Linus Torvalds was born in Finland and later immigrated to the United States. He went to college in Finland and got his Master’s degree in computer science. He was named after Linus Pauling, a Nobel-prize winning chemist. Linus Torvalds is known for his creation and lead architect role for the first open-source operating system kernel. He is also known as one of the pioneers in the open-source community. Linus currently works with the Linux Foundation, which is the main organization that backs the operating system.
Anyone who works with computers (and even outsiders) has probably heard of the open-source operating system. Linux is a Unix-based operating system that started development in 1991. It’s continued to grow and because it’s open-source, thousands of programmers have contributed to the kernel. Linus started the project in college as an attempt to fix the dislikes of the MINIX operating system. He posted on Usenet asking for feedback on the likes and dislikes of the operating system, and began work on his pet project. Later that year, he released Linux .011.
Linus wanted to develop free software for developers, and even in the beginning dozens of developers contributed to the Linux kernel. Originally, Linux was only adopted by hardcore computer users where personal computers were mainly using Microsoft Windows. In the 2000s, the Linux operating system began to morph into a more user-friendly operating system, and now it is Windows’ biggest competitor.
Several versions of Linux have evolved from the main kernel. Red Hat even offered Linus stock options in honor of his contributions, and Linus made millions when Red Hat went public.
Linus also developed Git, which is a software change control and distribution system. Git allows developers to control versions and distribute beta and stable versions to end-users. Git keeps strict control of code changes, keeps a log of changes, and lets developers merge versions of their software.
Linus has earned several awards and recognition for his achievements in computer science. Linus has been given the Millennium Technology Prize, an award in the Internet Hall of Fame, and he was featured as Time Magazine’s most important people of the century. He was also named as one of the most influential people in the world.
If you use the Linux system or just want to know the history of operating systems and computers, you’re sure to come across the name Linus Torvalds. Linus has not only made great contributions to the computer industry, but he has changed the way personal and office computers install software. Linux continues to offer users a free operating system that any new or old programmer can contribute to.
Interested in Linux? Take a look at some of the key differences between Linux and Windows.