Linux celebrates its 15th anniversary

The anniversary of the open source operating system was celebrated with a seminar.

Linux celebrates its 15th anniversary

The Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki, and the Finnish Centre for Open Source Software (COSS) organised a seminar to mark the 15th anniversary of the Linux operating system on Monday, 4 September. The event, open to all, attracted more than 100 interested listeners and numerous laptops.

The seminar discussed the birth and history of Linux, its present role and future prospects. In addition to the keynote speaker, Jon “Maddog” Hall, Executive Director of Linux International, Finnish researchers and young-generation developers had their say.

Linux, a freely distributable operating system, began as a hobby of Linus Torvalds, then a student of computer science at the University of Helsinki. Today, its development has grown into a global project. The system’s source code is open, so anybody can modify the system in the direction they desire.

Now in its teens, Linux has grown from a 1990s’ hacker operating system to a product for the general public. There are tens of millions of Linux end-users worldwide and even tens of thousands of developers.

“Thanks to Linux, a new, more equal relationship has sprung up between users and developers,” says Tere Vadén, Senior Assistant, Hypermedia Laboratory at the University of Tampere.

In addition to desktop computers, Linux has been used in palmtops, wristwatches and space technology. It is also used in the world’s two largest supercomputers.

At the University of Helsinki, Linux is the operating system used by all the computers and servers at the Department of Computer Science – tailored naturally to the University’s needs. The result is probably the largest Linux system in Finland.

“Not only is the system inexpensive, it can also be repaired directly by the administration if necessary,” says lecturer Jukka Manner from the Department of Computer Science.

Text&photo: Salla Laaksonen

Translation: Valtasana Oy

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