Here is LWN's fifteenth annual timeline of significant events in the
Linux and free software world. We will be breaking the timeline up into
quarters, and this is our report on April-June 2012. Timelines for the
remaining quarters of the year will appear in the coming weeks.
This is version 0.8 of the 2012 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.
If you'd like to look further back in time, our timeline index page has links
to the previous timelines and some other retrospective articles
going all the way back to 1998.
The 2012 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory Management Summit is held
in San Francisco, April 1-2 (LWN coverage: day 1
and day 2).
Debian joins the Open Source Initiative as an affiliate (announcement).
The udev maintainer announces that the udev and systemd projects
will merge, noting that it will still be possible to run udev on a
system that is not using systemd (announcement).
I think one of the things that makes Debian off-putting
and unwelcoming is that we're a little *too* obsessed with criticizing
everyone's ideas, and what some people see as "healthy discussion" other
people see as "hurtful flamewars over bike shed colors."
-- Russ Allbery
Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto, creator of the Ruby language, wins the
2011 Free Software Foundation award for the advancement of free
Red Hat celebrates becoming the first open source
company to turn over one billion dollars in a fiscal year with a US$100,000
donation to open source projects (LWN blurb).
The Kubuntu project acquires a new sponsor, as Blue Systems
hires two former Kubuntu developers away from Canonical (LWN blurb and article).
The 2012 Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit take place in San
Francisco, April 3-5 (LWN coverage: Trademarks for free software projects; The kernel panel; X and Wayland; The
Linux System Definition; The future of
GLIBC; LLVM and Linux).
We don't need a system to help us ignore bug reports; our
existing process handles that with admirable efficiency.
-- Robert Haas
Maintenance of the Linux 2.4 kernel comes to an end, eight years
after the release of Linux 2.6.0 (announcement).
PostGIS 2.0.0 is released (announcement).
The Samba team announce a fix for a remote code execution
vulnerability (LWN blurb).
The 2012 Linux Audio Conference takes place in Palo Alto,
California, April 12-15 (LWN coverage).
Stefano Zacchiroli is re-elected for a third term as leader of the Debian
A couple of times I've said "It looks like you could use
some help. Would you like me to co-maintain with you?" and have generally
gotten a positive response. If it's put in terms of "Looks like you're
busy, I can help" and not "You suck and should be fired so I can take over"
people seem to be pretty open to it.
-- Scott Kitterman
MythTV 0.25 is released (LWN article).
FreeBSD 8.3 is released (announcement, release
Calligra 2.4 is released (LWN blurb
Nathan Willis joins LWN as an editor (LWN article).
gitolite v3.0 is released (announcement).
OpenSSH 6.0 released (announcement).
Geary 0.1 is released (LWN article on this GNOME-based email client).
The Defensive Patent License is released (LWN article).
OpenBSD 5.1 is released (announcement).
An Apple programmer, apparently by accident, left a debug
flag in the most recent version of the Mac OS X operating system. In
specific configurations, applying OS X Lion update 10.7.3 turns on a
system-wide debug log file that contains the login passwords of every user
who has logged in since the update was applied. The passwords are stored in
The Tizen project announces the 1.0 ("Larkspur") release of its SDK
and platform source code (LWN blurb and
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS "Precise Pangolin" released (announcement).
Yocto Project 1.2 is released (announcement).
Xfce 4.10 is released (LWN blurb).
The Libre Graphics Meeting 2012 is held in Austria, Vienna, May
2-5 (LWN coverage: Inkscape quietly evolves
into a development platform; GIMP's new
release, new über-core, and future; Unusual
The inaugural Tizen conference takes place in San Francisco, 7-9
May (LWN coverage: Pitching HTML5 as a
Dell announces Project Sputnik, which is aimed at creating a
commercial, Linux-based developer laptop (LWN blurb).
Apache OpenOffice 3.4 is released (LWN blurb, pointer to
an earlier timeline of the work on the project, and an earlier article looking at progress of the
The GNU nPth project makes a first release of its GNU portable threads
Open Build Service version 2.3 released (announcement).
GIMP 2.8 is released (release notes,
LWN blurb and article previewing the release).
The Document Foundation announces a certification program "to
foster the provision of professional services around LibreOffice" (announcement).
Red Hat Enterprise Linux turns 10 (press
Enough data has come in to satisfy me that with all the
improvements in Linux over the last year, and with BQL, codel and fq_codel,
that we've won a major battle in the war against bufferbloat
-- Dave Täht
ConnMan 1.0 is released (LWN blurb).
Kdenlive 0.9 is released (announcement).
PowerTOP v2.0 is released (LWN blurb).
PulseAudio 2.0 is released (announcement).
PGCon 2012 is held in Ottawa, Canada, May 17-18 (LWN coverage).
Mandriva SA announces it will return control of the distribution
back "to the community". However, the Mageia community distribution
that earlier forked from Mandriva declines to work with Mandriva's
community effort (announcement,
LWN article on the announcement and an earlier article on the status of Mandriva).
When I helped to develop the open standards that
computers use to communicate with one another across the Net, I hoped for
but could not predict how it would blossom and how much human ingenuity it
would unleash. What secret sauce powered its success? The Net prospered
precisely because governments — for the most part — allowed the Internet to
grow organically, with civil society, academia, private sector and
voluntary standards bodies collaborating on development, operation and
The printerd project is announced (LWN article).
Linux 3.4 is released (announcement; KernelNewbies summary; LWN
merge window summaries part 1, part 2, and part 3; LWN development statistics article).
Mageia 2 is released (announcement and LWN article).
LLVM 3.1 is released (announcement, release
Nmap version 6 is released (announcement).
ownCloud 4 is released (LWN blurb).
Perl 5.16.0 is released (announcement
and LWN article).
The jury in Oracle v. Google finds that Google did not
infringe any of Oracle's patents (LWN blurb and earlier article on
the case, Groklaw
Simon Phipps becomes president of the Open Source Initiative (The
The LibreOffice project embarks on a project to rebase and relicense
the LibreOffice source code (LWN article).
I couldn't have told you the first thing about Java
before this problem. I have done, and still do, a significant amount of
programming in other languages. I've written blocks of code like rangeCheck
a hundred times before. I could do it, you could do it. The idea that
someone would copy that when they could do it themselves just as fast, it
was an accident. There's no way you could say that was speeding them along
to the marketplace. You're one of the best lawyers in America, how could
you even make that kind of argument?
Alsup (Oracle v. Google) has a clue
The Software Freedom Conservancy announces that it is expanding its
license compliance efforts after signing up multiple Linux kernel and
Samba developers whose copyrights can be used in license compliance
Fedora 17 is released (announcement).
GCC explorer is released (LWN blurb).
RPM 4.10 released (LWN blurb).
systemd 183 is released; this release merges the udev and
systemd projects (announcement).
The Linux Foundation announces the existence of the FOSS Bar Code
Tracker, a tool for tracking free and open source software components
In the Oracle v. Google suit, Judge Alsup rules that the Java
APIs are not copyrightable (LWN blurb).
Managing a volunteer open source project is a lot like
herding kittens, except the kittens randomly appear and disappear because
they have day jobs.
-- Matt Mackall
Obnam 1.0 is released (LWN blurb
and article on this backup system).
LinuxCon Japan is held in Yokohama, June 6-8 (videos; LWN coverage: Making kernel developers less grumpy; OpenRelief launches; One
zImage to rule them all; Advice for new
kernel hackers; The business of
From the tone of the hearing, and the language of the
House resolution, we are being asked to believe that "the position of the
United States Government has been and is to advocate for the flow of
information free from government control."
If only it were true. The reality is that Congress increasingly has its
paws all over the Internet. Lawmakers and regulators are busier than ever
trying to expand the horizons of cyber-control across the board: copyright
mandates, cybersecurity rules, privacy regulations, speech controls, and
Brito and Adam Thierer
Debian accepts a diversity statement (announcement).
Linus Torvalds co-wins the Millennium Technology Prize (BBC report).
The Apple versus Google-owned Motorola patent litigation takes a
surprising turn as Judge Richard Posner dismisses the case, calling the patent
system "dysfunctional" (GigaOm
Emacs 24.1 is released (announcement).
MPlayer 1.1 is released (LWN blurb).
X11R7.7 is released (announcement
and LWN article).
SystemTap 1.8 is released (announcement).
Ulogd 2.0.0 is released (announcement).
The Electronic Frontier Foundation announces the Defend
Innovation patent reform project (press
The Fedora and Ubuntu distributions outline their plans for dealing
with UEFI secure boot (LWN article on the Fedora plan and the Ubuntu plan).
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3 is released (LWN blurb, release
Grub 2.0.0 is released (announcement).
Documentation is the sort of thing that will never be
great unless someone from outside contributes it (since the developers can
never remember which parts are hard to understand).
-- Avery Pennarun
The GNU C library (glibc) version 2.16 is released (announcement).
Many Linux servers misbehave as a result of the leap second added at the
end of the month (LWN article).
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