The Story of Linux, Git and Linus Torvalds

July 3, 2021
Talk is cheap. Show me the code.

In summer 1991, Linus Torvalds, a University of Helsinki student, brought a $3,500 generic gray block of computer which consists of 33 Megahertz Intel system with 4 megabytes of RAM. After installing Minix operating system still, he was certain that there was room for improvement.

He started writing little pieces of software which gives boost to Minix. And then In August 1991 he posted a note on Internet which is now a legendary note.

The beginning of revolution

It all begins in 25 August 1991 when 20 years old Computer Science Student Linus Torvalds, sat in front of his computer and posted a note on Internet's Minix newsgroup which is now one of the most famous entries on Internet in computing history. The note as follows:

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," he wrote "I'd like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat.

Many developers across the world find this interesting and joined with Linus. And the revolution begins. He named his OS kernel, Linux and choose Penguin as it's mascot (based on an incident at zoo, where he was bitten by it).

Today the Linux runs the massive computer of Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter and giants. You can't imagine the internet without Linux or Linus today.

The genius mind behind the Linux kernel operating system Linux Torvalds, at the age of 21 he wrote his Master's thesis, titled 'Linux: A Portable Operating System.'

An Important Decision

This one decision made by the Linus is one of the most important decision that would revolutionize the whole computing industry, he chose GPL (General Public License) License which is one of the most popular licenses, created by Richard Stallman. At first, Torvalds published the Linux Kernel under its own license, which had restriction on commercial activity.

If you want to accomplish something in the world, idealism is not enough - you need to choose a method that works to achieve the goal. - Richard Stallman

In order to protect the  GNU software from being made proprietary, Richard Stallman created the GPL which lists terms and conditions for copying, modifying and distributing free software

The GNU General Public License is a series of widely used free software licenses that guarantee end users the freedom to run, study, share, and modify the software.

People made business around Linux, and it soon begins to take place of heavyweight computing system.

Need for Git

At the time of when Linus created the project Linux operating-system kernel, as many other developers contributed to it, there was need to maintain the project.

There were some Source Control Management (SCMs) out there at that time, but they do not meet the requirement according to their project. Some needs much time to commit changes or some are not open source which drag the development of project.

They were really pain to work with, for even concept "merging" is really painful. As it was a big deal if you are merging. It consumes much time, which is not acceptable for him. As he does tens of merging a day (with git it takes few seconds).

The one that they were using previously before the Git was BitKeeper, but it has its own problems such as renaming was painful. In 2005 the relationship between Linux kernel community and the company that developed BitKeeper broke down, thus the tool's free of charge status revoked.

Linus took the challenge and disappear for a weekend and after a couple of sleepless nights come up with the following tool named Git.

Intelligence is the ability to avoid doing work, yet getting the work done.

Git was primarily designed for distribution of project, which bears repeating tasks. It is some wide adopted, as there was really need for some revolution in field of SCMs as Linus and his team was facing the problem as many others.

At first the Git was basically designed for Linux (obviously) which bears repetitions, but it solves not only the repetition also it does that efficiently.

Git, which used by many developers (including me) across the globe to develop new applications.

Linux in present

Most of us use Linux on a daily basis, literally every time you make a search on Google, you are indirectly interacting with it as most of the Google's computer are powered by Linux. Millions of Android phones runs on Linux kernel.

Most of the supercomputers today runs on Linux. It runs the infrastructure of stock exchange worldwide. And the list goes on...

Also, the GitHub which is based on software Git, a social network of developers.


  • Linux - Official Linux website, which also has [tutorials]( to get started with Linux, great community to solve your problems or to share your thoughts.
  • GNU - An extensive collection of free software which respect user's freedom.
  • GPL - A free license for software or any other kind of work.
  • Videos

  • The Revolution OS
  • 5 Keys to Mastery
  • The Code: Story of Linux