Here is LWN's fourteenth annual timeline of significant events in the Linux
and free software world for the year.
We will be breaking the timeline up into quarters, and this is our
report on July-September 2011. Next week, we will be
put out the timeline for the last quarter of 2011.
This is version 0.8 of the 2011 timeline. There are almost certainly some
errors or omissions; if you find any, please send them to email@example.com.
LWN subscribers have paid for the development of this timeline, along with
previous timelines and the weekly editions. If you like what you see here,
or elsewhere on the site, please consider subscribing to LWN.
For those with a nostalgic bent, our timeline index page has links
to the previous thirteen timelines and some other retrospective articles
going all the way back to 1998.
A backdoor is found in the vsftpd source code (LWN blurb).
Most well-adjusted people would not stand up in a crowd of people and start
calling people around them idiots. Just because there is a monitor and a
network cable separating you from the crowd doesn't make it ok, and I am
tired of it.
-- Rasmus Lerdorf
CERN releases version 1.1 of its Open Hardware
Project Harmony releases version 1.0 of its contributor agreements
(LWN blurb, agreements).
Nortel sells a huge pile of patents covering networking and lots
more to a consortium made up of Apple, EMC, Ericsson, Microsoft, Research
In Motion, and Sony. Google also unsuccessfully bid on the patents (Reuters
The VLC media player reports that companies are bundling it with
adware/spyware, which is an increasing problem for free software
I am quite at ease not participating in netfilter/iptables anymore while
the discussion about IPv6 NAT becomes an issue again: I always indicated
"over my dead body", and now that I am no longer in charge, nobody will
have to kill me ;)
-- Harald Welte
CentOS 6.0 is released, eight months after RHEL 6 (announcement, release
The realtime kernel tree moves to 3.0 after being based on 2.6.33
for a long time (3.0-rc7-rt0
IBM promises to contribute the Symphony fork of OpenOffice.org (OOo) to the Apache
OOo project (announcement).
Oracle acquires Ksplice, Inc., makers of the ksplice no-reboot
kernel patching product (announcement,
LWN article: Ksplice and CentOS).
As already mentioned several times, there are no special landmark features
or incompatibilities related to the version number change, it's simply a
way to drop an inconvenient numbering system in honor of twenty years of
-- Linus Torvalds announces
Linux 3.0 is released without any major changes that some might
assume come with the move from 2.6.x (announcement, KernelNewbies summary, and
Who wrote 3.0).
Mozilla announces the "Boot to Gecko" standalone operating system,
which is based on Linux (announcement,
Several versions of Emacs ship without all of the source code, which
does not comply with the GPL, though the FSF itself is not violating the
license (LWN coverage).
The digiKam software collection 2.0.0 is released; digiKam SC is a
photo editor and related tools (announcement, LWN review).
KDE Software Compilation 4.7 is released (announcement).
DebConf 2011 is held July 24-30 in Banja Luka, Bosnia and
The second Desktop Summit is held in Berlin, Germany, August 6-12;
it is a combination of GNOME's GUADEC and KDE's Akademy conferences (LWN
coverage: Companies and open source,
Copyright assignments, Desktop crypto consolidation, Service design, Plasma Active
Every time I get frustrated with doing paperwork, I simply imagine having
the job of estimating how much time it takes to do paperwork, and I feel
Samba 3.6.0 is released (announcement).
Debian celebrates its 18th birthday, just two years younger than
Linux itself (announcement).
Google announces its intent to acquire Motorola Mobility
mostly for its patents it would seem (announcement).
The first release candidate of the Mozilla Public License 2.0 is
an LWN look at the update process).
But if you want to be taken seriously as a researcher, you should
publish your code! Without publication of your *code* research in your
area cannot be reproduced by others, so it is not science.
-- Guido van Rossum
LinuxCon North America is held August 17-19 in Vancouver, Canada
and celebrates 20 years of Linux (LWN coverage: Clay Shirky on
collaboration, Largest desktop Linux
deployment, FreedomBox, x86 platform drivers, MeeGo architecture update, ConnMan, and Mobile
Linux patent landscape).
COSCUP 2011 is held in Taipei, Taiwan August 20-21 (LWN coverage: Year of the Linux tablet?).
A serious denial-of-service attack against Apache web servers is seen in
the wild (announcement, LWN coverage).
HP announces it is dropping its webOS devices (press
The 20th anniversary of the first Linux post is August 25; the
now-famous "just a hobby" post
The Certificate Authority system as it stands today is a house of cards and
we're witnessing in public what many have known for years in private. The
entire system is soaked in petrol and waiting for a light.
DigiNotar issues fraudulent SSL/TLS certificates for several domains
including google.com in July, but it is discovered in August (LWN blurb and coverage).
The kernel.org server is found to be compromised; the compromise
affects various Linux
Foundation servers as well; it will take some time for things to get back
to normal. (LWN coverage)
Mandriva 2011 ("Hydrogen") is released (announcement,
The Linux Plumbers Conference is held in Santa Rosa, California,
September 7-9 (LWN coverage: Development model
diversity, Booting and systemd, Making the net go faster, Coping with hardware diversity, Bufferbloat update, and Control groups).
No developer ever thinks their change is going to break anything for
anyone. It's the QA Law of What Could Possibly Go Wrong.
-- Adam Williamson
The Linux Security Summit is held with Plumbers (LWN coverage: LSM roundtable and Kernel hardening roundtable).
PostgreSQL 9.1 is released (announcement, LWN article).
The Qt Project is announced for more open governance of the free
software UI toolkit (announcement).
Coherent vision isn't something that the kernel community really values.
-- Neil Brown
The openSUSE conference is held in Nürnberg, Germany September
The OpenShot video editor releases version 1.4 (announcement).
UEFI "secure boot" and Microsoft's mandate of it for Windows 8 hardware
to concern free operating system developers (Matthew Garrett blog posts:
Part 1, Part 2; LWN article).
Not spending as much time sitting in meetings and fighting with other
vendors is one of the competitive advantages PostgreSQL development has
vs. the "big guys". There needs to be a pretty serious problem with your
process before adding bureaucracy to it is anything but a backwards
move. And standardization tends to attract lots of paperwork. Last thing
you want to be competing with a big company on is doing that sort of big
-- Greg Smith
GNOME 3.2 is released (announcement,
PulseAudio 1.0 is released (announcement, release notes).
Tizen, the successor to MeeGo, is announced, which incorporates
technology from the LiMo project; the announcement comes less than a month
after Intel says it is "fully committed" to MeeGo (announcement, LWN coverage).
The Berlios code repository announces that it will shut down at the
end of the year (announcement,
to post comments)