Linus's Famous Email

linus torvalds

From: mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  (Linus Benedict Torvalds)

To: Newsgroups: comp.os.inix
Subject: What would you like to see most in minix?
Summary: small poll for my new operating system
Message-ID: <mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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 (mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

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 :-(.



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  • Ben Troch Said:

    A visionary would have known what he created eg "it probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks, as that’s all I have" is kinda a not very visionary thing to say...

  • Bobby Java Said:

    haha, so you ignore everything he has done and stick to one sentence and calling such a great visionary man "kinda not very visionary" ? That shows how intelligent you are!

  • replicable Said:

    Your comment shows how intelligent you are. He obviously was not that much of a visionary when he didn't expect it to be successful. Visionary. Vision. Think.

  • paloi Said:

    You are in a flame in a useless accusation to each other. Linus was just young and humble, to not identify himself as the most influential man in the IT history. But his vision to share and open source code in Internet and the technological foundations he created, is the most important fact in how IT (corporate and personal with the smart-phones) has changed during the last 20 years. I do not think any corporation in history, has ever been more affected by a philosophical/technological gesture or attitude that the one from Linus had when conceiving his baby ... in spite that he was not the only advocate of open source, the GNU foundations, the previous seeds, Stallman, the polemics/conflicts ... Both moves are great contribution to humankind, with consequences present the pocket of half of the human in the world (our mobile phones).

  • Peter N. M. Hansteen Said:

    I don't want to rain on anybody's parade, but that was actually a newsgroup posting, not an email message (although a significant subset of USENET users did access the newsgroups via news-to-mail-and-back conversions). Happy 22nd birthday, Linux!

  • Jim Carpenter Said:

    Would have been nice if they posted the original, unmangled _USENET_ message. :(

  • FR Said:

    The OS changed his life and mine. Thanks.

  • FR Said:

    "Thanks" is short but really you can't see how far I went with the knowledge of running/configuring/Setup the OS. For the OS and all open source software involved it was a help a way to boost my career and knowledge witch in a Tech school at the time was rather short. Having something like Linux to see how things really worked instead of just small basic theory was of great help. If I was stuck only to windows 2000 server or a windows Desktop and IIS I would have probably changed profession.

  • BJ Said:

    Linus, Thank you for building my favorite O.S.! and Happy Birthday Linux! when I grow up I want to do something fun like this!

  • djthunder Said:

    22 and still counting!Ü Godspeed Linus!Ü

  • A-Random-Guy Said:

    Still remember reading PC World innocently, when an article called "Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity-Yay or Nay". I was like WTF. I continued reading-"...which can be found on our DVD as an ISO file...". I was more WTF. I burned and booted into "Try Ubuntu: and...BOOM! My brain worked like a supercomputer, trying to analyze all the data from my eyes. 10 mins later, I was browsing trough the programs like a madman- it was so different from Windows...and I liked it. I considered myself an Advanced User, Enthusiast and a tech addict. I was 11. Today, a year later, I'm so inlove in Linux I wondered "How did I not found Linux?! It's running flawless on my 1 gig RAM with an AMD Semoron 140 processor!". Then my computer died from excessive voltage and we are now using an ancient machine. After a loy of research I found Puppy. When I get a decent laptop, I will put Mint on it. Heard good things about it. So, Linus Torvalds, you are my idol with a reason. You and GNU made an OS which everyone can modify and improve. Today Linux is listening what the community wants and does it's best to do it. It's developers actually LISTEN- not like Microsoft, who rejects every idea out if their plans(e.g. Give us a Start Menu in 8.1!). Not like Apple that MAY listen, but not always hear. Not talking how conservative it's products are. Linux is an OS for people not liking being controlled, too bored of their PCs because they know every inch of it, spending their time in VirtualBox or reading magazunes. Linux is what others aren't. Perfect. Stable. Inspired by freedom. Community driven. Again, happy birthday, you fat penguin :) .

  • Gary DuTeau Said:

    It seems that Linux remains a mystery to most people, even those who do their best to know about 'other' things not mainstream. I would hope that all who use Linux would try to encourage others and post links and information that would encourage and make more easy the transition for others. For example: Question: If one has a 'notebook' by Toshiba, loaded with 'Windows', how does one go about changing to Linux? I have never noticed any 'user friendly' postings as to how to make the change...HELP is desired by those of us not so technical savvy...

  • K7AAY Said:

    0) Choose the Linux version you want to try. If you know someone who uses Linux, use what they recommend. If Mint and Ubuntu are #1 and #2, but I like Zorin for new folk who don't know a Linux user since you can buy support calls a la carte from Zorin.if you need help. 1) Download the Linux .ISO file of your choice from a trusted source. They're free. Use the MD5 hash to make sure you got it all without corruptions. 2) Burn it to a CD-R or DVD-R. If you do not have an optical drive, use a Live USB creation tool to put it onto a USB Flash Drive. 3) Reboot and select the optical drive / USB Flash Drive. 4) Boot from the alternate disk - don't install it yet. Try things, see if you like it. 5) Repeat steps 0-4 until you find the Linux version you like the best. 6) Install Linux alongside Windows on the hard drive so you can keep using Windows as you transition to Linux. Linus will read and write to your Windows section of the hard drive safely.

  • Quintus Said:

    "Do it for fun" what a really great reason to drive something to be greater than ever!

  • Carl Vancil Said:

    Google Search "How to switch to Linux": number of results: About 34,800,000 results Looking at stats like that, I wonder how anyone would not know by this point how to install Linux, when most Linux distros are easier to install than Windows. In as far as your particular Toshiba Laptop, do a search for the brand and model number followed by the word linux, and wrap the whole query in quote-marks. It's simple data-mining, a skill that any IT professional should have today (not that I'm assuming you're involved in IT, because your question makes it obvious that you're not). Something that hasn't been mentioned in these posts (at least as far as I've thus read) is '', which can be considered the central hub for learning about all the different distributions of Linux worth using. If it's not listed in Distrowatch's Top 100 list, then it usually means that the OS is too premature to be considered ready for mainstream use (although, if you're a developer, this doesn't apply). For an easy start, either Mint or Ubuntu either one are great, but there are a few things to keep in mind even with those... Ubuntu 14.04, the current LTS build, is really designed for fairly recent hardware (no less than 8 to 10 years old at most) due to it's heavy use of Mesa-GL/Open-GL. Although Ubuntu can easily be adapted to lesser requirements by customizing the installation heavily, I don't usually recommend that until you've had at least several months of experience with Linux so that you are comfortable working with any aspect of it. Mate-desktop or XFCE make excellent light-weight replacements for Unity, and are very user friendly. Mint, on the other hand... while it was originally based on Ubuntu, it's differentiated enough now that some of it's Ubuntu roots are beginning to become a bit blurry. Mint is distributed via a series of ISO images, each with it's own optimized desktop environment. Mint is overall identical 'under the hood' to Ubuntu in terms of command-line-tools, (AFAIK) services, and the overall layout of the system. Personally, I like the Mint release that is prepackaged with the Mate-Desktop environment, but your own mileage may vary. The best thing I can suggest is to research the top 5 distros extensively before making your first move. The research you put in up front should pay off in terms of expectations and overall satisfaction. Before installing *any* distro, get a copy of 'gparted-live' (and learn how to use it!!!), which will likely save your butt a time or two while you're learning Linux. You might also want to pick up a copy of CloneZilla to make a backup of your existing system before you start with reloading it with Linux, just so that if you do need to go back to your initial environment, then it'll be easy to do so. But in as far as there being 'easy to follow' guides for installing Linux on various platforms, there are plenty. There might not be one for the particular hardware that you had in mind, but I'm sure that if you search around a bit, you'll be able to find an article with enough information to allow you to adapt it to your own hardware... at least if you're intelligent enough... I won't assume either way. Anyway, best of luck! :)

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