jrepin writes "One midsummer's night, a student at the University of Helsinki posted a query to the newsgroup comp.os.minix asking, 'What would you like to see most in minix?' The student's name was Linus Torvalds, and that Usenet post was the beginning of the Linux operating system. The date was 25 August 1991, exactly 20 years ago today. In 1991 Unix had existed for about 20 years, Apple had come out with its Mac OS in 1984, and Microsoft had been flogging Windows since 1985. Torvalds' ambitions for his 'new (free) operating system' were modest. It was to be 'just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu' for IBM PC '386(486) AT clones.' He wanted to call his OS kernel 'Freax,' but a friend who ran the FTP server that hosted the software named Torvalds' source code download directory 'linux' and the name stuck."