Evolution of Computer
In earlier days, computers were as big as houses or parks. So you can imagine how difficult it was to operate them. Moreover, every computer has a different operating system which made it completely worse to operate on them. Every software was designed for a specific purpose and was unable to operate on other computer. It was extremely costly and normal people neither can afford it nor can understand it.
Evolution of Unix
In 1969, a team of developers of Bell Labs started a project to make a common software for all the computers and named it as ‘Unix’. It was simple and elegant, used ‘C’ language instead of assembly language and its code was recyclable. As it was recyclable, a part of its code now commonly called ‘kernel’ was used to develop the operating system and other functions and could be used on different systems. Also its source code was open source.
Initially, Unix was only found in large organizations like government, university, or larger financial corporations with mainframes and minicomputers (PC is a microcomputer).
In eighties, many organizations like IBM, HP and dozen other companies started creating their own Unix. It result in a mess of Unix dialects. Then in 1983, Richard Stallman developed GNU project with the goal to make it freely available Unix like operating system and to be used by everyone. But his project failed in gaining popularity. Many other Unix like operating system came into existence but none of them was able to gain popularity.
Evolution of Linux
In 1991, Linus Torvalds a student at the university of Helsinki, Finland, thought to have a freely available academic version of Unix started writing its own code. Later this project became the Linux kernel. He wrote this program specially for his own PC as he wanted to use Unix 386 Intel computer but couldn’t afford it. He did it on MINIX using GNU C compiler. GNU C compiler is still the main choice to compile Linux code but other compilers are also used like Intel C compiler.
He started it just for fun but ended up with such a large project. Firstly he wanted to name it as ‘Freax’ but later it became ‘Linux’.
He published the Linux kernel under his own license and was restricted to use as commercially. Linux uses most of its tools from GNU software and are under GNU copyright. In 1992, he released the kernel under GNU General Public License.
Today, supercomputers, smart phones, desktop, web servers, tablet, laptops and home appliances like washing machines, DVD players, routers, modems, cars, refrigerators, etc use Linux OS.