Amazing Facts About Linux

Amazing Facts about Linux: – Titanic and Avatar were developed in 3D Applications on Linux using Free Open Source Software.

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Linux is a kernel and GNU Linux is the OS and it has hundreds of flavors. GNU/Linux, inspired by UNIX, has become the most widely adopted server operating systems out there.

1. “LINUX”, is a directory  name on FUNET’s FTP server (

Linus Torvalds wanted to name his kernel “Freax”(the name is a combination of words “freak” and “free”),When the initial code was uploaded to an FTP server (, the server administrator and Linus(Ari Lemmke) didn’t like the name Freax, and he suggested the name Linux and gave a directory on the ftp server. The directory on the ftp server was called “Linux”. You can access this very directory here:

2. “Linux” is only the kernel and is not the full system that you use

Linux is just a part of the entire system. It’s the program that allocates resources that other programs need during their operation. So, the system that is used is normally a combination of GNU system and Linux.  Since 1984, GNU had been working to make a full operating system of its own, that was going to be a free Unix like operating system.In fact, by the early 90’s a full GNU operating system was ready, aside from the kernel. A full operating system requires compilers, text editors, X windows systems.

The GNU project even had a kernel of its own called “GNU Hurd”, but was not yet completely ready. That main gap was filled by Linux kernel (from Torvalds) in 1992.Refer the below link for more details on the GNU/Linux System from “Richard Stallman” (The man behind the free software movement.

3. More than 90% of current Linux source code is written by other developers

The Linux project was adopted by so many programmers and the project grew very rapidly after 1996. The initial release from Torvalds was 10,000 lines of code and now it has over 21 millions of lines of code.Its roughly estimated that more than 10000 developers from many different countries and companies have contributed to its development to date. And are rapidly increasing in number. More and more features are being added on a regular basis. And most of this coding is from the contributors.

4. Even Microsoft Contributes to Linux Kernel Development!

Yes, the company whose main philosophy rests on proprietary software development also contributes to Linux. It even went ahead of Canonical once, in the number of lines of code contributed to the kernel. The top list of contributors includes Red Hat, Intel, etc. Linux is used by Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft.

5. Most of the Super Computer’s use Linux.

498 out of 500 Supercomputers run on Linux including the fastest Sunway Taihulight. Linux has become a choice for high-performance computing. It was only 1 to 2 percent adoption in 1998 and in the last 15 years it grew up to more than 90 percent, which is really phenomenal.

6. An operating System called Minix inspired Linus Torvalds for making Linux.

Minix is very much similar to Unix. It was created by Andrew S. Tanenbaum. Most of the people know him by a very famous book he wrote on Operating System. The name of the book is Operating Systems: Design and Implementation.

7. Linux Kernel development during the early days was done on Minix operating System.

The initial Linux kernel development during the early days was pretty much done on Minix operating system. Although Linux was very much inspired by Minix functionalities as well as design principles, Linux differs from Minix in a very major and fundamental way.The main difference is the fact that “Linux uses a monolithic kernel, whereas Minix uses a microkernel”. The main difference between a monolithic kernel and microkernel is the fact that monolithic kernel is one single large process that manages everything. A one single large address space taking care of each and everything. However, a microkernel works by breaking down things into different components and different processes. Some of these components will run in kernel space while others in the user space. Each has their own address spaces. The main problem in getting a microkernel built is the messages that are passed between these different processes in the kernel. As these components exchanges messages between each other, it becomes buggy and quite difficult to debug (I remember Richard Stallman quoting once, that this was the reason the GNU Hurd microkernel was getting delayed during 1991.)

8. Linux was initially compiled using GNU C compiler.

Richard Stallman started GNU, and GNU C compiler (the free c compiler) was the result of his work. Without GNU C compiler it would have been very difficult.If you see the Linux History mailing list, you will get to know that Linux was initially compiled using GNU C compiler version 1.40 on Minix operating system.

9. There are more than 10 Linux based Mobile Operating Systems.

Normally people think Android is the only operating system that’s based on Linux. However, there are more than 10 mobile operating system’s based on Linux.  OpenZaurus, Firefox OS, Sailfish OS, Ubuntu Touch, Ubuntu Mobile, Mobline etc are a few apart from Android.

10. Google has its own Linux Distribution for its internal Employees. It’s called Goobuntu.

Goobuntu is based on the normal Ubuntu versions but is used by internal employees of Google. It’s not currently available for general public.

11. Tux (The Linux Penguin Logo) was suggested by Torvalds himself.

Tux is actually not a logo for Linux but is a mascot. It was submitted during a logo competition for Linux(but the image never won the logo competition). Tux was designed using the first version of GIMP (a photo editing tool available in GNU/Linux) by a programmer named Larry Ewing.

12. Steve Jobs once offered (in 2000) a job to Linus Torvalds at Apple.

Linus was offered a job at Apple by Steve jobs in the year 2000. The job was to work for Unix (guess for MacOS), but Linus rejected the offer.

13. There was a “Windows Refund Day” back in 1999.

That’s correct, on February 15th, 1999, many Linux users assembled and demanded a refund amount from Microsoft, for their unused copy of windows. This was because the Windows Licence agreement had a clause, where an end user can deny the agreement and return Windows back.

14. Open Source and Free Software, both are different.

The word “free” is really ambiguous. People consider it and take that as free of cost. But the term “free” in free software does not stand for cost, but it stands for freedom. The freedom to use, modify, redistribute the software. So its nothing related to price but is related to freedom.

Millions of people around the world use free software on a day to day basis. The main motive behind GNU and campaigns from Stallman was freedom of software users. However not all the members of free software agreed with the main goals of the movement(which caused a large number of users and developers to split and campaign another name called as “Open Source”).

Some of them coined the term “Open Source” as a marketing strategy so that it feels appealing to big corporations and business people. So basically these two different names point to the same type of software(they both follow the same development method), but “free software” is entirely a different philosophy regarding the “freedom” of users. “Open Source” is much more concerned about the practical business use of software developed by the community, rather than the “freedom” part, which free software movement and GNU started.  So, in short, all free software qualify as open source software, but not all open source software qualify as free software, this is simply because some of the open source software licenses are restrictive in nature.