Torvalds marks Linux's birthday with a nod to its past

On Aug. 26, 1991, Linus Torvalds announced in a newsgroup post that he was developing a free operating system and asked people to send in requests for features. Twenty-two years later, he echoed the words, and the spirit, of his original message in his Aug. 25 announcement of the latest Linux kernel release candidate.

"Hello everybody out there using minix -- I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones," Torvalds wrote 22 years ago last month.

On the eve of Linux's anniversary this year, Torvalds announced the Linux 3.11-rc7 kernel release with a message on Google+ that seemed to convey that he still favors an open, collaborative approach to development: "Hello everybody out there using Linux -- I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, even if it's big and professional) for 486+ AT clones and just about anything else out there under the sun. This has been brewing since April 1991, and is still not ready. I'd like any feedback on things people like/dislike in Linux 3.11-rc7."

Version 3.11 of the Linux kernel is code-named "Linux for Workgroups" -- a reference to Windows 3.11 for Workgroups, released by Microsoft a little over 20 years ago.

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

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