In today's world of constantly advancing and evolving technology, it seems as if we're hearing about some new digital innovation every week, if not every day! Whether it's a brand new smart phone making waves in the news, some popular new electronic app being downloaded, or even something a bit more sophisticated like Share File being implemented in more businesses, tech news is everywhere, and computer devices are always becoming more impressive. But for those with an interest in computer operating systems and capabilities, it's important to recognize this technology on a deeper level. For example, much of what the average person enjoys on a normal computer these days would not necessarily be possible without Linux.
In short an open source (or, free to the public for use) version of the popular operating system UNIX, Linux has deep roots in various older operating systems and computer programs. UNIX can be traced back to 1969, when it was thought up by two men named Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie. The usefulness of this system was recognized by many, and so over the course of the next few decades a number of imitations and variations were created, many in an effort to make the operating system free to the public.
The most sophisticated of these imitations and adaptations was probably the MINIX system, released by Andrew Tanenbaum in 1987. Tanenbaum had created his system in the image of UNIX, but - despite the fact that the source code was made publicly available - a number of complications made it difficult for people to afford, or even implement MINIX on personal computer devices. This meant that in the early 1990's no suitable, affordable version of UNIX had yet been widely released for personal use.
This is where, in 1991, Linus Torvalds came into the picture. In a story almost reminiscent of the much-popularized Mark Zuckerberg creation of Facebook, Torvalds essentially claims to have been toying around with some smaller ideas when he created what has since become known as the Linux operating system. Using a MINIX system, Torvalds was basically attempting to gain access to his Helsinki university's UNIX servers, when he eventually realized that he had created a new operating system entirely.
After the release of the Linux kernel in an open source format in 1991, Torvalds continued to develop his project, and today Linux is used all over the world on just about every type of computer in existence.