The history of Linux begans with the historical posting from Linus Torvalds into the newsgroup comp.os.minix:

From: Linus Benedict Torvalds (torvalds@klaava.Helsinki.FI)
Subject: What would you like to see most in minix?
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix
Date: 1991-08-25 23:12:08 PST
Message-ID: <1991Aug25.205708.9541@klaava.Helsinki.FI>
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 (torvalds@kruuna.helsinki.fi)

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 :-(.

The resonanze to his posting was very big, even Linus couldn't realize it.
He described in the following postings that gcc, the bash and a lot other GNU projets run on Linux, but it wasn't "debugged" yet.

But the one important question is:
"Why should I use Linux when I'm happy with Minix? "
The answer gave Robert Duncan in a posting about pro and contra Linux (part of quotation):

From: Robert Duncan (duncan@ssdd475a.erim.org)
Subject: Re: Linux-0.11
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix
Date: 1992-01-14 01:43:17 PST
Message-ID: <DUNCAN.92Jan13110654@ssdd475a.erim.org>
>   5] What are the differences, pro and cons compared to Minix?

- Linux is not as mature as Minix, there is less working software right now.
- Linux vers 0.11 doesn't even have login yet, you are root all the time.
- Linux will only work on 386 and 486 processors.
- Linux needs 2M of memory just to run, 4M to be useful.
- Linux is a more traditional unix kernel, it doesn't use message passing. 

- Linux is free, and freely distributable.
- Linux has some advanced features such as:
  - Memory paging with copy-on-write
  - Demand loading of executables
  - Page sharing of executables
  - Multi-threaded file system
- The next version (still beta) due out this month will have job control and
  virtual memory, virtual consoles and psuedo-ttys.
- Linux is a more traditional unix kernel, it doesn't use message passing.

But this is only the beginning of the Linux-history.
Some historical points were:

  • Support architecture: i386
  • Implementation of device-driver, harddisc-driver, user-level-functions
  • Implementation of the ext filesystem
  • Support of SCSI, Parallelport, Unix Sockets and the MSDOS-Filesystem
  • Support of TCP/IP-protocollstacks and of the first Ethernet-cards
  • Sound-Support
  • Network File System (NFS)
  • Direct Memory Access
  • Support of HPFS (OS/2) [only readable]
  • ELF
  • Virtuell filesystem
  • Implementation of better algorithm in the kernel code
  • First time that moduls were supported
  • Porting Linux to the Aplpha and Sparc architecture
  • PCI was extended
  • Multiprocessoring
  • Supported architectures: i386, mips, ppc, sparc, M68K (Amiga), Atari
  • Kernel Deamon (kerneld)
  • Supported filesystems: ..., vfat, umsdos, Netware Core Protocol, SMB, Quotas
  • Reworking on the TCP/IP Implementation
  • Support of firewalls, IP-Tunneling, IP-Masquerading, Multicast-Routing
  • ISDN-Support
  • Support of the Advanced Power Management (APM)
  • Tux was the official 'logo' of Linux
  • Working on the disk usage
  • Implementation of the NFS-Deamon
  • Firewalling: ipfwadm was replaced to ipchain
  • New supported filesystem CODA

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Last Change: 2011-05-04 21:17:57