Linux at 25: From Grass to Grace

By | August 28, 2016

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It was about the time, august 28 1991 to be precise, that the great Linux was released into the world and what a great live has been lived during this time. For those of you that don’t know, Linux is the kernel [or you could say brain] of every distribution out there – – it is what makes it possible for us to use our system to do a variety of functions. If Linux were to be a human, he would have grown into a very responsible adult. Probably, he would have entered the labour market working in a nice company [even a CEO of startup] or undergoing a post-grad and pursuing a life in the academics. But even as a piece of software Linux have out-shined such limiting prospect to become even the back bone of the greatest invention of man – the internet – starting from very humble beginnings. So in this post I would highlight some crucial areas in which Linux have done this.

Very Humble Beginnings

One of the puzzling fact of Linux is the fact that it was not born as a project of any of the large corporations and companies of that time [the likes of IBM] or high research universities and surprisingly not even from the Free Software Foundation/GNU. Instead w hen a 20-year-old university student who decided to do something different by changing the scheme of things in the world of operating systems and savoring every bit of fun while doing it. When he sought help from other programmers he even prematurely acknowledged that it was just a “hobby” and that it would not be “big and professional like gnu”. Evidence abounds that shows that the ‘hobby’ became more professional than gnu.

Rainbow devices

Linux has succeeded in a variety of hardware platform. This has contributed to the number of different flavors of Linux distribution (‘distro’ for short) out there for different general or specified purpose. And also it’s what is fueling the ‘Internet of Things’ flame that is currently burning. Now you’d find Linux in things like refrigerators, cars (including driver-less ones), stock-exchanges, drones, planes, phones, tablets, traffic control systems, space stations, spacecrafts, satellites, microwave ovens, thermostats, television sets, laptops, servers, nuclear reactors and the list is kinda endless. Linux powers most of the worlds websites – is familiar? Among all of these the one I think most people would relate to is the “android story” and yet many have not noticed that the mobile operating system that more than 80 percent of smart phones and tablets use is based on the Linux kernel. As the day progresses we are moving more into a Linux dominated and powered world – since the future is OPEN.

Developers’ Paradise

You have more people working on Linux than on any other software project on earth. It is these programmers that ensure that 4,600 of lines of code are added to the kernel every single day – – and this number is increasing. This is because of its open source philosophy of development it is easy for programmers to contribute easily to the development of Linux. This has led to regular release cycles, easy bug tracking and removing, and wonderful protection against attack from all corners with many eyes watching it.

Even Microsoft was Infected and Converted

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when Microsoft saw the fiery rate at which Linux grew in the computer world it became a sort of nightmare, especially looking at what that would mean for its own operating system at the time. Linux was even referred to as a cancer by one of Microsoft’s boss, Steve Ballmer in 2001. That alone should give you an idea of how Linux was so pervasive and infectious that even a multi-billion corporation like Microsoft had to acknowledge it. Today Linux has finally been infected by that ‘cancer’. How? So many but I would name a few; the bash shell was ported to Windows 10, Skype released for Linux, .NET ported to Linux, MS office was released in android, and more recently the PowerShell was released ‘free’ on Linux. I wonder how Microsoft could openly declare love for a cancer. Wow! what a wonderful world

It is not an easy feat, many projects have come and fallen along the way of time but Linux has remained and most importantly relevant for 25 years – – with a firm hope it continue for another 25. Congrats Bro!

Happy 25Linux’NG




Chief Editor/Founder at FossNaija
A Linux enthusiast with a focus on enriching the Nigeria Linux experience and keeping a keen eye on Ubuntu and other Foss related developments.
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