25 Lesser Known Facts About GNU/Linux

Linux is a land of excavation, the more you excavate the more you find treasure lies within it. This article tries to uncover some of the lesser known facts about Linux. To keep things simple, easy to read, easy to remember and easy to refer this article will be presented in point-wise fashion.

Lesser Known Linux Facts
25 Lesser Known Facts About Linux

1. Linux is not an OS, but it is the kernel, GNU Linux is the OS and it comes in several hundred flavours.

2. Linux Kernel was written by a 21 year finnish college student as a part of his hobby. Yup! His name is Linus Torvalds.

3. Torvalds created Linux based on GNU General Public License (GPL). Perhaps Torvalds would have never written his own kernel if GPL would be having it’s own kernel and driver.

4. Major part of today’s Linux kernel is written in C programming language and assembly language and only 2% of today’s kernel contains code written by Torvalds.

5. A Standard Linux Kernel of today has over 10 Million lines of code and it grows at the rate of 10% every year. About 4500 lines of codes are added and 1500 lines of code are changed everyday. Initially in 1991, Linux kernel version 0.01 was released with 10239 lines of code.

6. A guy named William Della Croce Jr. registered the name Linux and demanded royalty for using its name and mark. However he agreed to handover the trademark to Linus, later.

7. The Linux kernel’s official mascot is a penguin named Tux, abbreviation of tuxedo. The idea that Linux had a pet penguin comes from Linus Torvalds himself.

8. The first commercial distribution of GNU / Linux was Yggdrasil (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yggdrasil_Linux/GNU/X) and was launched in CD format in 1992. Red Hat was one of the first distributions to settle within companies and data centers in 1999.

9. Debian was one of the first GNU / Linux that was constituted and organized as a community of developers. Debian v. 4.0’s source code contains 283 million lines of code, $7.37 billion: projected cost to produce that amount of code in a commercial environment. Debian’s code base remains the foundation for other distros such as Ubuntu, Knoppix and Xandros.

10. 90% of the world’s most powerful supercomputers are using GNU/Linux. Top ten of supercomputers use Linux. 33.8% of the world runs on Linux servers compared to 7.3% running Microsoft Windows operating system.

11. Linux Torvalds has been honoured by naming an astroid after his name.

12. There are over 300 distributions GNU / Linux activities ranging from the well known Debian or Fedora distributions through governmental or educational level. And this list seems to grow with regional and personal distros being added frequently.

13. OK, Now the area of application of Linux – U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Navy Submarine Fleet, Federal Aviation Administration, Tamil Nadu for education purpose, Japan’s bullet trains, traffic control of San Francisco, the New York Stock Exchange, CERN, many air traffic control systems or control of nuclear reactors of submarines and ships, Russia, Brazil and Venezuela for interoperable management , cost efficient and technologically independence, Google, Cisco, Facebook, Twitter, Linked in, Toyota, TiVo, etc, server hosting the website of the White House (Drupal), federal government of Brazil favours Linux operating systems over all others in its PCs. Is Not Linux kernel the most widely ported operating system, running on a great variety of operating systems.

14. For those who think Linux can’t do AnimationOscar-winning visual effects of the Titanic by James Cameron came from machines with Linux and Avatar was the last movie completely developed in 3D Applications on Linux platform using Foss Software. Exclaimed!

15. Believe it or not – In 2002, Microsoft had accumulated a $ 421 million cost of fighting the spread of Linux, according to The Register.

16. According to a study funded by the European Union, the estimated cost to redevelop the most recent kernel versions would be at $1.14 billion USD – Amazed.

17. Microsoft Windows and the Linux kernel can run simultaneously in parallel on the same machine using a software called Cooperative Linux (coLinux).

18. IBM choose Linux for what is expected to be the world’s most powerful supercomputer, Sequoia, due in 2011.

19. An unmodified version of the Linux kernel is called – “Vanilla Kernel

20. Last year, 75% of Linux code was developed by programmers working for corporations. GOOGLE has contributed about 1.1% of the code in the current Linux kernel.

21. Linux has a strong following in Smart PhonesPalm’s WebOS, Google’s Android and Nokia’s Maemo smart phone operating systems are built on top of the Linux kernel.

22. Android’s Operating System is based off of Linux. The operating system is primarily based off of Linux kernel and Google has made several changes to make it go above and beyond the original basis of Linux kernel. The first Android Smart phone was launched by HTC! Though Samsung has captured much of the Android smart phone sector with its Galaxy series of devices.

23. Google names the code names of Android versions in alphabetical order. These names are not random but names of desserts. Can you guess the next versions of Android now? Android 5.0 K………..?!, Android 6.0 L………….?!!

24. Android mascot was stolen! Google didn’t originally create that mascot. The mascot was adopted from a character named Android! from a game called Gauntlet.

25. As of January 2010, Linux still only has a 1.02% market share within desktops.

This is not the end. You could tell us any other interesting fact about this wonderful project, if you know. Nevertheless you comments are highly appreciated. I will be coming with another article, very soon which you will love to read. Stay Tuned.

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Ronav Saive
A Passionate GNU/Linux Enthusiast and Software Developer with over a decade in the field of Linux and Open Source technologies.

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26 thoughts on “25 Lesser Known Facts About GNU/Linux”

  1. > 3. Torvalds created Linux based on GNU General Public License (GPL). Perhaps Torvalds would have never written his own kernel if GPL would be having it’s own kernel and driver.

    GPL is a License, so its nothing a Kernel can be based on (i think you mean GNU)

    Also Linux was not designed on the base of the GNU Operating System, the opposide, GNU wanted to use Linux as their Kernel until their own is finished.

    Also a friend hat to convince Linus to release Linux under the GNU/GPL he did not wanted to in the beginning.

  2. I don’t see any lie as said on this article.
    One thing, on topic 3, the choosing of the license (according to the book: just for fun) was made after the creation of the Linux kernel. Linus chose the GPL license because he thought it was more interesting rather than other licenses.
    The rest is true. Good article!

  3. I just wanted to point out a little flaw in something you said regarding Windows Media Center. You said, “A PC entertainment system that comes with Windows 7 and later”, this is untrue. Media Center first appeared in Windows XP as Windows Media Center Edition and has has been a part of Windows through Vista and 7. In Windows 8 it is an additional add-on that must be purchased/installed separately.

    To the people screaming about “this program or that program” stop it… It is impossible for one guy to list every random alternative program. In fact I can think of tons that were missed, like kontact (KDE’s mail/calendar/contact suite). Kontact is great though it lacks Exchange support which is a let down. Evolution is probably the only real viable alternative to outlook as Evolution can actually connect to Exchange and can even sync your calendar.

  4. > GNU Linux is the OS and it comes in several hundred flavours.


    > 11. Linux Torvalds has been honoured by naming an astroid after his name.

    Yes, both Linu_x_ and Torvalds, and GNU and Stallman.


    There is also a Free Software Street: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Software_Street


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