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An Overview of Linux

             In 1991, operating systems were still in their early stages of life. No true operating system was reigning supreme, but DOS was definitely still considered the front runner. DOS was everywhere and switching to systems like Apple Macs or Unix systems was just too expensive. Finally a solution was thought to have been found. Andrew S. Tanenbaum, a Dutch professor, introduced MINIX to help teach his students about the internal workings of operating systems. It was simple and not that great, but what made in different was the fact that it allowed anyone to view the source code. This was the first time people could see what makes operating systems run. Tanenbaum inspired thousands of computer science students to become more active in the ways of operating systems. One very bright mind stepped up to the plate and he was Linus Torvalds.
             When MINIX was introduced in 1991, Linus Torvalds was a second year Computer Science major at the University of Helsinki. A well known hacker, Torvalds strived for an operating system for the pros and not a student teaching operating system, like MINIX. The GNU project (acronym for "not Unix") was becoming ever so popular at the time. Creator Richard Stallman wanted a network of free software, including operating systems, for programmers of the world to use. In August 1991, Torvalds started the work on his operating system that was going to be run on AT clones. It was originally set up as a BETA testing situation, but would become bigger with the help of the testers. Soon Linux was jumping from version 0.01 to version 0.10 thanks to programmers tweaking the system. Version 0.10 could support AT hard disks but had no login, so more tweaking pushed Linux to version 0.11. In this version, multilingual keyboards and floppy disk drives could be used, and VGA, EGA, Hercules, and more could be supported. The versions were jumping up left and right, soon reaching 0.

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