Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux History page.
Five years ago January, 1997: The Linux kernel version 2.1.14 running natively on the PowerPC platform was released in Beta form.
Three years ago (January 7, 1999 LWN): The 2.2 Linux kernel pre-release series began; the stable release was pushing towards version 2.0.37. The Linux Kernel Archive mirror system was started with two mirror sites. There are now hundreds of Linux kernel archive mirror sites all around the world.
Numerous people predicted that Open Source software would be big in 1999; these predictions turned out to be accurate.
Info World speculated that "Linux will become just another Unix. The Internet lost its charm when big business discovered it. The same will happen with Linux. Linux will wipe out SCO and Unixware and gain ground against NT, but will lose its soul in the process". Well, they got the SCO part right, but Linux continues to have almost as much soul as James Brown.
Red Hat was getting lots of attention with its corporate expansion and potential of being a threat to the Microsoft empire.
The first issue of the Debian Weekly News came on-line; that project is still going strong.
Aladdin Ghostscript was released under a GPL license.
Two years ago (January 6, 2000 LWN): Linux survived the Y2K bug with a few minor bugs here and there; so did the rest of the world. Several Linux distribution vendors came out with some additional Y2K bug fixes.
The cracking of the DVD encryption format was big news; Eric Raymond wrote a letter to LWN entitled DVDCA and the Big Lie.
The stable kernel was version 2.2.14, which was a bit long in coming. The development kernel was version 2.3.35. With Y2K concerns out of the way, the Unix Year 2038 bugs were beginning to get a look.
The first of many SEUL/edu Linux in Education reports came out; this group continues to produce good information concerning Linux in the schools.
Numerous commercial entities announced the open-sourcing of projects; among them were InterBase from Inprise, the CompactPCI networking package from MontaVista, and several device drivers.
VA Software (formerly VA Linux) introduced the now well-known SourceForge site.
Apple announced the roll-out of its Mac OS X, a Free BSD based platform.
One year ago (January 4, 2001 LWN): With very little fanfare, and in a slipped-release schedule matched only by the Linux kernel itself, GIMP 1.2 was released to the masses on Christmas day.
Speaking of the kernel, Linus released Linux 2.4.0-prerelease on December 31, 2000. The official 2.4.0 was released on January 4, 2001.
Torvalds said in June 1999 that Linux 2.4 would be done by last fall. In May 2000, Torvalds acknowledged that likely it would be October 2000 before 2.4 saw the light of day, since developers were attempting to cram more new, high-end features into the final release. On Oct. 6, at Frankfurt's LinuxWorld, Torvalds was quoted as saying Linux 2.4 wouldn't be launched until December at the earliest.
Keith Owens posted a long description of plans to redesign the kernel Makefile system. The Makefile system has been redesigned in the last year, but the changes have not been incorporated into 2.5 as of this writing.
Slackware.com was compromised on December 25th, forcing a shutdown of that site. The breakin appeared to have been due to an older version of imapd.
Linus Torvalds was named Reader's Digest European of the Year 2000.
Torvalds had done something remarkable: he had created the kernel of a new computer operating system?the brains of a computer which controls the hardware and organizes the programs. Not only that, he had then given it away free, a decision akin to the Coca-Cola company publishing the formula for Coke, or MI5 releasing its top-secret files.
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.
January 3, 2002