Linux Timeline

 

Linux Journal celebrated the publication of its 100th issue in 2002 with the release of the Linux Timeline. It's now 2006, Linux itself turns 15 this year and Linux Journal, a little older, grayer and wiser, is soon to release it's 150th issue. In celebration and in honor of an amazing community's history we're compiling the significant events of 2002 through 2006 (and of course anything from earlier years that we may have previously missed).

We ask you to take a few minutes of time and help record history. Consider this article post a giant whiteboard -- comment on the event or events you find to be most significant in Linux's recent history, you'll likely see our editors doing just the same.

We'll compile the events and re-release the timeline for all to share in the upcoming months.

Ready? Here we go:

August 1991

``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 (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 :-(.''

September 1991

Linux version 0.01 is released and put on the Net.

April 1992

The first Linux newsgroup, comp.os.linux, is proposed and started by Ari Lemmke.

October 1992

Peter MacDonald announces SLS, the first standalone Linux install. At least 10MB of space on disk was recommended.

June 1993

Slackware, by Patrick Volkerding, becomes the first commercial standalone distribution and quickly becomes popular within the Linux community.

August 1993

Matt Welsh's Linux Installation and Getting Started, version 1 is released. This is the first book on Linux.

March 1994

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. Murdock, Frank B. Brokken, K. Kubat, Micahel Kraehe and Bernie Thompson. Advertisers in the premier issue include Algorithms Inc., Amtec Engineering, Basmark, Fintronic (later became VA Research, VA Linux Systems, then...), Infomagic, Prime Time Freeware, Promox, Signum Support, SSC, Trans Ameritech, USENIX, Windsor Tech and Yggdrasil.

Linux 1.0 is released.

June 1994

While at a conference in New Orleans, Jon ``maddog'' Hall persuades Linus to port Linux to DEC's 64-bit Alpha computer processor chip. Less than two weeks later, maddog had also persuaded DEC to fund the project. An Alpha workstation was immediately sent to Linus. ``Digital [DEC] and the Linux community formed the first truly successful venture of suits and Linux geeks working together'', said maddog.

Linux International, a nonprofit vendor organization, is founded by Jon ``maddog'' Hall. Linux International goes on to become a major contributor to the success of Linux, helping corporations and others work toward the promotion of the Linux operating system.

August 1994

Linux trademark dispute: is Linux trademarked? William R. Della Croce, Jr. files for the trademark ``Linux'' on August 15, 1994, 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''. A lawsuit is filed in 1996 against Della Croce. Plaintiffs in the suit include Linus Torvalds; Specialized Systems Consultants, Inc. (publishers of Linux Journal); Yggdrasil Computing, Inc.; Linux International; and WorkGroup Solutions (also known as LinuxMall). The plaintiffs prevail, and in 1997 announce the matter as settled by the assignment of the mark to Linus Torvalds on behalf of all Petitioners and Linux users.

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Have you released the compiled list ?

Thorsten's picture

The 150th issue is still released, but I can´t find the compiled list with all Linux events from 2002. Will we the the list next time?

Can you make a continuation? like Linux Timeline II

Sprik2323's picture

I think the continuation would very interesting.
Like SCO's Unix and Linux copyright claims, etc.

MCC Interim Linux

Anonymous's picture

MCC Interim Linux distribution, was made available to the public for download on the ftp server of University of Manchester in February, 1992.

Re that Microsoft print ad,

Lawrence D'Oliveiro's picture

Re that Microsoft print ad, another, larger version is here: <http://www.ao.com/~regan/penguins/>, along with a parody rejoinder.

Infamous Microsoft print ad

Lawrence D&#039;Oliveiro's picture

I had a hunt around for that (in)famous Microsoft print ad you mentioned from October 2000. Here's a copy still online: <http://quartus.net/msad/>.

No mention of the switch

Allen Garvin's picture

No mention of the switch from a.out to ELF? The first port a non-intel system (it was DEC alpha, right?)? SMP support in the 1.2 kernel, when it started becoming more than just a hobby OS?

A bit weak on the early big events, I'd say.

-- Allen, linux user since November 1993

Small correction

Stephan's picture

Samba 2.0 is released. It contains a reverse-engineered implementation of the Microsoft domain controller protocols, allowing Linux servers to provide complete services to Windows networks.

I'd like to correct this statement. Samba was technically not developped via reverse engineering, but by sniffing the network traffic. To many the difference may seem irrelevant, but it is in fact of significant legal importance. The Samba team has never used reverse-engineering for their work. See e.g. http://chaosradio.ccc.de/cre025.html Sorry a german podcast only (Interview with Volker Lendecke)

Other events: HAL & Ubuntu

Nicolas Kassis's picture

The day HAL was released should be remembered. HAL allowed a lot of the Ease of use stuff to go forward.

Ubuntu.

Nic

VMware for Linux

John Calburn's picture

I think VMware support for Linux in 1998 is a great milestone too.

Linux TimeLine - Yggdrasil 1994

Anonymous's picture

Major point missed in article - Summer 1994 - Yggdrasil makes Linux available on crdom. This was the first offering (that I know of) that allowed the average Joe to get his hands on Linux. I've still got my cdrom, boot disk, and (rather good) instruction pamphlet from Yggdrasil and the white box 386sx that I ran it on. Working for (then) Western Electric which had close ties to Bell Labs I had been using Unix at work for years but it wasn't until the Yggdrasil cdrom that I had it running at home. mmmmmmmmmm virtual terminals and a Unix like environment -- great memories.

August 1994 Walnut Creek -2 CD set SlackWare

Anonymous's picture

Bought this 2 CD set in Europe in a computershop, january 1995.

It saved me a lot of money because I only had a 14.4 k modem, like most people in those day's, so the early CD distributions played a very important role in the adoption of oss.

Slackware 2.0 , Sunsite, rsx-11 and mail archives
And last but not least everything about X Windows.

May 2003

Anonymous's picture

Researchers at the University of Chicago turn Sony Playstations into a Linux based supercomputer.

January 2003

Anonymous's picture

Rumors of SCO's intellectual property lawsuit plans surface. Two months later they file suit against IBM claiming breach of contract and theft of trade secrets. More lawsuits are to come.

What happened since Feb. 2002?

Open Source Blogger's picture

I'm curious why the timeline stops at Feb. 2002...it's been 3 years, something *must* have happened worthy of writing about.

November 1991

Joe Klemmer's picture

One fateful day a young guy came over to my apartment to visit. We'd met on the local BBS scene and he wanted to show me something cool. That guy was the inimitable and unparalleled Erik "the" Ratcliffe. The cool thing he came to show me was, of course, Linux. He brought with him two 5.25" floppy disks, HJ Lu's boot/root disks. We fired it up and played for hours. OC, we didn't have much to play with back then but just being able to do crap on a *NIX shell prompt was way cool.

Shortly after that day I started using my shell account from a local ISP to ftp files from tsx-11 and sunsite to put up on my BBS (My UnKnown BBS). At that time I was one of, if not the largest, BBS's that had Linux available for download. I had callers from all over the world downloading everything from MCC Interim, TAMU, SLS and Slackware.

Over the years I've met a lot of the big names in the community. I've even been complimented on my efforts to bring Linux, and open source in general, to the US Army. The last 3 or 4 years I've been forced to step out of the grind due to health reasons. But I still use Linux and open source for everything I do on computers. There hasn't been anything that I needed to do that I can't do with Linux and open source.

So now I'm just an old, crippled user hardly anyone remembers. But it doesn't matter. The ride was wonderful and the road to the future is wide open.

--
Indie Game Dev and Linux User
Contact Info: http://about.me/joeklemmer
"Running Linux since 1991"

Comment to Joe.

Michael Steen's picture

Right on, Joe. That's the spirit.
We do what we can and make the world a little better.

All the best,
Michael

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