On August 25, 1991, a young Finnish student named Linus Torvalds introduced a project he’d been working on in his free time. That project, which began as a hobby, was Linux – an open-source operating system that has become the foundation for much of our digital world. From supercomputers and servers to smartphones and home appliances, Linux’s importance is pervasive and undeniable. As we celebrate another year of Linux’s existence, let’s take a moment to reflect on its humble beginnings, its journey so far, and its enormous impact on our digital lives.
The Birth of Linux
The birth of Linux began with a simple Usenet post from Torvalds, in which he shared a project he’d been working on. “I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones,” he wrote.
Little did he know that his ‘hobby’ project would transform the landscape of computing forever. Initially, Linux was a modest project, intended to explore the capabilities of his new PC. It wasn’t even meant to be a full-fledged operating system. Yet, as Torvalds began to share his work, others saw its potential. Developers from around the world contributed to the code, adding features, improving performance, and fixing bugs. Linux was designed under the model of free and open-source software development and distribution. The project’s source code is available to the public, allowing anyone to freely use, modify, and distribute it. This paradigm meant that Linux wasn’t just a piece of software; it was a collaborative, community-driven project that encouraged sharing knowledge and learning from one another.
Linux: The Foundation of Our Digital Infrastructure
Fast forward to today, Linux is far more than just a hobbyist’s playground. It’s the underpinning of our digital infrastructure, powering everything from the smallest devices to the world’s largest supercomputers. As of today, Linux runs on 100% of the world’s supercomputers, 70% of global smartphones (primarily through Android, which is based on Linux), and 96.3% of the top one million domains. Furthermore, millions of servers worldwide use Linux, and the vast majority of cloud computing workloads run on Linux-based systems.
Linux’s footprint is vast and extends to virtually every corner of the digital world. And as we move into an era of the Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing, its importance is only set to increase.
The reason for Linux’s success lies in its open-source nature. This open-source model allows for broad collaboration, facilitating the continuous improvement and expansion of the system by thousands of developers worldwide. This collaboration not only accelerates innovation, but also ensures high levels of security and reliability.
Deploying Open Source Software
As an open-source managed hosting software provider for small and medium-sized teams, we at Cloud68.co harness the power and flexibility of Linux – particularly the Ubuntu distribution – to deploy our software. Our solutions range from Nextcloud for data sharing and collaboration, Mattermost for team communication, Discourse for forums and mailing lists, to Mautic for marketing automation, and more. Deploying these open-source solutions on Linux provides several benefits. Firstly, it ensures complete transparency. Just like Linux, the code for these solutions is available for review. This openness fosters trust, as it allows users to verify that there’s no malicious or privacy-intrusive code in the software. Secondly, deploying on Linux contributes to the software’s security and reliability. The Linux community is known for its vigilance in identifying and resolving potential security threats, with developers worldwide continuously contributing to its security enhancements. Thus, deploying on Linux helps us assure our users that their data and communications are protected by a secure and reliable system.
Linux in Our Everyday Lives
Beyond powering our software solutions, Linux also plays an integral role in our everyday lives. All our team members use Linux distributions on our personal and work laptops. Doing so provides us with the same benefits that our software enjoys: transparency, security, and reliability. In an era where digital privacy is increasingly threatened, using Linux offers us a way to counter those threats. The open-source nature of Linux means that we can review the code running on our machines, ensuring that there are no hidden backdoors or privacy-invading features. Furthermore, the vibrant Linux community provides robust support, with thousands of users and developers documenting solutions to technical issues and contributing to the continuous improvement of the system.
As we celebrate another year of Linux’s existence, we look forward to the continued innovations it will bring. Linux isn’t just a project, or even just an operating system. It’s a testament to the power of collaboration, the importance of transparency, and the limitless potential of open-source software. So here’s to Linux – to many more years of driving the digital world forward. Happy Birthday, Linux!