The Linux community have been showing a lot of love for Australian marsupials lately. Two weeks ago we mentioned that Ubuntu 9.10 which is slated for release in October was officially named Karmic Koala. Now the Linux community spearheaded by Linus Torvalds himself have decided to take a temporary substitute for Tux the Linux penguin mascot in the form of a Tasmanian Devil. The guest mascot will be aptly known as Tuz who will be standing in for Tux during the whole duration of the Linux 2.6.29 kernel cycle.
Tasmanian Devils as we all know are marsupials scarcely surviving in the Australian island state of Tasmania. These creatures are not found (in the wild) anywhere else in the world. The remaining creatures are currently in the endangered species list courtesy of a communicable form of cancer.
Linus along with the organizers and participants of the 2009 linux.conf.au conference held in Hobart Tasmania took notice of this. It was there that Tuz got his first taste of the spotlight when he took part as the conference mascot. During the conference the participants and organizers managed to raise at least AU$40000 for the purpose of supporting research on this disease. Apparently not contented with the gesture the community decided to increase awareness by letting Tuz fill in for Tux in a kernel cycle.
The recent actions of the Linux community are aptly summarized by Jonathan Corbet of the LWN.net:
“There are a lot of reasons why developers create open source software. Beyond the fact that it’s simply fun many of us are motivated by a desire to make the world a better place.”
Those who would like to take one step further into saving the surviving but endangered counterparts of Tuz can start by dropping by the Save The Tasmanian Devil website.