Mon Jun 04 2018

Interesting facts about Linux Kernel

Operating System1488 views

The most interesting facts of Linux

Today, Linux is the dominant operating system for servers. It has found its way in almost every device we use today from laptops, mobiles and embedded systems to enterprise servers, cloud platforms, and even powers the world top supercomputers. And it’s 100% freely distributable, the cross-platform operating system based on Unix and open source. As an operating system, Linux is software that sits underneath all of the other software on a computer, receiving requests from those programs and relaying these requests to the computer’s hardware. The Linux OS is frequently packaged as a Linux distribution for both desktop and server use, and includes the Linux kernel (the core of the operating system) as well as supporting tools and libraries.

In this article, we are going to cover the most stunning and interesting facts about Linux which may amaze you.

  • In 1991, computer science grad student Linus Torvalds closed himself in his room to create Linux. He emerged many weeks later with 10,250 lines of code for a working kernel.

  • Early Linux developers considered sharks, foxes, eagles, and hawks, but it was Torvalds who suggested the penguin, he wanted a cute, cuddly one. The penguin’s name "Tux" comes from the phrase of (T)orvalds (U)ni(x).

  • At first, Torvalds wanted to call the kernel he developed Freax - a combination of "free", "freak", and the letter X to indicate that it is a Unix-like system. But his friend Ari Lemmke, who administered the FTP server where the kernel was first hosted for downloading, named Torvalds' directory Linux.

  • MCC Interim Linux was the first Linux distribution available for public download in February 1992. It was based on command line. They were released in few floppy disks and was the first one that can be installed directly on a hard disk.

  • The Linux kernel is by far the most active open source project on Earth. It accepts an average of 185 patches each day.

  • In 1994, A 1.0 production version of the kernel came out. New kernels emerged only after many months, sometimes as long as a year, and ideas for additions, contributions of code, and bug fixes piled up as the kernel development process struggled to cope with all the items streaming at it. It occupied only 65 KB and had about 10,000 lines of Torvalds’ code.

  • On 15 August 1994, William R. Della Croce, Jr. filed for the trademark Linux, and then demanded royalties from Linux distributors. After court battles, Linus Torvalds got the trademark rights back in 1997.

  • Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, said during his opening address at the Linux Collaboration Summit that Linux constantly attracts new blood. Few software projects succeed at integrating the efforts of 4,169 developers and half were first-time contributors.

  • The Linux Foundation pays Linus $10 million per year to continue his work on Linux.

  • Since then, a new kernel has emerged every 90 days or so. And lately, the kernel's pace has come close to an average of 70 days. The 3.18 kernel was produced in 63 days, the second shortest time between two kernels on record. There were 11,379 patches to the 3.18 kernel.

  • In 2007, Linus Torvalds and the other Linux kernel committers were adding patches to the kernel at the rate of 86 per hour, or 1.43 per minute.

  • Even though Linus created Git, he doesn’t accept pull requests through GitHub. Linux is listed on GitHub, though, and it has more than 35,000 stars.

  • The Linux version 4.12.7  which came out in July 2017 includes the word “crap” 186 times and the word “good” 4,613 times. It has 24,170,860 lines of code.

  • Jon Corbet, of Linux Weekly News, concluded that 80% of the contributions coming to the Linux kernel are from developers paid by a company to do the work on Linux.

  • 94 percent of the top 1 million domains run on Linux.

  • More than 96 percent of the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers run on Linux, including clusters used by NASA.

  • Most global markets, including the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, the London Exchange, the Tokyo Stock Exchange, world e-commerce leaders including Amazon, eBay, PayPal, and Walmart also run on Linux.

  • The Linux kernel is written in the version of the C programming language.

  • Microsoft Windows and the Linux kernel can run simultaneously in parallel on the same machine using a software called Cooperative Linux (coLinux). It allows one to freely run Linux on Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7, without using a commercial PC virtualization software such as VMware, in a way which is much more optimal than using any general purpose PC virtualization software. In its current condition, it allows us to run the KNOPPIX Japanese Edition on Windows.

  • First GUI that ran on Linux was X Window System. It ran on Linux Kernel version 0.95.

  • In 2002, Microsoft had accumulated a $ 421 million cost of fighting the spread of Linux, according to The Register.

  • Linux powers the tiny $5 Raspberry Pi computer.

  • Popular Hollywood Movies that utilize Linux. Visual effects of Titanic and Avatar were developed in 3D applications on Linux platform using FOSS software.

  • Linux is also a genuine washing powder brand in Switzerland.

  • The Department of Defence of the US also uses Linux extensively. The Red Hat Linux runs the nuclear submarines of the State.

  • In 2009, the government of Munich, Germany switched from Windows to Linux. They claim to have saved more than €10 million in software licensing fees so far.

  • As per the demand of the web and cloud services, Linux is the first choice for Google, Amazon, and Facebook.

  • The Scientific Linux controls the particle accelerator at CERN. It is based on Red Hat Linux and is again a free and open OS.

  • The bullet trains in Japan use Linux to maintain and manage the sophisticated Automatic Train Control system.

  • Video game developer Valve’s founder Gabe Newell has publicly stated that Linux is the future of gaming.

  • The In-Vehicle-Infotainment technology (IVI) inside Toyota and other automobiles use Linux platform.

  • Dronecode is Linux for Drones. About 1,000 companies develop drone services that run on top of this operating system.

  • Debian was one of the first GNU / Linux that was constituted and organized as a community of developers. Debian v. 4.0’s source code contains 283 million lines of code, projected cost $7.37 billion. Debian’s code base remains the foundation for other distros such as Ubuntu, Knoppix, and Xandros.

  • Android’s Operating System is based on Linux. The operating system is primarily based on Linux kernel and Google has made several changes to make it go above and beyond the original basis of Linux kernel.


You can also view the comparisons of Linux with other operating systems.

This is not the end, you could share any other interesting fact about this wonderful open source project. Your comments will highly appreciable. Thank you!

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