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Linux Torvalds : Linux operating system. Comp 1631 (winter 2011) Yong- Hu Kwon. Linux Torvalds. Linus Benedict Torvalds was born on December 28, 1969 in Helsinki(Finland). He was named after Linus Pauling, the famous physical chemist and Nobel Prize winner.

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linux torvalds linux operating system

Linux Torvalds : Linux operating system

Comp 1631 (winter 2011)

Yong-Hu Kwon

linux torvalds
Linux Torvalds
  • Linus Benedict Torvalds was born on December 28, 1969 in Helsinki(Finland).
  • He was named after Linus Pauling, the famous physical chemist and Nobel Prize winner.
  • The Torvalds family belongs to the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland.
  • Torvalds attended the University of Helsinki from 1988 to 1996, graduating with a master's degree in computer science from NODES research group.
  • His academic career was interrupted after his first year of study when he joined the Finnish Army, selecting the 11-month officer training program to fulfill the mandatory military service of Finland.
linux torvalds1
Linux Torvalds
  • In 1990, he resumed his university studies, and was exposed to UNIX for the first time, in the form of a DEC MicroVAX running ULTRIX.

His M.Sc. thesis was titled Linux: A Portable Operating System.

  • His interest in computers began with a Commodore VIC-20. After the VIC-20 he purchased a Sinclair QL, which he modified extensively, especially its operating system. He programmed an assembly language and a text editor for the QL, as well as a few games. He is known to have written a Pac-Man clone named Cool Man. On January 5, 1991 he purchased an Intel 80386-based IBM PC and spent a month playing the game Prince of Persia before receiving his MINIX copy, which in turn enabled him to begin work on Linux.
linux torvalds2
Linux Torvalds
  • Thus, in 1997 he moved to sunny Santa Clara in California's fabled Silicon Valley to accept a position with Transmeta Corporation. His job there was to help develop commercial software to facilitate communication between operating systems and that company's microprocessors. Linux devotees were initially concerned not only about his move to a for-profit business but also about the fact that it was funded in part by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
  • For Torvalds, however, the decision was not difficult. Not only was it an opportunity for a change and to experience a much improved climate, but Silicon Valley was the ultimate destination for almost everyone in the computer field, even him. His choice of company was also affected by the fact that Transmeta was not involved with Linux, as he was reluctant to favor one Linux business over another.
  • Torvalds' arrangement with Transmeta permitted him to devote part of his time to his Linux activities. This was, in fact, a clever publicity move on the part of Transmeta, which benefited not only by receiving the services of an extremely talented and motivated engineer but also by having someone on their staff who brought them exceptional media attention.
linux torvalds3
Linux Torvalds
  • Torvalds arrived in Silicon Valley when Microsoft was decimating Netscape in the browser war and when many people in the U.S. and elsewhere were hoping for a new, and more robust, challenger to the Microsoft monopoly.
  • Actually, Torvalds was never really interested in accumulating wealth or power, and he has contended all along that what counts most for the best programmers is the joy of programming and being creative. In his own words, he did it all "just for fun."
  • Torvalds' financial situation changed dramatically in 1999. Red Hat and VA Linux (now VA Software), both leading developers of Linux-based software packages for large enterprises, had presented him with stock options in gratitude for his creation. Torvalds suddenly became a millionaire when Red Hat went public, and his net worth temporarily soared to roughly $20 million when VA Linux went public later that year.
linux torvalds family effect
Linux Torvalds’ Family Effect
  • Many members of the family were journalists. His parents, Nils and Anna Torvalds, were both radicals at the University of Helsinki during the 1960s. His father was a Communist who spent a year studying in Moscow in the mid-1970s and later became a radio journalist. His mother worked for a Finnish newspaper as a translator and a creator of news graphics.
  • Torvalds had a fairly conventional and happy childhood despite the fact that his parents were divorced when he was very young. He lived with his mother and also with his grandparents. Consistent with his family's occupation, emphasis was placed on reading from an early age.
  • It was his maternal grandfather, Leo Toerngvist, a professor of statistics at the University of Helsinki, who had the greatest influence on the young Linus. In the mid-1970s, Toerngvist bought one of the first personal computers, a Commodore Vic 20. Torvalds soon became bored with the few programs that were available for it, and he thus began to create new ones, first using the BASIC programming language and then using the much more difficult but also more powerful assembly language.
  • Programming and mathematics became Torvalds' passions. His father's efforts to interest him in sports, girls and other social activities were in vain, and Torvalds does not hesitate to admit that he had little talent for or interest in such pursuits.
what is linux
What is Linux?
  • Linux is, in simplest terms, an operating system. It is the software on a computer that enables applications and the computer operator to access the devices on the computer to perform desired functions. The operating system relays instructions from an application to, for instance, the computer's processor. The processor performs the instructed task, then sends the results back to the application via the operating system.
  • Explained in these terms, Linux is very similar to other operating systems, such as Windows and OS X.
  • But something sets Linux apart from these operating systems. The Linux operating system represented a $25 billion ecosystem in 2008. Since its inception in 1991, Linux has grown to become a force in computing, powering everything from the New York Stock Exchange to mobile phones to supercomputers to consumer devices.
  • As an open operating system, Linux is developed collaboratively, meaning no one company is solely responsible for its development or ongoing support. Companies participating in the Linux economy share research and development costs with their partners and competitors. This spreading of development burden amongst individuals and companies has resulted in a large and efficient ecosystem and unheralded software innovation.
  • Over 1,000 developers, from at least 100 different companies, contribute to every kernel release. In the past two years alone, over 3,200 developers from 200 companies have contributed to the kernel--which is just one small piece of a Linux distribution.
history of linux
History of Linux
  • It was 1991, and the ruthless agonies of the cold war were gradually coming to an end. There was an air of peace and tranquility that prevailed in the horizon. In the field of computing, a great future seemed to be in the offing, as powerful hardware pushed the limits of the computers beyond what anyone expected.
  • But still, something was missing.
  • And it was the none other than the Operating Systems, where a great void seemed to have appeared.
  • For one thing, DOS was still reigning supreme in its vast empire of personal computers. Bought by Bill Gates from a Seattle hacker for $50,000, the bare bones operating system had sneaked into every corner of the world by virtue of a clever marketing strategy. PC users had no other choice. Apple Macs were better, but with astronomical prices that nobody could afford, they remained a horizon away from the eager millions.
history of linux1
History of Linux
  • The other dedicated camp of computing was the Unix world. But Unix itself was far more expensive. In quest of big money, the Unix vendors priced it high enough to ensure small PC users stayed away from it. The source code of Unix, once taught in universities courtesy of Bell Labs, was now cautiously guarded and not published publicly. To add to the frustration of PC users worldwide, the big players in the software market failed to provide an efficient solution to this problem.
  • A solution seemed to appear in form of MINIX. It was written from scratch by Andrew S. Tanenbaum, a US-born Dutch professor who wanted to teach his students the inner workings of a real operating system. It was designed to run on the Intel 8086 microprocessors that had flooded the world market.
  • As an operating system, MINIX was not a superb one. But it had the advantage that the source code was available. Anyone who happened to get the book 'Operating Systems: Design and Implementation' by Tanenbaum could get hold of the 12,000 lines of code, written in C and assembly language. For the first time, an aspiring programmer or hacker could read the source codes of the operating system, which to that time the software vendors had guarded vigorously. A superb author, Tanenbaum captivated the brightest minds of computer science with the elaborate and immaculately lively discussion of the art of creating a working operating system. Students of Computer Science all over the world pored over the book, reading through the codes to understand the very system that runs their computer.
history of linux2
History of Linux
  • And one of them was LinusTorvalds.
  • Soon Linus faced some confrontation from none other than Andrew Tanenbaum, the great teacher who wrote MINIX. In a post to Linus, Tanenbaum commented:
  • "I still maintain the point that designing a monolithic kernel in 1991 is a fundamental error. Be thankful you are not my student. You would not get a high grade for such a design :-)“ (Andrew Tanenbaum to LinusTorvalds)
  • Linus later admitted that it was the worst point of his development of Linux. Tanenbaum was certainly the famous professor, and anything he said certainly mattered. But he was wrong with Linux, for Linus was one stubborn guy who won't admit defeat.
  • Tanenbaum also remarked that : "Linux is obsolete".
  • Now was the turn for the new Linux generation. Backed by the strong Linux community, Linus gave a reply to Tanenbaum which seems to be most fitting:
  • Your job is being a professor and researcher: That's one hell of a good excuse for some of the brain-damages of minix. (LinusTorvalds to Andrew Tanenbaum)
history of linux3
History of Linux
  • And work went on. Soon more than a hundred people joined the Linux camp. Then thousands. Then hundreds of thousands. This was no longer a hackers toy. Powered by a plethora of programs from the GNU project, Linux was ready for the actual showdown. It was licensed under GNU General Public License, thus ensuring that the source codes will be free for all to copy, study and to change. Students and computer programmers grabbed it.
  • Soon, commercial vendors moved in. Linux itself was, and is free. What the vendors did was to compile up various software and gather them in a distributable format, more like the other operating systems with which people were more familiar. Red Hat , Caldera, and some other companies gained substantial amount of response from the users worldwide. While these were commercial ventures, dedicated computer programmers created their very own volunteer-based distribution, the famed Debian. With the new Graphical User Interfaces (like X-window System, KDE, GNOME)the Linux distributions became very popular.
  • Meanwhile, there were amazing things happening with Linux. Besides the PC, Linux was ported to many different platforms. Linux was tweaked to run 3Com's handheld PalmPilot computer. Clustering technology enabled large number of Linux machines to be combined into a single computing entity, a parallel computer. In April 1996, researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory used Linux to run 68 PCs as a single parallel processing machine to simulate atomic shock waves. But unlike other Supercomputers costing a fortune, it was rather cheap. The do-it-yourself supercomputer cost only $152,000, including labor (connecting the 68 PCs with cables)-about one tenth the price of a comparable commercial machine. It reached a peak speed of 19 billion calculations per second, making it the 315th most powerful supercomputer in the world. And it was a robust one too. Three months later it still didn't have to be rebooted.
history of linux4
History of Linux
  • A Beaming Linus Today
  • The best thing about Linux today is the fanatic following it commands. Whenever a new piece of hardware is out, Linux kernel is tweaked to take advantage of it. For example, within weeks after the introduction of Intel Xeon® Microprocessor, Linux kernel was tweaked and was ready for it. It has also been adapted for use in Alpha, Mac, PowerPC, and even for palmtops, a feat which is hardly matched by any other operating system. And it continues its journey into the new millennium, with the same enthusiasm that started one fine day back in 1991.
  • Linus in 2002
  • As for Linus, he remains a simple man. Unlike Bill Gates, he is not a billionaire. Having completed studies, he moved to USA and landed a job at Transmeta Corporation. After conducting a top-secret research and development project, Transmeta launched the Crusoeâ„¢ processor. Linus was an active member of the research team. Recently married to Tove, he is the proud father of a girl, Patricia Miranda Torvalds. But he remains as the world's most favorite and most famous programmer to this date. Revered by Computer communities worldwide, Linus is by far the most popular programmer on this planet.
where is linux
Where is Linux?
  • One of the most noted properties of Linux is where it can be used. Windows and OS X are predominantly found on personal computing devices such as desktop and laptop computers. Other operating systems, such as Symbian, are found on small devices such as phones and PDAs, while mainframes and supercomputers found in major academic and corporate labs use specialized operating systems such as AS/400 and the Cray OS.
  • Linux, which began its existence as a server OS and Has become useful as a desktop OS, can also be used on all of these devices. “From wristwatches to supercomputers,” is the popular description of Linux' capabilities.
  • These are just the most recent examples of Linux-based devices available to consumers worldwide. This actual number of items that use Linux numbers in the thousands. The Linux Foundation is building a centralized database that will list all currently offered Linux-based products, as well as archive those devices that pioneered Linux-based electronics.
linux in the developing world
Linux in the Developing World
  • Perhaps the greatest change is the spread of Linux to the developing world. In the days before Linux, developing countries were way behind in the field of computing. The cost of hardware fell down, but the cost of software was a huge burden to the cash-strapped computer enthusiasts of the Third World countries. In desperation, people resorted to piracy of almost all sorts of software products. This resulted in widespread piracy, amounting to billions of dollars. But then again, the pricetag of most of the commercial products were far beyond the reaches of the people in developing countries. For example, a typical operating system product costs at least US $100 or more. But in countries with per capita incomes of about US$200-300, is a huge amount.
  • The rise of Linux and other related open source product has changed it all. Since Linux can be scaled to run in almost computer with very few resources, it has become a suitable alternative for low budget computer users. Old, ancient 486/Pentium 1 computers that has become a part of history in the developed world are still used in developing countries. And Linux has enabled to unleash the full potential of these computers. The use of open source software has also proliferated, since the price of software is a big question. In countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, Linux has appeared as a way out for the masses of computer enthusiasts. And a testament to the true global nature of Linux, local customizations were made in obscure parts of the world. The Linux documentation now includes documents written in almost all the major languages ... and also many minor ones, for example, Vietnamese.
references
References
  • https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/rhasan/linux/
  • http://www.linfo.org/linus.html
  • http://www.linux.com/learn/resource-center/376-linux-is-everywhere-an-overview-of-the-linux-operating-system