Linus Torvalds

Freeware Visionary

Finnish Creator of the Linux Operating System

Linus Torvalds
English

Linus Torvalds is the founder and Chief Architect of the Linux operating system. Described by InfoWorld Magazine as an “Open Source Guru”, Linus Torvalds is a personable young man.

In 1988, Linus Torvalds began studying computer science at the University of Helsinki.  He decided that he wanted to write a new operating system that would be more powerful than MSDOS, and freely distributable. He invested in a better computer with a 386 processor and began learning the assembly language for the processor. He coded a number of advanced software projects, including a floppy disk driver and software assembler.

The product of his hard work became known as Linux. Linux was released as an open source kernel, meaning that anyone could write operating systems around it without having to pay anything. It quickly became a symbol of the open source movement, with a tuxedo penguin as its mascot. Linus Torvalds sent mail out over the net to enlist people in creating such an operating system, and in a short timeframe (less than three years) went from nothing to the current distributed system. Linus Torvald sparked a software mini-revolution with his new system

This freeware variant of Unix, has made quiet but genuine inroads into the computing world and in it enterprises have found that freeware is more than a cheap alternative to commercial products.

In 1990, Linus Torvalds began learning Unix when the university purchased a MicroVAX system. He decided to start writing his own Unix kernel for personal computers and spent half of a year in front of the PC coding. Once he started using the C programming language, his productivity increased greatly.
Over the next decade, it became more and more popular as more people decided to abandon Microsoft Windows in favor of free operating systems that utilized the Linux kernel. Today, the Linux movement is still perceived as a threat to Microsoft, which currently has a tight grip on the world’s personal computers. The many Linux-based operating systems include Red Hat, Knoppix, Debian, and Fedora.

Later Linus Torvalds moved to Silicon Valley and  the impact of Linux surged.  It is emerging as a rational alternative to Windows NT and other major enterprise operating systems. Leading software companies such as Oracle, Computer Associates, Netscape and Informix have recognized Linux as a rock-solid system that can handle mission-critical chores.  Linux has a small-but-growing number of mainstream desktop applications.

From 1997 to 2003, Linus Torvalds worked for Transmeta Corporation. He currently works for Open Source Development Labs in Beaverton, Oregon. To handle Linux matters, Linus Torvalds created Linux International, a non-profit corporation that holds the trademark name Linux. In 2004 he was named one of the world’s most influential.

Linus Torvalds has travelled all over the world promoting Linux, which has grown into a computer community that has its own magazine, local user groups and many CD-ROM distributions.