Linux Celebrates Its 25th Birthday This Week

If you're a Linux fan, then you should know that this week is a very special one. On August 25, 1991 - 25 years ago - Linus Torvalds shot out a simple message to a Minix usergroup which stated that he was working on a Minix replacement. Within, he famously said that his creation wouldn't "be big and professional like GNU".

Not even Linus Torvalds could have predicted what his OS - eventually called Linux - would become. While it might have taken a little while to get off the ground in a big way, Linux was a pet project that had no goals of world domination, but over time, that eventually happened anyway.


To say that Linux is "everywhere" would be accurate. Android users are using a variant of Linux, and many desktop and notebook users have a certain flavor of Linux installed. It's also widely used in the enterprise market, either for workstation PCs or servers. Red Hat is a shining example of how far Linux has come: it enjoys a market cap of $13.56 billion.

While August 25, 1991 was the official announcement of what would become Linux, Linus' projected needed more work before it could be released to the public. That release came on October 5 of the same year, but what was made available at that time wasn't a seriously polished product like we demand to see today. Linus was clear that the source was for "hackers" only, people who understood how to make use of it. And while it was meant to be a Minix replacement, it required Minix to actually compile.

OnePlus 3 Terminal

Today, even if you don't think you use Linux, you might very well - even if it's a simplified version of it. On your Android phone, for example, you can install a terminal emulator and punch in Linux commands. Smartwatches and a countless number of IoT devices run on Linux as well, or some variant of. It's simply everywhere.

We can imagine that Linus is pretty proud of that.