years of Linux

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  • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @03:04PM (#35749070) Journal

    What do you get for the kernel that has everything?

    • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @03:06PM (#35749102)

      What do you get for the kernel that has everything?

      A larger desktop market share and acceptance by the general population?

      • by _0rm_ (1638559)
        Sounds like Canonical has that covered.
      • Maybe a working link in the Slashdot article? The #1 link is not an HREF.

      • A larger desktop market share and acceptance by the general population?

        Larger desktop share would be nice, but technically I would say Linux (especially the kernel) is accepted by the general population even if they don't know it's Linux running their phone, gps, web page, etc.

        • by mldi (1598123)

          A larger desktop market share and acceptance by the general population?

          Larger desktop share would be nice, but technically I would say Linux (especially the kernel) is accepted by the general population even if they don't know it's Linux running their phone, gps, web page, etc.

          True, but that doesn't necessarily mean contributions back to the kernel for the general public and so the kernel doesn't really benefit from that.

        • A larger desktop market share and acceptance by the general population?

          Larger desktop share would be nice, but technically I would say Linux (especially the kernel) is accepted by the general population even if they don't know it's Linux running their phone, gps, web page, etc.

          Meh, I'm fine with the current desktop Linux marketshare. If 90% of the population want to perform the computing equivalent of diving in front of bullets for me, who am I to stop them?

    • a popper, of course. :-o
    • by ae1294 (1547521)

      What do you get for the kernel that has everything?

      42...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by manpeach (1493673)
      Give Him a twenty dollar gift certificate at Pizza Jo's!
    • by npsimons (32752) *

      What do you get for the kernel that has everything?

      You joke, but I was just looking at a comparison of open source OSes, and Linux really DOES seem to have everything. [wikipedia.org] I keep getting reminded of The "Last" OS comment [slashdot.org]. Truly insightful.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Stable API?

        Calm down. I'm joking. It has gotten better. Just the occasional, changing of the name of constants.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by npsimons (32752) *

          Stable API?

          Oh please don't tell me you're another one of those going on about stable kernel API nonsense. [kroah.com]

          Calm down. I'm joking. It has gotten better. Just the occasional, changing of the name of constants.

          Oh good. Well, you could just always go the route of getting your driver into the mainline kernel. Or hell, if that's too much trouble, ask them to write it for you [kroah.com]. What's that you say? You want a binary interface so you can write closed source drivers? Well in that case, fuck off. It's called "open sour

          • by Yunzil (181064)

            Oh please don't tell me you're another one of those going on about stable kernel API nonsense. [kroah.com]

            Good lord. All the reasons cited on that page are presented as good things rather than as problems that need to be solved, as most of them are.

            Or hell, if that's too much trouble, ask them to write it for you [kroah.com].

            Yeah, because that's worked so well so far. Plus the next time someone changes the kernel API you get to redo all the drivers again. Awesome!

            • by npsimons (32752) *

              Yeah, because that's worked so well so far. Plus the next time someone changes the kernel API you get to redo all the drivers again. Awesome!

              Sigh . . .

              Other people will update the driver for you when external interface changes require it.

              I figured I would post the relevant part of the linked document, since you obviously didn't read it.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        The Last OS? Isn't that what they said about Multics?

    • by 0racle (667029)
      Multiscreen 3d acceleration?
      • That's not linux, that's X, and if it's not already built in most of the time it's just a driver download away.
        I'm pretty sure I saw that before 2000 with some Matrox cards.

        Nice of you to join in but unfortunately this article is about something totally different to what you are writing about and you are wrong anyway. I hope the rest of your day goes better.
    • Re:Happy Birthday (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Jeek Elemental (976426) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @03:35PM (#35749464)

      decent competition?

    • drivers
      documentation
      ease of use

      • by Nikker (749551)
        Drivers ya I can see that, although there really isn't that much that is missing any more. Documentation though? Common there is so much documentation and so many forums on basically every error code in existence that documentation is just stupid to bring up. Finally "ease of use" most of the time when I hear this it is just about installing drivers but aside from all of that most distros similar to Ubuntu are pretty much just like windows. See icon -> double click, see another icon -> double clic
        • I await - after 15 years - my MIPS R4000 support with framebuffer devices for the SGI Indigo Elan and the unique TTY on this architecture.

          "A better Iriix than Irix".

        • I'm really having a hard time finding beginner-level doc, especially finding documentation that is relevant to my distro, and its precise version.

          1st, there are so many possible places to scavenge for doc, that google is pretty much the only solution.
          2nd, most doc is outdated
          3rd, most doc assumes more linux knowledge than I have. Or a different distro. or a different version of the same distro.
          4th, honestly, forum support is rarely very friendly or efficient, especially for badly-phrased newb questions.

          Exam

          • I never could get the Remote Desktop (as in, MS's remoting protocol) client/server to run on my Ubuntu... 8.04 I think, at the time.

            why would you want to? Ubuntu supports remote desktop out of the box with VNC, for which there are numerous clients on all OSes

            • RD client is pre-installed on all Windows PC, which is handy, especially when I'm not an Admin. Also, RD looks and feels better than all VNC implementations I've seen.

    • by jd (1658)

      There's a lot of networking protocols (especially dealing with real-time TCP, networking over slow connections - eg DTP, QoS functions) that are missing and why the hell aren't things like Web100 and KTAU integrated with mainstream yet?!

      Documentation (eg: LARTC) is horribly out-of-date and usually sucks.

      The VAX port is missing.

      A number of newer filesystems (eg: btrfs, nilfs) still need work and there's a few good filesystems (eg: Polyserve's fs) that we don't have clean-room implementations of.

      More of the h

    • by Sloppy (14984)

      What do you get for the kernel that has everything?

      Another filesystem, optimized for whatever pattern of use is happening at some particular mountpoint, like Reiser did for maildirs. You can't ever have too many filesystems. Screw the generalists; there will never be one best filesystem, and this is one way Linux shines and beats everything else out there.

    • It would be nice if someone made a video of the Linux upgrade path as we've seen recently with Windows. Install Linux 1.0 -> ... -> Ubuntu 11.04 and show how applications continue working.
  • by scharkalvin (72228) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @03:09PM (#35749152) Homepage

    Click on the underlined "20th anniversary of the first release of the Linux kernel " and you go nowhere.

    • by Jonner (189691)

      Yep, it's an a element with no href attribute, something I've never seen before.

      • Yep, it's an a element with no href attribute, something I've never seen before.

        Really? I thought that was the old way to make hyperlinks to different parts of the same HTML document (i.e. <a name="foo">. I'm not sure when the "normal" way switched to using the id tag inside any element.

        • by Jonner (189691)

          It probably changed with HTML 4. I didn't really do much with HTML before that.

  • Holy crap, 20 years? I'm pretty sure I first installed it in '92 or '93, that really makes me feel old now.

    I know it was a Slackware install with a 0.99a Kernel or something like that. I know there were an immense amount of floppy disks involved.

    Wow, 20 years goes by fast.

    • I installed one of the first Slackware distros around 1993 or so on my old 486SX-25 with a whopping 70mb hard drive and 8mb of RAM, to run my BBS. I showed off running X and having folks dial in on one of my two phone lines, really flew once I had proper UART serial ports.

      Now I'm running Linux servers every bloody where; custom routers, SAMBA servers, LAMP servers, Postfix mail gateway.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        I installed one of the first Slackware distros around 1993 or so on my old 486SX-25 with a whopping 70mb hard drive and 8mb of RAM

        I put it on my brand new 486DX-33, with a 325MB HD, and 8MB of RAM, with a video card with 1MB so I could do 1024x768. Two years or so later I upgraded to have a total of 20MB of RAM (and a princely sum that cost in the fall of 1994, $600 if I recall).

        At the time, my Linux machine was bigger than some of the Sun machines at my school.

        Ahh ... good times.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        I had an SLS version first. I think there may have been a Slackware version at the time. I wanted to limit the headaches of installing it, so I chose a distribution with a relatively small number of floppy disks, and optional floppy sets. The BSD I looked at required too many floppies for a "base" system. I was downloading at work and taking them home (no ISP access until this millenia :-). I certainly had no access to an expensive CD writer. Later it turned out I used Linux more at work than home, bu

      • by nomadic (141991)
        Yep I remember installing it on a 486DX-50 with 6 mb of RAM, and it still was able to run multiple desktops with animated backgrounds. Too bad that the linux kernel and the general desktop distributions have become so bloated, used to be a small, fast OS.
      • by IrquiM (471313)
        And still using Slackware, we hope?
    • by phrostie (121428)

      it was 96 for me, but still,,,,i feel so old.

    • I was thinking the same thing. "That can't be right because I played with some very early versions and that was only...Damnit!" I still remember my bundles of B, N, D, etc. floppies. (Base, Networking, Development, etc.)

  • If I had to guess, it should have probably linked to this [like-a-boss.org].
  • by sconeu (64226) on Thursday April 07, 2011 @03:27PM (#35749380) Homepage Journal

    Since the one in TFS is bogus -- I got this from the firehose:

    Corrected Link [like-a-boss.org]

  • It's already been 20 years?!?

    Damn we're getting old.

  • by e9th (652576) <e9th@tupodex.cPOLLOCKom minus painter> on Thursday April 07, 2011 @03:36PM (#35749482)
    And in just 6 months, we'll all be celebrating the 15th anniversary of the first official release of OpenBSD. [monkey.org]
  • August 26, 1991 (Score:5, Informative)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Thursday April 07, 2011 @03:54PM (#35749680) Homepage Journal

    That was the date of the birth announcement.

  • 20 years back linux came out, 19 years ago i started downloading it from bbs's, 18 years ago I installed it.... thanks to SLS and 2400 bps modems!

  • I bought a used 486 computer in 1997, booted it, saw that it had Windows for Workgroups on it, marvelled that people actually paid money for it, bought a Linux book at the local technical bookstore, loaded Slackware 3.3, and was off and running.

    I've always liked the way Slackware doesn't try to hide the fact that it's a Unix clone. I also like the way you can build any sort of system you like with it, desktop, server, whatever.

    ...laura

  • Linux has come along way, it's now stable mature reliable and available in a million flavours from some slick looking desktops through to supercomputers. It's a testament to the millions of people who've writen and re-writen it over and over and never run out of fun broken-by-design things to fix, through countless millions of labour hours over a couple of decades to produce an OS almost as good as what a proprietary outfit can do with merely a few orders of magnitude less labour in a few years.
    (If Linux
    • I'm trying to figure out if you're trolling or truly insightful.
    • Is that, like, a step up from <3'ing Linux. (The whole three rather than less than three.)

  • It is a superset of Linux 2.6. Its more open than most smartphone OSes, but not as open as Linux.
    • by Spykk (823586)
      Does Red Hat count as Linux? SLES? If patching your kernel means you aren't Linux anymore then most distros aren't Linux.
  • 1993. I wonder if I have anything left of all those distributions I tried back in the day.

  • by crhylove (205956)

    It's also the year of Linux on the Desktop! Have you tried Linux Mint 10?

  • It just occurred to me! Isn't Linux, spelled backward (xuniL), suspiciously similar to the name "Xenu" that is important to the Church if Scientology?

    I think this must be a conspiracy to subliminally "prepare" innocent people for indoctrination into a "xunil"-worship group. Who knows where it will go from there?

    Oh, the humanity!
  • You bastards just reminded me that I'll be 40 this month! You insensitive clods!

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