When faced with the rising prices of software and hardware, and you are a poor student, what do you do? Download free software, of course. That wasn’t always an option. Not that long ago, about 31 years ago, there was a student that wanted to use an operating system on their own, for their own personal use, but they weren’t able to. The system was pricey for personal use and alternatives were out of the question. 

This student didn’t just go and download another system or simply hack one to use it for free, no, he changed the world in a way, by creating Linux. 

Here is what you need to know about Linux.

The Creation of Linux – Linus Torvalds

A student at the time at the Helsinki University, Linus Torvalds wanted to use Minix for his own personal use. There was a problem, Minix was free for students but only at schools and universities. Torvalds had a problem with that. This was when he decided to build his own kernel, named Linux.

Actually, two names were in question, Linux and Freax. Freax was supposed to be a blend of Free and Minix, but it didn’t catch on, not due to Torvalds not wanting it, the opposite. Torvalds thought that Linux, a blend of Linus and Minix, was too egotistical, so when he uploaded kernel version 0.1 to the University network in September 1991, his colleague saw the Freax name and changed it to Linux. It caught on.

Linux, a Kernel That Was Widely Adopted

Linus was really well-received in the 1990s, even though it was first only able to run basic things. Being released under the GPL license, the project was received with open hands, mostly because people didn’t like that Microsoft was dominating the market. Linux was quickly adopted by most enthusiasts and the kernel grew. It grew exponentially, version 1.0 being released in 1994 and 2.0 in 1996, not two years after the first complete version was released. Linux caught on and most developers were on the system by the year 2000, using it for anything from coding to server management.

Linux in the Modern Era

Today, Linux is running on kernel 5.17.r8, and there are many operating systems, or rather, distributions of the Linux kernel, that people use. The most popular ones are Ubuntu, Manjaro, Arch, Fedora, pop_OS! and more. With Valve striving to make Linux play all video games, following the release of their Steam Deck which runs on a modified version of Arch Linux, there is stronger support for the Linux community, particularly for gaming, which draws a lot of users.

Today, plenty of consumers use Linux, even though the global market share is only 2.5%.

The Future of Linux?

Most open source software is doing really, really good, because everyone can contribute to the code and the software is free to use and reshare. From Linux and its derivatives, such as Android, to software that we use daily such as Firefox and VLC, there are many good things to be expected from Linux.

The market share will grow and compatibility with various software should be better in the future, where it will eventually break into the 10% part of the market share.

Linux is a great base for operating systems, free and open source, allowing consumers and professionals to do as they want.