Subscribe Now

* You will receive the latest news and updates on the Canadian IT marketplace.

Trending News

Blog Post

Linux rules the Web at 25
CLOUD

Linux rules the Web at 25 

That programmer, named Linus Torvalds, also wrote:

PS.  Yes – it’s free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs. 
It is NOT protable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never
will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that’s all I have :-(. 

Twenty-five years later, there is likely very little connected to the Internet that is not in some way touched by Linux, the Unix-like computer operating system developed under a free and open-source software development and distribution that came out of Torvald’s project.

Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Wikipedia and other online sites run on Linux as well as Tesla electric cars, smart TVs, and smart thermostats even drones and Android phones. Even Microsoft, which was once opposed to Linux, is now embracing the OS, offering it its Azure cloud computing service, and using Linux for data centre switches.

Linux accounted for about 84 per cent of the OS market in the first quarter of 2016, according to research firm Gartner. According to Web technology survey site W3Tech, Unix and Unix-like OS account for 67 per cent of Web servers, as much as half of those servers run on Linux, according to writer Klint Finley, whose article on Wired.com, traces the growth of Linux.

It wasn’t always that way, though, he said.

Back in 1969, Ken Thomson and Dennis Ritchie developed Unix at AT&T’s Bell Labs. Unix, which was built with a new programming language called C, would become the go-to operating system for commercial computing for decades. And it worked really well, but as Finley said: “the geeks wanted something they could tinker with on their personal computers.”

Good luck with that, Unix was owned by AT&T.

Fast forward to 1984, and along comes freedom software activist and programmer, Richard Stallman, who came up with the cleverly named OS GNU – which was upward compatible with Unix. GNU is a recursive acronym for: GNU is not Unix.

People may pay or not pay for GNU, but free also meant users had the freedom to use the program as they wish, free to copy the program and give it away, free to change the program as they wish, and free to distribute the program as they with.

By 1990, all of the major components of GNU had been written except for the kernel- – the core of the operating system which allowed it talk to hardware and translate inputs from keyboard and mouse.

The following year, Torvalds came up with Linux, a Unix-like kernel which completed GNU as an OS.

Today, it is estimated that tens of millions of people use the GNU/Linux system, typically via GNU/Linux distributions, according to GNU.org.

Related posts