Linux kernel version 1.0.0 was released 15 years ago today. My, how far we've come since then.
The first ever Linux version was released in September 1991 and was dubbed version 0.01. This was followed by version 0.02 which was released in October of the same year. Versions 0.03, 0.10, and 0.11 followed in rapid succession. In February of 1992, upon releasing version 0.12, Linus Torvalds ditched his self-drafted license in favor of the GPL (GNU General Public License).
Then on March 14, 1994, Torvalds posted this on comp.os.minix:
Article 573 of comp.os.linux.announce:
Xref: cstreet comp.os.linux.announce:573 comp.os.linux.development:4739
From: Linus Torvalds
Subject: Linux 1.0---A better UNIX than Windows NT
Date: 14 Mar 1994 12:51:16 GMT
Organization: University of Helsinki
Approved: firstname.lastname@example.org (Lars Wirzenius)
Summary: Linux 1.0 released
Keywords: Linux Kernel 1.0 Academy Awards
X-Moderator-Added-Keywords: universe, end of
Finally, here it is. Almost on time (being just two years late is
peanuts in the OS industry), and better than ever:
Linux kernel release 1.0
This release has no new major features compared to the pl15 kernels, but
contains lots and lots of bugfixes: all the major ones are gone, the
smaller ones are hidden better. Hopefully there are no major new ones.
The Linux kernel can be found as source on most of the Linux ftp-sites
under the names
linux-1.0.tar.gz (full source)
linux-1.0.patch.pl15.gz (patch against linux-0.99pl15)
linux-1.0.patch.alpha.gz (patch from linux-pre-1.0)
it should be available at least at the sites
This release finally moves Linux out of Beta status and is meant as a
base for distributions to build on. It will neither change Linux'
status as FreeWare under the GPL, nor will it mean the end of
development on Linux. In fact many new features where held back for
later releases so that 1.0 could become a well tested and hopefully
The Linux kernel wouldn't be where it is today without the help of lots
of people: the kernel developers, the people who did user-level programs
making linux useful, and the brave and foolhardy people who risked their
harddisks and sanity to test it all out. My thanks to you all.
(Editorial note: if you think this sounds too much like the Academy
Awards ceremony, just skip this: it's not getting any better.)
Thanks to people like Aaron Kushner, Danny ter Haar and the authors of
the AnwenderHandbuch (and others) who have helped me with hardware or
monetary donations (and to the Oxford Beer Trolls and others who took
care of the drinkware). And thanks to Dirk, who helped me write this
announcement despite my lazyness ("hey, it's just another release, who
needs an announcement anyway?").
To make a long and boring story a bit shorter and boring, here is at
least a partial list of people who have been helping make Linux what it
is today. Thanks to you all,
Peter Bauer <email@example.com>
Stephen R. van den Berg
Rob W. W. Hooft
Michael K. Johnson
Fred N. van Kempen
Tuomas J. Lukka
John A. Martin
William (Bill) Metzenthen
Ian A. Murdock
Florian La Roche
Peter De Schrijver
Marco van Wieringen
Stephen D. Williams
Roger E. Wolff
A more detailed list with contact and description information can be
found in the CREDITS file that accompanies the kernel sources.
Mail submissions for comp.os.linux.announce to: firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE remember Keywords: and a short description of the software.
That version (1.0) of the Linux kernel was written with only 176,250 lines of code. For comparison, Linux 2.6.28 which was released last December 2008 had 10,195,402 lines of code.