Here is LWN's fourteenth annual timeline of significant events in the Linux
and free software world for the year.
We broke the timeline up into quarters, and this is our
report on the final quarter, October-December 2011, though there may be an
addition or two for December. The previous quarters can be found as follows:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Red Hat acquires Gluster, the makers of the
open source GlusterFS
A rootkit that is alleged to be used for surveillance by the German
government is analyzed by the Chaos Computer Club (CCC report, LWN
WineHQ database is compromised leading to the exposure of users'
openSUSE announces the first release of its openQA distribution testing
ownCloud 2 is released; ownCloud is a free cloud storage and
synchronization web application (announcement).
So you need another heuristic to handle that, and of course "heuristic" is
an ancient african word meaning "maybe bonghits will make this problem more
-- Matthew Garrett
Plasma Active One, the KDE-based interface for touchscreen devices, is
Samba changes its longstanding policy on corporate-copyrighted code,
which relaxes the requirement for personally copyrighted code (announcement, LWN look at the discussion from July).
Subversion 1.7.0 is released (announcement, release
The time zone database is briefly shut down due to copyright
complaints from an astrology company (LWN blurb and article).
KDE celebrates its 15th anniversary (reflections
from Cornelius Schumacher, LWN article).
For a while people were promoting the idea that its good to be lenient in
what you accept as input and strict in what you send out. I think people
are starting to realize that was a horrid mistake since now they're getting
utter crap and people don't even know what right is anymore.
-- Peter Zijlstra
Ubuntu 11.10 ("Oneiric Ocelot") is released (announcement, release
Dennis Ritchie, of Unix and C fame, passes away (LWN blurb, Rob
Pike's Google+ "obituary").
Linux 3.1 is released (announcement, KernelNewbies summary, A look at the 3.1 development cycle).
The 13th Realtime Linux Workshop is held in Prague, Czech Republic,
October 20-22 (Realtime minisummit
The 2011 Kernel summit is held October 23-25 in Prague (LWN
Debian is pretty bad at making choices. Almost always, when faced with a
need to choose between alternative solutions for the same problem, we
choose all of them. For example, we support pretty much every init
implementation, various implementations of /bin/sh, and we even have at
least three entirely different kernels.
-- Lars Wirzenius
Lisp creator John McCarthy passes away at 84 (TechCrunch
The second GStreamer conference is held in Prague,
October 24-25 (LWN coverage: GStreamer 1.0 and
0.10 and Xiph.org).
LinuxCon Europe is held in Prague, October 26-28 (LWN
coverage: Kernel panel, UMMS, an audio/video abstraction layer and A btrfs update).
The Embedded Linux Conference Europe is held in Prague, October
26-28 (LWN coverage: Till Jaeger on AVM
vs. Cybits, The embedded long-term support
initiative, and Sandboxing for automotive
Linux; Conference videos).
OpenBSD 5.0 is released (release notes).
It's important not to show a smug expression on your face while printing if
users of non-Linux OSs are still dealing with driver CDs or vendor
The Trinity Desktop Environment releases 3.5.13 as a continuation of
the KDE 3.5 series (announcement,
Samba notes its first contribution from Microsoft employees, which
actually happened back in October (announcement).
Fedora 16 is released (announcement,
Google announces the availability of the source code for Android 4.0
("Ice Cream Sandwich"), after withholding the source to 3.x (announcement,
They went out of their way to let researchers in, and now they're kicking
me out for doing research. I didn't have to report this bug. Some bad guy
could have found it instead and developed real malware.
Miller gets banned from Apple's developer program
openSUSE 12.1 is released (announcement, release notes).
AVM loses its case to restrict anyone from modifying the GPL-covered
code in its routers (gpl-violations.org announcement).
Barnes & Noble decries Microsoft's "trivial" patents used to fight
Android (LWN blurb, Groklaw article).
Richard Hughes announces the ColorHug open hardware/software
A serious denial of service attack against BIND 9 is seen in the
I admire and respect the fact that you can make free software do exactly
what you want - that's precisely what I set out to support in founding
Ubuntu. What I did not set out to found was a project which pandered to the
needs of a few, at the cost to the many. Especially when the few can
perfectly well help themselves, and the many cannot.
Lennart Poettering and Kay Sievers unveil "the Journal" as an
alternative to standard Linux unstructured logging; the announcement is not
met with widespread acclaim (announcement,
YaCy, a peer-to-peer search engine, makes its 1.0 release (LWN article).
Linux Mint 12 is released (announcement, LWN review).
Cinepaint is resurrected and releases version 1.0 though it's rather
unclear where the GIMP fork with support for 16 and 32 bits per channel
will go from here (Libre Graphics World report).
Download.com is found to be bundling Nmap with adware/spyware for
users of the security scanner (announcement,
Disclosing security vulnerabilities is good for security and good for
society, but vendors really hate it. It results in bad press, forces them
to spend money fixing vulnerabilities, and comes out of nowhere.
extensions.gnome.org launches as a site for GNOME Shell extensions
The LLVM compiler suite releases version 3.0 (announcement).
The QEMU system emulator releases version 1.0 (announcement).
HP announces that it will contribute the webOS code to the open source
Ugh - and people continue to get exploited from a preventable,
fixable and already fixed VFS design flaw.
-- Ingo Molnar on the
continued existence of symlink races
Facebook releases the HipHop virtual machine for faster PHP execution as
open source (announcement).
KDE announces the release of Plasma Active Two, the second iteration
of its interface for touchscreen devices (announcement).
Rockbox 3.10 is released on the tenth anniversary of the music
player alternative firmware project (announcement).
Note that only a witless moron could ever actually be confused (rather
than simply annoyed) by "1 files". Unfortunately, we actually deal with
these witless morons on a daily basis: they're called computers. And as
it happens, they're actually much more likely to be confused by the
difference between "1 file" and "2 files", especially if we were to
switch to using the latter 6 years in.
-- Matt Mackall
BT sues Google for patent infringement in Google Music and the
Android Market (LWN blurb).
CentOS 6.2 is released, right on the heels of RHEL 6.2 (announcement, release
The Android mainlining project is announced; progress is being made
(announcement, LWN article).
Qt 4.8.0 is released (announcement).
Google and Mozilla agree to financial terms for Google to continue as
the default Firefox search engine (announcement).
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