Linux Timeline

 
December 1998

A report from IDC says that Linux shipments rose by more than 200% in 1998, and its market share rose by more than 150%. Linux has a 17% market share and a growth rate unmatched by any other system on the market.

January 1999

``Microsoft Corp. will shout it out to the world when Windows 2000 finally ships. Linux creator Linus Torvalds announced the arrival of the next generation of Linux, version 2.2, with a simple note to the Linux-kernel mailing list.''--Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, Sm@rt Reseller

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.

Hewlett-Packard and Compaq announce plans to offer Linux-based systems. Later, Dell also announces plans to begin selling Linux-installed systems. SGI contents itself with providing information on how to bring up Linux on its systems.

Loki Entertainment Software announces that it will port Civilization: Call to Power to Linux.

February 1999

Linux and BSD users unite for ``Windows Refund Day''. They visit Microsoft, hoping to return the unused Windows licenses that they were forced to acquire when they purchased a computer system bundled with the OS.

March 1999

``Like a Russian revolutionary erased from a photograph, he is being written out of history. Stallman is the originator of the Free Software movement and the GNU/Linux operating system. But you wouldn't know it from reading about LinuxWorld (Expo). Linus Torvalds got all the ink.''--Leander Kahney, Wired magazine, March 1999

The first LinuxWorld Conference and Expo is held in San Jose, California. As the first big commercial ``tradeshow'' event for Linux, it serves notice to the world that Linux has arrived; 12,000 people are said to have attended.

Linux Magazine debuts, bringing some additional competition to the Linux print business. Later, other magazines rise and fall including Open, Journal of Linux Technology (JOLT) and Maximum Linux.

VA Research buys the Linux.com domain for $1,000,000 and announces plans to turn it into a Linux portal. Microsoft's rumored bid for the domain is frustrated.

April 1999

``...please imagine what it is like to see an idealistic project stymied and made ineffective because people don't usually give it the credit for what it has done. If you're an idealist like me, that can ruin your whole decade.''--Richard Stallman on GNU/Linux

Al Gore's presidential campaign web site claims to be open source. That claim is gone, but the site still claims: ``In the spirit of the Open Source movement, we have established the Gore 2000 Volunteer Source Code Project; www.algore2000.com is an 'open site'."

HP announces 24/7 support services for the Caldera, Turbolinux, Red Hat and SuSE distributions. They also release OpenMail for Linux.

The Linux FreeS/WAN Project releases a free IPSec implementation, allowing Linux to function as a VPN gateway using what is now the industry standard.

``But the mere fact that there is now an official SEC document that includes the text of the GPL serves as fairly astonishing proof that the rules of the software business really are being rewritten.''--Andrew Leonard, Salon

May 1999

``Those two little words--open source--have become a magical incantation, like portal in 1998 or push in 1997. Just whisper them and all will be yours: media attention, consumer interest and, of course, venture capital.''--Andrew Leonard, Wired

August 1999

First Intel IA-64 ``Merced'' silicon. Although Intel had given simulators to several OS vendors, Linux is the only OS to run on the new architecture on its first day. The Register headline: ``Merced silicon happens: Linux runs, NT doesn't''.

SGI announces the 1400L--a Linux-based server system. SGI also announces a partnership with Red Hat and begins contributing to kernel development in a big way.

Red Hat's initial public offering happens; a last-minute repricing helps to create difficulties for people participating in the community offering. The stock price immediately rises to $50; a value that seems high at the time.

``For the umpteenth time, someone paved paradise, put up a parking lot. For the thousands of Linux coders who've built the utopian open-source movement--offering free help to create a free operating system--the IPO of Red Hat Software was a sure sign of Wall Street cutting the ribbon on the new Linux mall.''--The Industry Standard

Motorola jumps into Linux announcements of embedded systems products, support and training services, and a partnership with Lineo.

Sun acquires StarDivision; it announces plans to release StarOffice under the Sun Community Source License and to make a web-enabled version of the office suite.

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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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