The First Linux Announcement from Linus Torvalds

Here’s the very first announcement from Linus Torvalds revealing an operating system called Linux that won’t be “big and professional like gnu” (see the mailing list thread here):

From: [email protected] (Linus Benedict Torvalds)
Newsgroups: comp.os.minix
Subject: What would you like to see most in minix?
Summary: small poll for my new operating system
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
Date: 25 Aug 91 20:57:08 GMT
Organization: University of Helsinki

Hello everybody out there using minix –

I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and
professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing
since april, and is starting to get ready. I’d like any feedback on
things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat
(same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical reasons)
among other things).

I’ve currently ported bash(1.08) and gcc(1.40), and things seem to work.
This implies that I’ll get something practical within a few months, and
I’d like to know what features most people would want. Any suggestions
are welcome, but I won’t promise I’ll implement them 🙂

Linus ([email protected])

PS. Yes – it’s free of any minix code, and it has a multi-threaded fs.
It is NOT protable (uses 386 task switching etc), and it probably never
will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that’s all I have :-(.

It’s strange to think that it’s been that long now. Windows was released in 1985 and Mac OS in 1984. I wonder what 6 or 7 more years will do for Linux and the various desktop environments…

via http://www.linux.org/people/linus_post.html (bandwidth has been exceeded, see cached page here instead).

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There's 41 Comments So Far

  • Henry
    August 25th, 2011 at 10:20 am


  • Carlos Randolph
    August 25th, 2011 at 10:50 am

    “I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and
    professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones.”

    It’s a good thing that it isn’t big or professional. LOL I love the fact that what was a small/useful idea blossomed as it did. Care and feeding of an Acorn turned into a might Oak.

  • [email protected]
    August 25th, 2011 at 11:57 am

    It’s pretty neat alright. What impresses me is the speed of things that happen in the Linux world. If you don’t like it yet, just wait for another year and try it again. That was my story, anyways. I hated it at first, but I tried again a year later after reading a news article on a distribution release and I loved it from then on.

  • UsenetPeople
    August 25th, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Heres a link to the original post and discussion. Shame this was not included in the post above…


  • [email protected]
    August 25th, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    When I originally created the post, I did find that link, but I didn’t think it was the “original” so I didn’t add it (I should have). I’ve added a link to it now. Thanks for the suggestion.

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