The open source software turned 18 last year, and its maturity is evident to hackers and corporate types alike.
1. Linus Torvalds developed the Linux kernel while still a student at the University of Helsinki in 1991.
2. Last year, 75% of Linux code was developed by programmers working for corporations.
3. In December 2009, IBM announced a new mainframe system designed for Linux.
4. IBM chose Linux for what is expected to be the world’s most powerful supercomputer, Sequoia, due in 2011.
5. Linux powers 446 of the world’s top 500 supercomputers.
6. Some 95% of the servers used by Hollywood’s large animation studios are powered by Linux
7. The first major film produced on Linux servers was 1997’s Titanic.
8. Director James Cameron again chose Linux servers for box-office smash Avatar.
9. Google runs its web servers on Linux.
10. GOOG has contributed about 1.1% of the code in the current Linux kernel.
11. Linux has a strong following in smartphones and other devices in the consumer electronics world.
12. Palm’s WebOS, Google’s Android and Nokia’s Maemo smartphone operating systems are built on top of the Linux kernel.
13. TiVo uses a customized version of Linux for its appliances.
14. In 2009, Linux had 33.8% revenue marketshare of servers, compared to Microsoft’s 7.3%.
15. As of January 2010, Linux still only has a 1.02% marketshare within desktops.
16. Torvalds created Linux based on the GNU General Public License (GPL).
17. Torvalds wouldn’t have written his own operating system if GNU had had a kernel at the time.
18. The GNU Project then a lacked lacking drivers, daemons and a kernel.
19. Under the GPL, any person or group distributing the Linux kernel must make the source code available to the recipient of the package.
20. Said Torvalds: "Making Linux GPL’d was definitely the best thing I ever did."
21. Torvalds failed to register the name "Linux" when he first started his open source ventures.
22. In 1994, William Della Croce, Jr. filed for trademark in the U.S.and asked for royalties from Linux distributors.
23. Torvalds and his lawyers won the battle for the Linux name in 1997.
24. There are over 300 distributions of Linux actively deployed today.
25. Linux gained traction beyond the coder cult with 1993’s Slackware distribution, which was easier for non-programmers to use.
26. The Debian distribution was one of the first truly community-oriented Linux coding projects.
27. Debian’s code base remains the foundation for other distros such as Ubuntu, Knoppix and Xandros.
28. Debian v. 4.0’s source code containes 283 million lines of code.
29. $7.37 billion: projected cost to produce that amount of code in a commercial environment.
30. The first commercially-produced, live-CD distribution of Linux was Yggdrasil, released in 1992.
31. Red Hat was one of the first commercial Linux distributions to truly cater to the enterprise.
32. Ubuntu was the first Linux distro to be offered by a major OEM (Dell) to desktop users.
33. The Xandros distribution helped make the netbook craze possible when it was chosen by ASUS for the first iterations of the EeePC.
34. Linux-based Apache wasn’t named for Geronimo’s tribe, it was called "a patchy server" for its cobbled-together source code.
35. In 2002, The Register claimed Microsoft spent $421 million just to fight Linux.
36. In 2003, the SCO Group earned enmity by claiming that IBM transferred UNIX code into Linux and asking for redress.
37. The Indian state of Kerala made it mandatory for all of its high schools to run Linux on their computers.
38. The federal government of Brazil favors Linux operating systems over all others in its PCs.
39. In 2009, Brazil carried out the largest thin-client deployment of Linux to date, with 350,000 nodes.
40. IDC projects that Linux support sales will top $1 billion by 2012.