Linus Benedict Torvalds

Linus Benedict Torvalds Biography - On That Day

Profession : Software Engineer

Born : 1969-December-28

Birthplace : Helsinki, Finland

Nationality : American Finnish

Biography :

Linus Benedict Torvalds is a software engineer who was the creator and principal developer of the Linux kernel. The Linux kernel is used for the Linux operating system. Further, Linux became the foundation for the Android and Chrome OS operating systems. Torvalds also created the distributed version control system Git and Subsurface software. The Technology Academy of Finland awarded him the 2012 Millennium Technology Prize for the acceptance of his invention of a new open-source operating system for computers leading to the Linux kernel. Also, he received the 2014 IEEE Computer Society Computer Pioneer Award and the 2018 IEEE Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award. In 1999, the MIT Technology Review TR100 named him as one of the world's top 100 innovators under age 35.

Torvalds parents were journalists, Anna Torvalds and Nils Torvalds. Torvalds studied at the University of Helsinki from 1988 to 1996 and graduated with a master's degree in computer science from the NODES research group. However, his academic life at the university interfered after his first year due to selecting the 11 months officer training program to fulfill the mandatory military service in Finland. In 1990, Torvalds restarted his university studies. He obtained his first experience with UNIX from the ULTRIX operating system of the MicroVAX computer of the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). Further, he named his MSc thesis as " Linux: A Portable Operating System".

In 1991, Torvalds purchased his first personal computer during his study period at the University of Helsinki. But he was not satisfied with the computer’s operating system (OS), and he favored the UNIX operating system which had been used on the university’s computers. Later, he determined to create an operating system for his personal computer based on the version of UNIX. Torvalds released the first Linux prototypes to the public in late 1991 and on March 14th, 1994, version 1.0 was released by him.

In 1996, Torvalds recognized a position at the company in California. His wife is Tove Torvalds and they married in 1997. Then, he moved to the Open Source Development Labs and merged with the Free Standards Group. It became the Linux Foundation and he continued his work under their assistance. Torvalds and his family moved to Dunthorpe, Oregon in June 2004.

Initially, Torvalds needed to name the kernel as "Freax". However, his friend Ari Lemmke named Torvalds' directory Linux. Ari Lemmke administered the FTP server where the kernel was first hosted. Torvalds bears the Linux trademark and monitors its use through the Linux Mark Institute. On April 3rd, 2005, Torvalds started development on Git version control software. On July 26th, 2005, he gave its maintenance to Junio Hamano, who is a major project contributor. Later, this software became widely used. Torvalds started the development of subsurface software, which is used for logging and planning scuba dives in 2011. In 2012 Dirk Hohndel became its head maintainer. This is a software free and open-source that is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 2.