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GNU/Linux - UNIX

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We work in a GNU/Linux - UNIX environment, here are our reasons:

How did GNU/Linux evolve?

GNU/Linux is a descendant of UNIX which is a multi tasking, multi user operating system. The UNIX operating system was invented by Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill New Jersey in 1969 [5]. In 1973 they rewrote the UNIX kernel in C, which made it portable and able to run on a range of computer systems.

The GNU Project, started in 1983 by Richard Stallman, had the goal of creating a "complete Unix-compatible software system" composed entirely of free software. Work began in 1984. Later, in 1985, Stallman started the Free Software Foundation and wrote the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL) in 1989 [3].

In 1991, while attending the University of Helsinki, Linus Torvalds became curious about operating systems and frustrated by the licensing of MINIX, which limited it to educational use only. He began to work on his own operating system which eventually became the GNU/Linux kernel [3].

Today, GNU/Linux systems are used in every domain, from embedded systems to supercomputers, and have secured a place in server installations often using the popular LAMP application stack. Use of GNU/Linux distributions in home and enterprise desktops has been growing [3].

An analysis of the GNU/Linux kernel showed that 75 percent of the code from December 2008 to January 2010 was developed by programmers working for corporations, leaving about 18 percent to volunteers and 7% unclassified. Major corporations that provide contributions include Dell, IBM, HP, Oracle, Sun Microsystems (now part of Oracle), SUSE, and Nokia. The Linux kernel has now received contributions from thousands of programmers [6].

Bell Labs Technology Showcase - UNIX [2]

A Simplified history of Unix-like operating systems [7]

Starbird Digital - Unix Family


[2] Alice White, Vice President, Bell Labs, North America.
[5] The UNIX programming Environment, Brian W.Kernighan and Rob Pike, Prentice Hall 1983, page vii.